I’m writing on the heels of a local move that went impressively well, both logistically and toddler-istically; I thought I would pass on moving tips before the packing peanuts go to my head.
Logistical suggestions: 1) hire movers (once you have kids – and all of their gear – it’s time to stop hitting up your friends for moving help); 2) confirm your moving appointment (we would have been waiting around a long time had we not done this); 3) line up an extra set of hands to help with your kid(s) if you are moving on the weekend (Auntie Sha-Sha was a godsend on moving day); 4) ruthlessly prune your belongings; and 5) if possible, donate or sell items before or during your move. You’ll not be surprised by the correlation between discard rate and remaining packing time.
Kid-specific suggestions (they require more description and thus, separate paragraphs…):
1. Keep as many variables constant as possible. For example, if you’re thinking about weaning or potty training or transition to a big kid bed, wait until after the move. Set up your babe’s bedding and critical comfort objects as soon as you get to your new home. Keep to your basic routines as best you can.
2. With toddlers and older kids, talk up the move in advance (another mama pal related success with drawing pictures of the move process, e.g., big trucks, riding on airplanes). We had overlap between our leases so we took Laurel to the new home and let her run around, explore, and had her pick a few toys to place in her new room (she really liked this). During one of these visits she saw a broom on the porch and started pushing it around, saying “Laurel cleaning new home!”
3. We exercised the Pack n’ Play as a potential transition necessity. We set it up a couple nights before the move since we needed to break down the crib the day before the move, and in case the crib broke in transit or we weren’t able to get it set up in time for midday nap. It had been a long time since our babe used the PnP (and quite honestly, she’s a bit big for it…); when asked whether she would like to sleep in the “special camping crib” or the “plain crib” she took the bait. Never mind that she had to sleep on a diagonal to fit in it!
4. While maintenance of daily routines will help provide stability amidst the transition, appreciate that it’s a stressful time for everyone and your babe likely will need some extra TLC. Laurel has been a bit overwhelmed by the size of our new flat (“big home, little scared”) and not surprisingly sleeping time has been a little scary for her. Typically, Laurel falls asleep on her own after we leave her room, but during the first day in the new home she was clearly scared; she refused to take her midday nap (we ended up taking her out for a drive and she passed out immediately) and at bedtime I stayed with her until she fell asleep. Yesterday, after a full day of play in the new house, she was more comfortable; we still stayed longer than usual before nap and bedtime, but we were able to leave while she was still awake. She’s being a champ, but we’re rolling with things and bending our typical patterns when needed to help her adjust.
5. Make a stop to stock up on fruit and fluids. Moving tends to involve a lot of takeout; the novelty wears off in a hurry and you’ll find yourself craving clean flavors and rehydration.
6. If friends offer to have you over for dinner so you can escape the boxes, take them up on it (thanks Nic!).
7. Pick out a couple of new toys or books as housewarming gifts for your babe.
8. Settle what you can but feel OK about taking breaks from unpacking so you all can enjoy downtime in your new home.
Feel free to comment if you have moving tips to share!