Moving to Chicago with Toddlers

Even going on a picnic with little children can be overpowering, but at least you expect to have fun, and you can return home anytime. Relocation is a huge project and one that requires dedication from the beginning. What happens when you have another priority that requires even greater dedication? Moving to Chicago with toddlers is anything but fun. It’s a simple fact. However, juggling the needs of your little ones and relocation is possible. You will require a lot of help during all phases of the move. Starting now.

A guide to moving to Chicago with toddlers

The best advice you can get regarding relocation with little children is: don’t do it entirely on your own. Ask your family and friends for help. If your budget is tight, pack your family yourself but hire professional movers. As you’re moving to Chicago, it would be better to hire a moving company specialized in that area, like Wolley Movers Chicago, and remove one huge worry from the list. After all, you have another priority to worry about. 

Breaking news

While babies are blissfully ignorant of their surroundings and older kids easier to reason with, toddlers are in that age when they notice everything but can’t fully comprehend almost anything. That is why it’s incredibly important to explain details about the move as early as possible. Such little kids develop anxieties, one of which is separation anxiety. In the context of relocation, they have just adapted to their surroundings and now they need to abandon that sense of security. You can imagine how terrifying that is.

A toy truck can help explain moving to a toddler.
To help your toddler understand the relocation ahead, you might need to communicate by playing with them.

By letting your toddler(s) know about the move on time and what it exactly entails, you will calm their anxiety and transform their fear into healthy excitement. If they’re very young, you might need to use toys to act out the moving. It would make it easier for them to grasp the process.

Before the move

Looking forward to something is always better than dreading it, right? So it is with relocation. Packing is the right time to ask your friends or other family members for help. You will be busy packing your home alongside regular daily duties so every bit of assistance with the toddler will be more than welcome. However, you should take some time every day to involve kids in preparations for the move.

You can start by asking for their opinion on the color theme of their new room. They should know that their toys and favorite things are going with them. To reduce the stress, pack their room last but unpack it first after the move. If they are big enough, they can help you pack their toys or they can label your moving boxes. Nothing sparks joy and excitement like glitter! 

A toddler and a babysitter are playing in the park.
A babysitter is indispensable on a moving day and right after the move. Stress levels are high, and kids are highly sensitive to parents’ mood

Don’t forget to take your little one to the doctor before the move. Also, ask that their medical record is transferred to the new doctor in Chicago. A pediatrician will most likely give you more helpful advice. Moreover, it is very important to keep regular mealtimes and bedtimes. Routine is good, as doing anything that helps toddlers feel that they have a bit of control over their lives would greatly help.

During the move

Kids sense their parents’ fear and anxiety, and every negative feeling rubs on them. Do your best to stay positive even when you feel stressed because your attitude toward relocation will become theirs. Once the moving day arrives, have a babysitter or a family member stay with the kids and take them out. That way, you won’t have to worry that they will get hurt and loading the truck will go smoothly. However, keep the bag with the toddlers’ essentials with you.

The least stressful way to move your family long distance is via plane. However, you might feel more comfortable to drive and make stops along the way. Depending on the distance and mode of transport, plan the route and pin important checkpoints. First, you should mark clinics, gas stations, restaurants, and reputable lodging. Moving to Chicago with toddlers will be much easier if they sleep during the trip and stick to the routine as much as possible.

Audiobooks section in a public library - a good source of kids' stories for the trip.
Moving with kids is challenging as they are too excited to sleep. Soft classical music will soothe them, as well as audiobooks with their favorite stories.

After the move

Now that you have safely arrived, you can rest a bit and start unpacking the essentials. The kids’ room is the first on the list, of course. Furthermore, make sure that all rooms in the new home are baby-proof. The first few days in your new home it would be good to have a babysitter again, for the same reasons as before. Allow your kids at least a week to rest from the trip before you engage them in activities. However, it may take them up to 6 months to get accustomed to their new surroundings. 

To help with that, take your toddlers to discover the neighborhood and new playgrounds. Make new fun traditions but leave the old ones, too. The best perk of relocation is not to start anew but to widen the horizons, yours and your kids’, too.

What can Chicago offer to a toddler?

Chicago is a good place to raise kids. It is easy to find activities for kids and family entertainment at no cost year-round. Chicago provides great healthcare, farmers’ markets with healthy food, numerous parks and playgrounds and babysitters too. The city has a good network of public transportation, making it easier to get around with kids. Your toddlers will love spending time on Howard Beach, at Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago Children’s Museum, and Shedd Aquarium. Moreover, living in a multicultural city such as Chicago will make your little ones more curious and tolerant.

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