There are many challenges to having twins. How do you feed them both at the same time? What about sleep training? Just taking them both with you down to the corner store to grab some milk can be an adventure. Perhaps one of the most difficult hurdles my wife and I had to overcome with infants was moving almost 1600 miles away.
My wife’s company decided to close their offices in Irvine shortly after our twins were born. That’s when we had to make a decision. Do we take the supplemental offer and hope to find a new job quickly or move several States away? Being new parents, we wanted to make sure that we were able to maintain a steady income. Looking for a new job, and the possible rocky future that sometimes job-hunting brings, was not something we could see ourselves enduring. Needless to say, my wife kept her job and we made the move from Southern California to Omaha, Nebraska. The Midwestern town that became our future home was nice, but a place we were both unfamiliar with. It contained no friends to lean on, and the closest family was an 8 hour drive.
Preparing for the move meant selling a house and buying another It also meant coordinating movers that could get all of our worldly belongings from our old home to our new one cross-country. Did I mention packing? All while taking care of two little ones that were closer to their due date then they were their first birthday. Having a full size Sport Utility Vehicle helped. We packed it to the gills with diapers and clothes. We also packed our two portable cribs, and enough toys to keep our 6-month-olds happy until they turned 4. Fortunately being young, the twins still slept a good portion of the time. That alone made the trip a lot easier. As we were right in the middle of patterned sleep training, we still needed to adhere to the plan with optimal wake time stimulation as well, but we made it through.
The drive went quickly and before we knew it we were in Douglas County, Nebraska. The first thing we did before heading to temporary housing at a local hotel was to do a drive-by the new house. It was exciting seeing the place our son and daughter would call home.
Here are 5 essential tips if you are thinking of making the move with your twins.
Set up a Master Calendar.
You’ve decided to make the move. Now buy a calendar just for the occasion. Mark your move-date, and then work backwards to present day. You’re going to want to include dates that things need to be accomplished by. Add important things like turning off utilities, forwarding mail, etc, and who’s responsible for them. Dry-Erase calendars are great, just make sure it doesn’t get erased accidentally.
Don’t pack too early.
If you start packing too early, you’re living amongst boxes (and out of boxes) for what seems like forever. If you wait too long, it’s a frantic rush at the end. That is a great way to drive stress-levels through the roof. It also guarantees that things pre packed haphazardly, making unpacking later an even bigger chore than it is already. Keep in mind the dangers of little ones around boxes, making sure they aren’t stacked too high.
Take a day off from work to pack.
It’s difficult to pack when you’re doing it around a work schedule. It’s even more challenging when you throw a baby or two in the mix. Consider taking a day or two off from work and hiring a baby-sitter. You can also enlist the help of a family friend or relative to watch the kids. That way you can focus on the task at hand. The ability to give the job the attention it deserves instead of stopping for feeding schedules, or having to be quiet due to nap-time really makes a huge difference. If those options aren’t possible, even taking turns with your spouse (one packs, while the other gets away with babies) can help.
Find a pediatrician before you move.
Not only is this one less thing to worry about while you settle in, it also ensures that if something happens before you get unpacked, you don’t spent vital hours searching who takes your insurance, is accepting new patients, etc.
Create a “Baby Box”.
Sometimes it takes months, even years to get everything unpacked after a move. Having things that are important in the care of your twins handy is very important. Pack one box with everything they will need the first 24-48 hours in your new home. This could include diapers, wipes, pajamas, an outfit (or two) for the next day, your baby bathtub, shampoo/body wash, formula, sleep sack, spoons and anything else that will fit. This will keep you from being forced to unpack just to find these necessities or running out and buying something just because you don’t know where you packed it. The last thing you want is to find items a year down the road that your babies don’t use anymore or have already outgrown. Check out our Baby Box List.
All I know is that moving over half-way across the country with an infant can be challenging. With twins, doubly so.
A couple final thoughts for you: Lots of photos along the way help highlight the adventure later when your twins are older. Try to stop when you can- finding a park or a decent rest area with picnic tables to enjoy the outdoors is always a plus. Finally, make sure that it is not on the hottest day of the year when you make the trip. That’s a story for another time.
Moving isn’t easy. One day at a time, one step at a time. Before your know it, you’ll be in your new home and settling in.