Join us for the do’s and don’ts for moving house with a newborn, written by Claire who blogs over at Claire Mac.
I gave birth to my second baby on September 17th last year and relocated 70 miles North six days later. You could question if I was brave or stupid moving house with a newborn baby, but in reality, I didn’t have a choice. It took a long time to exchange contracts on our house and it just so happened that our move in date was six days after giving birth.
We’re six months into our new parenting / living arrangements so I’d like to think I can speak from a clear head space right now. But truth be told, the final few weeks of pregnancy were far from that for me. I was a mess!
I’d like to think I’m a very chilled person. It doesn’t take a lot to stress me and I’m quite easy going when it comes to plans changing. Obviously you can only plan so much when it comes to moving house and having a baby. One thing you can’t plan for however is when they’ll both happen. As much as you want your body to start labouring, you literally have no control over when that pesky baby of yours wants to make its move. This uncertainty made me feel really uneasy. I had moments of sheer panic, moments of confusion, but also moments of sod it I can’t control it why am I worrying?
I was a week overdue with my second child. It was during this time of limbo we found out we’d be moving house the following week. This meant I either needed to go into labour sharpish and have my baby at my local hospital – The hospital I had my first, and a place I knew like the back of my hand. Or I had to move up North earlier than our move in date, move in with my Dad who lived close by and potentially give birth on my own.
This stress is exactly what I didn’t need at 40 weeks pregnant. It’s not a feeling I’d wish upon anyone. In hindsight however and looking back now six months later, everything happened when it was meant to happen. I’m a firm believer that timing is everything and what is meant to be will be.
Here are my do’s and don’ts for moving house with a newborn baby.
DO pack early
I started packing the house up at six months pregnant, three months before our move. My husband at the time questioned why I was doing it so early. But in reality you never know what’s going to happen. Babies and house moves are unpredictable and it’s wise to prepare for all outcomes.
What if the baby comes early? What if you get the green light to go before your baby’s born? Packing early and getting organised while you still feel relatively fit is so beneficial.
Our home looked bare for a long time. But it was still comfortable for us to live in and we still had everything we needed, it just didn’t feel like our home anymore. Which I suppose it wasn’t.
DON’T pack your baby essentials away
Can you imagine anything worse than trying to find your baby’s belongings only to find they’re at the back of the moving van, or packed in the most inappropriate of places. The thought filled me with so much fear.
Because of this I made sure we had a couple of different bags. You could say they were like multiple hospital bags. All made up of the same kinds of essential things, just located in different areas around the house and in the car.
This goes hand in hand with being as organised as possible. You can never be too prepared for two of the most stressful life experiences you can go through hitting at the same time. Better off having too many nappies to deal with your baby’s poopsplosion than none at all!
DO let somebody else take control
We decided from the get go that my husband would be the person taking control of the house move and I would be the person parenting our two children.
We didn’t see each other very much during the moving process, which as a new father and new mother was really quite difficult. It makes me sad to think about the time we spent apart at the beginning of our second child’s life, but we didn’t really have a choice.
Whether you get help from a partner, a relative or a moving company, I’d 100% recommend you take that pressure off your shoulders. As a new parent you have enough worries.
DO have a dump room
There is no better feeling than loading all of your belongings into a room and shutting the door behind them. Say goodbye to the stress, at least for a short time. Slowly but surely you’ll be able to chip away at your dump room making your new house a home.
Truth be told, we still have our dump room six months later. It’s supposed to be our second daughter’s nursery, but it’s still got a few different boxes in there. *Second child problems!* It’s our project to clear and turn into her bedroom next month.
DO hire a cleaning company
You usually have a day to pack up your old house and move into the new one. It’s a lot to do in (usually less than) 24 hours so I’d highly recommend hiring a cleaning company to clean up after you’ve packed your old house up.
I’ll be honest, we didn’t do this and it’s one thing we regret. For the sake of an extra £100 or so I think it’s so worth hiring outside help to do the jobs you don’t really want to do.
DON’T get lost by the healthcare system
Switching health care providers was one of my biggest worries once I’d had the baby. I didn’t want her to get lost in the system and not have the proper health care the NHS provides.
I’d made sure before giving birth I’d told my local midwife about the house move as well as the midwives who’d helped me give birth. There weren’t many people I didn’t tell to be honest and I think this really helped us get picked up by our new practitioner.
I also made sure one of the first jobs I did when we moved house was to get my girls registered with our new GP’s surgery.
DO be gentle with yourself
My biggest tip for moving house with a newborn baby is to be gentle with yourself. You’ve literally just given birth! I’m terrible for doing too much too soon, but I often reminded myself of what my body had been through a mere six days previously. I think a really great thing to do is think of yourself as a friend (for this and for everyday life). Would you be advising your friend to lift heavy moving boxes six days postpartum? Probably not, so definitely don’t be doing it yourself.
Moving house with a newborn baby wasn’t the easiest process I’ll be honest, but it really wasn’t the worst either. The worst part for me was the unknown and the feeling of being in limbo beforehand.
Good luck! And if you are moving house with a newborn baby, make sure you have the details for your new local takeaway place!