Welcome to Tips for Toddler Tuesdays! Each Tuesday this September, I will be sharing some tips from my personal experience in dealing with my toddler. Enjoy!
Moving happens. We can't help it, we need more space, a new job, life happens. For toddlers it can be extra hard for them to understand and explain. Here are some tips we learned from our recent move with our 18 month old son. This is in no way a comprehensive list, just some tips from my personal experience.
Keep their routine as stable as possible
Toddlers like knowing what is coming next. If they usually take a nap at 1pm, do everything you can to get them that nap. If they have a favorite morning routine, do what you can to keep them in it as much as possible. This will help them feel more secure while their lives are being turn around. Our son loves cuddle time in the morning with milk, and "pre-breakfast". We made sure he still got this time during our transition.
Make them a part as much as you can
We allowed our son to help pack his toys. He LOVES putting things in boxes, so we made a game of it. We also kept several of his favorite toys and books in an easy to move basket so that he could have something to play with. We also took him to the new house on our walk though and showed him his room, and talked about how he was going to get to sleep in this room soon.
Keep them out of the way when you move the big stuff
The last thing you want when furniture and boxes are being moved is your toddler getting in the way. Do your best to arrange to have him somewhere else. Ours was with grandma, and it was so nice to not have to worry about him, with the doors being open and heavy items going in or out. If having them somewhere else isn't an option, create a space for them where you know they will be safe such as a play pen, pack n play or baby gate. Which leads us right into our next tip...
Create a safe place for them to play
There is no way that you will be able to keep your toddler away for long. However making sure they have a safe space in the new house while you are unpacking is essential. My son LOVES to explore and we had to keep him in his room while we were unpacking and trying to get organized so that he didn't find something and hurt himself. They will want to explore, and let them, but not while you are distracted with trying to figure out where to put your dishes.
Put their room back together 1st
Give them their space, and keep it as close to being the same as possible. Our son LOVED unpacking his toys with us, it was like he was meeting all of his old friends (in our move his toys were packed up for about 3 weeks). Seriously, we let him keep his toys out, and play with them whenever for a few days. I think this helped him realize that they were staying. He loves his room, and actually plays in it BY HIMSELF now!
Give them extra one-on-one time
They are going through a lot. Assure them that you are there for them, and that you still have time for them by playing with them one on one extra. Do what they want. Come up with an extra fun activity to do with them. Don't be too busy packing or unpacking and trying to settle in that you allow your toddler to feel neglected. They have so much going on, I know that you will be busy, but make the extra time for them, it will make all the difference in the world.
Come back next Tuesday for Tips for Dinning Out with a Toddler!