Hi all. I am pregnant with my first baby, and we are/were deciding between 2 modest rental houses in the Los Angeles area. Since I don't really know what life with a baby is like, and what are pluses and minuses, I thought I'd ask for opinions. Honestly, we just signed the lease yesterday.....but since then, I'm "convinced" I made the wrong decision, so I need some kind of validation from people who have babies. I am just really curious what you all will say/think.
House #1: 3 bedroom spacious ranch built in '70s, 1600+ sq feet. Shockingly big for our budget and has TWO living rooms (one facing front of house, one facing back yard). Kitchen is larger and overlooks the one living area. I figure the baby will have plenty of room to toddle around once he's walking/roaming. Hubby and I won't be tripping over his little play areas, or stepping over him during "tummy time." That is my logic, at least. Also, I can interact with him more while I"m in the kitchen.
Disadvantage: Only about 200 meters (so one or two residential streets between) from a smaller airport that is busy nonstop, from 7 AM until after 10 PM. Both hellicopters and small planes, mostly propeller but some private jets. There is literally no breaks between takeoffs and landings, you are hearing planes 24/7 while outdoors. The house has new windows that block out all the noise, however. We sat outside the house though, and it didn't bother my hubby, but for me, I felt it ruined the whole "zen" aspect of sitting in a yard, which is what I like about being outside.
I guess most people get used to it.....it isn't like it interrupts your conversation, you can still talk. But I felt that when I'm spending time with the baby outside, it would be bad for his attention span, and bad for his idea of what being outside means (peaceful, quiet, fresh air, relaxation). I do hope to take the baby out once or twice a day, because I like being outside.
House #2: 3 bedroom, rooms smaller and more segregated, built in 1940s or 1950s. This house has a more quiet backyard, neighborhood has nice sidewalks, our walks would be quieter and more peaceful. But there is only one living area and it is smaller, and closed off from the kitchen. To me, it felt a little claustrophobic, like how much time can 2 adults and a baby spend in that room before we just need to be away from each other? (I am one of those people that likes to have a room to escape to. Having a TV on makes that worse for me, but we'll be not using it once junior is here. It goes back to the noise pollution thing, and I want Junior to hear his own thoughts).
I have already told hubby that the TV will have to be off when the baby is in that room, which he agrees with me on. I think that will help. However, I worry about the baby having enough room to spread his wings and explore once he can move around. I don't want to stifle his creativity in that regard. I don't want him to feel "closed in" like I do sometimes, in these small spaces.
My thoughts about the larger house by the airport are: "You will be indoors with the baby sooo much. You and the baby could really use a more workable inside space. Babies don't play outside! He'll be outside for like 30 min a day, if that. 30 min of noise pollution isn't going to hurt him. He'll need inside space more."
Anyone have thoughts regarding that last part?
PS--I realize babies grow up in New York City just fine! And I *am* grateful that my choices are as good as they are. However, I would still like to make the best decision. Part of it, is that I'm a finicky person that is sensitive to noise (both when inside and outside).....so it just makes me more critical of these spaces. I know adding a baby will be stressful enough for myself, and the last thing I want to do is make the transition hard on baby too! I want him to feel happy and peaceful.
Also, if anyone doesn't want to choose, I'd just be interested in your thoughts on how much indoor space is ideal for 12-24 month olds? (I am sure the first year will work out, but we can't afford to move yearly) Or your thoughts on how big of a deal is constant noise pollution outdoors for baby/toddlers?
Edited by bobcat - 1/2/13 at 1:50pm