Take Care of Yourself
"Infants and toddlers take their cues from their parents," explains Maura White, founder of GoBabies, Inc. "So if there is more stress in the house, the little ones will feel it and react to it." By keeping yourself relaxed, you will in turn be keeping your baby at ease. And a happy baby makes for an easier move.
With so much going on, moms often skip meals or sacrifice sleep to make time for packing. Keep in mind the practical suggestions your mother always offered: get enough rest, eat regularly, and drink lots of fluids.
Make the Move Special
Having a favorite Elmo doll or well-loved afghan on hand can go a long way toward helping your child settle in to a new home. Try to pack up your child's room last and unpack it first. Consider including a surprise box containing new toys and knick-knacks for your child to open along with her familiar belongings.
Moving can actually be fun for toddlers. Empty boxes offer hours of excitement. White suggests that, under supervision, you give children markers or watercolor paints so that they can decorate the moving boxes. With a little imagination, large boxes can be turned into castles, cars, or firehouses.
The Day of the Move
Moving day will be frantic no matter how well you've prepared. If at all possible, have someone watch your children at another location. Kids can get hurt or lost among piles of boxes and stacks of furniture. And having a rambunctious toddler on the loose is one thing you just don't need when there's an enormous moving van jockeying around your driveway.
Remember to set aside some key items that you and your children will need in the short term. Pack a separate bag for your shampoo, brushes, makeup and an extra change of clothes for yourself, along with pacifiers, bottles, and can't-live-without toys for the kids. Even if you're only moving across the street, hand-carrying these essentials to your new home will ensure that you won't have to unpack endless boxes looking for a precious blanket.
Accept the Chaos
Most moves go relatively smoothly, but you are bound to experience at least a few glitches. Accept that you can't control everything—that no matter how hard you plan, something will go wrong. There's no doubt that making a move will be challenging for your child, and you can only do so much to prepare him. He might have to skip his morning nap for a week. Her prized blankie might be missing in action for a few days. He (or you!) might throw a tantrum or two. Just keep reminding yourself, and reassuring your baby, that everything will work out and in the end. Really, it will!