Managing a move with little ones

September 15, 2017

I've moved a lot in my life, and one thing I have learned is that most of the time you have very little control over timing. There's always a deadline for getting out of one place and into the other, and often it coincides with some other crazy timing. When we bought our first house, we had to move in on the week of our wedding! It's just how things worked out. We are never fully in control. Sometimes, the right opportunity presents itself, and you just have to go with the flow. That's what happened to us this summer too.

Keep your sanity while moving with a baby and toddler! Great tips and resources for moving with two kids under age two!

Everything fell into place way faster than we ever could have anticipated, and as it dawned on me that we were moving with a newborn and not-even-close-to-two year old, I thought we must be out of our minds (and I heard similar things voiced from friends and family). How we were supposed to adjust to life as a family of four while simultaneously packing up our home, leaving behind our friends and careers, and transitioning to a new location was beyond me. It sounded crazy. And if I'm being totally honest, I was absolutely terrified and overwhelmed. But I continuously reminded myself that the timing was out of our control. It was now or never. Sure, moving when the baby was a little older would have been way easier (maybe?!), but turning down a great opportunity in hopes that another might eventually pop up didn't sound like the best decision. We knew we had to take a leap and make it happen. It would be chaos for a while, but in the long run, it would be worth it.

So we did it. We made a long distance move with two kids under the age of two. And you know what? We survived. We're all still here to tell the tale. Was it chaotic? Absolutely. Are we unpacked? Nope. But we did our best to do whatever we could to make the transition easy, and we are giving ourselves a little grace and a little time to get settled in while we enjoy our new little guy. Here's a few things we learned along the way to help make moving with a toddler and a newborn a little bit easier.

This post is sponsored by Minted. All opinions are my own. 
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. For more information, see my disclosure policy.


Tips for moving with two under two:


  • Give yourself a pep talk. It's not going to be the smoothest move ever. But when is moving ever easy?! I promise it's all going to be okay. 
  • Ask for help! 🙌 Any kind of help... help watching the toddler, holding the baby for a bit, cleaning, packing, unpacking, meals. Trust me, you will feel way more sane during the process of moving if you let people help!
  • Order boxes online instead of toting your kids back and forth to the store to get more. U-Pack and Public Storage are both great sources for moving boxes and moving kits that can be shipped to you. 
  • Start packing as early as possible! If you thought everything took longer when you added one kid, it will take even longer now that you have two!! Don't underestimate how much time you need to get it all done!
  • Consider putting anything you won't need right away in a storage unit or a portable storage cube. Moving day will be a lot less stressful and a lot faster if a lot of stuff is already out! If you're selling your home, this is a great way to declutter too! We loaded our storage unit with holiday decor, seasonal items, family photos, and everything being stored in our basement.
  • Better yet, consider hiring a moving company! You can pack and let them load/unload, or you can let them do it all! At the very least, rent a large moving truck so that you won't have to make multiple trips. We were reluctant to use a moving company but decided last minute that it was for the best, and I am so glad we did. 
  • If you're selling your home or buying a new one, save time by choosing a real estate company that does all of the work for you. We've had two great experiences using Redfin. I don't think I would sell any other way now!
  • Set aside a bin of favorite toys for your toddler. They will come in handy for keeping them busy on moving day or if you have to stay somewhere else temporarily. 
  • Keep comfort items for your toddler readily accessible- blanket, pacifier, security blanket, favorite stuffed animal, etc. You want your toddler to associate your new home with happy things, and these comfort items make them happy!
  • Pack a separate box or bin for the first night in the new house. You don't want to be digging through everything trying to find the essentials! We set aside sheets, bath towels, toiletries, toilet paper, paper towels, Clorox wipes, Windex wipes, hand soap, dish soap, electronics and chargers, and an alarm clock. And obviously don't forget a set of clothes for everyone!
  • Think about food. If you are moving far, map out kid friendly food options along your route. Plan ahead for freezer meals for the days leading up to and days after moving day (You can pack them for travel in gallon size zip lock bags and a large styrofoam cooler). Stock up on easy toddler foods like pouches and apple sauce. Don't forget to set aside sippy cups, bibs, bottles, and burp cloths for your toddler and baby. 
  • On moving day, try to get out of the house with your toddler if you can. It can be overwhelming for them to watch all of their things be carted out of the house, especially if they are too young to understand what is going on. Be sure to keep a positive tone and speak excitedly about the new house. Go do something fun with them while someone else is doing the hard work ;)
  • Think about sleep arrangements. We tried our best to avoid an overnight stay anywhere, but by the end of the day, our old house was mostly empty, but we still had a few things to do in the morning before traveling to our new home. We made a very last minute, unprepared decision to stay in a hotel. Plan ahead and do some research just in case you need a place to stay. Trip Advisor is a great all-in-one place to hunt for hotels. 
  • Set aside a hands free baby carrier and bouncy seat for the baby on moving in day. I kept my newborn in my Baby K-tan most of moving day so I could have my hands available to do work. It was really helpful to have the bouncy seat already unpacked so we could have a place to put him down for a bit too.  
  • Find someone to help with your toddler on moving in-day, especially is using a moving company so that they aren't under their feet. If you don't have family or friends nearby, search ahead on a site like Care.com for a babysitter near your new home. Invite them to watch your toddler at the new house while you're there. This will allow your toddler a chance to explore the new house while also allowing you to get some unpacking done while someone entertains them. 
  • Unpack your toddler's room first. Try to make it look as much like their old room as possible. This will help them with the transition, and reassure them that their new room is just like home. 
  • Save yourself some time announcing the move and new baby by choosing a combination moving announcement and using Minted's free envelope addressing. They have several great options for combo announcements like this Double Duty design. They also have a gorgeous new line of foil pressed birth announcements
Adorable combination moving and birth announcements! Plus great tips and resources for moving with two kids under age two!

It took us a while to mail our moving/birth announcements (again, giving ourselves a little grace period given the circumstances), but I love the design we chose! It's the perfect way to announce both big celebratory events to all of the important people in our lives! I absolutely love the quality of Minted's cards and love that they offer envelope addressing. This momma loves anything that saves time 🙌

If you're planning to move with kiddos soon, I hope this helps! Have you moved with little ones before? I would love to hear your tips!

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