Well folks it’s almost December which marks a year living back in Belfast. We moved home from Edinburgh when Luisa was about 6 months old to be closer to family and have a lower cost of living.
This time last year we had a bit of a mad scramble to find somewhere to rent so close to Christmas. This meant our choices were limited. We’ve been happy in our current home but there are a few negatives. For a start we don’t have a garden – just a terrace. This is far from ideal as you know we have a cocker spaniel and an energetic toddler.
Another issue we have is the area is a little… undesirable. Not to be a real toff but it’s pretty much in the heart of everything you’d see on the news RE Northern Ireland.
How squishy was Lu this time last year!?
So, our lease is up, we’re not in the best area, it’s time to move. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know we viewed a house last Friday and, not being the type to hang around, we’re moving on Sunday. Give me strength.
In an act of sheer procrastination I asked some fellow bloggers what their top tips for moving with a toddler are. My concerns are two-fold, obviously their are a lot of practical worries but I’m also anxious that it will be a stressful experience for Lu.
I got loads of great advice so sadly couldn’t include all the tips but here’s a roundup of the ones I think will be most helpful to us:
“Make sure she is aware of what is going on and it’s not a surprise. A book about moving could be useful as it will help mentally prepare her.” Jess, Beauties and The Bibs
“Set up their new room in a similar way to their previous room and focus on completely unpacking their room and the lounge first so they have a place to relax and feel comfortable.” Lizzie, Firstooth
“I would suggest choosing a few toys or important things together with the toddler and keeping them in a back pack to hand, so that they have familiar things both when the old house is all packed up and when they first arrive in the new house.” Jennifer, My Mummies Pennies
“We’ve moved house 6 times in the past five years – most recently was in October with a 5 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old. We talked about it a lot, showed them lots of photos of the new house before we moved and let them explore it.” Rachel, Coffee Cake Kids
“Take the kids to see the house before you move. Explain that it’s going to be your new home and dedicate rooms for fun purposes – like, this is the kitchen we will bake lots of cakes in, this is your bedroom where you’ll have lots of nice dreams, etc.” Steph, Mental Parents
“We moved with a 2 year old and 5 month old, but we arranged for the 2 year old to stay at grandparents for the first two days. We wanted to make the transition to the new house and easy as possible so when he came home we had completely sorted his new bedroom for him, with all his favourite toys laid out and pictures on the walls, and made it feel as welcoming as possible.” Cat, Pushing the Moon
“We visited our new house and walked the route to the childrens new nursery pointing out the big sights on the way, so the next time we did the walk after we moved it wasn’t new.” Nisbah, Five Adventurers
“Try and make sure that you concentrate on getting their room and space in some sort of order first so they can start to get used to the new environment. Make everything fun and exciting for them, show them around, be very positive, look at this, look at that, wow etc.” Lucy, Hello Beautiful Bear
So the recurring theme amongst these tips is to concentrate to making up your toddlers new room – making that a priority in the new house. This is definitely something we’re going to take on board.
The second most commonly mentioned tip is to have lots of dialogue about the whole experience. We’re always chatting to Luisa about the process of packing and letting her help with the easy bits. Hopefully this will help to prepare her.
Another thing I’m going to try is making sure to show Lu where in the kitchen all her cups and things stay. In our current house she knows which cupboard to find her things in and will pick out a cup or plate to tell us that she’s thirsty or hungry.
For even more detail check out these posts from moving pros: