Moving day. It can be one of the most exciting days of the year. After all, you are turning the page on your life’s journey. For parents, it can also be one of the most stressful days as you struggle to keep your baby calm while packing, strapping, taping, planning, and cleaning up. Even the best of checklists can’t determine what sort of mood your baby will be in when the moving truck pulls up into the driveway.
It may seem impossible. However, fear not, because as many parents know our babies do whatever they feel like whenever they feel like. They are a delight, and they are unpredictable, and they are all ours to enjoy. Even on moving day! So even when the best laid out plans go awry, just remember you are doing a great job, ease up on yourself, and simply take life one box at a time.
Moving Day Begins Well Before Moving Day
Preparing for your move starts weeks and months before the actual day. This is true whether you have a baby or not. The sooner you start reducing and packing your stuff, the happier you and baby will be. What does this look like?
First, rather than trying to figure out how many boxes you need, decide what you can let go of. Chances are very good that you have accumulated ‘treasures’ in the dark corners of your closets and drawers that you don’t even remember you have. And, you probably have items right in the open that work well for your current home and may not be a great fit for your new residence.
Start reducing the stress by reducing the clutter. Recycle, sell, donate, and trash as appropriate.
It’s Not All About You
There is no shame in enlisting help. Super-mom or Super-dad is a myth, even for the best of us, because just beneath that cape of courage, is a regular human who gets tired, sore, cranky, and sometimes just needs a moment to themselves.
Ask your friends for recommendations. Allow them to help you find information on moving companies, where to find the best banks, doctors, insurance companies.
How about a purging party? Invite friends over to help you thin out your possessions and help you with the difficult decisions. When it comes time to clean, plan to hire someone to help. The last thing you will want to do after moving all day is clean.
And, It IS About Baby
Whether you will be traveling to a neighborhood nearby or far away, be sure you pack a road kit for your baby. These are all the essentials: wet wipes, diapers, powder, diaper rash cream, soft towels, etc. It also includes the necessities: change of clothes, food and drink (including water), pacifier, favorite toys, blanket, etc. Be sure you have packed any medications and copies of health records in case you need them on the road or upon your arrival. Remember, unpacking at your destination can be chaotic so be sure you have what baby needs close at hand for the drive and for a few days after arrival.
Take the Scenic Route
If you’re driving, plan to take a route that will pass by parks, rest stops, or playgrounds. It’s important to pace yourself and take frequent breaks. Stand up, stretch, get some fresh air. It’s much like the advice you may have received when you first brought your baby home: when the baby sleeps, you sleep. Except this time, the advice is: when the baby sleeps, you drive, and when the baby wakes up, take a break from driving.
If you’re flying, find out in advance from the airlines what type of documentation you need for baby. Make at least 2 copies of everything and put them in separate bags, just in case one gets lost. Remember to bring your bag of essentials with you. And, be prepared, many infants (and adults) experience discomfort and ear pain during take-off and landing. Ask your physician for suggestions to ease the pain.
Keep your Routines
Throughout the entire moving process, keep up your daily routines as much as possible. If nap times and feeding times remain relatively the same, with the same type of foods, then the surrounding chaos may have a lesser affect. Be mindful of how to talk, sing, cuddle and play. You may be more distracted, it’s natural. However, quality time invested during the process of moving can allow the whole experience to be better for everyone involved.
Talk to your baby often. The sound of a parent’s voice is soothing. Even if they are simply hanging out in their carrier or enclosure. Talk to them. Babies are amazing listeners even as you contemplate whether or not to keep the toaster oven you have never used. Sing, dance, and approach the whole adventure as another day of play and discovery. Good for you; good for baby.
Because at the end of the day. Everything will get moved and you will get to your destination. It may or may not happen as smoothly as you hoped. That doesn’t matter as much as looking at this as simply another adventure with your growing family.
About the Author:
Hayden Stewart is a contributing writer and media specialist for the Allied Van Lines Moving Blog. He regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle and home blogs, based around the transitional obstacles that come with moving, settling into a new home, and more.