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How To Help A Toddler With A Big Transition

baby outside in a wagon

He won't remember last summer.

Yikes, we’re moving across the country!! Okay, only for three months, but to a toddler, that’s a sixth of his whole life. Not only that, but we’re doing some extensive work on our house here, so when he gets back, he might not even recognize it. So, how do I prepare them for this giant move?

Since things will be very different when we get home, I’m treating it more like a move than a trip.

I’m less worried about the older one, who has been counting down the return to our Vermont lake house since we left last summer.

Now that we’re down to days until we leave, I wonder if there’s something we need to do for Fuzz, who just turned 21 months and may not remember last summer at all.

But, it’s coming, whether he likes it or not! His house and bed will be different, most of his toys will be different, we’ll drive a different car, and have different people in our lives. So here’s what I’m going to do to help him feel comfortable with this change.

1. Try to keep his routine consistent. This will be hard since again, everything will change, but we can do the same breakfasts we eat at home, and take naps and sleep around the same time. We won’t bring up the 3 hour time difference (this is all going to be flushed down the toilet, isn’t it?)

2. Be cool. If he notices I’m a little nervous about moving, he’s probably picking up on my anxiety.

3. Talk about the change. I’m sure he’s heard his brother say 1000x that we’re going to Vermont in X months, weeks, days. How he’s processed that information is unclear. If I show Fuzz pictures of our house and say we’re going there, maybe he’ll connect the dots when we get there. (Maybe)

4. Have him help pack. He’s seen his Daddy pack for a trip. If we all pack together- it will help plant the seeds that we’re getting ready for a big move somewhere.

5. Say goodbye to our current house for the summer. We’re having some work done on our house so he might not recognize it when he gets back- for example, he will be sleeping in a different room. So I think it’s important to say goodbye to the room for the summer so that I can remind him when we get back.

Does anyone have any additional pieces of advice for us? Have you had a short-term or long term move with a toddler?

More by Naomi
8 Tips For Road Trip Survival With Toddlers
Tips For Beach Safety With Toddlers
12 Toddler Fears From the Ordinary To The Outlandish

Read more of my posts on Toddler Times.
Check out my personal blog. I Am Still Awake.
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