Hitting the road with an infant in tow
Making a long-distance move with a baby might seem intimidating, but it can be done easily with the right preparation. Start with choosing a family-friendly moving service like U-Pack® that gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace. Then, make a plan for before, during and after the move so the transition with a little one will go smoothly.
Plan ahead: prepare your baby before relocating
Moving takes a lot of planning and prep work. Handle these things beforehand to make the upcoming move easier for your little one.
Schedule a doctor’s visit
Make an appointment with your pediatrician to check that your baby is caught up on all vaccinations and address any health concerns before moving. This is also a good time to ask if they have recommendations for a pediatrician in your new town and start the process of transferring your child’s medical records. The more you do before the move, the easier it will be to receive care when you need it.
Make packing time stress-free
Loud noises and disarray in the household can frighten babies, so it’s best to squeeze in light packing during nap times and schedule louder tasks like packing pots and pans or disassembling furniture when childcare is available (away from home if possible). Wait to pack your little one’s things until right before the move to keep surroundings familiar.
Adjust sleeping habits
If your infant will be sleeping in a portable crib or playpen during the move, don’t wait until the move to introduce it. Start with naps and progress to sleeping in the space at night a couple of weeks before the move if possible.
Schedule childcare for moving day
Loading the moving equipment will be a lot less stressful if you have childcare available. Ask family and friends for help or hire someone to keep an eye on the baby so you can focus on the tasks at hand.
During the move: traveling with an infant
Try these tips to keep your baby comfortable while you make the trip.
Travel with essentials and comfort items
Pack the most important things to travel with you and the baby. Stock the bag with extra clothes, diapers, blankets, pacifiers and a first aid kit. It’s also helpful to pack some zip-top plastic bags for holding soiled clothing or disposing of used diapers. Have easy access to baby food (if needed), formula and bottles or supplies for breastfeeding like a breast pump and a cooler. If your little one has a favorite toy or blanket, be sure to bring it along.
Plan stops (but allow time for delays)
Even if you’re not traveling with children, it’s a good idea to stop every few hours when driving to a new place. It’s helpful to plan stops around feeding and nap times if possible. Be prepared for delays in case you need to make unscheduled stops to soothe a fussy baby.
If you’re flying to a new home, purchasing a ticket for your infant so they can ride in their car seat is often easier than holding the child during a long flight. Check with the airline for specific rules about traveling with babies.
Stick to a schedule (if possible)
Try to keep your baby’s schedule as consistent as possible during travel. Also try to stick to familiar bedtime routines during the trip like bathing or applying scented lotion before going down for the night. If you’re staying in a hotel along the way, find one with room for your portable crib (or one that has them for rent) so your child will have a safe and comfortable place to sleep.
Settling in: helping your little one adjust to a new home
When you arrive in your new city, there are a few things to do to help your baby transition.
Have childcare for move-in
Just like with moving out, it’s helpful to have childcare while moving in. Hire help or ask family and friends if they can watch the baby so you can unload and unpack.
Set up the baby’s room first
Unload the nursery things first to get the room ready for the first day and night in the new place. It can be helpful to place furniture in the same layout as the previous home to help your child feel more comfortable in the space.
Babyproof the new home
Depending on the age of your infant, you may need to take safety measures in the new place right away. Pay attention to hazards like stairs, cords, heavy furniture and electrical outlets. Check out the National Safety Council’s guide to childproofing a home or consult a pediatrician for tips.
Reestablish a routine
Whether you have a newborn or an older baby, the sooner you get back to a routine, the happier your child will be. Stick to feeding and napping schedules as much as possible as everyone settles in. Be prepared for some sleep disturbances during the adjustment period.
Questions about moving with a baby?
If you have questions about relocating with an infant or need advice about moving with an older child, let us know in the comments! We’re happy to help.
U-Pack is a DIY moving service that’s helped families with long-distance moves since 1997. Give us a call at 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to a moving consultant or request a free quote online today!
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