How to Help Transition Your Toddler during a Move

toddler and movingMoving to a new home can be stressful, especially for young children. To 
them, the house is the base camp of their world. From here they venture out to explore and learn before returning to the comfort and security inside. Even if 
the new house is in the same city, it can be an upsetting change. While toddlers tend to handle this stress better than older children, the process can still be 
traumatic. Here are some ideas that will help to make the transition a smooth 
one.



Prepare Beforehand

It may seem like toddlers would be able to handle a move without issues, many 
times that is not the case. Remember to include them in preparation for moving 
day. A month before, explain what moving is, and what they can expect. Read 
books that deal with moving, or play games with toys to help them express their 
feelings. If possible, show them their new home and point out areas of 
interest such as nearby parks they will be able to enjoy. If moving far away, 
find pictures on the internet.
Explain that all their belongings will be coming with them. When packing, allow them to pack toys in a box small enough they can carry themselves. Allow them to peek into the moving truck and be a part of the packing to they know all their things are coming with them and won’t be left behind. If working with a local moving company like Bekins Van Lines Inc, see if they can organize a few of the kid’s things near the front so you can get them out quickly once you arrive.

Get Back to Normal Routines

Children thrive on structure. Getting them settled into the new house quickly 
allows a return to normalcy and can make the change smoother. It’s a good idea to set their rooms up first and to use their old sheets and curtains. Hold off on new furniture for a while. Begin family routines like sit-down meals or game nights as soon as possible. Delay big changes like potty-training, or moving from a crib to a bed.

Expect Negativity and Regression

The stress of a move can be hard for toddlers to work through. It is normal for 
them to temporarily regress in some developmental areas. Until their sense of 
security is restored, they may become clingy or throw tantrums. They should 
return to normal in a few weeks, but if it seems like they aren’t progressing or if changes are severe, contact a doctor. 

While some toddlers will have little problems with moving, others will need time 
to adjust. The most important factor is to keep a positive attitude.
Remember 
that children are exceptionally adept at picking up cues from parents. Provide 
lots of love and comfort as they work through their feelings, and in no time 
things will get back to normal.

Written by Brooke Chaplan

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