Moving House with Children
Moving house is apparently one of the 3 most stressful things a human can do, and I can agree completely.
We recently moved house and this change can bring obstacles when it comes to keeping a good sleep routine. For us I tried to be very relaxed about it, I know my eldest especially was going to struggle so I prepared myself for the fact that we were going to have long nights.
To my surprise, my eldest son George was fine. Actually started sleeping better than he did in our old house, it was our littlest one Arthur that struggled. I completely understand how daunting it can be for parents, ‘Will he still sleep through?’, ‘How can I keep her happy but also not break the routine?’
If you are moving house soon, here are some tips on how to keep your little ones routine in place.
Talk - Talk about the move beforehand with your little one, however time it wisely. Talking about big changes or worries past dinner time can have the opposite affect on sleep and be counterproductive. Let them ask questions, it will help stop them overthinking.
Limit change - You may be moving house but try to keep as much of their old room as you can such as teddy’s, night light, curtains, furniture. Allow them to regress without changing too much of the routine. It will help them feel comforted and will bounce back quicker.
Stay calm - Your children pick up on your energy, we feed off of each other. It isn’t realistic to say, just keep smiling because i think it’s important for children to understand emotions (age appropriate of course) and see how you manage those emotions. Using phases like ‘I am frustrated about moving house but I know it will be worth it in the end’ will be a great way to show your little one how to manage their emotions during this time.
Get them involved - Picking new wall colours, new bedding or a new teddy for their room can really help encourage positive associations with their new room. Remember you are asking them to be ok with a completely new and strange space, try and find the middle ground with keeping it familiar, new and exciting.
Books - If you feel your little one is getting anxious about the move, there are books that help children to understand the move in a positive way.
Acceptance - You have to accept that it may take some time for them to adjust. It is a big change for us as adults so it must be even bigger for our little ones as they can't fully understand why.
I would like to finish this off by saying we nailed it on the first night and both our boys are back to sleeping through, however it has had it’s challenges. Our little one (2 years old) still needs the odd comfort in the night but it is getting less and less as he becomes more familiar with his new home. Children are just like us and need time to adjust so allow them that time.
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Sleep by Alexandra helps your family sleep better so you can enjoy more time together. Alexandra Collingbourne is a sleep consultant specialising in safe, holistic methods of getting your baby, toddler or young child to sleep in a way that empowers parents to live better, happier and with more energy. Specialist postnatal depression & anxiety support is also available for those who need it.
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