I will start by saying that if you have a child that is a good sleeper to begin with, any disruption will probably not be as severe as if would be if you have a child who is already having sleep issues. So, if you know you will be moving in a month or so, you could begin by working on your child’s sleep now. You will probably still need to do some refreshing after you move, but at least you will not be starting from scratch, and you will be starting with a child who is well rested, rather than one who is already overtired. I would only start major changes if you have at least three weeks left before you move. If there is less time, or you are not quite ready to do any major changes, just try to get your child as much sleep as they can for now so that they are at least well-rested before you move.
Depending on the age of your child, you should speak with them about the move. You know your child best and are best able to know whether or not they will be able to understand this. Make it exciting, no matter how you feel about it. When you do have a conversation with them, make sure it is at a time when everyone is relaxed and not tired. You may want to have a calendar available so you can mark the date on the calendar so your child can visually see when you will be moving.
Be sure that if your child has a lovey, that the lovey does not get packed somewhere in packing boxes. Be sure to keep it out so it is available immediately. If you can have your child’s room pretty much ready the first night you are in your new home, that would be helpful as well. If that is impossible, try to at least have some of their bedding available for familiar feels and scents.
Also, if your child sleeps with white noise, make sure the white noise machine is available immediately. A new house may have a lot of new noises that your children will not be used to, so white noise will tune some of them out. This is my favorite white noise machine –
I love that it takes batteries too in case the power goes out or you want to easily travel with it.
Also be sure that nightlights, clocks and any other special items your child may have in their room are readily available. This is important too if you will be staying somewhere before you move into your new home.
Once you move, try not to go all the way backwards to sleep crutches you may have gotten rid of. If your child used to sleep in your bed and you have stopped that, you may want to sleep on your child’s floor for a night or two to get them more used to sleeping in their new room, but do not bring them all the way back to your bed.
If you will be staying in an interim location and will not have your child’s regular bed or crib, try to still use the same sheets or at least the same blanket. If you can, wash any sheets or blankets your child will use in your own laundry detergent so the smell will be the same.
If you have sleep coached your child in the past, you may have to redo some, but things should move along quicker. If you have done a method where you gradually move away from your child, you can move quicker than you did last time. Do not get stuck in one place too long or doing one thing for too long, or it will become a habit that will be hard to break.
Have patience with your child and acknowledge that they may be confused and stressed due to changes in their environment. With your reassurance and as much consistency as you can have, you will find that they will adjust to the new home.
Have you had to move with your child? Did it disrupt their sleep? Are you planning a move and have specific questions? Feel free to comment below!