While preparing for a new baby is exciting, moving to a new home during a pregnancy can be stressful. Your body is already working hard growing that little one and the last thing you need is the physical strain of packing up and moving. But with some planning and the right approach, moving when pregnant doesn’t have to be so daunting.
These tips will help make your prenatal move as smooth as possible so you can focus on what really matters— resting up for your new arrival. So, take it slow, ask for help and remember that any move during this special time in your life will be worth it once you’re settling into your new place with your sweet baby.
You’ve got this, mama, and we’re here to help!
Consider Hiring a Trusted Mover
When you’re expecting a child, hiring a trusted, full-service moving company like Mayflower can take the pressure off. When pros to take care of all aspects of your move, it means someone else does the heavy lifting for you — in every sense.
Assess What Needs to Be Moved Before the Baby Arrives
Start by taking an inventory of what you need to move before the baby arrives. Go room by room and decide what is essential and what can stay behind, beginning with your room, any shared living spaces and the nursery, if it has already taken shape.
If you’re moving during a pregnancy, it likely means you’re preparing to set up a nursery, too. If this is your first child, you’ll need everything from the crib and changing table to a rocking chair. There are also smaller items like linens, blankets, diapers and clothes to consider as well. If you’ve already bought some — or if they’re carry over from an earlier child — pack smaller items in labeled boxes to keep things organized. If it’s your first child, consider what can be bought once you move into your new address. That will limit the number of items you have moved.
In your room, pack a suitcase or box with comfortable clothes for labor and the hospital stay for both you and your partner. Also set aside pajamas, robe, slippers, toiletries, chargers and any other essentials you’ll want those first days home with the new baby.
In living spaces, pack things like a playpen or bassinet for the living room, any baby monitors, diaper pails, baby gyms or activity mats, and extras like burp cloths, pacifiers, teethers and baby books. Make sure to label where these items should go in your new home. It’ll make things easier for your movers and you once it’s time to settle in.
Take measurements of larger furniture and the nursery layout. This will help ensure everything fits properly in the new space and save you time rearranging once you’ve moved.
Don’t try to move everything at once — do it in stages. And, again, remember to let others lift and carry heavy boxes while you direct where things should go.
Create a Moving Timeline Around Your Due Date
When you’re expecting a baby, the last thing you want is the added stress of a move. But with some planning, you can make moving during pregnancy easier.
Give yourself at least two or three months before your due date to pack and move. Any sooner and you risk being too uncomfortable to do much. Any later and you could be moving with a newborn. Start packing non-essentials like books, linens and decor now.
Around six to eight weeks before your due date, begin packing daily essentials you won’t need right away. Have your partner, friends or family help with loading and unloading boxes. Don’t lift anything over 20 pounds yourself.
Aim to move into your new place at least one month before your baby is due. This gives you time to unpack important items and settle in before the baby comes. Don’t feel pressured to unpack everything at once. Do a little bit each day and take plenty of breaks.
If possible, hire professional movers to load and unload the heavy furniture and boxes. Their experience will ensure items are handled properly and make the move quicker. Ask your doctor about any moving restrictions before the movers come.
Try to schedule your move during the week when traffic is lighter. This minimizes time spent in a vehicle during the move and reduces stress. Pack a ‘moving day bag’ with snacks, water, chargers, medications, pillows, and anything else you may need access to.
A well-timed move during pregnancy, with the right help and planning, can go smoothly. Stay optimistic, ask others for help when you need it and don’t forget to take it easy. Your top priority is your health and your baby’s health — the rest will fall into place.
Pack a Separate Essentials Bag for the Hospital
Packing an essentials bag before heading to the hospital to deliver your baby is a smart idea. Here are some key things to include:
Pack loose, comfortable clothing like yoga pants, nursing bras, nursing tank tops and button-down pajamas. You’ll appreciate having your own comfy clothes after delivery.
Don’t forget basic toiletries — while hospitals do provide some of the basics, you’ll feel more refreshed using your own.
Socks and Slippers
Your feet can get cold during and after labor, so pack warm socks, slippers and grippy socks with traction for walking the halls.
Chargers and Entertainment
Bring chargers, portable phone chargers, books, magazines, a tablet or laptop and whatever else might help pass the time during early labor or your hospital stay.
Keep copies of your birth plan, insurance card, ID and any other important paperwork close at hand.
Don’t forget your camera, extra memory cards and a charger to capture those first moments with your new bundle of joy.
Pack protein-rich snacks like granola bars, nuts and jerky for your partner or any other support companions. Labor can be long and the cafeteria may have limited hours.
Nursing Pillow and Changing Pad
A nursing pillow and changing pad can make getting comfortable and changing diapers much easier. Ask if your hospital supplies them or if you should bring your own.
Things to Remember When Moving While Pregnant
Lift Smart to Avoid Injury
When you’re expecting, lifting and moving heavy objects requires extra caution and really should be avoided at all costs.
Ask for Help
Don’t try to do it all yourself. Ask family, friends or professionals for help with heavy lifting and moving. Many hands make light work and it’s not worth risking injury by overexerting yourself during pregnancy.
Bend at Your knees, Not Your Waist
When picking up objects, bend at your knees and keep your back straight. Bending at the waist puts strain on your lower back, which is already working hard during pregnancy. Knees provide more support.
Keep Objects Close to Your Body
Hold boxes, bags and other items close to your torso as you lift. This distributes the weight more evenly and prevents you from losing your balance or toppling over.
Avoid Twisting Motions
Move your whole body when turning instead of just twisting at the waist. Twisting while lifting or holding heavy objects can lead to pulled muscles and ligaments.
Don’t feel like you need to get everything done in one day. Take frequent breaks to sit, rest and rehydrate. Staying active is important during pregnancy but overdoing it can lead to exhaustion, dizziness or injury. Listen to your body and rest when it tells you to.
Wear Supportive Shoes
A supportive pair of shoes with slip-resistant soles can help prevent falls and make lifting feel more stable. Your center of gravity shifts during pregnancy, so supportive and balanced footwear is key.
Start Preparing Early
Don’t leave packing and moving prep until the last minute. Start organizing, donating and packing well in advance of your move date. Rushing around trying to do it all at once in your third trimester will only increase stress and the chance of injury. Take it slow and get help when you need it.
Set Up and Organize the Nursery Early
Setting up the nursery before the baby arrives is one of the best things you can do to prepare for their homecoming. Getting organized will make those early days and weeks much smoother when you have a newborn to care for.
Buy the Big Items First
Focus on the essential furniture first, like the crib, dresser, rocking chair or glider and changing table. Have these set up and in place before moving in other items. Measure the space carefully to ensure everything will fit properly with room still left to move around.
Wash All Bedding and Clothes
Wash everything that will contact the baby’s skin with a gentle detergent free from dyes and fragrances. This includes crib sheets, blankets, towels, onesies, pajamas and socks. Having everything clean and ready to go means you won’t have to do laundry right away.
Set Up a Diaper Changing Area
Keep all diapering essentials together in one spot for easy access. Stock up on diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream and a changing pad or mat. Place a small trash bin nearby for used diapers.
Organize Supplies by Use
Group similar items together in labeled boxes or baskets. Have one for feeding supplies, one for bath time, one for medical items like a thermometer, nail clippers and baby monitor, and one for toys and books. That way, everything will be easy to find when you need it.
Once you’ve settled into your new place and everything for the baby is set up for use, put your feet up and relax. You’ve earned it! And just think, the next move will likely involve packing up toys, tiny clothes and other baby essentials when your little one has grown too big to use them. But for now, just take care of yourself during this big and exciting transition.