Tips for Moving with a Toddler


Home sweet home!

You’ve found your new place and are excited as ever, but crap, now you’ve got to pack, clean, organize, move and most importantly, prep your little one for the transition ahead. Yikes.

I was in this boat just this past summer.

My husband and I purchased our first home and were growing more and more tense with how our two-year-old would handle all the changes headed his way.

We all know kids are resilient little beings but a new room, new bed, new sounds, new neighbors — and leaving behind all those familiar favorites — would take plenty of prepping for and adjusting to. That’s what we imagined, anyway.

As a mom who just made that big life change, I’m here to share my favorite tips for moving that worked for us as a family of three.

Tips for moving

Ask for help

This one’s key, and not easy for everyone to do, but take it from me. If you have family or friends nearby, ask them to help babysit your child(ren) for an afternoon or even overnight so you can get some packing done. I leaned on my family big time for the few weeks leading up to our move and it was beyond helpful. Sure, it’s possible to pack with some tiny hands around but it will undoubtedly take you more time and energy.

Pace yourself

Have a few months to prep for the move? Get started now. There’s nothing more stressful than feeling cramped for time for such a big life change. Start purchasing boxes, bubble wrap, tape and sharpies (or even look online for people getting rid of this stuff). Decluttering and donating was huge for us, so for a few weeks before the move, we’d bring bags of old clothes to Goodwill and post items for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

Get your little one(s) excited for the move

“Henry’s house.” That’s what we called our new home whenever we talked about it with our son. He loved this and it helped him make the connection when we’d visit the house leading up to moving in. On rides there, he would get so psyched when we’d mention we were on our way to drop things off at “Henry’s house.”

Keep talking about what’s ahead

At first, we didn’t know if talking about our move was the right thing to do with our toddler or if it would cause him unnecessary anxiety. After talking about that with some close friends and family, we decided it was better to include him in the chats. We’d tell him things like, “We’re moving into an awesome house soon buddy” or “What color do you want your new room to be?” Involving your kids in a life change can be fun and interactive. It doesn’t have to be stressful — at least not all of it.

Have a plan for moving day

I can’t recommend this enough. If possible, arrange for someone to look after your child on moving day. Make sure they have what they need for the day so you can focus on the movers, the furniture, and all the little details that need your attention. Plan for takeout or delivery that night and make lists… lots of lists. Be sure to get your little one’s room ready first so when they arrive they have a cozy room to call their own with familiar — and maybe some new — possessions. Boxes in other rooms won’t matter, but they should feel relaxed and at home in their new space.

Be ready for whatever

That first night in our new house… I was nervous Henry wouldn’t sleep well in his room. He proved me wrong and slept through. Though it’s normal to have hopes, expectations, fears and worries about your move, try to approach it all with flexibility and a little bit of humor. It won’t be hard or stressful forever, maybe just those early days, maybe not at all.


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