Preparing toddler for big move and new baby - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 02-11-2009, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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(X-post in Toddlers. I wanted to put this here too because I thought posters here would have some experience with intl moves and the cultural changes that go along - mods, please move if inappropriate!)

Ds (27 months) and I are moving from France to the US sometime at the beginning of April. Dh will come at the beginning of May but we will not be together right away - I will be staying with my parents and he will be 2 1/2 hours away starting his new job until we find a house together. I am also pregnant and due in the beginning of June - I plan on staying with my parents until after baby is born.

I'm not sure when and how to prepare ds for all this! (I don't know how to prepare myself for all this! But that's another thread... ) Should I start talking about it now? How can I talk to him about what's going to happen without him thinking it's happening tomorrow? He obviously has no concept of what 'in two months' means and when I mention something we're going to do in the future, he often keeps bringing it up until it happens. How do I prepare him for the fact that this is not just a long visit to see Nanna and Poppi (we go every summer for 2-3 months) and we will not be coming back to his 'home'? Should I wait to talk about the baby's arrival until we are closer to the due date? He already knows there is a 'baby in mommy's tummy' and I don't want to overwhelm him with too much information at once...

Any advice, BTDT stories or other helpful comments are welcome!
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#2 of 2 Old 02-12-2009, 06:21 PM
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Well, I did the same move a year ago and am preparing to move back to France, so here's what our experience was like....

I wouldn't say too much to your DC until you start packing things. Or if the movers do all the packing, tell your DC 2-3 days beforehand. Then explain that you are going to live in a new place, and you are taking all the furniture, toys, books, etc with you.

If you are leaving before the movers come, I would start bringing it up the same way you would before your summer visits, maybe a week or two ahead of time.

Keep the explanations short and simple. One step at a time! I would probably say, "We're going to Nanna and Poppi's soon! Won't that be fun! And while we're there, your little brother /sister will arrive." Don't get into the second move now, it's too abstract.

Since it takes 6ish weeks for things to arrive, I brought along in our luggage a few favorite books, stuffed animals and toys, as well as familiar plates, cups, and utensils, also his pillow and some blankets/quilts, so he'd have some familiar objects around him.

As for explaining things, I'm telling DS that we're going to France, we're going to live in a new apartment, just me, him, his Baba and our cat. I talk to him about our friends there and what we'll do. I don't talk about how he won't be living with his grandparents any more or see his local friends, I feel like that will stress him out and we can address it when he asks about it.

At 29 months he totally understands that people live in different places, which is why we don't get to see them every day. I'm sure your child will astound you by his adaptability.

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