14 Tips For Moving Across Country With A Toddler

Moving Across Country With A Toddler

Life is full of changes, and you always have to try adapting to new and sudden situations that weren’t in your plan. Moving is one of those changes that can be quite stressful, especially if you have young children.

The good news is that it’s easy to avoid the worry of moving across the country with a toddler. Kids are flexible by nature. You can share every event in life with your kids with simplicity, but you have to make it fun for them to boost their enthusiasm.

That being said, we’ve prepared this list full of tips that will help you overcome this stage with your child with no trouble. Stick around to learn more about our tips for moving across country with a toddler.

Table of Contents

1. Prepare Your Toddler for Moving

Many might not know this, but kids have a routine and always prefer the stable life they’re used to. But this doesn’t negate their ability to adapt to new things. After all, childhood is a stage that involves a lot of change.

To prepare your children emotionally that they’ll leave the routine of their home and their friends, first, you must explain why and how you’re all going to move from one place to another.

To add to that, tell them that the life they know and love awaits them in the other home, full of warmth, fun, new rooms, and new toys. This must be conveyed in a simple, loving manner.

Plus, you must respect their feelings in expressing that they’re going to miss their home, school, friends, and rooms. Children express their feelings with complete honesty; let them do so.

2. Make It Fun and Exciting

After you’ve informed your children of the new step you’re all going to take and prepared them emotionally and psychologically for it, you’ll have to ignite their enthusiasm.

We recommend setting a date with them to begin collecting their belongings. Then, you print a paper calendar to put it on a prominent wall in the house and cross it over each passing day.

Undoubtedly, they’ll feel excited because the day that everyone in the house is waiting for is nearing. Just be sure to link that date to a lot of fun and exciting activities so that your kiddo maintains their enthusiasm.

3. Start Packing Early

After you tell your children that you’re moving soon, you should all start planning to pack your things. The packing process is one of the longest tasks associated with moving, so you need to get on it as early as you can.

If you leave it until the last few days, you’ll be surprised that there’s much to do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “Just a couple more boxes…” only to have it be a couple more after that, and then a couple more after that. You get the picture.

Scrambling last minute to get things packed is a great recipe for unnecessary added stress that can potentially be avoided.

4. Let Your Toddler Help

Toddler Packing Their Stuffed Animal
All packed and ready to go!

Making your kids a part of the packing process can make them feel involved and enthusiastic. It’ll also make them more comfortable and excited about the whole experience.

Note that younger children have a lot of vitality and love to share in everything related to their home and family.

You have to explain where they should put the toys and items in their room and when to start. And you should encourage them even if they’re not keeping up with the timeline you’ve set.

To add more excitement, have them decorate their clothes and toy boxes with stickers. This will help them determine their items while unpacking. Besides, it’s a fun activity that will make them happy to know that their luggage boxes have a unique look of their own making.

5. Flexibility Is Key

Let’s be realistic, even if you’re the most disciplined person on the planet, things don’t always work out the way you want.

You should be open to making adjustments to your plan. Plus, you have to expect that there’ll be some obstacles. Your child might, God forbid, fall ill on moving day. In this case, the process will have to be suspended for a few days until your child feels better.

That being said, we advise you to keep some extra clothes outside the moving boxes in case of a delay, and to be patient and flexible to overcome temporary obstacles.

6. Plan Your Route

Planning your route is one of the most important aspects of moving, especially for long trips and the presence of children.

You should do a complete check-up of your car. Check the gas, oil, and tires. In addition, make sure the seats are comfortable for your kids and suitable for their height.

Then, you need to mind your youngsters’ routine, like their eating and sleeping schedule. And, if possible, opt for a route that allows for several rest stops.

If you’re planning to fly to your new home then you’ll need to plan everything you’ll need for the airport – means of travel to and from the airport (family member, Uber, etc), IDs, travel suitcase, travel outfitsOpens in a new tab. and snacks (for you and your little one) are all critical components of a successful flight.

7. Prepare for Emergencies

Insurance Cards and Important Documents
Make sure not to pack away important documents like Insurance Cards, Social Security Cards, etc

As long as you have a child, you need to be highly prepared for emergencies. It’s best to keep a first-aid kit with you in the car.

You must also have medical records and insurance cards handy.

8. Prepare an Essentials Bag

The essentials bag includes things you will use on the go or when staying at a hotel during the night.

Some essential items include a first aid kit, clothes, pajamas, extra snacks, some toiletries, and a flashlight. This bag will make the ride easier for you and the kids.

9. Have a Good Time on the Road

It’s important to make the moving process entertaining so that your kids enjoy it. So, be open to your children bringing along some toys and coloring books for the ride.

Chat with your toddler and tell them about their new home. And remember, no trip is fun without music, so don’t forget to make a fun playlist for the road.

10. Basic Luggage Comes First

Of course, when you arrive, your first concern will be which boxes you’ll start unpacking first. The answer is simple; you will start with the kitchen belongings first, then the essentials for the children’s room. Thereafter, you unpack the basic belongings for your own room.

After that, you and your family settle down to rest for a while, then it’s time to unpack the rest, from luxuries and decorations to non-essential items.

11. Make the First Day in Your New Home Special

The first day in a new place always makes a strong impression, so this is your chance to make the first day’s unloading bear the surprises.

It’d be a nice idea to put a new toy in each box for your children. It will be a big surprise when they help you unload and will go a long way toward keeping them engaged.

Kids usually associate positive feelings with any person or place that induces happy memories. This is exactly the time for you to help them form a good impression about their new home.

12. It’s Exploration Time

Toddler in a New Home
You never know what may end up becoming your child’s favorite new place.

After you’ve emptied the basics on the first day, it would be best to let your toddlers explore the place.

Don’t suppress your children’s freedom; let them explore their home and neighborhood while watching from afar.

13. Check Your Important Belongings

If you’re moving for a job, you probably have many important papers and belongings. This is the best time to make sure all your things are there.

During the moving process, a lot of important things get lost, especially in the presence of toddlers. So it’s best to make sure that all your important things are there early on

14. Have Your Child Choose the Design of Their New Room

Every child has a picture of the color and design of their dream room. So, make sure to ask your child how they’d like their room to look so that you can make their dream come true.

This step will make your child feel overjoyed and involved, just because they had the freedom to choose the design of their room.

Final Thoughts

Let’s all agree that moving with a child can be challenging. However, with proper planning, you can overcome any difficulties.

Children are quite flexible and are easy to satisfy and convince. You just have to be patient and encouraging.

Don’t force your child to accept that they’re moving. Instead, encourage and excite your child. If you commit to the above-listed tips, the move for you and your kid will be hassle-free and fun.

Hopefully, our tips for moving across country with a toddler have helped you make the moving process more manageable.


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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