Moving with my toddler (under 2 years)

img_20180330_142925.jpgMoving to new house uprooting all comfort and familiarity of an old home is hard. Moving with a toddler in tow makes it challenging yet interesting. Penguin, our son was just 18 months old when we had to relocate. So, thoughts of ordering movers and packers and lazing in soon-to-be packed couch never existed. We knew Mr. Fabulous and I have to run around keeping an eye on ever helping the toddler.  Plan! Plan! Plan! It was the rhythm on my mind. So, sharing a few tricks that helped us during moving.

Moving home with my toddler
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Picture source Image by webdesignprof0 from Pixabay

Declutter and plan space

We, humans, are emotional creatures. We tend to keep items which are rarely used or never used with sentiments attached. I had many trousers, shirts, kurtas which no longer fit me. Same goes with Mr. Fabulous. But Penguin’s items beat us. His outgrown tees, shorts, broken toys and once used bibs were stuffed in his Almira. Confession, I couldn’t dump all his old clothes. His first dress and toys are still with us. Decluttering all items from wardrobes and kitchen reduced the total boxes moved. Most of them we donated to needy people near the block.

Plan meals and snacks wisely

Adults can survive on takeaways or home deliveries but we cannot feed the same to the baby. I prepared simple kichdi and curd for Penguin and packed it for lunch. While for our brunch (yes, planning ran away) roti and curry were prepared early morning. Also, snacks like biscuits and banana were packed separately. For toddler dinner, I kept porridge ingredients in another pack. We kept the food simple and labeled separately.

Delegate

In India, one can either shift on their own or get movers and packers. Parents with a toddler like Penguin don’t dare to move on your own. Get help. Decide carefully your requirements, budget and plan your new space before zeroing on movers and packers. The team we got did a good job of making quick packing and unloading. Usually, unpacking takes major stress.  Get the help of your friends and family (if possible). Let them know forehand was to keep the unpacked items. Delegate the work. Parent especially moms got to handle tired kids now.

Label all item boxes

Labeling boxes makes life easier. Your help or friends can check the label and unpack faster.

Involve the toddler

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Like every other kid, Penguin is fond of carton boxes. He kept moving empty carton boxes. Picking up cloth peg was another engaging work for him. He passes clothes to pack in boxes. Picked up fallen crumbled papers and plastic bags. It was a game for him and he was happy to help us. Engaging the toddler keeps the crankiness and boredom away.

Pack his favorite toys and things last and unload first

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Penguin helped me packing his diaper bag, food bag and his then beloved books and toys. His new cupboard was planned, cleaned and organized first. His books found a new corner and he arranged them with me. It is another story that our suitcases were cornered and baby specific needs were unpacked first.

Baby carrier

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If you are a babywearing parent and your kids still relax well in baby carriers, you got a brownie point for the day. Though there are help to move and friends to accommodate, yet kids need parents. Penguin was tired by the time packing was over. Once the help-workers vacated the empty house I gave a massage and shower to Penguin. After having his lunch, he was ready to doze off and here comes my trusted kolkol baby carrier to rescue. In no time he slept and we finished our brunch. Drove to a new house. Started unloading. All happened. He took his nap for 2 hours. A well rest baby is less cranky, agreed?

Busy bag handy

Once Penguin woke up at a new place and to keep him occupied we got his busy-bag ready. Contents of the bag were few two-piece puzzles, one nesting egg set, a board book and shape sorter. Though the boy was more interested in arranging the new bed, we used it once the bed was ready. If a busy bag keeps him busy for 30 – 40 minutes then it is a must for mom’s sanity.

Celebrate the new beginning

We were ready to celebrate after a basic setup. So, it calls for idly and filter coffee. Penguin prefers plain idli over the sambar and happily gobbled his share. And nothing that a hot tumbler of filter coffee cant sort out.

Let him know the new environment (neighbors, neighborhood and park)

One enormously vital thing in the whole moving process was introducing our toddler to a new place. Unlike our previous place park is not nearby so it was necessary to show him around to get any other interesting spot. Also, Penguin is a social butterfly he had friends of all age group in the previous house. Thus, we tried to get introduce him with neighbors and bond.

