Moving is always a stressful situation, and moving long distances is even more stress-inducing. When you add a baby to the mix, it’s a recipe for feeling completely overwhelmed quickly.
If you’ve never moved with a baby or young child, there are probably small issues you haven’t even considered yet, and that’s okay. Below you’ll find five tips to help save your sanity and make the move a little less hectic.
1. Find a Pediatrician First
You might think that you’ll have plenty of time to find a pediatrician once you’re settled in your new city. However, you can’t plan for your child suddenly becoming ill or having trouble finding a pediatrician that you feel comfortable with. Before you move, it’s best to talk with your current pediatrician for recommendations. You should also keep a copy of your child’s medical records in a file folder for the actual move in case of an emergency.
2. Map Your Route
While you obviously won’t be driving to your new home blindly, you can save yourself a lot of headache by researching rest stops, hotels, hospitals and family-friendly dining along your route beforehand. If you have a very young infant, you may not have to stop as frequently, but older babies and young children will likely need a lot of breaks from the car seat. It’s much easier to have a reference list of places you can stop instead of scrambling with your smartphone map on the fly.
3. Don’t Pack Too Early
It can be tempting to get a head start on packing things whenever you have a bit of spare time. This might seem like a great idea, but if you’re more than a few weeks away from your move date, you might end up causing yourself more stress than you realize. Navigating through a maze of boxes is irritating and anxiety-inducing and trying to keep a baby away from packed boxes can be more of a struggle than you might think.
4. Consider Hiring Movers
If your baby isn’t in daycare or you can’t take time off work to pack boxes or load a truck without your child present, it might be worth the money to hire a professional moving company. Packing and loading belongings is difficult work even without a child, but most parents agree that it’s nearly impossible to do so with a baby to watch. This small investment of money can save you a significant amount of stress and time.
5. Pack Baby’s Necessities Together
When you do pack your baby’s things, be sure to have a separate, clearly labeled box that contains anything you’ll need right away for your child. This may include a few outfits, diapers, wipes, a spare pacifier, clean bottles, bath supplies and anything else you normally keep within arm’s reach on a daily basis.
6. Stay Cool
Ultimately, it’s often more stressful to anticipate moving day than it is to move. Even if everything doesn’t go smoothly, chances are good that you won’t run into anything you can’t handle. Moving with a baby can be complicated, but it’s manageable if you plan as much as possible.