It's said that three of the biggest stresses in a person's life
include giving birth, taking a new job and moving. Moving while
pregnant, or postpartum and with a child in tow, can be
exceptionally stressful. Here are 10 strategies to save your
Start planning-and packing-now. If you know you're moving three
months from now, don't wait two-and-a-half months before you start
planning. Unless you've experienced pregnancy complications, moving
activities shouldn't pose a problem to your health or your
1. Get the little ones involved. As soon as possible, explain to
your toddler or preschooler, in an age-appropriate manner, that the
family will soon be living in another place. Check books out from
the library so he can read about a child and a move. Also, let him
pack a few of his own things and then doodle on the boxes that
contain his stuff. That way, he'll recognize the boxes on the other
2. Pack like a pro. Start with less frequently used items, such
as off-season clothing or your wedding china. Combine things that
are used together, such as dishes with glassware, towels with
sheets or baby's bibs with sippy cups.
3. Before you box up everything, gather personal records and
important papers, such as birth certificates, medical records,
passports and bank records. You'll want to keep these with you at
all times. Also, set aside items you'll need immediately in your
new home-everything from baby's favorite binkie to toilet paper to
light bulbs. Pack these essentials to take with you in your
4. Begin networking before you leave. Your Realtor, if you're
working with one, may be a good resource in helping you locate
child care facilities or a preschool. Your current pediatrician,
primary-care physician and obstetrician/gynecologist are all great
resources for new doctors for your family. The American Academy of
Pediatrics has a pediatric referral service, which you can access
5. Say goodbye. Plan a going-away party with the children from
your toddler's playgroup as well as some of your own friends. Help
your toddler view the move in a positive light by talking excitedly
to family and friends about the wonderful new place where you'll be
6. Get help. Because moving day can be hectic, plan to have
someone-friend, relative or babysitter-available to watch your baby
or toddler. If you're pregnant or postpartum, hiring professional
packers and movers may be your best bet to prevent you from
7. Hit the road prepared. Make sure your diaper bag is well
stocked with extras in case of emergencies and pack plenty of
snacks and toys to keep everyone happy. If you're pregnant, take
along plenty of water so you can stay hydrated, too, and don't
forget to stop every couple of hours to walk around.
8. Create a safe haven. Make sure you do a quick safety check of
the house before you start unpacking. Cover electrical outlets and
install child-safety locks on cabinets. It's also a good idea to
install night lights throughout your new house to prevent you from
going bump in the night or your kids from being scared and
disoriented in the dark.
9. Meet the neighbors. See if your Realtor can introduce you to
people, or make plans to take evening walks so you can bump into
your neighbors. Also, visit the local playground regularly or join
a neighborhood association or house of worship.
10. Make yourselves at home. Unpack and set up your child's room
first to make him feel more secure. Seeing his toys and furniture
from the old house will make him more comfortable in the new
Leah Ingram is a writer and mother of two.
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