My husband, daughter, pets and I are now settled into our new home in Colorado Springs (phew), but it wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be. There are a few things we didn’t plan on, but on the upside, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been!
This wasn’t our first move since we’ve been married, but it was our first move as parents. Our daughter, Marlowe, is almost 9 months old now. Old enough to be crawling and rolling all over the place! I didn’t take that into account while preparing to move. I didn’t take a lot of things into account, as a matter of fact. So I’m going to tell you all the things I wish we had done while moving with a baby (and pets!), and share with you a few tricks we managed to pull off!
After we packed all our things into a moving van and said our farewells to friends and family, we started the long 22+ hour drive. It’s always a good idea to split the drive into a few days at a time, especially when each parent is driving a vehicle (I had Marlowe in my car while my husband had our dog and cat in his truck). Needless to say, I was completely high on caffeine in order to drive the 10 1/2 hours to our first stop: Nashville. Starbuck’s Cool Lime Refresher was a must-have, along with any other coffee/tea I could get my hands on!
In retrospect, I wish we had stopped more frequently. It was beautiful outside and we passed a lot of gorgeous rest stops. So, here’s where I tell you that it’s a good idea to get your little one(s) out of their car seat every few hours or less. They’ll need to stretch their tiny backs and get some playtime in so they can sleep happily when they’re back in their seat.
It was a terrific idea to stop at Cracker Barrel for lunch on the first day (thanks to my husband’s eagle eye – I would have missed the sign for sure)! I had previously packed a few jars of baby food and some oatmeal for Marlowe. While we were waiting for our food, I fed her and gave her a bottle of formula. I definitely recommend letting the baby jump up and down on your lap as much as possible during this time so he/she can expel some energy.
Once we got back on the road, Marlowe started getting upset. I tapped into my motherly instincts and realized that she may still be hungry, as I fed her pretty quickly at Cracker Barrel. Aaaaand, here’s where I recommend you plan in advance a bit better than I did. Normally, I have my formula dispenser all stocked up, but when I pulled it out this particular time, I realized that I had forgotten to add formula to it! Really? I’ll remember next time.
Luckily, our pets are pretty low maintenance. By the end of our first 10 hour day, though, they were as ready as we were to get into a hotel. While we were driving, my husband used Siri on his iPhone to look up hotels that accepted pets. This wasn’t difficult, but it would have been better if we had planned that better in advance to schedule a reservation and look through reviews. The first hotel we stayed at was NASTY. We changed to a LaQuinta immediately.
It’s also a great idea to look at all the kid-friendly restaurants close to your hotel. Texas Roadhouse had a coloring book and crayons for Marlowe to suck on (yeah, I had to exchange those for her toys 30 seconds in). For slightly older children, though, it’s a blast!
Staying in a hotel room with a baby can be a bit rough. If it isn’t an option to get a 2 bedroom + suite, you’ve got to make do. We had Marlowe’s travel bassinet and sound machine, which fit perfectly in our closet! We could turn on her sound machine, close the closet doors and she had her own room – she slept really well, with the comforts of constant pouring rain and her awesome little bed.
My husband and I are pretty relaxed when it comes to keeping Marlowe occupied, so we only packed a few toys and books for her. When she got bored, we improvised! Shawn would pick her up and spend quality time with her on the bed. And I would catch up on work while she sat beside me and watched (reached for, really) the computer screen. I didn’t get a lot of work done.
Our last day of traveling was much easier, having just had a few days of fun and relaxation in Nashville. We stopped a few times to stretch, eat and play and we arrived late that night at Shawn’s parents’ place in Colorado Springs. I was very relieved to have the long drive behind us, but overall, it wasn’t unpleasant!
If you’re planning a move with a little one(s) or just pets (or both!) please don’t hesitate to contact me at: www.aprilmariephoto.com or on Facebook with any questions you might have. Advice is most welcome as well! Either way, I’d love to hear from you!