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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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