Buying a home as a parent is a big stressor. Once you put a bid on your dream home and the approval comes through things start to wrap up fast. Packing your belongings and the kids can be a bit of an ordeal and before you know it keys are in hand. As you prepare for the big moving day be sure to keep a few things in mind.

As new homeowners, we recognized that as difficult as moving can be for adults, it can be even harder for children. Since our daughter is only an infant it was challenging for her to adapt to this brand new space, unaware of what was going on. It is important to prepare your family the best way possible to make the transition into your new home as smooth as possible. With the right attitude and some simple tips, it’s possible to turn a move into a fun-filled adventure. 

Tips for families of infants/toddlers (and older):

Stick to a routine. Although your family’s life may become chaotic closer to the move, keep children on set schedules. They may find comfort in knowing bedtime and meals will still be at the same time. You can then use those precious moments after bedtime to pack or tackle your to-do list. After the big move, it’s important to be vigilant in keeping your routine the same as well.

Pack special bags for the big day. Pack up your children’s belongings with them to use for the first couple of days in the new house. They should include clothes and a toothbrush, of course, but also special toys, and unwashed beddings. If the moving truck doesn’t arrive on time or something gets lost, precious items will still be there to provide security and comfort.

Keep things familiar. When moving your children’s bedroom and play area, keep things as familiar as possible. Be sure to use the same bedding and mattress. Try to mimic the setup of the previous play area and use the same toys. Keeping things familiar, especially for infants is a key to preventing the stress of unfamiliar territory.

Let them explore. Infants and toddlers learn best through exploration. If possible, allow your children free range – with supervision, of course – of the house to give them a sense of their new home. Let them crawl and wander exploring and recognizing familiar items like your bed, or their crib.

>> Family Getaway East to Royal Park Hotel <<

Tips for families of grade school children:

Keep kids in the loop. Communicate with them often about the timing of various events, such as packing rooms, enrolling in new schools, and goodbye parties. Also, take time out to talk about how everyone is feeling. It can help if they understand everyone is feeling nervous yet excited at the same time.

Research your new community together. Print out a map of your new neighborhood so your kids can visualize exactly how far museums, parks, and schools are from their new digs. They may also enjoy lending a hand in locating new doctors, dentists, or veterinarians.

Help them find friends. Whatever your children love most – dancing, playing sports, building robots, or being involved in scouts – work together to find these same opportunities in the new location. It’s important for them to understand they’ll be able to take part in the same activities and find friends no matter where they live.

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