Babies love their routines and sticking to their sleep and feed cycles can often mean disruptions to your packing and moving tasks. Many parents try to move before their babies are born or wait until they are bigger and have longer sleeps. Sometimes this just isn’t an option. Homes settle outside our preferred schedules. Leases end without a renewal option. Not to fret!
Here are some tips to help you get through your move with a baby that is 0-6 months old.
Research local GPs, daycare, etc if moving to a new suburb
When you’re moving to a new area you may have chosen something family-friendly with parks and great schools, but with a new baby there are other key services that will be important for the first 6 months.
Before you choose a suburb, find a good GP and/or a paediatrician. Check out the local daycares and put yourself on the waitlists for any that you like as Sydney daycare waitlists are notoriously long. Find a local breastfeeding clinic or health services if this is something you’ll need. Ask them about a mothers’ group or find one online. It will be fantastic to set these up before you move so once you are in your new home you know where to go if you need anything!
Packing carefully and thoughtfully
Newborns and their caregivers need easy access to essentials. Set aside nappies, bottles, the steriliser, breastpump or formula, clothes, swaddles and other essentials to be packed last.
Do not add unnecessary pressure for yourself by packing everything in one week! Start packing early as packing when you have a baby takes a lot, lot longer. If you’re feeling fit, putting baby in a carrier while he or she sleeps can give you mobility while you pack while keeping bub happy.
Once a box is packed, move it to a place where the baby has no access such as the garage. This has the added benefit of being easier for the removalists to load onto the truck. Consider using reusable plastic crates as these are harder for young babies to access as they are sturdier and will not tip over and fall on your baby like cardboard flatpacks.
Enlist some help
Get help from family or friends to help you pack and move so that you can still attend to your babies’ needs. Get them to watch the baby on moving day or when you’re packing. If you can’t get any help, consider hiring packing and moving services.
The great thing about a packing service is that you can book it on the same day as your move or the day before. This way, you don’t have to change anything with bub or with the home routine at all until the day the professionals come in. This is especially important for breastfeeding mums as stress can affect milk supply. Once we packed for a lady with a newborn. We did all the packing for every room while she breastfed and had skin-to-skin time with her 6 week-old daughter while watching Netflix. Talk about a stress-free move!
Plan moving day ahead of time with baby in mind
Book the move around your baby’s sleep patterns. It’s easier for the move to start after the baby’s first wake up and feed and to end before their evening sleep. Book a bigger team (3 men instead of 2) if it will get done quicker!
Move some of the baby’s essentials ahead of the big move. It might be good to have a bassinet, a travel change mat, nappies and other essentials already set up at the new address before the baby arrives.
Plan what will happen with the baby on the big moving day. If possible one parent should be with the baby elsewhere (in nan and pop’s house for example) or in a designated baby area with all of baby’s things in the new address. If you have to stay with the removalists and keep the newborn with you at all times prepare, prepare and prepare! Before moving day, empty the baby’s room of everything but essentials.
Give clear instructions to the removalists then you can nip off to the nursery and do feeds and tummy time as usual and let the men work independently. Ask the removalists to move the baby’s nursery contents last while you secure bub to the car seat. At the delivery address, as the nursery was the last room to be packed and loaded on to the truck it will be the first to be unloaded. This will make it easier for you to set up the baby’s room first and settle him or her back into their routine.