As all parents of toddlers will testify, they can be finicky little things at the best of times. And let’s face it, we want bedtime to be as calm and stress free as possible for the little darlings, don’t we? However, sometimes changes need to be made, and if this can’t be avoided at least we can try to ease those changes as much as possible. Here are some tips on helping toddlers to settle into a new bedroom. If you have any to add, do please leave them in the comments below.
Whether you’re moving home or simply switching bedrooms to make room for another family member, it’s going to be unsettling for your toddler. There’s no two ways about it, so accept that now and then we can work on how to make it as pain free as possible. My advice is always to try not to anticipate problems if you can. Sometimes our own fears about the move can be reflected onto our children, who may otherwise be fairly easy going about it. That said, recognise that it is a big deal for some, and take action to keep it as low key as possible. Don’t let your own stress take over, take each step slowly and try to relax.
Spot the signs
You are preoccupied with the logistics of moving. The packing up of things, the re-locating and the re-arranging. Your toddler, meanwhile, is reacting in other ways. While your child has none of the stresses that you do, she does still feel the affect of the move emotionally and practically too. Signs that she might be finding it hard include:
- Increasing clinginess
- Regressive behaviour, such as thumb sucking or bed wetting
- Loss of appetite or refusal to eat
- Unusual behaviour, for example being shy, or displaying anxious mannerisms such as nail biting, finger sucking or hair twirling
If your toddler is showing the sings of stress related to the move, this is likely to impact on sleep too. For some, this can start before the move and continue afterwards too. Some tips to help with this include:
- Help your toddler to understand what’s happening as soon as possible. Don’t bring the move on her because this can be really stressful for some kids; instead give her plenty of time to absorb the information and ask questions
- If you can, introduce your toddler to the new room prior to the move. Show her around and help her to feel excited about it.
- Give your toddler some jobs to do to help with the move, and to help her feel included. Perhaps she can help to pack up her favourite toys for example. Make sure she is involved on moving day too, and help her to feel in control by asking her to help decide where items should got etc.
- Allow her to say goodbye to her old room. It might sound silly, but it can really help toddlers to feel a sense of closure.
- If your toddler is moving rooms due to to a house move, make her room the priority. Before you unpack any boxes, make sure that her bedroom is sorted first. So yes, your packing needs to have been organised for this too, but it’s worth it. If you are able to her her things in place and her bed ready to sleep in, bedtime is going to be so much easier all round.
- After the move, allow your toddler as much time as possible to get used to her new surroundings. You might want to stay home as much as possible without disrupting your usual routine too much. Give your toddler plenty of opportunities to play in her new room so that she can get used to it and enjoy being there.