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Moving With An Infant: Not as Terrible As It Sounds

We've known for a while that we might be moving this year.  We had been hoping to delay it until Spring, mostly because it seemed like a nightmare to move during winter and but also because we knew that we would have a newborn during late fall this year, greatly exacerbating the complexity of the move.  However, we concluded just after the birth of our son that it was actually critical for us to move sooner than later, so I was suddenly faced with what I considered a worst-case relocation scenario: selling the house during holiday season, with a new baby, moving in the dead of winter, all on a super tight budget. Yuck.

However, now that I'm a good way through this process, I can report that moving with a new baby is actually less annoying than expected, and certainly less traumatic than moving with an older baby or toddler (something we experienced almost three years ago).  If you're facing a move with a young tiny one, some of the following considerations may ease your worries. 

Infants don't have a schedule yet, which proves useful when you have to leave the house for showings frequently, unpredictably, and with short notice.  Luckily, an infant has little sense of time.  You can exploit this condition and hopefully get the move done before you set the baby's schedule.

Additionally, new babies are very portable. They nestle in their bucket seats, which  more often than not seem to induce sleep with drug-like power.  Then the little peanuts can be whisked around town on errands, or out to lunch, during the house showings.  Similarly, infants can be strapped into said seat and left to chill on the kitchen counter while you put away the last dish and hide the final shred of evidence that humans actually in habit the house.  If you turn on the vacuum you won't hear the screaming.  [Note: I am aware that the portability theory only sounds plausible if you also have a toddler and you finally agree with what people told you all along... that in a lot of ways the newborn stage was indeed easier...if you have a new baby and he's your first, he probably doesn't seem "portable" compared to your former carefree child-free existence,]

Another thing to consider is that newborns don't eat real food yet. If you are breastfeeding, you always have their nourishment with you, it's already the right temperature, and you aren't busy steaming and pureeing things like you will be when the baby is older.

Sadly, the rest of the family does need real food, which is normally fine, but which is tricky while preparing for a move because who wants to buy groceries, take time to cook, and make messes while trying to pack and change addresses? But f you are lucky and have awesome friends, or if you were very organized during your pregnancy, you might already have meals in the freezer which were prepared for the newborn period of time. This is a double win, since you probably wouldn't be cooking much with a newborn in your arms anyway, so by moving with a newborn instead of later on, you can consolidate the times that you wouldn't cooking much anyway.

With a newborn in your arms, you spend your whole day in the nursery or out walking anyway, so it's not as hard to keep the house clean as you think it might be. However, I recommend splurging on a cleaning service before the day of your listing pictures in order to reduce stress.  It's easier to keep the house clean once it has received one good big scrub.

You also don't have time to exercise while moving, or with a newborn, so again, it turns out that you might as well do both at the same time. Exercise can start when the the move has finished and the baby is a little bigger.

I'm not going to lie and say you will have fun moving with a newborn.  I have definitely still have the occasional meltdown, probably amplified by lack of sleep and the constant need to have a baby at my breast every couple of hours.  It is frustrating to sit still for nursing instead of packing in less interrupted way.  But I am saying that there are some unexpected ways in which it is less catastrophic than expected.

Either way, we are almost through this now and I am summoning all of my Rose Glasses energy in hopes of a drama-free conclusion to the process.  We have long been seeking a new level of stability for our family, and it feels like it is nearly within our grasp.