Top Tips for Moving House With a Baby.by Claire Chircop
I gave birth to my second baby on September 17th last year. I relocated 70 miles North on September 25th. You could question if I was brave or stupid, but in reality, I didn’t have a choice. It took us a long time to exchange contracts on our house and it just so happened that our move in date was so close to our due date.
We’re six months into our new parenting/living arrangements so I’d like to think I can speak from a clear headspace right now. But truth be told, the final few weeks of pregnancy were far from that for me. I’d like to think I’m a very chilled person. It doesn’t take a lot to rile me up and I’m quite easygoing when it comes to plans changing. Obviously moving house and giving birth to a baby are things I can vaguely plan for. The only thing I can’t plan is when they will both happen. This unknown and uncertainty made me feel really uneasy. I had moments of panic, moments of confusion, but also moments of sod it I can’t control it why am I worrying?
My original due date was the 10th September 2021 so 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 soon 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 weight 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 top tips for moving house with a newborn baby.
I remember 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 you just never know what’s going to happen. Babies and house moves are unpredictable. It’s almost as if you need 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 able to is so beneficial.
For us our home looked bare for a long time. Or it felt like a long time at the time. 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.
Keep your baby’s belongings separate & accessible.
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. That thought filled me with so much anxiety.
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 of the house and 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.
Let somebody else take control of the house move.
I’m in a very lucky position where I have a very hands-on partner. We decided from the get-go that he would be the person tackling 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.
Although I’m in a privileged position, I really couldn’t have imagined moving house any other way. 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 mum, you have enough going on.
Have a dump room.
There is no better feeling than loading all of your belongings into a room and shutting the door behind you after a stressful house move. Although bare, at least the rest of our new house felt liveable. And slowly but surely we’ve been able to tap away at our dump room, organising bits and bobs as we go.
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.
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. During this day 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. Moving house is a huge expense anyway. What’s an extra hundred pounds or so when it comes to stress free moving.
Ensure you’re picked up by the health visitor.
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. There was one check we were a couple of days behind with during the switch over process, but everything for us has been relatively smooth sailing.
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.
Be kind to yourself.
My biggest tip for moving house with a newborn baby is to be kind to 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. Would you be advising your friend to move heavy boxes six days postpartum? Probably not, so definitely don’t be doing it to yourself.
There's my seven top tips for moving house with a newborn baby. It 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 beforehand.