Moving house is stressful business, but moving with small children – whether they’re babies, toddlers or young kids (or a mix!) – can make the task seem traumatic and never ending. From a child’s fear of losing their special toy to your television being smashed as you try to lug it passed junior’s favourite plush giraffe, there are lots of opportunities for frustration – the stress can seem never-ending! This can often be reflected on to your children and affect the way they see the move, taking away from the positives and allowing them to only see the negatives.
Following on from our guides on moving house with both cats and dogs, we’ve written a guide offering tips on how to make the house move easier on both you and your small children.
Preparations for moving house with a child or children
No matter how far you’re moving, be it down the road or across the world, you should explain the move to your child far in advance. This will allow them to not only process the idea but also ask any questions that they may have. As a parent you should prepare short answers that are repeatable in the future. This repetition will allow small children to understand why you’re moving home and what moving means.
As you begin to pack, you should try to include your child, particularly when it comes to packing their own things. Explain that they will see all their favourite things again when they unpack them in their new room. This will let them see that nothing is being left behind and they will see it again in their new home. Try to keep them engaged by turning the move into a game. For babies, try and pack their room on moving day to try and keep their routine as unbroken as possible.
Moving day with your kid(s)
In an ideal world, small children should be taken away from the chaos that is moving day. This may mean being looked after by friends or family or being taken to a more relaxed environment, such as a soft play area. However this may not always be possible. If your child stays with you on moving day then you should try and keep them within their routine as best as possible – however getting them a new and exciting toy to keep them entertained may also encourage them to see a positive and fun side to the day while keeping them occupied.
While in transition from your old home to the new one, adults will often skip meals or survive on cereal bars and takeaways. For toddlers and babies, getting the right nutrition is vital: before moving day, stock up on dried fruit, yoghurts and other easy, non-prep children’s foods. Being able to feed your hungry child with ease will make the stressful day a bit more bearable!
Starting life in your new home with a small child
Upon arrival in your new home, it is important to unpack your child’s room first – this will give them both familiarity and security. Although buying them new bedroom furniture may seem like an exciting treat, it may in fact unsettle them further and take away from the familiar nature of furnishings from your old house. Unpacking their things early after the move will show them that nothing was left behind, and their favourite things just have a new home!
Childproofing your new home is something that must be done alongside unpacking. This may be something you did in your old home or did not feel necessary dependent on how long you lived there. However, as in any new environment, there may be dangers that you need to check. For example, the previous owners may have left long blind cords, wide-opening windows or open electrical plugs. Be that as it may, these dangers can easily be avoided with safe and minimal changes to your new house: for example by putting long cords out of reach of your children, purchasing window guards or placing a cover over open plug sockets.
However you decide to handle your move, it’s always important to plan ahead. A good ‘half-way house’ in terms of storing bulky items – such as bedroom or living room furniture – is your local self storage unit. If you live in (or are moving to) South Wales then consider Easystore Self Storage: our storage facilities in Cardiff and Bridgend are fully secure, accessible 24/7, and include free contents insurance and even free van and forklift use.* Find out more from our dedicated moving house page and get a quote today.
* Conditions apply to van and forklift usage. Please contact us for more information.