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Lessons Learned: Moving with a Toddler

Lessons Learned from Moving with a Toddler

Despite our recent living situation being less than ideal, we still moved with a toddler and I learned a great deal from it that I will use in future moves and want to happily share with you today.

10 Lessons Learned from Moving with a Toddler

Lessons learned moving

What worked for us:

Involve your child every step along the way. When we were going around looking at apartments, and then once we had made our decision, we involved him. Sometimes it was as simple as say, “We decided on a new home.” or “This is going to be your new bedroom.” I don’t know whether he understood everything or not, but he was always interested in what I was telling him.

Take your child to the new home a couple of times before moving in (if possible). After we signed our lease, we came back a couple of times, once so that Emmett could get more comfortable with the place, and the second time to measure. However, each time we were there, we made a point of showing Emmett his room and letting him act as silly as he wanted to in there.  He loved having the open empty room to go buck wild in.

Send your child to day care or have someone babysit, while the actual move takes place. I know this might seem like it would backfire, and the child would have a hard time adjusting, but it worked really well for us. It allowed Seamus and I to get the move, and the majority of the clean-up completed, without having to make sure Emmett wasn’t getting into one thing or another. When we picked Emmett up from day care, and brought him to his new home, we led him by the hand, going from room to room. Which brings me to my next lesson…

Allow your child to become acquainted with their new surroundings. Despite bringing your child to the new home a few times, they still may freak out or have a negative reaction to everything in their perfect little world changing. Don’t push, let your child experience the emotions, just be their to help make them feel better, or help calm them down when they start going crazy. Emmett never seemed sad, but he definitely acted out, he was very  mischievous and would not listen to Seamus at I or at all. It got frustrating at times, but then I reminded myself that I was still adjusting and getting used to things, and I understood completely what had happened. So Emmett’s hyper activity, was probably due in part to a small level of anxiety. It’s now been 3 weeks since we’ve moved, and he is a completely different child, than when we first moved in.

Explain everything you’re doing when it comes to packing. There were times when I would be packing, that Emmett would come stand by me, and just kind of hover. Obviously I have no idea what he was actually thinking, but I’d use that time to explain what I was doing and why I was doing it. He really seemed to enjoy the conversation, even if he didn’t understand everything.

Set your child’s bedroom / playroom up first. Since your child is going through a huge change and may not understand everything that’s going on, try to make their transition as easy as possible, by setting up their room and ensuring you have their favorite things handy. For us, this took us looking through many MANY boxes, but we found everything and got Emmett’s room set up before he got home from day care. He seemed to really love to be able to run right in and grab his blankies.

Take a few extra days off. When we were scheduling our move, we did it on a Friday, and I planned on taking Monday and Tuesday as well. At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d stay home on Tuesday, because using vacation time for moving just doesn’t seem fun, but in the end I took it. I’m glad I did too – Emmett was up for almost all of Monday, into Tuesday night. Having the extra time off allowed us to not stress about going back to sleep with little sleep.

What Didn’t Work / What I Wished We’d Done

Get your child involved in some sort of activity that really holds their attention while you pack up their toys. Emmett was great when I was packing his clothes, but when it came time to put his toys in a box, he just kept pulling out what I had put in. I ended up leaving this packing until he was at school, or napping, next time I’ll just keep him busy.

Clearly mark all boxes with your child’s toys / clothes / diapers. I thought I did a pretty good job of ensuring that all of the boxes we’d need the night of our move and the morning after, were clearly marked, well I was wrong. I mean, I didn’t do a terrible job, but I definitely could have been more diligent, maybe clearly marking with a symbol or colored tape, which boxes were Emmett’s, Seamus’ or mine.

Do some sort of check on the tenants that will be living below, above or on the sides of you. As I’m sure you’ve read a few times, things in our apartment haven’t been going very well. The people below us are so obnoxiously loud and just don’t seem to care that people live above them. I wished we’d done some sort of research on what kind of people they were and whether they were quiet. Live and learn, right!?

That about does it, we’re still slowly unpacking, but we’re here and we’re adjusting.

If you want to read the other posts I shared on preparing for a move with a toddler, you can click here or here.

Your turn!

What things have you learned when moving with a baby, toddler or older child? I’d love for you to share in the comments below.


Welcome Home!

