NEW BABY, NEW HOME
Simple steps to help you move house with a baby
By Lucy Todd
So a few months after having a baby, I felt it just wasn’t quite enough. If only there were some way I could make my life that little bit more complicated and stressful. Got it… how about having a baby THEN moving house shortly afterwards. Yessss!! *claps hands in glee.
But seriously - no, it wasn’t that after just four and a half months mumming had become a doddle and I’d decided to look for a new challenge. The house move had actually been going on since just after we found out I was pregnant. We sold our old two-bed flat almost instantly and managed to find our ideal des res within a few months. There was no chain and everything was looking favourable for a quick sale. Alas, it was not to be. The idea of getting into the new place and making it all cosy and baby-friendly before the Little One arrived didn’t pan out quite as we envisaged. Seven and a half months later we finally got the keys. The two of us. And a four and a half month old.
But fear not, it is totally do-able and not quite the sum of all fears that we’d imagined whilst i was pregnant. So find below my top tips for moving house with baby. One thing i would say is that if you can’t move before the arrival of your little one, then try to leave it til they are at least three months old. By that stage they are able to go just a little bit longer between feeds, and there is at least a small chance you may have a rough idea of when they’ll be hungry/tired etc. If you have two or more kids, enlist someone to take the older ones off your hands for the duration if possible. You know kids LOVE sleepovers, right..?
AHEAD OF THE MOVE
1. When you’re getting things ready for the move realise that it will take you days to do something that it might have taken you just a morning to do pre-baby. Sorting out drawers for example. Filing unopened bank statements.
2. with Number 1 in mind, start decluttering early doors - you don’t want to spend time and money moving stuff that you ultimately have no use for. They say, as a rule of thumb, it takes about twice as long as you think. And then i reckon about four times longer than that when you have a baby.
3. Start informing banks, utility companies, your internet service provider, magazine subscriptions etc of your new address around 3-4 weeks ahead of the move if you can. There are free websites you can sign up to that do it all for you when you input the relevant information.
4. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, express some extra for a week or two preceding the move so someone else will be able to do a baby feed.
DURING THE MOVE
5. Get professional movers in and consider opting for an enhanced packing / unpacking service if you can afford it. Be aware that they can cost a lot more though and it’s worth shopping around. At the very least, get your movers to rebuild any furniture that’s had to be dismantled during the move, like beds or tables.
6. Forget any kind of imposed routine. Let baby sleep as long as they like and feed them when their yelps become too persistent to ignore any more.
7. Enlist help. Someone to watch baby for even a few hours is really useful. Call on family members, friends, neighbours or anyone who you trust to look after your little one for a bit.
8. Make sure the baby bouncer / playmat is to hand for when you do have baby. Make a room, or a corner of a room, their little space and make sure you have plenty of toys to keep them occupied. Have their carrycot / travel cot nearby for nap times.
9. After a hard day’s unpacking in your new home, decamp to someone else’s house or even to a hotel, if you must. This might sound like crazy talk what with being finally in your new pad and all excited and stuff, but trust me. Having a safe haven in which to do baby bath time and the evening feed is a godsend. Somewhere clean and clutter-free where you can sit on the sofa and watch an hour’s telly before falling exhausted into bed is honestly the best thing you can do for yourselves. We stayed at my mum’s for three nights!
10. Don’t even think of cooking that first night. Perfect time to test out your new local takeout, i’d have thought?
AFTER THE MOVE
11. Make sure you and your partner have cleared your diaries the few days following moving day to try to get things as sorted as possible. Once the main furniture is in place, take your time with the rest. You need time to live in your new house in order to figure out the best homes for your stuff anyway.
12. Ditto any major house renovations. Live in your new home for six months before getting plans drawn up for building work. You need to get a feel for the house and the ways in which you’ll use it. You might be surprised at how your priorities change.
Try to relax and not stress too much. It’ll all work out in the end, you’ll see.