Don’t do it.
Run for the hills, avoid eye contact, shove your fingers in your ears and sing lalalalalalalalalalalala
Ok, so we don’t always have the choice not to move house with a baby, but we can learn from the mistakes of others. Read: me (glad to help – said with sarcastic tone and grimace)
After a lot of debate we decided to move from London (Hampstead Heath) and my 23 minute bus ride to work, to Windsor, now a 1 hour train + tube journey. The reasons are unsurprising for anyone with a child (and dog); space, tranquility, woodlands, greenery, long walks, safe bike riding, farmers markets, free range everything, peace and quiet and no skanky chavs.
- Get professional movers. Do not attempt to do this with friends.
- Get someone to take your baby out for a few hours. Babies cannot be put down, the environment is not safe (boxes, scissors, men with heavy shoes, nails and bits of stuff on the floor) and your arm will literally go numb from the constant holding.
- Ask for a few boxes and some tape two weeks before – for precious things and knickers
- Wake up super early on moving day – an hour before you think you need to because time is a hungry monster that eats itself
- Corner off a section of the kitchen counter with crime tape (or equivalent) which protects the microwave, bottle steriliser, bottles, kettle, toys, formula, car seat and nappy bag. Protect with your life. Don’t even go to the toilet or turn your back while packers are present. They are vultures for scraps.
- Stay calm (on the outside)
- Talk to your baby constantly – explain to them what is happening and how you regret it
- Go for a walk with the pram (if you can be spared) to give you a break and let baby nap (over-tired is not an option)
- Clearly label all baby-related boxes – cot, clothes, toys, linen, food – so the first thing you do in the new house is get the nursery done. Trust me. You can sleep face-down in mud if your baby is settled.
- Try and keep a sense of humour and take care of yourself so your energy doesn’t wane. Have snacks and water in nappy bag for YOU! I totally neglected myself and felt like murdering someone (that man that packed my muslins… DIE)
- Take the opportunity to capture cute baby pics – you will be surprised at the adorable scenes you can create. But be careful, Jack ate some cardboard box but (thankfully) spat it out later.
- Keep your sling out – The vultures packed mine while I was on a call, hence the entire right side of my body is still in spasm from holding him for 5 hours straight
Good luck, you are going to need it. And remember, my best advice of all is to get someone you trust to take your baby for the day or at least for a long pram walk in the park so you can get on with it.