Moving to new house uprooting all comfort and familiarity of an old home is hard. Moving with a toddler in tow makes it challenging yet interesting. Penguin, our son was just 18 months old when we had to relocate. So, thoughts of ordering movers and packers and lazing in soon-to-be packed couch never existed. We knew Mr. Fabulous and I have to run around keeping an eye on ever helping the toddler. Plan! Plan! Plan! It was the rhythm on my mind. So, sharing a few tricks that helped us during moving.
Declutter and plan space
We, humans, are emotional creatures. We tend to keep items which are rarely used or never used with sentiments attached. I had many trousers, shirts, kurtas which no longer fit me. Same goes with Mr. Fabulous. But Penguin’s items beat us. His outgrown tees, shorts, broken toys and once used bibs were stuffed in his Almira. Confession, I couldn’t dump all his old clothes. His first dress and toys are still with us. Decluttering all items from wardrobes and kitchen reduced the total boxes moved. Most of them we donated to needy people near the block.
Plan meals and snacks wisely
Adults can survive on takeaways or home deliveries but we cannot feed the same to the baby. I prepared simple kichdi and curd for Penguin and packed it for lunch. While for our brunch (yes, planning ran away) roti and curry were prepared early morning. Also, snacks like biscuits and banana were packed separately. For toddler dinner, I kept porridge ingredients in another pack. We kept the food simple and labeled separately.
In India, one can either shift on their own or get movers and packers. Parents with a toddler like Penguin don’t dare to move on your own. Get help. Decide carefully your requirements, budget and plan your new space before zeroing on movers and packers. The team we got did a good job of making quick packing and unloading. Usually, unpacking takes major stress. Get the help of your friends and family (if possible). Let them know forehand was to keep the unpacked items. Delegate the work. Parent especially moms got to handle tired kids now.
Label all item boxes
Labeling boxes makes life easier. Your help or friends can check the label and unpack faster.
Involve the toddler
Like every other kid, Penguin is fond of carton boxes. He kept moving empty carton boxes. Picking up cloth peg was another engaging work for him. He passes clothes to pack in boxes. Picked up fallen crumbled papers and plastic bags. It was a game for him and he was happy to help us. Engaging the toddler keeps the crankiness and boredom away.
Pack his favorite toys and things last and unload first
Penguin helped me packing his diaper bag, food bag and his then beloved books and toys. His new cupboard was planned, cleaned and organized first. His books found a new corner and he arranged them with me. It is another story that our suitcases were cornered and baby specific needs were unpacked first.
If you are a babywearing parent and your kids still relax well in baby carriers, you got a brownie point for the day. Though there are help to move and friends to accommodate, yet kids need parents. Penguin was tired by the time packing was over. Once the help-workers vacated the empty house I gave a massage and shower to Penguin. After having his lunch, he was ready to doze off and here comes my trusted kolkol baby carrier to rescue. In no time he slept and we finished our brunch. Drove to a new house. Started unloading. All happened. He took his nap for 2 hours. A well rest baby is less cranky, agreed?
Busy bag handy
Once Penguin woke up at a new place and to keep him occupied we got his busy-bag ready. Contents of the bag were few two-piece puzzles, one nesting egg set, a board book and shape sorter. Though the boy was more interested in arranging the new bed, we used it once the bed was ready. If a busy bag keeps him busy for 30 – 40 minutes then it is a must for mom’s sanity.
Celebrate the new beginning
We were ready to celebrate after a basic setup. So, it calls for idly and filter coffee. Penguin prefers plain idli over the sambar and happily gobbled his share. And nothing that a hot tumbler of filter coffee cant sort out.
Let him know the new environment (neighbors, neighborhood and park)
One enormously vital thing in the whole moving process was introducing our toddler to a new place. Unlike our previous place park is not nearby so it was necessary to show him around to get any other interesting spot. Also, Penguin is a social butterfly he had friends of all age group in the previous house. Thus, we tried to get introduce him with neighbors and bond.
Though we planned well and tried to execute successfully still Penguin had a bad time. Expecting his exact same daily routine of morning walk and play, followed by a chat with his friends and a long bath play was not possible the same day. The little one had a meltdown and all we could do was having Cuddles and kisses in abundance. It helped a lot. Keep your patience and stay hydrated as you got all the work to do.
You might like to read the after story of how we settled in the next few months and our learning from this shifting here.