Moving house is stressful, moving house with kids… well, that can be a recipe for meltdowns, tantrums, and sleepless nights.
As parents, you’re probably moving house for logical reasons: you need more space, you want to be closer to good schools, you’ve found a better job in the area. But as many of us know, logic and rationale aren’t always high on a child’s list of priorities.
Change is scary for all of us, not just children, so how can you make it easier?
In this three-minute read, we look at a few ways to help your little (and not so little) cherubs settle into a new home.
Prepare your child
Keep your child informed. Talk about the new home, why you’re moving, where you’re going, their new room, and so on. By including them in the process – such as visiting the property before the move – they know what’s coming. Kids love an adventure, and a new home is just that.
When packing up their things, get them to help. Create a special moving box, so they have all their favourite toys, clothes, and bits and bobs in one place. It could help them feel more in control and get them ready for the change ahead.
Sleep is key
When your child doesn’t sleep, everyone suffers. You’ll be exhausted, they’ll probably be grumpy, and the whole household will feel bleary-eyed. Try to keep their sleep routine similar to their old one to (hopefully) avoid sleepless nights.
Show them their room before you move in, or if possible, let them choose their new room. Let them know where their cot/bed will be and how the room will look.
When it comes to those first few nights, make sure you know where their favourite blanket or toy is, so you don’t have to fret before bedtime. (This approach might not work with teenagers.)
Show us a parent that hasn’t bribed their child with chocolate or a toy, and we’ll eat our hats! A move-in present doesn’t have to be expensive; it could be the promise of an activity you’ll do together once you’ve moved in, or a toy that’s been waiting for them to arrive.
Whether it’s a new paint colour, bedspread, or wall art – letting your child choose what they like gives them a sense of ownership and independence. Creating a cosy, welcoming space will help your child settle and make their room feel like home.
Celebrate Whatever the circumstances of your move, children will want to feel like it’s an adventure. So, make sure to celebrate together. You could have a first-night pizza party, a teddy-bear’s picnic in the garden, ask the grandparents over, or even blow out candles for the new home’s first day. Making the move as fun and celebratory as possible gives the whole family something to look forward to.