Top 9 Tips for Moving with a ToddlerBeth Anne Ballance
After 9 loooooooooooong months, we are finally at the end of our house selling/buying extravaganza. While we’re not moving this weekend (the buyer’s buyer couldn’t get their new loan finalized in time), we will be looking at a move in two weeks and I will say that we are all ready for this new chapter.
No more living in one room at my parents house. (although HUGE THANK YOU to my folks for putting us up so we weren’t commuting 3+ hours per day!)
No more living out of a suitcase and box.
No more wondering what box something is packed in and if it is easier to replace than find.
We’ll be in our own home with our own things and oh man, are we so excited.
Throughout the process, I have learned a lot about selling and buying a home with a little one underfoot. It’s not easy, friends. The moment I think “Gosh, this is so stressful for me and Doug with the mortgage and boxes and repairs!” then Harrison finds a way to remind me that it’s stressful for him, too. His whole world is in boxes, he’s living in a different home, we keep talking about this unknown “new house,” and he’s so nervous that his crib won’t be going with him. I realized that fear is so real for him this morning when he saw his changing mat in the back of my car — I’m taking it to my friend Brandy to use for her new little guy and Harrison was like, “THAT IS MINE!” He’s potty trained and another baby needs this but the reality is that he’s afraid of losing everything.
So here’s my tips on how to help the little ones with a big move:
Pack his room last 1 of 9Taking down his room at the last minute helped give him a sense of stability with his things around him, but it also gave him a place to play and nap while we packed and cleaned.
Have new treats on hand 2 of 9I kept a bag full of new Matchbox cars, coloring books, and small treats so that when Doug and I needed to get something done together (like take apart a piece of furniture or pack the kitchen), Harrison had something new (and cheap!) to keep his attention.
There will be tears 3 of 9Harrison became inconsolable when I took down his crib; he was simply afraid we were going to leave it behind.
Embrace car naps 4 of 9Oh, yes. Between house showings and storage runs and the back and forth, there will be many missed naps. Embrace it. I can't tell you how many times we had to skip Harrison's nap and he'd crash in the car, so we'd go the long way to give him an extra 10-20 minutes of sleep.
Plan fun things to alleviate his stress 5 of 9Moving is stressful on Momma and Daddy, but guess what? He also feels the stress. Plan outings as a family for fun activities where boxes and decorations and paperwork isn't part of the plan.
Rely on your friends 6 of 9Call up the momma's of his friends and ask for a playdate. We did a ton of early Saturday morning playdates at the park to wear him out so he'd nap in the afternoon while we worked. I also had friends offer to take him for a few hours to the swimming pool or for lunch.
Let him have a say in the new house 7 of 9I picked this puppy print for his new bathroom, then took him to Target where he selected a new toy caddy for bath toys and soap dispenser. They don't match and it's kind of funny, but it gave him a feeling of being in control and involved.
Have a Goodbye House! party 8 of 9With everything in boxes, grab a picnic dinner with a little treat and make it a celebration on the living room floor! Make leaving the home for the last time a happy experience and be sure to take one last picture there as a family for his scrapbook.
Momma is going to cry, too 9 of 9I took this picture when I realized that I would never, ever tuck my little boy into bed in that home ever again. It's hard to say goodbye to a home that held so many memories of his first days.
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