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We're moving house (within the neighborhood) in early August. In September, our 2-and-a-bit year old moves to a new daycare. But at the same time, she's also at a stage where she's getting big for her crib (as in "can probably climb out on her own"), and also seems pretty ready for potty training (which it'd be nice to do in the warm months...).

So: moving house, new daycare, new bed, potty training. Do we need to space these out, or can we do more than one at once? Roughly how much time should we allot for each one, and how long do we need between these big changes?

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2 Answers 2

Doing everything at once gets it over with in one go, but at the risk that it won't go very well.

I would changing one element at a time. Toddlers are a bit like people with autism; they like fixed patterns and repetition, any change can be upsetting. Especially when you're facing big changes, tread lightly.

I can't really say "do one change every two months" because every change is different and will take a different period of time to adjust to, respectively to learn. But here' my totally subjective gut feeling:

  • adjusting to new home: four weeks.
  • adjusting to new daycare: six weeks.
  • adjusting to new bed: four weeks.
  • potty training: a year?

More importantly than the spacing is that you really focus on the change:

  • Prepare positively, talk about it in advance, make her understand that a change is coming up and make her look forward to it. Address any concerns or fears. Talk about it a lot.
  • When the change comes around, find reasons to give sincere praise on specific details.

Update: How far in advance?

You can start talking about it as you as you actually start planning it; simply make it a topic that is talked about in the family. Start specifically preparing your child only a few weeks in advance, maybe 2-3 weeks.

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Sounds reasonable. How far in advance can a 2-year-old look forward to? Should I be telling her now about something happening in two weeks? In a month? I don't want to confuse or frustrate her. –  Ziv Jul 15 '12 at 11:14
    
@Ziv good question! I updated my answer. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jul 15 '12 at 11:31

Moving to a new house and changing the daycare are big changes, a new bed is a small change. Potty training can be either, as is so often the case, it depends...

I see three separate issues here:

  1. Can you separate the daycare switch from the moving? If you can, you definitely should consider making them two distinct events, IMO

  2. Moving means a new room and some changes in how the things in your daughter's room are set up anyway, a new bed is most likely accepted as part of the overall change. I think you should definitely keep these two changes together.

  3. The good thing about potty training is that you are free to start or stop it at any point. If you have the impression that your child is having too much stress and it is getting too much, just suspend it for the time being.

That being said, here is some general advice about moving that we hope will serve us well in a few months:

  1. Prepare your child for the change. Tell her what is going to happen early on and repeatedly, so she is not surprised when it actually happens

  2. Try to involve her. Let her decide the colour of her new room, let her 'help' with painting it. Give her things to carry when moving out of the old/into the new place.

  3. If possible, visit the new place with her beforehand. Show her around, tell her "this is going to be the bathroom, here will be our kitchen, this will be your new room..." The better she knows it, the less she will be afraid of her new environment.

  4. Try to maintain some sort of 'visible stability', e.g. keep the same pictures on the wall (even though you might want to use the opportunity of throwing away some of the older ones...)

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+1 good thoughts on combining some of the changes –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jul 16 '12 at 7:18
    
Also, a new bed hopefully will be seen as an exciting, special present. –  KitFox Jul 17 '12 at 15:32
    
GREAT ANSWER - I would hold off on the potty training until she is settled in to the new environment though. Starting and stopping suddenly can be confusing for a little one depending on the method used for potty training. Also, it will be a little more convenient to still have her in didi's during the moving process. –  balanced mama Nov 18 '12 at 23:31

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