Will Moving House Affect My Baby?
The logistics of moving to a new house can be daunting, but with a little pre-planning and the services of a professional moving company everything should go relatively smoothly; however, it’s one thing to move inanimate objects, no matter how large or heavy, but relocating family members can provide just as many obstacles. Moving to a new house with a baby or toddler can be stressful, so it’s important to establish patterns that make things easier on yourself.
Babies and toddlers might not participate in the heavy lifting, but they are acutely aware that change is taking place around them. The anxiety felt by parents and siblings can rub off on a baby, causing them to become anxious, especially if they thrive in a routine or are slow to adapt to new surroundings.
As parents, we quickly realise the best way to maintain household serenity is by establishing routines the baby is comfortable with. Regular sleep times, feeding times and activities all help to relax or stimulate the senses and create a mood of security. Disruption to these routines is the main cause of moving anxiety in babies. Toddlers, on the other hand, are more aware of the changes taking place, but can be equally affected by them.
Moving anxiety in babies and toddlers can manifest in a variety of ways:
- Loss of appetite
- Regressive behaviour such as thumb sucking
- Acting contrarily, such as being overly aggressive
- General anxiety
Stress is known to affect the sleep of both adults and children. During the move, your baby or toddler might suffer from disturbed or missed naps, increasing irritability and anxiousness. Prior to the move it’s important to keep routines as normal as possible. Inform your moving company of any concerns so they can arrive at the most appropriate time and load your belongings in the order that suits the needs of you and your baby.
Even if your move is a relatively short one across town or to a neighbouring suburb, it can still involve several days of disruption. Unfamiliar surrounding encountered during the move are sure to stimulate your baby and possibly affect sleep patterns. There is a chance that he or she will wake more frequently or try to resist sleeping altogether.
Even the new decorations and colour schemes in your baby or toddlers room will add to feelings of dislocation or unfamiliarity which can cause stress. External factors, such as more (or even less) noise will add another dimension to the change.
Making the move easier for babies and toddlers
Try to embrace the changes in a positive frame of mind. Your baby will pick up on your vibe. Remember to keep familiar toys and ornaments on hand so your baby or toddler realises the move doesn’t include abandonment or a sense of finality.
Talk your youngsters, and even your baby, through the process. It’s amazing how much even the smallest children understand even when many of the details pass them by. Reassure them when leaving the old house, and take them with you on a grand tour at your new address. Make it seem like a pleasurable adventure rather than a chore.
If your baby is the overly restless type, and becomes too stressed, consider employing a friend, family member, or professional baby sitter for the duration of the move. When you are settled in it will be easier to introduce the baby to the new surroundings.
Make it a priority to ask your moving company to set up your babies room first at your new home. Your child will feel comforted to see their toys and bedding in place. It can be a good idea to stay home as much as possible for the first few days post move so your young one realises that you are there for good. Keep things pretty routine for the first month or so until everyone settles in.
Just as adults require the moving event to proceed in an appropriate order, so do babies and toddlers. By taking everything one step at a time in the right order there is every chance your baby or toddler will settle in even faster than you do.
*Please keep in mind that we are neither doctors, nor child phycologists, so this article is only our general recommendations, based on our work experience that we had during the years. Please consult your GP if you have questions or medial concerns regarding your moving day and child (or children).