Moving is stressful for most people, but for parents of infants and young children, relocating can be downright exhausting. How can you pack while your baby is crying or your toddler is pitching a fit? And you don’t want to make tons of noise taping up boxes and moving furniture around while the little ones are napping. Need help switching zip codes without losing your mind? Check out these helpful tips for moving with little kids in tow:
- Ask for help. Arrange for a friend, family member or babysitter to keep the little ones entertained for you while you are packing and unpacking. You may also want to hire a professional cleaning service to give you one less thing to worry about.
- Create an inventory. Little kids require a lot of stuff–more than you may realize until it’s time to pack it all up. Many moving companies calculate moving costs based on weight, so if your child has outgrown items that you don’t plan on using again, now is the time to sell or donate them.
- Pack baby’s room last. Keep your little one’s room as intact as possible until the last minute, so his environment remains as familiar as possible. Disassemble the crib the morning of moving day. Try to have your movers pack nursery items last so that they are the first things off the truck at your new home.
- Bring essentials yourself. Be sure to keep your child’s favorite toys, food supplies and snacks, diapers, essential medicines and a few changes of clothing with you on moving day. The last thing you’ll want to do when you arrive at your new home is dig through boxes looking for those things.
- Reassure your child about the move. Even infants can sense when they are in a new environment, so be prepared for an adjustment phase. Let toddlers help pack their (non-breakable) items, and offer a reassuring tone of voice so your children aren’t overwhelmed by the bustle of moving day.
- Make moving fun. If possible, visit your new neighborhood with your toddler and show her all of the new exciting attractions, such as playgrounds, parks and ice cream shops. Your little one will pick up on your enthusiasm.
- Set up your child’s room first. You’ll probably be living out of boxes for a while, but the sooner you can create a relaxing environment for your child, the sooner you’ll maintain his routine and you’ll all get a better night’s rest. Don’t forget to childproof the room so you can keep him contained in a safe environment while the rest of the house is being unpacked.