Moving with a baby – is it a smart idea?
Every once in a while, life will throw us a major bone to chew on. Moving to another home is definitely one of those bones. Moving with a baby? Well, if you need to do it, you will do it. Maybe you need to move for family reasons. Maybe your current lease has ended. Maybe you just need to move to a more spacious home which will be better for your whole family and you’ve finally got all the resources for it. Whatever the reason is, rest assured that it is possible, and many have done it before you. We have compiled some useful bits of advice for you to consider before moving with a baby.
Make a moving strategy
Before embarking on this journey, it is extremely important to learn how to move trouble-free. You will spare yourself a lot of beginner mistakes if you do a proper research. Sure, you can always listen to someone you personally know, but in this day and age, the internet’s become so resourceful that it’s a pity not to use these advantages!
So, what do you need to make a solid moving strategy for your move? First, give yourself a comfortable time frame. If a time frame for moving without a baby would be 4 weeks, give yourself 40 days to be able to move with a baby like a champ. Instead of pulling an allnighter, it will be so much better if you pack bit by bit, using your baby’s nap times and early bedtimes. Pack the things you will not immediately need first, and leave the essentials for right before the move. Also, depending on the distance and the amount of stuff you’re moving, consider hiring a professional moving company.
Lists are great for strategizing your packing process
When you make lists, you can keep an eye on all the things you will need and keep the process under control. We find it useful to make lists of essentials and non-essentials, as the baby gear can get quite overwhelming – so much stuff everywhere! But do you really need all of it at the same time?
In general, it’s best to leave the whole nursery for the last. After you pack everything else, you will have to strategize and put into boxes (label them with ‘Nursery’) your baby’s stuff.
Pack non-essentials first
Anything that you will NOT need on the actual moving day and the first days after goes under non-essentials. This includes clothes, toys, blankets, and literally anything else you have for your little one, which isn’t a bare necessity.
Pack baby essentials to take with you
Once you’ve boxed all of the non-essentials, move on to the essentials. You can pack them in one or two boxes or bags. Pack the things you use every day, including the moving day and the immediate days after the move.
A checklist of baby essentials to have with you for the moving day
- Rash cream
- Clothing and pajamas
- High chair or bouncy seat to occupy them for short periods of time
- Security blanket or favorite stuffed animal
- A few favorite toys
- Formula, juice and/or food
- Breast pump and breastfeeding pillow (if you use them)
- Cooler if needed for breastmilk and formula
- Sippy cups
- Extra pacifiers
- Stroller and carrier
- Bath items
- Car seat
- Extra bags for dirty diapers and messy clothes
- Any medications you may need or regularly use
- First aid kit and thermometer
Stick to your baby’s routine
One of the greatest challenges of new parenthood is making – and keeping a routine for your baby and you. Moving is definitely a time when things and routines change, but with a bit of an effort, the effects of it on your routine could be minimal. If you play your cards right and try to maintain your usual routine, you can rely on your child’s innate adaptive mechanism to do its magic and do just great in your new home. On the day of your move, if there needs to be some long driving, make it around your baby’s usual nap time – two birds with one stone!
Organize childcare for the moving day
All of your careful boxing and preparation and lists can be like squashing water if in the end, due to too much stress, you mix up all the order and end up packing random boxes to the van. If you can, by all means, find someone to babysit for you, grandparents, friends, a babysitter… Doesn’t matter. It will make a huge difference for both you and your baby not to be around on a moving day.
Once you’re in your new place
Unpack the nursery first
As we mentioned before that the packing of the nursery should be the last thing on your list, now unpacking should come first. If you immediately set up a safe space for your baby to resume its normal activities (playing, crawling, spending time in the activity gym), (s)he will be very happy and might not fuss about the change of scenery. Would it be possible for you to recreate the same room as in your previous home?
Baby-proof your new home
Baby-proofing should be your first priority after you unbox all your stuff. Make sure that none of the wrapping materials which can be dangerous (such as bubble wrap) are within your baby’s reach. Also, pay attention to your new home – are there some potentially dangerous areas? Unguarded stairs? Sharp corners of the walls? You can always consult an official authority for information on baby-proofing your home.
Moving with a baby can be a smart idea if you do it wisely. If you prepare yourself thoroughly and make a safety net for all the potential situations during your move, you and your baby will be just fine. Make sure to take into account all the moving advice. Preparing for the relocation stress is key! Bear in mind the reasons why you are moving and look forward to a new chapter in your life. And your baby will be just fine, too!