Here at Doodlebump headquarters we have moved again! We seem to be constantly moving. Since my son was born we have moved house four times and he is only 2 and a half. As we are renting at the moment every 6 months seems to coincide with the landlord/lady either selling their house or wanting to move back in. With the housing market in the state that it is at the moment I thought there must be more people out there with the same problem or perhaps moving for the first time with youngsters and looking for ways to juggle them and the move. So I have written five hopefully helpful tips on moving with toddlers, that I hope will help in this all too stressful time.
1. Choosing your new home
I find that it is best to involve your child in as much of the move as possible. So why not start by showing them around their new home? They get very excited about exploring the new rooms and can get accustomed to the new layout of the house. This will also quickly address any safety issues that may need to be looked into before you move. Such as that huge drain they could fall into in the garden or whether you may need a fire guard or more stair gates.
This, for me, is when it really hits home that I am actually moving and when I realise I really do have too much stuff! When you have kids around I think it is best to pack little and often. Evenings and nap times ( if you still get them ) are the best times so you don’t find your boxes unpacked by little hands just as you have packed them. ( This is normally accompanied by an investigative ooohhh sound and a toy comes out of a box that they have seen no interest in for years but apparently now is all he wants in the world!)
To keep those packed boxes away from prying hands during the day I like to dedicate a room for them. This can be a garage, office, or your own bedroom, but one where you can shut the door and where little ones cant enter. This also keeps the rest of your house in a some what liveable condition so you don’t get too overpowered with boxes in every room!
If you can you could let your toddler pack a few boxes as well, this can give them more of an idea that they are going to be moving and help them get acquainted with it. I like to give my son a box and ask him to help me pack whilst I also pack a few things. His box is never really full as he puts things in then takes them out again but I like to think I am getting him used to the idea of moving and he thinks he is helping, which is always nice!
3. The move
If possible on moving day I would leave your children with someone, if you can, it is a crazy enough day as it is without adding curious monkeys into the mix! I am so lucky that my parents offered to take my son for the day, by the time he came home in the evening to the new house his room was unpacked and we were a bit more relaxed as we made sure his room was ready first ( more on that later!)
Once my sons things have been unloaded I always unpack his room straight away. I find this creates some familiarity with his surroundings and he settles in much quicker. He is also car obsessed at the moment and so I like to hide a few new small cars in his room ( just ones I bought from car boots or nearly new sales ) he gets very excited about these and forgets he is in a different house. I like to set his room out the same as home and in this respect I think having decorations in rooms that are portable and easily movable are a great asset (especially for rented houses). My son has the Personalised Doodlebump Ladybird Print and personalised banner in his room as well as some removable decals and door stickers that I will be launching soon. Great for if you are renting as none of them leave a mark.
With my son it really helps to keep our routine the same. We carry on as normal and nothing changes in his daily routine, I think this helps him to realise that everything is OK and nothing has really changed except for a new place to explore.
I think that children are very resilient to change and can embrace it as a wonderful new adventure with lovely new places and rooms to explore. I hope, if you are planning a move soon, that everything goes well and the tips above have been some help. If you have done any moves or have recently done a move with a baby or toddler I would love to hear your advice or comments.