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Though we planned well and tried to execute successfully still Penguin had a bad time. Expecting his exact same daily routine of morning walk and play, followed by a chat with his friends and a long bath play was not possible the same day. The little one had a meltdown and all we could do was having Cuddles and kisses in abundance. It helped a lot. Keep your patience and stay hydrated as you got all the work to do.

Happy moving!

You might like to read the after story of how we settled in the next few months and our learning from this shifting here.

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45 thoughts on “Moving with my toddler (under 2 years)”

  1. Love the little two feets helping Mumma in packing stuff. Moving and shifting to new place is always the most annoying and tacky job to do. You list is very informative. #MyFriendAlexa #gleefulreads

  2. I hate packing and moving… After my marriage I have moves to so many places that I am absolutely tired… Moving with a toddler is challenging… Your ideas of keeping them busy and making them involved in little ways is a great idea..

  3. AS usual great post dear with all detail explaination. I would say you are doing a great job with your kids and with your blog too. #surbhireads #Myfriendalexa

  4. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been emotionally and physically. You’ve shared some really great tips though. I loved the idea of involving the child. Toddlers love nothing more than being involved and doing exactly what they see adults doing. Packing their favourite stuff last and unpacking first is also a smart and practical tip.

  5. Very helpful post Pragnya. We also moved recently and got T involved in the packing his toys and books, took him along when we went to see the new house and he helped with unpacking too. I think its a big change for them too and we have to ease them into it really well. Luckily T adjusted well and we had no major challenges.

  6. Packing & moving already is a physically & emotionally draining job. The latter, as you say, is because of the immortal attachment we develop with our dwelling & everything in it. Decluttering here gets difficult.

    Loved your thoughts on prioritising the kid’s meals to be home cooked, getting him/her involved in his own way are fantastic, Pragnya.

    Kisses to Penguin! ☺

  7. You know we shifted houses too a few months back and followed most of these tips you mentioned. What help us the most was preparing them mentally a out the move and once done we kept talking how nice and new things are in the new house. Involving them in our tasks helped too.

  8. moving with kids is never ever easy. i remember moving with my child first when he was just 2.5 years old and again when he was 5.5. deleting work usually really helps and keeps them busy

  9. OMG! I had flashback after flashback reading this! LOL! We moved houses when Karma was 1.5 months old & had to do all the packing and moving ourselves. And then we moved countries when she was 7 months old and lived in a service apartment for a month before moving in to the one we stay in now. Our stuff arrived even later. Haha! The tips you have listed are super handy. I could relate to all of them! 🙂

  10. Oh you just wrote exactly how moving can be done the most easiest way with a kid. We moved house a few months back and my kid still asks me to pack and go back to the old place.

  11. Oh Man! I know that pain. I have moved houses with kids twice in the last 3 years. And a good planning & organizing is the only thing that can rescue you!

  12. I agree to most of the points that you have shared. When you are shifting home with a kid, it is very important to have your support system. When we did shifting, I kept my toddler at her grandparents place and took the younger one along.

  13. Keeping the kids engaged is very important but at the same time not easy either. Add yes im sure it must not have been easy for you as a family when youll were moving but as moms in the end it all works out just right and you did a great job 🙂

  14. Moving home with a baby at tow is not an easy task, You have managed it well and glad the information is passed on for all to get benefited,

  15. I can totally relate to the situation of shifting with a toddler because I have shifted several time from one city to another or in the same city from one place to another. Recently a few months ago I shifted to my own house. Great post dear! Useful tips.

  16. Moving with a toddler is a task, I remember when He had to shift my son was 2 months. It was a little better as I could feed him to sleep but he then constantly need one member around. Later when we shifted he was 2 years and wanted to “help”in everything and end up increasing our work. Wish I had something like this available back then

  17. This must be hectic task to move with a toddler. I like your busy bag to be kept handy as kids love their toys and in new place they feel calm with their fav toys around.

  18. Incidentally I moved homes when both my kids were toddlers. It can be tough with them since the change and moving rattles them. Good pointers here!

  19. We recently shifted cities and I could so relate to whatever you have written. Our second child was just 6 months old when we had shifted and it was not at all easy for us to manage the dust and dirt along with the child.

  20. Great practical tips to use. Even when we shifted from the rented space to our own we did kind of did the same. Though we didnt clutter much as we had not bought many things.

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