Children face physical and emotional challenges when change happens, no matter how old they are or how many times they have been face-to-face with change. When parents are in tune with their child’s “language,” especially during change and transition, they can effectively minimize the negative impacts of change.
The vast majority of information geared toward parents to help them provide this protection to their kids when moving identifies talking early and often about the move, explaining, listening to children’s fears and frustrations, and showing empathy. But what about infants? They can’t talk yet so we’re all good, right? Just keep doing what we’re doing and they’ll be fine. Right?? Not so much.
Experts used to tell us that not much is going in a child’s brain on between birth and three but we now know that’s not true. The most significant brain development happens before the age of three, with 90% of a child’s brain development occurring before the age of five. Something is obviously happening in that adorable head of theirs. We just don’t know what it is and we can’t really explain to them what’s happening in the world around them as well.
All of this is not to say that infants can’t communicate. Anyone who’s dealt with a fussy baby knows they are quite adept at making their presence known when they are in need. So how do parents provide this layer of protection when the more tried and true methods don’t quite work?
You can take a look at this previous blog post on helping your preschooler during a move for a couple of clues. Here’s a hint: Look in the mirror. First and foremost, your infant will respond to your cues. The more stressed you are, the more stressed they will be. Practice radical self-care during this time. You can still talk to your baby and tell her what’s going on. She won’t necessarily understand the actual words, but the sound of your voice sooths her. Finally, pay attention to your baby’s rhythms and routines. You might be having dinner at 10pm but make sure his sleep/eat/play routines stay as on-track as possible.
No parent should have to move without a written game plan. To get connected with a Moving Families Initiative® Preferred Real Estate Agent™, visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.