Advice for Moving with a 20 Month Old

Updated on December 29, 2007
C.G. asks from Huntington Beach, CA
8 answers

We are getting ready to move next month to a bigger house and have a 20 month old daughter who is very accustomed to her current environment. We live in a great community with wonderful neighbors who adore our daughter. She spends her days outside with them, playing with the dogs. She is very close with all of them, especially the dogs, and very much looks forward to her time with them. They are a very big part of her life and I know moving away from them will be hard on her. Any advice on how to help her transition into a new home and environment is greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?

I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words and advice. My daughter has adjusted quite well to her new environment. The first few days she kept asking to go home, but after a few days of getting settled and having fun in her new home she is very happy, perhaps even happier than before. It truely is amazing how strong and resilant kids are!
Thanks again!

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

maybe take some pictures with her & her friends and dogs so she can take with her to look at.maybe put in her new room so she can have something she is familiar with there to look at.maybe you could still go and visit them from time to time as well.good luck with your move & enjoy your new place!



answers from Honolulu on

My Daughter was about the same age when we moved. To make it an easier transiton. Her room was the very FIRST thing to be set up in the new house. I put everything back in the same place and arranged furniture in the same way. So even when all the craziness was going on in the rest of the house, she felt safe in her room. As for leaving behind friends and family... it's going to be hard to keep that connection unless you still live near by like we do. Playdates and phone calls are great ways for them to feel connected still. A friend and I started letting our 2 year olds chat over a webcam on yahoo messenger now. We sit with them and let them see and hear each other over the is a great way to let them be connected even though there is now an ocean that separates them. Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

My husband and I moved several times with three children ages 1,4 and 6. The most important things I discovered were; keeping their routines the same and structure, setting up their rooms as quickly as possible so they are comfortable in their sleeping space, and making the whole thing a positive adventure. I hate to tell you this but you're probably much more traumatized than she will be. As long as mom, dad, and grandpa are there she'll be great!



answers from San Luis Obispo on

Dear C. G,

You are one of the most fortunate people that I have heard of - really. Just get a home in the new area that has a good yard and get a couple of dogs - When I was a little girl I had a dog named 'Tony', he was a German Shepherd and kept me in the yard by nudging me when I got close to the street. Good memories - my mother told me, I was too young to really remember him.

My gr grand daughter is a bossy little thing so when she started trying to boss her parents around they told her that she was the boss of Bodie - the dog. Cute stories abound about that in our family. Bodie didn't get away with anything !

Good luck in you new home, C. N.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C., She will be able to adjust real quick. We moved from a Townhouse to a House when our daughter was 2 years old. We made it exciting and made sure she knew where her room was going to be in the new house and we visited the new house often during escrow, even if it was just a drive by. One thing I regret, is that we were unable to have her room ready for her when we moved in. We had to wait 1-2 months before we could get all the painting, repairs, and floors done. Her sleeping pattern changed because she was then sleeping in our room and eventually ended up in our bed - which she never did before we moved. So my advice is to make sure her room is the first room you have ready to ensure she feels at home with all her toys and things from day one.
Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hello C. G;

I am sure she will adjusted easily to a new place. She will accustom with new environment. She is only 20 month old daughter and you will be surprise how easily she could adjusted with the new environment. I have four children and two adults and two teenagers. My eldest daughter was born and raised in Alaska. When I moved out Alaska first then I picked her up, I always talked to her about Alaska and family because all of my family lived in Alaska including my parents who babysitted her. It just a matter of time and day for her to forget the old environment and she will eventually adapted the new environment. You can start enrolling her in Pre-K to go there half a day, so that she could socially active and meet new friends. Have her some activity that she like to do that way her mind will be busy about different things. I babysit my 17 mth old grand daughter and I took her to the park close to my home in order for her to meet other children. I played with her, I told her around with me everywhere I go. I talk and teach her to sing a song. This age is so much fun to be around, I am 50 yrs old and I love to be around with children because that keeps me busy and smiling,laughing and younger. I don't have any wrinkles yet and I don't believe to have a plastic surgery, I would like to experienced getting old naturally. Good luck and let me know if it works. Take care.




answers from Los Angeles on


My son was about the same age when we moved an hour away. Your don't say how far away you will be going but I am going to assume that it will not be far. It actually sounds like it will be in the same city.

Treat this as an adventure. Look forward to where you will be going, along with visiting the area and nearby parks and playgrounds. My son was very attached to his playmates and the area we lived was very kid-friendly. We visited places in our new city that he could look forward to. I highly recommend letting her know that she can visit her "friends" after your move if that is possible. In the beginning make an effort to visit once in a while as she learns that she can make new "friends" in the new community. After she has made the transition, visit only when it is convenient.

I think that the main attitude needs to one of anticipation and excitement rather than foreboding at what you are leaving. She actually might have less problem in the move than you do so just relax and enjoy it as much as possible.

Hope this helps,




answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C.,

My son was just about the same age when we moved. The biggest piece of advice that I can give is to talk to her about what is going to happen, step by step, in the days before the move. It'll help her know what to expect, which I find toddlers really seem to need. She may not necessarily understand it all, but it may help.

Also, do a little research into the resources near your new home. I found a "mommy-and-me" class that helped us adjust and get our bearings right after we moved. Is there be a park nearby? Sometimes there will be friendly dogs out with their humans. Do you have friends nearby who can help "substitute" for the old neighbors until you meet your new ones?

Hopefully she'll just go with the flow - sometimes they surprise you. Good luck!

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