1. Set up your child's room BEFORE they arrive home. The more familiar you can make it, the better. This is NOT the time to introduce exciting new changes like a transition from crib to bed. They may feel exciting to you but toddlers prefer the old familiar things.
Spend a few minutes, at least, playing in their with your child in their bedroom before bedtime so it feels a little more familiar.
2. Despite the busy-ness of moving day, try hard to keep the timing of bedtime the same. The last thing you need is an overtired little one waking up extra early the morning after the move!
3. To the extent possible, keep boxes out of sight in one room so that the main living areas -- and especially his room -- look mostly liveable. Toddlers are easily frightened by the most unexpected things, and this can lead to sleep disturbances.
4. Send your child away for moving day with a trusted caregiver and have them come back only after the movers are gone. i suggest you don't let him see the movers moving his things OUT of your old apartment, either.
Seeing their things being boxed up and moved out can also be frightening to little ones.
6. "Start as you mean to end up" -- don't introduce exceptions to the rules in your first few days in your new home. You may have to back off your regular rules a little bit – maybe do timed checks instead of extinction, for example – but do not, under any circumstances, do something like cosleeping when you move (unless you plan to continue). You want to teach your child from the get go that they are safe in their new bedroom. Bringing your child into your bed teaches them the exact opposite -- that the new home is, indeed, frightening.
Having sleep challenges at your new or old house? Schedule a free consult and let's get your family back on track.
***NOTE: I will be going on maternity leave on May 8 and out for a few weeks, at least, depending on how things go. You can still schedule a free consult or you can send me an email at email@example.com so we can figure out a time to meet.
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Abby Wolfson is a pediatric nurse practitioner, certified child sleep consultant and certified life coach for parents. She divides her time between Brooklyn, NY and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.