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Guide to Moving with a Baby

by Eileen B on Mar 5, 2014
This post will hopefully provide you a comprehensive guide on how to be prepared for a move with your baby.
moving with a babyWhen we made our cross-country move, our son was only 5 months old. In some ways moving with a baby is easier than moving with older children or even pets who want to run around, explore, be involved and get into things. In other ways, moving with a baby can be extremely challenging as you go without the comforts of home and mess with the schedule that your baby thrives one.

At 5 months, as a parent you are likely just starting to feel really settled into a routine and a little bit of predictably or consistency with your infant. Adding a move to your life will certainly mess with all of that but if you are prepared and go with the flow, you will get through your move in one piece! This post will hopefully provide you a comprehensive guide on how to be prepared for a move with your baby.

What to Expect When Moving with Baby

If you are considering a move with infants, you can expect some of these unique challenges:

> Disruption of napping and sleeping schedules. A dramatic change in schedule and surroundings can really mess with an infant’s sleeping and eating habits. Be prepared to comfort them more than normal to help them through this time of change.
> Having lots of “stuff” in tow. The smaller they are, the more things they need to get through the day. From pack-n-plays to strollers, car seats, diaper and bottle supplies, you will have your hands full with the necessary supplies to keep your little one happy.
> Moving slower than normal. Your baby’s needs will often come first and delay your packing or require more stops during travel. Don’t stress too much about taking your time and taking care of your baby first. You will get everything accomplished, eventually.

Baby Packing List - What Not to Pack in the Moving Van

Moving trucks are a godsend when it comes to efficiently getting all your belongings to one place. The problem is that once the boxes are packed inside, you can rarely get them out until you reach your destination.

While it’s a good idea to pack up the big baby items (the crib and changing table, those oversized stuffed animals that seemed like a good idea at the time), take extra time sorting through items to ensure you have everything you need. Normally you want to be conservative when packing your “carry-on” items, but with a baby I like to always pack extra or more than I need!

1. Enough diapers/wipes to last the trip (it’s a good idea to plan for 1/hour during transit)
2. Changing pad and blankets
3. Garbage bags for disposing of messes on the road
4. Portable crib
5. Supplies you need for feeding- from pumps to bottles and cleaning supplies
6. Favorite toys or stuffed animals
7. Extra pacifiers in case they get lost
8. Enough clean, comfortable outfits (prepare for changes of weather as you travel, as well)
9. Baby first-aid kit (with tot-specific medicine and portions)
10. Inflatable bath tub and baby shampoo
11. Collapsible stroller (a sling or pouch carrier offers a lightweight alternative to this)
12. Car seat and accessories
Bonus item: Baby friendly music for long car rides

If necessary, rent a larger van or car for your travel to accommodate all this equipment. While you can pare down your baby packing list to fit in a compact car, chances are you’ll want a little room to stretch out and relax as you undertake your big move.

Entertaining Baby during the Move 

Most parents on the move are prepared for the trials of keeping a baby entertained and quiet during transit. You may have games and toys, soothing music and distractions. All of these things are great, and you know what suits your baby best.

However, it’s important to remember that the travel portion of moving is only one small part of the entire process. You’ll also need your hands free and your attention undistracted while you’re packing up the house and moving in to the new one.

Consider hiring a babysitter or recruiting a family member to play “nanny” for the week surrounding your move. If you have the opportunity to hand the bulk of childcare to someone you trust (and who can be on hand to help with packing when you’re enjoying your own baby time), by all means, take advantage of it.

Moving to a new location is one of those times in life when it’s important to surround yourself by people who can lend a helping hand. From professional movers to friends and family, help in any form is worth looking into.

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