Moving into a new home can be an exciting experience for young children, but it can also present some stress as well. Being in a new home may feel scary or unfamiliar for your kids and if your new home is also in a new town or neighborhood, they may be feeling some sadness about leaving their old friends behind. In this article, we will list a few steps to help make moving into a new home a little more comfortable for young children.
Let Them Help Design Their Room
Letting your child pick out some new items or ideas for their new room is a great way to help get them excited about the new house. If you don’t plan to buy a lot of new items for your child’s room you can either have them pick out some small accent pieces, or just have them decide how they’d like to arrange things. Painting the walls can be a really fun way to get your child to participate because they’ll love to pick out their favorite wall color for their room.
Understand that your child will likely show some resistance to the idea of moving, especially if they are leaving behind friends or a neighborhood that they loved. You may be faced with some attitude or even tantrums from your child (depending on their age) but understand that this is all entirely normal and do your best to remain patient. Try to always hear your child’s concerns and promote an open discussion with them by observing their feelings and asking them why they feel that way. Avoid distracting them from their feelings with gifts or treats because this will cause them to bottle them up and they will likely return later on.
Keep Kids In-The-Know
It is very important that you clearly communicate to your child why you’re moving and some of the benefits you’ll experience from moving. For example, if you’re moving because you got a new job, be sure to explain that to your child and try to point out some of the exciting aspects of your new home, such as it being larger or in an interesting location. Seek out some of the fun activities or attractions that will be located in your new neighborhood and help your child get excited about them.
Help Kids Stay In Touch With Old Friends
If you’re moving to a new town and your child is having to say goodbye to some of their best friends, try to find ways to help them stay in touch. This will vary depending on your child’s age. If they’re too young to have their own cell phone or social media accounts, reach out to the parents of your child’s friends and exchange contact information. That way, you can arrange a phone call or video call between them and possibly even plan a future visit to see each other in person. If your child is old enough to use a computer, you could even help them set up an email address so they can send messages to their friends.
Offer Comfort on Your First Night
The first night in a new house can feel scary and uncomfortable for children. Be sure to do everything you can to help your child feel safe and comfortable in their new room. Make sure their bed is fully set up and that they have clean sheets and blankets on their bed. Show them around the house before bed time so they know where the nearest bathroom is and where your room is, in case they wake up in the middle of the night and need you. Offer support and comfort to your child if they seem scared or uncomfortable in the new home and make sure they know that you’re always there for them if they need anything.
Safety Tips for Moving With Children
Helping your child feel happy and comfortable about moving is extremely important, but it is also important that you keep them safe during the actual moving process. Here are a few tips to help make moving with children a safe and seamless process.
- If you’ll be driving in your own car with boxes and belongings, you’ll need to make sure that everything is secured down. Loose boxes and furniture can pose a serious safety hazard in the event of an accident.
- Hire movers or get help from friends and family if you can. It is extremely helpful to have multiple adults who can take on the actual leg work of moving so that someone can focus on the kids. Never leave kids unsupervised while moving.
- Be aware of any hazardous items such as top heavy furniture, cleaning chemicals, and sharp tools. When moving these items into your new home, place them in an area that is out of reach of your child and be sure to safely lock them away as soon as you can.
- If your new home has stairs and your child isn’t used to them, you may want to install a safety gate for night time. Even if your child is old enough to walk up and down stairs on their own, stairs can still pose a safety risk if your child wakes up at night and wanders out of their room in the dark.
- For multi-story homes, make sure that windows are locked and screened for safety. High up windows can pose a safety risk if accidentally left open.
- For younger kids, you can utilize a playpen or baby swing so you have a safe place to set your child down while moving. This can keep them in one place that you’ll know is secure and out of harm's way.
Moving with kids may feel like a stressful experience but it can actually be pretty simple if you prepare ahead of time. Communicating with your child and supporting them through this transition is super important. Make sure your child feels seen and heard during the moving process and do your best to remain patient if they get upset or are resistant to the idea of moving. Take some steps to keep your child safe on moving day and accept help from friends and family whenever possible.
The Pop N’ Go Playpen is a compact children’s playpen that can be easily set up just about anywhere — even in your new home!