Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tips for Moving with Babies

We recently moved about 25 minutes away. With twin toddlers. Yes, we are crazy and yes, it was a really really really long but well-planned out event. I do not recommend moving with small children if you can at all avoid it, but you know that's not always possible. The boys were 11 months old, walking and eating solid food, with about 4 bottles a day still, so your experience may vary!  Here are a couple of tips I have for you - in case you ever need to go through this.

1. Pack up baby necessities last. We barely touched the boys' nursery until the morning of the move. Unlike adult humans, little humans tend to get grumpy if they don't have their specific crib to sleep in, their specific toy when they want it or enough outfits to last them a week. Adult humans can live out of a suitcase for a week if needed and don't need rails and pacifiers to go to sleep.

2. Set up the baby area first. Make sure their stuff is the first stuff you find and unpack so you're not looking for that one lovey or blankie come bed time, because it will have been a really long day and you will not want to try to find it. Not that your screaming baby will give you time to find it, anyway. Also, set up a baby-proofed safe spot for them first thing so they are not running around sticking fingers in electrical sockets or playing in a toilet. You'll thank me later for this idea, even though it seems like common sense. 

3. Keep their schedule as close to the same as possible. MAKE SURE THEY CAN NAP. We dealt with two overly tired babies because they did not nap well. Bedtime was a disaster. You'll also want to make sure they eat (pre-make a couple of meals that travel well so you're not scrambling trying to come up with food at the last minute!) around the same times they usually do. Don't let them skip a meal because they are too distracted by everything else that's going on.

4. Do as much as you can in one day. Instead of trying to deal with a week of out-of-whack-ness, try to consolidate and do everything you can in one day. Even if that day ends up being 20 hours long. Instead of having overstimulated, exhausted babies fighting bedtime for a week, make it a day or two. You're an adult, you can do it - I believe in you!

5. Enlist help. Like so much help. If you think you have enough help, double it. We called in every favor we could and had about 12 people helping us move in one day. I was in charge of unpacking as the man-folk brought loads of stuff from our old house. I had at least one person assigned to a baby at any given time and then extra people helping wherever and whenever they could. It helps that I have a big family and everyone has a significant other... so... lots of capable hands to do heavy lifting! Now we'll just have to pay back the favors whenever someone else is moving...

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