So earlier last month we moved house with our 9 month old baby. Moving with a baby is a rather was a very hectic and interesting experience as we’d been in our previous house for 5 years. That was 5 years of accumulating stuff. Not only that, it was 4 years of hubby and I accumulating stuff before Baby H was born. In our old house we had 3 bedrooms, ours, a big study and a smaller room that was the guest room. The guest room had a double bed in it which was crammed with more stuff along with 2 big bookcases laden with hundreds of books. Under the bed there were lots of old things I’d brought from my parents house. Childhood presents, old tapes (see my post on that, here), and old school books, along with uni notes, a stepper machine, spare bed sheets, an old hi-fi…. you get the idea. When Baby H was born we turned that room into her nursery. It involved a big turf out of the stuff and transferring the remainder to the loft. We then filled the room with a nursing chair, cot, chest of drawers of clothes…. All new things. All new things which we also had to move as we moved house. Moving house with a baby definitely requires a few extra hands on deck, not just to move all that extra baby stuff, but to entertain baby and even help us pack before hand.
So you get the idea of how much stuff we had: LOADS. So we knew to moving was going to be interesting and have learnt a few lessons along with way, here they are to help you, and anyone you know who is, making the huge change of moving with a baby….
Tips for moving house with a baby:
- Get lots of proper moving boxes so you can stack them and they’re nice and secure. We were given computer boxes which were also really secure and had handles.
- Have help, my parents helped us and were amazing watching H as we packed, moved and unpacked. We couldn’t have done it without them, they were amazing.
- Hire a removals company if you can. We had so much more stuff than we thought, and a removals company would have made the day much less stressful.
- Start packing as far in advance as you can.
- Label boxes clearly and logically on the top and sides.
- Have new toys for baby to play with. We borrowed a jumperoo which kept H amused as we packed and once we moved as well.
- Keep some toys hidden for a while before moving, then baby will have a lovely surprise.
- Pack baby’s stuff very clearly and make them accessible. Definitely make sure the travel cot and vital toys are in a car so baby’s new bedroom can be set up straight away.
- Keep the kettle, milk, tea bags/coffee handy – cups of tea (and coffee) are essentials for every mum, and definitely every helping grandparent in our experience 🙂
- Buy moving day snacks to keep you going – some sweeties (haribo), chocolate bars, and crisps.
- Also my parents very kindly stopped at the supermarket on the way to our new house to let us go in and be there before they arrived. They brought us a much needed lunch: sandwiches, cocktail sausages and sausage rolls, which were much needed. So plan lunch into your moving day, whether that’s buying or preparing it the day before, or stopping off on the way.
- Make sure you have a way to play baby’s favourite TV programmes, be that Bing, Teletubbies or In the night garden, they might need it for routine or just to allow you to get on with moving process. I’d have hated to have a ‘I’m not going to bed, we’ve not watched In The Night Garden meltdown‘. H hadn’t slept well for the previous few nights, so she slept like a log for the first few nights, then was soon back to her normal waking-up self.
- Keep baby safety items, stair gates etc, handy so you can quickly get a baby safe room while you sort other stuff out.
- Even if it’s not summer, it might still be light when baby goes to bed, and may be light when they wake, so have curtains and blackout linings or blinds handy so that baby’s room can be made exactly how they like it as soon as you get there. A tired grumpy baby would not be ideal when you’re exhausted from moving!
- Don’t panic with unpacking, spend time figuring out your new house and enjoy exploring it with baby. We’ve moved things around a few times now as we figure out how we use the extra space and also what H can get into. We’ll get there soon enough 🙂