Deborah Ajaja is the Founder of Colour Celebrations, a brand which creates luxury milestone cards for babies of colour, with a mantra ‘to help families celebrate their beautiful cultures in an inclusive way and capture babies’ memories that will last a lifetime’. After recently moving house Deborah is taking over the iCandy blog to share her top tips and products to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible with a baby in tow…
2020 has been an incredibly crazy year! Amidst a global pandemic and lockdown, we’ve had to buckle down and learn how to juggle working from home, exclusive childcare and staying sane. It’s been a lot! One thing that this year has taught us is that we can think outside the box and home needs to feel like a haven. With that in mind, now more than ever, many of us are thinking of moving home. In fact, according to Rightmove, since lockdown rules eased, enquiries from potential buyers in Britain were up 75% compared to the same period a year ago and in the first 5 days after the announcement of the stamp duty holiday, the number of home sales agreed was up 35% versus a year ago. This suggests that we are in search of more space, a change of scenery or simply want to be closer to family.
My family recently decided to take the plunge and move from the City to the suburbs for the promise of more space and a family friendly environment for our kids. Yet a home move with a toddler and baby in tow was A LOT! So I’ve put together 6 useful tips to help anyone like me who wants their home move to be as smooth and stress free as possible.
Get help! Home moves can be stressful but one of the most effective ways to reduce your stress levels is to get help. Our best expenditure during the process was to use a removals company to help pack, box and orchestrate the transportation of our precious items. The benefit of this service is that it frees up your time, allowing for minimal disruption to baby’s routine. If a removals service is not an option, why not enlist the help of family and friends to help lighten the load. You could even throw them a packing and pizza party! (According to current Government guidelines of course). This will not only help you with moving tasks, but also provide extra hands to give your sweet baby as much attention as possible.
Move during the week. Weekday moves are a lot easier to carry out for two key reasons: The roads are quieter and babies are back in day care.It will ensure that journeys back and forth between the old house and new will be quicker and disruption to baby’s daily routine reduced. This means you’ll have one less thing to worry about during the day as you can rest assured that they are lovingly being looked after, thus your productivity during the week may be higher, leaving the weekends for unpacking, getting settled in your new home and getting baby familiarised in their new space.
Make sure baby’s most used items are accessible. The last thing you want to do during a move is be searching for your baby’s favourite toy or special cup amongst boxes. To avoid meltdowns, keep all of baby’s regularly used and favourite items to one side. Categories include, travel systems, sleepwear, bathroom essentials, cutlery and non-perishable food items. TIP: Pack these essential items in your baby bag and put them in your vehicle to ensure you know exactly where they are and can easily access them once you arrive at your new digs. The iCandy Peach changing bag is super spacious yet compact and has an included changing mat which is a lifesaver on moving day!
Split the move. Unless it is absolutely necessary, try not to complete your entire move in one single sitting as it can be physically and emotionally draining. Options include packing on one day and moving items on another or sending your furniture ahead so your essentials are in place before you move in. The benefit of this is mostly for you the parents – the less you heap onto one day, the less likely it is that you’ll be stressed or cranky. And remember, baby can pick up on these not-so-nice vibes. TIP: If you plan to have any building work done as part of your move and have the opportunity to start and/or complete it before you move in, take it! The dust, noise and potential late nights can wreak havoc on baby’s sleep patterns so try to avoid this where possible.
Prepare baby’s meals and snacks in advance. Home moves are known to be takeaway food fests as you’ve cleared your old fridge out, haven’t quite stocked up the new one or simply can’t find your cooking utensils! To avoid being caught short with nothing for your baby to eat, prepare their meals in advance (if they’re on solids) or make sure you have their favourite snacks and preferred milk to hand for each day so that they are ready to go and always accessible no matter what stage you’re at in the home move process. Using familiar feeding tools, highchairs and utensils is an added bonus, helping baby to feel comfortable in their new environment whilst chowing down. Along with the kettle, our iCandy MiChair was the last thing to be packed up in the old house and the first thing to unpacked in the new house!
Take pictures! As tiring and stressful as a move may be, this is the start of a new and fun chapter for you and your family. Be sure to capture those special moments, immortalising the very first time your baby crawled on the new carpet, bunny hopped up the stairs or rolled on the new bed. They will serve as precious memories in the years to come.