Congratulations! You’ve just had a baby, or you’re about to have one. On top of that, you’re moving to a new home. Maybe that’s because you’re ready to upsize to a bigger place. Maybe it’s because you found a new job or maybe it’s because you’re being transferred. Whatever the reason, moving is a major event and one that can be especially stressful when you’re taking care of a newborn. To help keep make the whole process easier, consider these helpful tips:
Think about moving before the baby is born.
Moving with babies is challenging because they’re not on your schedule – you’re on theirs. So if you’re able to move sooner rather than later, consider relocating before the baby is born. This isn’t always feasible. For example, if you’re moving long distance, it means finding new doctors in a new town. But if you’re moving locally and that’s not an issue, it’s worth weighing the benefits of moving before the baby’s due date. Once a baby is born, it needs near-constant attention, and adhering to a routine is important. By settling into your new home ahead of time, you can focus all your energy on the baby when it arrives instead of worrying about a move.
Leave plenty of lead time to pack.
If your baby is already born, then your schedule is shaped by its wants and needs. It can be difficult for new parents to make time for organizing a move and packing their belongings. Realistically, you’ll probably find yourself packing while the baby is asleep. One way to create time for yourself is to start early and give yourself a longer time horizon to finish the job. That way, you can pack a little here and a little there until it’s all finished without interrupting your baby’s routine.
Find doctors for your baby, before you move.
There’s more to moving long distance than settling into your new home. It also takes time to settle into your new community. That said, one thing that can’t wait is finding a pediatrician for your baby. Before you move, take time to research doctors in the area. You can read reviews online and ask your current pediatrician for recommendations. After you’ve moved, you can always switch doctors based on recommendations from locals, but until then, it’s a good idea to have someone on call ahead of time.
On move day, get help watching your baby.
Move day is a busy time that will find you juggling between the roles of parent and project manager, caretaker and coordinator. It’ll go more smoothly if you hire a turnkey moving company to help with packing and relocation, but even then you’ll still need to be involved and available during the process. The truth is, you’ll need an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands, so think about hiring a professional nanny or calling in a favor with a friend or family member – someone who can help keep tabs on baby during the move. Remember, you’ll need help on both ends of the move.
Pack a ‘go bag’ of baby essentials.
Every family that moves should have essential items set aside, the important and necessary items that stay with them during the move instead of going on the truck. When a baby’s involved, that list of items expands to include everything you need to keep your newborn comfortable and happy: Diapers, wipes, formula or milk, breast pump, bibs, blankets, clothing, and so on. When in doubt, pack more than you think you’ll need.
Watch for signs that your baby is distressed.
Moving can be extremely stressful for adults, so imagine how stimulating and overwhelming it can be for a baby. During the move, watch out for signs that your baby is overstimulated and take some of the actions described in this article for soothing an overstimulated baby.
Set up your baby’s room first.
When the move is complete and it’s time to unpack, start with your baby’s room. The quicker you get the room set up, the sooner your baby can start adapting to the new space and routine in your home. To make this part of the process go more smoothly, make sure your baby’s items are packed and labeled separately from the rest of your belongings. When you arrive at your new home, it should be easy to identify and isolate your baby’s things, so you can unpack them right away.
Baby-proof your new home ASAP.
Before or immediately after the move, you should baby-proof your home. For a handy guide on what to address in your new home, check out Part 2 of our series on what to do when you’re moving with a baby next week.