Moving Our Toddler Around The World

Last spring, my husband, two-year-old daughter and I moved to the beautiful Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica.  Moving houses with a toddler seemed like a daunting task, but moving countries became a full-on experiment in compromise, understanding and explaining, explaining, explaining!


Talk About It

The first thing we did to make this move easier on our little girl was to tell her about it.  We talked about it all the time – telling her where we were going, what we would be doing, who would and wouldn’t be there, and what she could expect.  Kids understand a lot.  Things that didn’t fit at first fell into place when we arrived.

Empty Out

The second thing we did was clear out most of her stuff early.  While she was napping one afternoon, I got rid of most of her toys.  A few of her favourites went into a box to come out when we got to Costa Rica.  Most of her other toys went to the Children’s Aid Society, and a few were left behind for her to play with before we left.  When she woke up from her nap, she asked for her favourite teapot.  I told her it went to Costa Rica, and she would see it there.  She took that at face value, and didn’t ask for it after that.

Get Them Used To New Things

We knew our daughter wouldn’t have a crib in Costa Rica, so one day while she was out of the house, we packed up her crib and put a mattress on the floor for her to sleep on.  And again, she barely blinked an eye.  She asked one question about her crib, we told her it was time for her to sleep in a “big girl” bed, and that was it. No more questions.

Do you have any tips for making a big move with a toddler? Leave them in the comments!