Relocating with a newborn
A stateside move can be a huge transition in of itself. Moving to another country takes it to a completely new level.
Moving while pregnant or with a newborn can present parents with more questions and concerns. If you've recently delivered and will be moving from a CONUS to OCONUS location, your newborn will have to get a passport, area clearance and command sponsorship ( a Dependent residing with a member at an OCONUS location at which an accompanied-by-dependents tour is authorized). In some cases, this has to happen very quickly. I've personally witnessed situations where it has to happen in a matter of weeks. Your spouse should get all the paperwork needed to start this process. Many duty stations provide classes to help with a smoother move.
Preparation is key.
Packing out. Those pesky weight limits household goods can get us. Especially when you don't know what to bring or if the new location will have what you need. Keep it simple. A baby bed, dresser and limited personal memorabilia. I love the local yardsale pages and have found some really nice items for resale. Depending on what country you're moving too, you may find some neat items at your next duty station off base.
The hustle, bustle and all the people. Wear your baby. It keeps baby close to you and hands free. Baby may become overstimulated with all the noise and different environment. So keeping baby close will help keep baby calm. Check out The Carrying On Project to see if you qualify for a carrier.
Feeding- One common question is traveling with breastmilk. You are allowed to bring more than 3 ounces of breastmilk through security with you. Of course if you are only breastfeeding, then this is not a problem. If you are doing both, here are some great resources to learn more about Flying with breast milk. Shipping and Traveling with Breastmilk- Breastfeeding in Combat Boots.
Taking a car seat- I found an amazing resource with a lot of really great information on this topic and about traveling internationally. Check it out -----> Safe Air Travel with Children
If you cloth diaper, traveling internationally may be an ideal time to use disposable diapers instead. Plan to bring more diapers than you normally pack in your bags. I would suggest at least 3-4 times more than normal. I tend to be a little more overly prepared just in case there are travel delays and unexpected diaper blow outs. Also pack a wet bag to put all of the dirty clothes, burp cloths and other soiled items in.
Send a list of needs to a friend or your sponsor at the location to have ready for you when you arrive. By time you land, get loaded up in the car and to where you will be staying. Everyone is feeling it. Dirty, hungry, and just tired. No one really wants to run out try to locate the nearest store to stock up. If you get a great sponsor or have a good friend willing to help out, have them get some more diapers, wipes, or anything else you need to at least help you be comfortable and get through the first part of the day at your new duty station.
Stay tuned for part 2-