Tips for Moving with a Baby
My husband and I recently made the move from Chicago to my hometown in Southern Indiana. (If you’ve been reading along at home, yup, we just moved to Chicago last summer. Cue the song “On the Road Again…”) Having a child teaches you a lot, though. And one of the biggest things it taught us is the importance of having family nearby. So we packed up our apartment and moved six hours south. I don’t particularly love the process of moving to begin with, but attempting the process with an eight-month-old is a whole new ballgame – especially in a 1,000 square foot apartment. Here are some tips and lessons we learned in our moving process that may help you in your moving-with-baby adventures.
5 TIPS TO MAKE MOVING WITH A BABY A LITTLE EASIER
- Don’t start packing too early. “Early” is definitely a subjective term, and it’s really dependent upon how large your space is and how much you have to pack up. For us, living in a 1,000 square feet automatically meant we didn’t have an over abundance of packing to do. If you start packing too early, then you end up living in a sea of packed boxes for far too long. When you already live in a small space, this can be incredibly frustrating. Besides the fact that these boxes are an eyesore, they provide yet another object that your baby can pull up on and risk hurting him or herself on. Of course, you don’t want to wait until the last minute either. Just plan wisely and save yourself some stress.
- Take a day off from work to pack. We did not do this, but I certainly wish we had. Packing boxes with a baby in the house is completely different than doing so without one. The logical time to pack would be when the baby is sleeping. If you’re living in a small space, though, you become concerned with the noise you’re making while loading the boxes and the dreaded loud screech of the packing tape dispenser. Taking one day while your baby is in child care to knock out a large portion of the packing would be extremely helpful.
- Hire movers and get the baby out of the apartment or house. My husband and I knew that taking on the task of packing the truck with a baby was simply not possible. We couldn’t leave Beckett to fend for himself in the apartment, and I certainly wasn’t game for carrying him and a piece of furniture down the stairs and onto the truck. So the logical answer was to hire movers. When they arrived, I took Beckett with me in the car to run a few last minute errands while my husband hung back to help the movers. It worked out so well. He wasn’t in the way, and was able to take a nap in the car. So save a few errands for moving day or take your baby to a friend’s house while the truck is being packed.
- Secure a pediatrician before you move. This is a lesson I learned the hard way, as I planned on taking care of this after we were settled in Indiana. We moved on a Saturday, and the next Monday Beckett had a fever of 102.9 accompanied by a runny nose and a nasty cough. Instead of being able to calmly call my pediatrician and make an appointment, I was frantically texting friends asking for recommendations, trying to figure out who was covered by our insurance and making multiple calls to pediatricians’ offices to see if they were accepting new patients. Long story short – we ended up at an urgent care office. It all turned out fine, of course, but I could have saved myself a lot of stress and my son a few hours of misery had I taken care of this ahead of time.
- Put all of baby’s necessities in one box and know where it is. Depending on how far away you’re moving, you may not have the energy to unpack all of your boxes the same day that you arrive. Pack one box with all of the things your baby will need in the first 24 hours after you arrive. This could include diapers, wipes, pajamas, an outfit (or two) for the next day, your baby bathtub, shampoo/body wash, formula, sleep sack, spoons and anything else that will fit. This will keep you from being forced to unpack just to find these necessities or running out and buying something just because you don’t know where you packed it.
In all honesty, I think the anticipation of moving day was more stressful than the day itself. So try and take a deep breath and plan things out to the best of your ability. Moving with a baby is not easy, but with some planning and preparation it actually can go pretty smoothly.