Moving home is listed among the most stressful life events. It can be a lot – especially when moving with young children. But it can be just as stressful for your little one.
Making your little one feel more relaxed about (and during) the move will not only help them but can also ease some of your stress – making it a more manageable process!
To help, we’ve put together this all you need to know guide to moving home with young children. It covers how to prepare your little one, what you can expect from them and how to get them settled in after the move.
Let’s jump straight in!
How to prepare your little one
It’s important to talk to your child about major changes that are going to affect them, so they have time to get used to the idea and ask any questions.
Discuss the positive and negative changes – maybe you’re moving to a whole new area so your little one is starting at a new nursery? Or maybe you’re sizing up so they get to have a bigger room?
Answer any questions as honestly as you can but be careful to not promise things you can’t deliver (e.g. a pet if you’re not in a position to get one).
When it comes to packing, reassure your little one that their toys are just being put in boxes for the move and they will be taken into the new home. You can also encourage them to help with the packing process – this will give them a better sense of control over the process.
Be sure to chat about what will happen on the day. Will they miss a day of nursery? Is it a long journey?
If possible, take your little one to the new home or area before the move so that they can begin to picture themselves living there. Help them do this by visiting a nearby park or swimming pool or even nursery if they’re starting at a new one.
If this is not possible, show them any photos and explore the area together using google maps!
Finally, sharing storybooks can also be useful when preparing for a move, this will help them get a better idea of what it will involve – we’ve listed some recommendations below.
How might your little one react
Your little one may react in a variety of different ways depending on the circumstances. It’s totally normal for them to experience one or a mix of the following:
A feeling of sadness or loss because of leaving the safety of a familiar place.
A need for lots of cuddles and reassurance.
Regression like sucking their thumb or bedwetting as they adjust to the new setting.
Anger since they have no control over the move – this can result in tantrums (click here for our Tantrum guide).
Anxiety or worry – they may be tearful or clingy.
Be sure to stay calm and patient and let your little one know that feeling this way is totally normal. These will reduce as you settle into your new home.
After the move
After the move is done your child may need a bit of extra reassurance, be sure to remind them that even though their home has changed, you’re still there for them.
If possible, sort out your child’s room first with any comforters and stick to familiar routines as much as possible so that they feel secure.
Finally, allow your little one to be sad about the home or friends they have left behind and if possible, invite some old friends over to play!
Books to share