Dreading your upcoming move to your new rental apartment because you just don’t know how you’ll handle the added stress of calming the anxieties of your children and entertaining your pets? Don’t fret! According to the AACAP, with the proper attention from parents moving can be a positive growth experience for children, leading to increased self-confidence and interpersonal skills. There are a number of ways to keep everyone calm, cool and collected before and during moving day.
Talk About It
Kids may feel that they don’t have much of a say in the big move and will find the entire moving process upsetting. Let your kids know that they can talk to you about the move – why it’s happening, what your new apartment rental will be like – and that you will always give them an honest answer. It’s important for your kids to feel included, even if they won’t be moving any boxes themselves. Give them little tasks they can do to help, like planning how they want to pack up their own room. It can also help to let them have a hand in designing how their new room will look, giving them something to be excited about at the new home.
Moving Day Tasks
Now that the big day has arrived, you can help to keep your kids busy by giving them tasks to complete. Depending on their age, you can ask them to go through each room to ensure nothing was left behind or to take the dog for a walk. If you have young children or a baby, you may want to consider a babysitter during the time that you will be putting everything into the moving truck. This will help to reduce or even eliminate their stress (and yours!). If all else fails, some games and colouring books can work wonders.
Fido and Kitty
We may not think about it, but moving can be quite stressful on our furry friends, too. Animals get used to their home and their surroundings, and when that changes suddenly it can be a difficult adjustment for them. To ease the anxiety of your pets, keep them in a quiet room or area of your rental unit until you are ready to hit the road. Keeping them separate from the hustle and bustle of moving day activities will allow them to keep a sense of normalcy for as long as possible. When you’re ready to put them into the car, keep a favourite toy or blanket in their carrier. If your pet is particularly prone to anxiety, you may want to consider getting a mild sedative for them from your veterinarian.
If you are moving with a baby and have to travel for quite some time to your new apartment rental, About.com offers some great tips to help you through the process on their blog post “Moving with Baby: Traveling by Car”.
Before You Move
– As moving day approaches, make sure you line-up a babysitter, preferably someone that your baby knows well and who can take him/her to their rental unit away from the chaos of yours.
– Plan your route to your destination, including emergency hospitals or clinics, just in case your child needs attention during your travels.
– Be prepared to make frequent stops. If you’re traveling by car, allow time for breaks. You can even map out your route with this in mind, checking for parks and playgrounds along the way.
– Record your baby’s favorite sounds. Make a tape or CD of sounds that soothe your baby, such as the dripping tap, the vacuum cleaner, you singing, the fan, the dishwasher or your baby’s favorite music, such as Mozart or Vivaldi. Take a variety of sounds with you to try to calm a fussy child.
What to Take On Your Trip
Diapers: make sure you pack twice as many as you think you need.
Clothing for changing weather
Mild laundry soap: in case you need to wash/rinse clothing
Plastic bags: to store dirty diapers/clothing
Hat and sunscreen
Toys, lots and lots of toys!
First Aid Kit
Sounds your baby loves (see above)
Safety-approved car seat
Keeping Baby Happy
As mentioned before, one of the best ways to soothe your baby is to play comforting sounds. One mother I knew used to place her crying infant next to the washing machine, while another played an ocean-waves’ CD whenever she put her child down for a nap. If your baby has particular sounds s/he finds comforting, tape it and take it with you on the road.
Make sure you take toys with you that move, that you can dangle in front of baby and toys that make noise to distract. Mirrors are often a great tool to distract fussy babies.
As mentioned earlier, take lots of breaks. Getting fresh air, taking a walk and seeing a change of scenery not only helps baby, but also gives you a chance to stretch your legs. Try not to be in a hurry.
And most importantly…enjoy the journey! Chances are you will look back and appreciate this time of your life!
-The RentSeeker Team