With all the packing and house hunting and preparation, nothing screws up a routine worse than moving house. Moving house with a baby, then, is pretty much an unprecedented level of suck for both you and the kid. But sometimes a move can lead to more security for your family, and the period of disruption is a justifiable trade-off. So how do you move house with a baby or a toddler, without screwing everything up?
Well, you can’t. Sorry, but things are just going to get jacked up, and not just in the moving truck. The challenges are different for babies compared to toddlers, but there are strategies that can mitigate the worst of it. Babies at least get to avoid the emotional turmoil of the transition — for them, it’s more physical turmoil, which you can address with one simple tactic: maintain their schedule. Don’t disrupt naps, meals, and bedtimes unless is absolutely cannot be helped, and then minimize
With a toddler, moving is a different game. The older the kid, the more likely they are to be emotionally affected by the transition. This could manifest in new, unwelcome behaviors like clinginess, aggression or regression. That goes for the toddler and for you, as you react by seeking out extra spooning, cursing at furniture, and sobbing uncontrollably.
The key to moving older kids, then, is preparation. Ready them for the move and their new digs by removing as much of the uncertainty as you possibly can. Show them around their new home and town. Make it a big, awesome event. On the not as awesome side, give them a chance to say goodbye — to special little friends or even their old room. Get them involved in the process however you can (bonus: they’ll pack for free). On move-in day, unpack their room first, because everything is cooler when you’re first. Oh, and hire movers so you’re free to actually do all that stuff with your kid.
They may continue to be a little touchy after resettling, so take some extra time for the family. Stay in, get your family’s stink on the new joint, and hug it out. Don’t do anything too extreme over the next couple of months and try to take a few days off work post-move to increase feelings of security. Honestly, it’ll help you, too.