We’ve made it, we’re in our new home.

Oh goodness readers, I am tired, no, make that exhausted. It has been a really really long weekend, but we’re completely out of the old house and slowly getting settled in the new.


View from the new place.

So what’s been going on?

Well Friday morning, the movers arrived almost exactly on time, they might have been 5 minutes late, but I was amazed at how promptly they arrived. I think I’ll write a thorough review of the movers at a later time, but let’s just say, I was completely impressed with their service. As soon as they got to the house, they came in and made an inventory of every large item we had that needed to be moved and then got to work on our boxes. They loaded those boxes so quickly, and actually the entire pack-up at the old place took 1.5 hrs. It was so fast! However, getting into the new place was much more difficult.

The boxes were obviously easy to get in, and so was most of our furniture… BUT, and it’s a big but, our full-sized couch would not fit in the door. 🙁 The movers tried EVERYTHING, short of cutting it apart or busting in the doorway. It was just too large! It had too high of a back and too wide of a girth, on top of being too long. I don’t blame the movers at all, though. They tried every different angle and spent at least 45 minutes trying to figure it out. So, now it’s sitting our garage, where we’ll either sell it or donate it.


After they unloaded everything, Seamus and I did a few things around here before we headed back to the old place to commence clean-up. We got the majority of it done before we needed to head back to our new home to meet Time Warner for our cable hook-up. While Seamus waited for TWC to hook us up, I went and got Emmett from day care, he was happy to see me as always. When we got home he was a little apprehensive about coming inside, but has been adjusting pretty well.

Saturday we were up bright and early to await the delivery of our washer and dryer. Sears did a pretty good job of doing everything they said they were going to, we got the emails confirming everything, and we got the confirmation call on Friday night that gave us the time they’d be arriving. The problem was, on Saturday morning they called to let us know that they’d be their during the scheduled time, but we got two phone calls – one delivery truck had our washer and the other had our dryer. Not a big deal, they both arrived when they were supposed to but it is just kind of silly. Poor organization on Sears’ part.


After the washer and dryer were installed we all headed back to the old apartment to finish the clean-up. I think the worst part of moving is the cleaning. I don’t enjoy the packing process, but I HATE cleaning and it always seems to take forever. Either way, it is done and we are now completely out of that place… YAY!

Since we didn’t have time to prep our dinner for last night, a crock-pot chicken recipe, we ended up going out to Quaker Steak & Lube for dinner. I had wings, which I’ve been craving forever, they were delicious and totally hit the spot. After dinner, we made a trip to Wal-mart to see if they had some of the things we wanted but they didn’t have any of it. We grabbed a few long-sleeved PJs for Emmett (that were on sale) and headed home.


And finally, Sunday. What did we do today? We started the morning with our first home cooked breakfast in this place, and it was DE-licious! Then it was unpacking and putting things away in our kitchen, which is nearly done and my first 3 loads of laundry.  And then since we needed a new couch we went and bought one. We ended up at Ashley Furniture, and thankfully they had exactly what we wanted. We left there with (well, it will be delivered in 15 to 28 days) a beautiful blue/grey sectional sofa. I love it, and cannot wait to receive it!

Look at that yolk porn!

Look at that yolk porn!

We made a trip to Target to grab the things that Wal-mart didn’t carry, then to Wendy’s for dinner and home for a tiny bit of relaxing, and finally bed.

And now, here we are, Sunday evening at 10 pm. I’m ready to sleep for a many MANY days.

That about does it… phew!

Your turn!

How was your weekend?

What fun or productive things did you do?


Moving Day!

Tomorrow’s moving day!

Can you believe that? That means that a month has flown by in the blink of an eye and we’re now going to be living in a new home.

On my ride into work this morning, I got to thinking – this would be my last time taking that path into work. It was weird! I’ve lived in the city of Buffalo since I moved here for college in 1999, different apartments, but still lived in the city. I’ve worked at my company for 8 years, so that means I’ve been taking the exact same ride into work 5 days a week for 8 years. That kind of blows my mind!

Our new apartment is very near to my job and will take just a few minutes to get there. I can’t say that I’ll miss the commute, because even though it only takes 20 to 30 minutes, having that extra time to spend with Emmett in the mornings, will be awesome.

