Moving with Small Children: 5 Effective Ways to Make it Easier for Them

Moving is hard for adults and kids alike, but it can be especially hard on your smaller children. After all, many smaller kids have only known one home, they’ve never experienced moving, and the concept can seem overwhelming and scary. Luckily, there are a few ways you can make the moving process easier for your little ones.

If you want to plan a move with less stress and more ease, just try these 5 tips.   

  • Plan Ahead 

 If your move is long-distance and you are traveling by car, plan your road trip carefully. For a road trip with small children you should consider: 

Backseat Comfort: By making the backseat as comfortable as possible, the better chance you have of your child drifting off for a couple of hourswhich can make the road trip more pleasant for everyone.  Keep a blanket in reach for them and try playing soothing music over the car speakers when it nears their regular naptime. If they usually get a soother or bottle for naps, you may also want to offer it around the same time you turn the music on.  

Entertainment: Plan activities for the car so your kids won’t be bored. This could simply mean putting a movie on for them, but depending on their age, they may enjoy car trip games like I Spy, Road Trip Bingo, or Alphabet. And don’t forget every parent’s personal favorite, The Quiet Game, where the first one to speak loses.  

Stops: Keep in mind that children have smaller bladders and may need to use the bathroom more frequently, so you should be planning to stop at least every few hours. Additionally, if you plan a stop at a park, it can give you a bit of peace while your children burn off some energy.   

  • Make Sure They Understand 

Sit down with your kids and discuss the move with them. During this conversation, you should explain to smaller children what they can expect to change in the upcoming weeks, as well as what will stay the same. You will also want to be sure to take the time to answer any questions they have—and chances are they will have a lot. Other ideas to further their understanding of what your move entails include: 

Photos: Show them pictures of their new home. It can be particularly helpful to point out where their new bedroom will be, along with any play areas. 

Books: There are lots of children’s books about moving, so take advantage of them. Picture books are great for younger children since they are full of visuals. Plus, they often use humor to explain moving and make light of the situation. 

Tour: If the home isn’t too far, take them for a walk around the neighborhood and point out their new home.  

  • Get Them Involved

An easy way to help kids of any age feel more at ease with moving is to get them involved with the process. A few ideas to do this with children include: 

Packing: They may be too young to pack boxes, but they can still bring items to you. Alternatively, you can also get them to “label” boxes by getting them to draw a picture of the items going in each box. You should probably still label your moving boxes the traditional way, but these photos can keep your kids occupied, help them feel involved, and you will probably end up with some pretty funny keepsakes! 

Unpacking: When you unpack after moving, hand your kids items and direct them where they should go. It goes without saying that this method should be reserved for belongings that can withstand a fall or two.  

Small Decisions: Let them choose what color to paint their new room, pick a flower or two for the garden, point to where a couple of items should go on the gallery wall, etc. The idea is to get their opinion on small matters where their answer is actually one you can follow through on. Bonus if it leads to a later activity they can take part in, like gardening, to get them excited about their new home.  

  • Hire a Babysitter 

Whether you’ve decided to hire professional movers or are tackling your move DIY style, moving day is always hectic. Therefore, it is in everyone’s best interest if you can find a babysitter. This will allow you to give your moving day checklist your undivided attention. Plus, chances are your kiddo will be much more content being out of the chaos.  

However, if you can’t find someone to babysit, there is no need to fret. As an alternative, you can set up a movie marathon in an empty room to keep your little one occupied. Making them a quick box bed to make their movie day extra special can also be a good idea. A box bed simply consists of a giant box with some pillows and a blanket thrown in it, but the novelty of it means that they are far less likely to get bored and seek you out.  

  • Stick to Routine 

Through all stages of your move, try your best to stick to your kids’ routine. This means keeping naps and bedtime around the same time, but you should also try to keep family traditions goingFor example, if you have lasagna every Wednesday, then make sure to continue that tradition in your new home. Have a family movie night on Saturdays? When Saturday rolls around get that Popcorn popping! Routine provides familiarity, which will act as a comfort as your child adjusts to the changes that come with a move. 

Moving can be hectic, especially when you have little children to consider, but don’t forget to pause and take some time for yourself as well. Take a break to de-stress with a book, call a friend, or catch an episode or two of your favorite TV show. You deserve it! And by keeping your stress in check during a move, not only will your small children benefit, but your whole family. 



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