Juggling from preparing your things, labeling and managing your inventory, packing boxes, and a crying baby at the same time is not going to be easy. You can say that moving really sucks. But worry no more as we give you some tips and tricks on how you make sure that moving with your child can be less stressful.
Discuss The Move
First, if you have a toddler, make sure to discuss to them about the upcoming move. There is so much to do in preparation for your move: set up email forwarding, change over your utilities, and acquire packing supplies, and so on. The move, itself, is really the easy part as you'll spend most of your time packing and unpacking. If you want everything else to go as smoothly as possible, you'll need to prepare well. If you have a toddler, make sure to discuss to them about the upcoming move. When talking to your toddler about the move, use simple words, and make the prospect of moving sound like a fun and exciting adventure. Obviously, if you have a newborn, this piece of advice may not apply. Instead, do your best to remain calm during the moving process, as small children often pick up on their parents’ stressful emotions.
Organize and Separate Your Things
Non-essentials - avoid wasted time hunting for those pacifiers and toys by making sure that all of your baby’s non-essential belongings are neatly packed in boxes labeled “Nursery.” I recommend packing the nursery – and all of your baby’s things – last. Non-essentials include extra toys, blankets, clothes, and anything else you won’t need on the actual moving day (or immediate days after).
Baby essentials – after packing your baby’s non-essentials, collect the essential items in one or two separate boxes or bags. These should be the items you’ll need during the moving process and will want to take with you. To make your packing easier, we’ve included a checklist (below) of items to consider when boxing up your baby’s essential belongings:
- Clothing and pajamas
- Some sort of pack and play, high chair or bouncy seat to contain them for short periods of time
- Security blanket or favorite stuffed animal
- Breast pump and breastfeeding pillow
- Formula, juice and/or food
- Cooler if needed for breast milk 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
- First aid kit and thermometer
Make sure to have plenty of extra bottles and snacks on hand at all times. Keep your child as distracted as possible with whatever works: a new toy, activities, extra boxes to play with, or even an iPad with cartoons will do the trick.
Be Aware of Safety Concerns
Keep in mind that if you’re renting a truck like TR Group for a DIY move, there’s probably not a backseat for your baby’s car seat. If this is the case, just make sure someone you trust will be able to watch your baby while you drive the moving truck.
Additionally, keep potentially dangerous objects, such as scissors, cleaning supplies, and furniture with sharp edges, away from your child on moving day.
Take Your Toddler to Your New Community
Once your toddler understands that nothing bad is going to happen, you can start getting them excited about the move. If possible, take them to your new neighborhood and show them around. Is there a park close by? Take them there! Start making positive associations with moving to the new area and your toddler will see it as an adventure, not a loss.
Stick to Your Routine
If you have a bedtime routine in place or a napping schedule, try to keep that consistent before, during, and after your move as much as possible. Children fear the unknown, and this move is a big unknown for them. Plus, toddlers, in particular, do not like separation. Maintaining their basic day-to-day activities at regular intervals can help calm those fears and anxieties.
Establish that same routine in your new home as quickly as possible. Even though the walls around them have changed your child will feel that their world is still the same. This routine will also help your child go to bed on time, and a well-rested toddler is a happier toddler. This may mean that you unpack a little slower than you’d like, but the payoff is worth it.
Baby-proof the New Home
Finally, the last (and most important) step is to baby-proof your new home as soon as possible. Make sure to remove any potentially dangerous packing materials from the home. I also recommend cleaning the home extensively before officially moving in. Some noteworthy suggestions include:
- Use child-resistant locks on drawers containing matches, lighters, and knives and cleaning products.
- Use safety gates to block stairways and dangerous areas.
- Keep small objects like marbles, magnets, balloons, and balls away from children.
- Secure windows with window guards.
- Secure furniture to avoid tip-overs.
- Install smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide alarms – make sure to change the batteries once a year.
- Be aware of cords on blinds and window treatments, and make sure to keep cribs away from these choking hazards.
- Cover electrical outlets with outlet covers.
- Make sure all medicine and prescription cabinets are protected with child-proof locks.