I’m feeling very bittersweet about our move. I can’t wait to be in the suburbs, to be near to so many beautiful parks, a great school district for Emmett and a quieter street, but I can’t help but be a little sentimental about our current place. It was the place where Emmett had all of his baby and toddler firsts. The first time he smiled, rolled over, crawled, walked… They all happened in this house. I do realize that there will be many many more firsts and that once we’re moved and settled I’ll feel very differently, but for now, I feel bittersweet.

Enough about how I’m feeling, back to the move. I think we’re pretty much ready, most everything is packed and we’ll finish what’s not, tonight and tomorrow, we get our keys tonight, the movers come at 9am tomorrow, the electric and gas are set to turn to Seamus’ name tomorrow, cable (Time Warner) comes tomorrow evening to turn our cable and internet on, and our brand new washer and dryer will be delivered some time Saturday. We’re rip rarin’ to go and I am excited!

I literally feel like our lives have been on hold for a month, simply because of how busy we’ve been with packing. I know people make time for what’s important, but it has taken us so long to get ready for this move, that this blog and other fun things in my life have fallen to the side. My hope is that after the move, and after we do some unpacking, I can get back to the fun. I miss it!

Alright, I better get back to the packing; we still have a bit more to go.  See yah on the flip side!

Your turn!

What moving day stories do you have to share?

Any tips for moving day for us?

Packing for a Move with a Toddler

This is part 2 of my Moving with a Toddler series, you can read Part 1 – Preparing Your Toddler for a Move, by clicking here.
Packing for a Move

Packing with Your Toddler

Like most toddlers Emmett is super curious. He sees something and he immediately wants to touch it and investigate, but also like most toddlers, the most appealing items are those that are dangerous or off limits. I don’t want to stifle his curiosity, and with packing, so many fun new items come out of hiding. So in an effort to make everyone’s lives easier and less stressful, I’ve come up with a list of things you can do to making packing with your toddler as easy as possible.

Tips for Packing with Your Toddler

  1. Don’t wait – start early! Packing with a toddler around is obviously going to take more time, so don’t give yourself any more stress by waiting to the last minute. As soon as you have boxes to pack with, start!
  2. Get your toddler involved in a fun activity before you start packing. What we did with Emmett was to set him up with a toy he really likes, or with paper and crayons, this way he could be in the same room with us as we packed but also stay out of trouble, while we were pulling things out of the cupboards or closets. It worked pretty well, as long as his interests held on to the item he was playing with, he was content to just be in the same room with us.
  3. Allow your toddler to assist with some simple packing. What I try to sometimes do is work on packing items that I can get Emmett’s help with. So for instance, we had loads of books that needed be packed, and since books aren’t really breakable, this was a fantastic thing for Emmett to help with. He really was helpful, too! He would grab 2 or 3 books off the shelf, hand them to me and I’d place them in the box. He loved helping and had THE biggest smile on his face the whole time.
  4. Pack your child’s toys last. We’ve been slowly packing things up, but we haven’t gone near any of E’s toys. Despite us telling Emmett what we’re doing along the way, seeing us pack up his beloved toys could get pretty scary for him, so instead his toys stay out. There are so many other areas to focus on, that his toys can absolutely be last on the list.
  5. Save delicate items for when your toddler is sleeping. There are likely hundreds of items in your house that are things your little one shouldn’t touch, save those pieces for when your toddler is sleeping. This can be hard, because it may be one of the few things left to pack, but it will help preserve your sanity if you just wait. We haven’t had to use this one with Emmett yet, we have plenty to pack that is not delicate, but I’m sure the time will come when we need to put this one into practice.
  6. Keep dangerous items out of reach. Let’s be honest, when you’re preoccupied packing or cleaning, your attention isn’t 100% on your toddler. To keep your little one safe, keep those dangerous or poisonous items out of reach.
  7. Make it a learning experience. While you’re boxing up items that are new to your toddler, name them before placing them in the box. Toddlers are like little sponges, so it is very likely that they’ll absorb that information quickly and learn a new word in the process.

Moving can be such a stressful time, but with the right amount of planning and pre-thought, a stressful time can turn into more enjoyable experience.

Your turn!

What are some of your tips for packing with a baby, toddler or older child around?

Have you moved with a child? I’d love to hear about your experience and learn from you! Share in the comments below!


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