Tuesday, June 24, 2014

10 tips for packing with a sensory sensitive toddler.

1 : Involve them in the packing.

Imagine being someone who likes routine and doesn't cope well with change, waking up to your environment that's so different.
Involve your little person with the packing, if it take you 10 times as long, it sure is worth it for them. Give yourself extra time to pack so your little one can help. Plus! Wow! Do they love 'helping'.
Talk to them while you pack the boxes, even if you think they may not understand, let them know what you're packing and that you're putting it in the box, get them to help you, show them the now empty space ect. Make packing into a fun little game - boy do I wish it was!

2 : Leaving toddler's room until last.

I must say, we did pack up a little bit of my son's room, but have left a lot until last aswell. You don't want to throw to much more change at them, and even a slight change can be a big deal. Changing a bedroom can be like moving all over again for some. So leave their environment until last, so they still have their place to go to which is the same, while everything else is being packed up.

3 : Unpack toddler's room first.

Basically the same as the last point, but allowing them to settle into their new room while the rest of the house gets unpacked. Giving them a safe place.

5: Create a 'quite area'.

A tee-pee or a tent is perfect for this, set up a little area where they can escape from any sensory overload. Their area.

6: Keep in mind over stimulation. 

Remember that packing and unpacking creates a lot of stimuli for a little one. Pulling out things they haven't seen in a while, playing with boxes, new and exciting things about, and of course, lots of changes in the environment. Allow lots of playing and exploring, but keep in mind that this all can over stimulate easily, especially if you have toddler with sensory issues.

7: Prepare for lack of sleep.

I think this is a given when packing and moving anyway, but with my toddler, packing up his environment effected him so much that he stopped sleeping (and talking!), and he would only sleep in his mummy's arms. Lots of comfort. It got better after a couple of weeks.

8: Prepare for behavioural changes.

Aren't toddlers frustrated enough? Add in environmental, routine and a whole heap of other changes and you have one cranky toddler on your hands. Plus, if they aren't sleeping, it makes these moods so much worse!

9: Routine!

As much as you can, I know it can be so hard, stick to your normal routine to avoid too much change and stress on your little one.

10: Introduce things.

If there is going to be new things in the new house, especially their bedroom, show them if you can, before the move. For us, we changed my son's room theme. We introduced his new bedding to him (which is usually fairly difficult for him to cope with). His new bedding will follow him through the move, and help him with settling into his new room.

Hope this helps!

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