How to Help Your Baby Adjust to a New Home
Just like adults, babies can get nervous and overwhelmed when things change. Everything to babies is new, and moving to a different home can quickly become overstimulation central. The last thing you need during a stressful move is a fussy baby who won’t seem to settle down. To make the transition a little easier for everyone, let’s review some strategies to help your baby adjust to a new home.
Let Them Say Goodbye
Even though your baby doesn’t doesn’t fully understand what it means to say goodbye or even how to say goodbye, it can help with closure. Babies start to wave hello and goodbye at around 8 to 12 months, so take them to each room and let them wave goodbye. At some level, they’ll understand that something is changing and leaving. However, this technique is really only useful for older babies and toddlers. Those still in infancy likely haven’t had enough time to think of a place as “home,” so you’ll want to focus on strategies to help avoid overstimulation.
Give Them a Stable, Comfortable Space
When you move, take down their space in your old home last and set up your baby’s space in your new home first, and if you can, let the new space mirror the old one as much as possible. If you can’t do that, be sure to bring their creature comforts, like their favorite blanket, toy, or pacifier. If there are particular smells they are familiar with, like diffusers, candles, or perfumes, use those in your new home, too.
If you can’t set up their room immediately, I create a space just for baby in the corner of a room with familiar items like a play mat, a pack-n-play, and age-appropriate toys they are familiar with from your previous home.
This will act as a home base for your baby and give them a better sense of stability and familiarity. When they have you and a place to rely on, they’ll feel braver and more secure, making it easier for them to get used to their new home. If they’re particularly fussy and overstimulated, take some quiet time to dim the lights and practice some self-soothing lessons with your little one.
Let Them Explore First
Once you have their home base set up, leave the door open, and encourage them to crawl and move through the house at their own pace. Don’t force them to go from one room to another, as it can be overstimulating and takes away their sense of control, leading to a fussy baby.
You can incite them to explore by setting their favorite toys throughout the house or calling to them as you would to get them to crawl. If you don’t have their room set up yet, consider moving in the morning so your baby has plenty of time to explore their new surroundings. This activity will tucker them out, and the more time they have to get used to a new space, the easier it will be for them to settle down at bedtime.
Hopefully, these strategies will help your baby adjust to their new home, but if they can’t seem to get used to the new space, don’t panic! Remember that every baby is different, and some sensitive souls will need more time and help to get adjusted. All you need to do is give them the time, patience, and love they need, and they’ll slowly settle down and love their new home just as much as you do.
And remember, if you’re looking for help staying organized during your move, check out the Move Mama Move Relocation Planners with all the checklists, tips, trackers, and logs to keep you on top of it all during this major transition.