Moving house with young kids

Moving to a new house can be exciting, but it can also be unsettling for young children. Check out these tips to help your little one get ready for the big move.
Moving to a new house can be exciting, but it can also be unsettling for young children.

Check out these tips to help your little one get ready for the big move.

Open homes

  • In New Zealand open homes are very common, so try to take your little one along to at least a couple to show them around a potential new house and talk to them about moving from your old house to a new one.
  • Ask them questions about whether a certain room would make a good bedroom for them or whether the garden is big enough for them to play in with their friends.
  • Make them feel involved.
  • Young children are likely to become bored very quickly looking at house after house over the weekend, so make sure you have a good supply of snacks and small toys to take with you to keep them occupied.

Tell them what they need to know

  • Tell your toddler only what they need to know. Until you’ve finalised your moving plans, there’s no need to let them in on everything that's going on.
  • They can only comprehend so much in their tiny minds and moving is a pretty big concept for toddlers to understand.
  • Plus, if you change your mind, or a potential deal falls through, they could be even more confused or upset for no reason.      

Break the news before you start packing

  • Toddlers are perceptive and will quickly pick up that change is afoot; so as soon as your plans are definite, tell them what’s going on in words they can understand, like 'we’re going to live in a different house soon'.
  • Make the move sound exciting, even if you're feeling a little stressed about the process yourself.

Stay positive

  • No matter how excited you might be as you prepare to move, you’re bound to feel anxious at times too.
  • Try not to pass your worries on, but let them know it’s okay if they feel scared or confused and that you’re there to help them with lots of hugs and kisses thrown in.

Use a calendar

  • If your little one is old enough to understand, try marking the moving date on the calendar.
  • Counting down the days can help make the wait a little easier to comprehend.

Details details

  • Explain what’s happening as you go about preparing for the move. Involve your toddler in packing up their room and perhaps other areas of the house.
  • As the moving day approaches, start talking about what will happen. Keep it simple, but don’t skimp on the details. It’ll comfort them to know that they will still have the same bed and that their toys can come too.
  • Describe how the movers will put everything into boxes, then put those boxes into a big truck and drive them to the new house for you all to unpack.

Visit the new house

  • If it’s practical, visit the new house at least once before you move in.
  • Even if you can’t go inside, walk or drive by and show your little one which window will be theirs, perhaps the nearest playground or local shops too, to help them get a sense of the new neighbourhood.
  • If the new house is too far away, you can always take a virtual tour online so that they get a better understanding of how things will be before you move in.

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