Moving with a baby? My husband and I grew up in Montgomery County, and when we started dating and got engaged, we knew that is where we wanted to end up. We spent a few years living in Northwest DC, constantly searching for a house with a yard for the dog, a garage for my husband, an extra room for the baby and an office for me. It felt like my dreams came true when the house directly next to my best friend became available in Kensington, Maryland.
Kensington is equidistant between our parents’ homes. The house checked all the boxes: yard, garage, nursery and office. It all felt so perfect. Then, the thought of moving with a six month old became reality. It was chaotic, so I am sharing my lessons learned with 8 tips for moving with a baby. Use these best practices to ensure it goes more smoothly. Plus, read on for 6 tips for adjusting into your new neighborhood as a family!
8 Tips for Moving with a Baby
1. Plan: “Planning early” is easier said than done when you’re in the throes of parenting an infant, but it will save you some sanity down the road. Lining up professional movers, bulk pickup services, and other helping hands ahead of time is the way to go.
2. Baby banz earmuffs: we registered for these headphones, because I, for some reason thought that we would be going to many concerts with our baby, but it turns out we have not. The headphones have been perfect for packing, unpacking and construction noise. They’re inexpensive and when he’s in his activity center wearing them, he looks like a DJ spinning records at club LIV.
3. Pack essentials: pack as much as possible but without the essentials – it’s really hard to pack baby gear. Babies have so much stuff, but what I found made the most sense is to pack the majority of items. Leave out the baby essentials (two bottles, two pacifiers, two onesies, etc.) to wash over and over.
4. Take turns: If you have a partner, I found it to be best to trade often on between childcare and packing.
5. Babywearing: I was able to get a lot done by wearing my baby and packing easy things like towels, clothes, etc. I would not ever suggest lifting heavy things while babywearing, but the light stuff works.
6. Stroller as a dolly: I took off the bassinet off our UPPAbaby and used that for running loads out to the car. It’s incredible how much I was able to pack by using that method instead of the dolly or pushcart.
7. Hydrate and take care of yourself: You have to put the oxygen mask on first before you can help anyone else and if you’re exhausted, thirsty, tired, and hungry, you’re no good to anyone else. That was a big lesson for me to learn and especially important for breastfeeding mamas. If you’re stressed, your breastfeeding supply may be affected, so take care of you.
8. Keep Essentials Handy: Have extra diapers, formula, and anything you need on hand in several places. You never know when the blowout occurs.
6 Ways to Settle Into the New Neighborhood
Transferring your belongings from A to B is only part of the moving process. Here are some ways to get to know your new neighborhood:
1. Find out if your neighborhood has a listserv so that you can stay updated on events, news and recommendations. Look into Facebook groups or parent groups and you may even be surprised to find out that there’s a Google sheet filled with babysitter information. See if there are underground WhatsApp Groups for neighborhood moms. If there isn’t one, create one and invite moms that you meet walking around the neighborhood.
2. Nextdoor is a great way to find new doctors offices and learn which contractors you can trust.
3. Libraries are a great way to find out what’s happening. Did you know that Dolly Parton’s nonprofit Imagination Library offers FREE library books to babies when they’re born for the first five years of their lives?
4. Look for playgrounds, trails, and coffee shops (especially with bulletin boards) to find your way around town. The best way to get to know your neighborhood is by walking. I love getting lost walking through the streets.
5. Set up a Google alert for the name of your new neighborhood and words like “parenting”, “kids” and other terms that interest you so that you can be the first to know about events going on.
6. Be a neighbor you would want to have. As a new neighbor, introduce yourself to immediate neighbors. You can even leave a note on their door with some cookies.
Have you ever moved with a baby? What are your tips for moving with a baby to ensure a smooth process?