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Does anyone have tips for helping a toddler adjust to a big move?

We are a military family who has moved 7 times in the last year and now we are moving again from Germany to the US - buying our first house in Colorado. We should hopefully be here for the next 4-6 years at least. My son is almost 3 years old and not talking, so it is difficult to help him understand or reassure him in any way. He did not adjust well to our past moving experiences, and I am not looking forward to doing it again! If you have any tips on how to make the transition easier for him, I would be very greatful.

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Asked by MrsMoree at 3:55 AM on Oct. 25, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (5)
  • How about show him pictures of the house if youc an. Try to tell him hell have a nice big room with lots of toys. Try to get him excited about something new. Buy him a special toy for the travelling. So hell get excited and keep him occupied and happy. Try to find out things about the neighborhood around your house and what you can tell him about. Maybe make a little book for him about th new neighborhood. Although he doesnt talk he should still understand what your saying. My daughter is 2 1/2 and is finally actually talking. I found myself talking to her not like a normal person. When i did i realized she actually did understand me although she couldnt say what i say.

    Answer by OliviasMommy614 at 4:22 AM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • I agree with OliviasMommy that he likely understands even if he isn't talking- you should be able to discover this- if you ask him if he wants milk, does he at least shake his head yes or no? How about if your back is to him? In other words, is his hearing OK? But this is off topic.

    When he gets to his new place, make him a nest in his room with his familiar bedding, toys, books, so that he'll feel at home. Keeping plenty of light in the room at night, too, even a couple night lights, so if he wakes up he can see where he is. I agree with letting him know ahead of time about the move, so he won't be afraid of possible unannounced moves in the future. A picture of the new place is good. I'd keep it low key, not making a big deal about it- so that he feels this is a normal part of life and not something to get tense about. Be casual about it, even when you are stressed from packing and arranging.

    Answer by Bmat at 8:30 AM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • That is quite a big move! We didn't PCS out of the country when my Husband was in the Army, just to a diff part of the state. Your son may adjust on his own this time, especially at that age, and you'd be suprised what they can understand! We moved from GA to NM when Our Son was nearly 17 months old..the only issue He had was not eating much during the trip (We drove) but He behaved well, slept great, and was content in the new place. We constantly told Him what We were doing, where We were going, why We were moving..He adjusts easily to change anyway, but I don't doubt talking to Him about it so often helped. He's understood Us since He turned one and understands just about everything now at 2.5 years old - He just started talking about a month ago! I like the first poster's ideas..good luck and have a safe move!

    Answer by ajtherad at 8:42 AM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • That's one of the reasons I'm scared to go OCONUS. :) It's a huge change in both directions.

    We've moved a few times and while it took some adjusting time, they loved it when we finally got our HHG and they got their toys back!

    Just tell him what you're doing every step of the way and explain to him that all his stuff is going with you.

    Are you going to Colorado Springs?

    Answer by Cavalrybaby02 at 8:54 AM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • We just bought a house in Fountain, actually, just outside of Colorado Springs. :)

    Thanks for all the great tips! I'll be sure to give these a try. He's just moved so many times already in his little lifetime, I'm glad this will be the last move for a while.

    Answer by MrsMoree at 3:03 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

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