Recently, a friend of mine asked me about how hard it was to move with a baby. We did it last year and I tried to remember if having a baby made it any harder…
Moving house is a mission at any time. I mean, I’d go as far as to say that moving is one of THE most stressful things you can do. Getting packed, loading stuff up, unpacking, the months of disarray as you search for the tin opener – in short, it’s tough. What makes it even trickier is when you throw a young baby in for good measure. We recently moved house with a baby and I definitely learnt a few things that I’d love to have known before .
When you’re packing the house up, do so sequentially. I know it sounds counter intuitive and a bit fussy, but packing in the order you want to unpack saves tonnes of undue stress when you arrive at your new place. It also saves loads of time too, which is really important when you have a baby to look after too. With one of you watch the baby, things can take twice as long – especially when it comes to where everything needs to go.
Keep the essential baby bits unpacked until the very end. We kept the baby’s cot and play bits out until the very end. While we were sleeping on the mattress on the floor, it was business as usual for the baby. I think it worked out well because it minimised disruption to what he had got used to – handy to avoid meltdowns during an already stressful time.
Speaking of sleeping, keeping the routine as normal as possible is another sure-fire way to avoid any baby based disasters. It can be overwhelming for babies to move environments, especially when their little senses are so heightened and accustomed to a specific place. Keeping their normal routine ensures your baby is able to follow their usual pattern. This also helps you plan when you can unpack and sort out. Nap times are golden for getting the boxes done and setting things up.
Getting some kind of confinement for the baby means that you can get some jobs done. A playpen or something similar gives you a few minutes to potter around and do some jobs while your baby is in a safe place. It also gives you a space to put the baby when you’re sorting their room out too. The last thing you want is your little one getting too close to stacked boxes or near people carrying heavy things.
I know it isn’t always an option, but extra pairs of hands make the workload a lot lighter. Luckily, we had my mum and dad on hand, who were an absolute godsend when we moved. If they weren’t watching the baby, they were doing jobs, meaning everything got sorted way more quickly. Without them, I think we’d still be unpacking!
Upon reflection, moving with a baby was actually better than moving without one. I think because we were so prepared, moving was way smoother. So, don’t worry it isn’t actually that bad!