Moving house with children: Is it disruptive for newborns and toddlers?


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A child’s view of moving house varies depending on their age. While a 5-year old may view it as an adventure, a 10-year old, in their more developed world view, may be nervous of the change ahead. However old they are, moving house with children requires some planning ahead.

We’ve put together some practical support to help you talk to your little ones about the change ahead – making it easier for you, come moving day.

Moving with children: What considerations do I need to make?

Moving house with a newborn? 

As a newborn is not yet active on their feet or aware of the world around them, they are probably just happy to be held. Or, they’re likely to be sleeping for short periods in a car seat or in whatever crib or sleeping arrangement they are familiar with.  

In the excitement of a move and getting unpacked, try to maintain their routine. If childcare is not available, make sure you have a bag of essentials to hand and a secure environment where your baby can be supervised.

What practical tips are there for moving house with a toddler ahead of the move?

Start having conversations with your toddler about a month before the move. Talk to them about the change coming up and ask questions about what they think it means. Ask them what colour they want their bedroom. Or what games they might play in the garden. 

What practical tips are there for moving house with a toddler on the day of the move?

Let your little one find their way around the new home. Take them on a guided tour before the arrival of boxes and furniture. This will help them start to understand the environment around them. 

Showing your toddler their new room will help them familiarise themselves with their new surroundings. 

If you have a stair gate to place across the doorway, secure your child in their new room with their favourite toys, books or activities. A colouring-in book with crayons might just buy 10 minutes of time. Or maybe a fully charged electronic device is the solution to keeping your loved one entertained. 

Familiar snacks and drinks – or maybe even a picnic in their room – will create a sense of fun on a big day of different things.   

Talk your toddler through what you are doing and where you are putting the things you unpack. As they are hearing new words or the names of rooms for the first time, make their curiosity a conversation.

Making your toddler feel secure in their new space is enough for them to know moving house is ok; some things have changed, many remain familiar and safe. 

Peace of mind for all the family

Hopefully, this advice will help moving house with children that little bit easier.

Check out our 12 Tips for Moving Home with Children

We have also created a Children’s activity pack for moving day, download and print it ahead of your move and keep it handy for the big day.