Moving is difficult under any circumstances, but adding in a child or two can make the experience even more stressful. Not only do you need to be attentive to your children’s needs during the chaos of the move, but you also need to make sure they’re safe and comfortable. Small children can sense when their parents are stressed, and they’re likely to cry and fuss during the hectic transition.
If you’re moving with small children soon, here are a few steps that can dramatically improve the experience. Keep these in mind – both before and during the move if you want to avoid tantrums, messes, and general meltdowns.
Designate One Part of the New House as the “Child-Proof Zone”
It’s very easy for children to injure themselves during the craziness of a big move. Tripping over boxes, messing with unpacked objects, and exploring new areas can cause them to get hurt, which is the last thing you need.
Set aside an area that’s safe for children to play in and sectioned off from the chaos of the rest of the house. Use child-proof gates or another kind of barrier to keep the kids in the safe zone while you tackle the rest of the mess. To keep the kids happy, throw some of their favorite toys, snacks, and books in the area.
Don’t forget to keep baby essentials nearby, too. You’ll need to change diapers and schedule regular feeding times, so it’s smart to keep toiletries and food on hand.
You may also want to keep any medications and emergency supplies (like Band Aids and ice packs) in an easily accessible place, just in case.
Make Sure the Children Will Be Comfortable
The hustle and bustle of a move will stress most young children out, which means you need to have a plan for calming them down.
For many kids, their favorite TV show or movie provides a great deal of comfort. Make sure that your new home’s electricity is turned and that you can set up a TV or laptop to provide some soothing entertainment while you help with the move. This should be done before you arrive so you don’t waste time figuring it all out on the big day.
Another way to keep your children comfortable is to make sure that all your utilities are set up prior to your arrival. Take a look at an air conditioning guide to understand what you need to do in order to keep the house cool and comfortable during the entire move. After all, nothing makes a kid crankier than being uncomfortable when they’re already tired and confused. This is especially important during a hot summer move.
Try to Maintain Your Regular Family Schedule
Although moving day is already crazy, parents with small children would do well to remember important daily occurrences like nap times and meals. Don’t get too distracted by the move that you fail to keep up with your young children’s schedule. This will likely cause them to act up more than usual, and you don’t need that during an already stressful move.
Try to keep things semi-normal; set some time aside to put the little ones down for a nap. Make sure you eat dinner together and give enough attention to the children. This will help them with the transition, and honestly, you could use the break, too.
Keep Important Child-Related Items in Easy-to-Reach Places
Keeping your children’s favorite toys and snacks on hand can be a life-saving strategy. However, those aren’t the only things you need to be able to access. In case of emergency, you may need items like medical records, birth certificates, and other important documents. Plus, you don’t want those to get lost during the move, so keep them somewhere safe.
If possible, you may even want to keep some familiar nursery decorations in the child-proof zone to comfort the children. The more familiar and safe you can make their environment, the less they’ll fuss during the move. Some suggestions include a comfortable blanket, bouncy seats, and maybe even a portable crib they’re used to.
You really don’t want to spend hours rooting through dozens of boxes to find your baby’s favorite binky in the middle of a residential move. Think ahead to keep vital items on hand – it’ll save you loads of stress.
Although there’s no way to ensure that your move with children goes without a hiccup, these tips will certainly make the transition easier on everyone in the family.
The important thing is to prioritize your children’s safety and comfort during the chaos. By creating a safe zone, keeping supplies nearby, and maintaining a somewhat normal schedule, you can avoid many unnecessary meltdowns.