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Thread: help with choosing suitable housing for a newborn

  1. #1

    Default help with choosing suitable housing for a newborn

    Hi all,

    My husband and I are expecting our first child in March next year. We are currently looking to move into more suitable accommodation (renting - in Sydney). (We are sharing with some uni students at the moment) We are looking at 2 bedroom apartments - not ideal, but it needs to be affordable.

    What kind of things are important when considering housing for a couple having a baby?

    What kinds of things make a place unsuitable and/or unsafe for a baby?

    Any help / advice would be greatly appreciated, and greatly help us think through what would be best for our baby.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Limestone Coast, SA


    hi there and congrats on the baby on the way!

    My husband and i rented a small second storey 2 bedroom flat for 12 months from halfway through the pregnancy til Archie was 7 months old. The flat was great for us, cheap, big enough, though i dont think it would have been ideal once he started walking, not enough room, and no yard, plus dangerous balcony and stairs. I guess it depends how long you are planning to stay in the place for. i ould make sure that whereever you rent has thick walls so bub isn't disturbed as much (if you have a bub who isn't a great sleeper) and so neighbours arent' disturbed too much ny screaming bub. We didn't have any probs in our flat whatsoever.

    GL with everything

  3. #3


    Thanks for your reply Elissa.

    Please excuse me for my ignorance, but can you explain what you mean by dangerous balcony and stairs? My husband and I saw some places on the weekend that had railings around the balcony with big gaps in them, which I thought possibly a small child could fit through and/or under. Is that what you mean by the balcony being dangerous? What about the ones where the balcony is bricked all around? I was thinking they would be okay.

    As for the stairs - are you meaning the stairs up to the place? I am feeling like stairs are pretty much unavoidable going by the places we have looked at - it seems even "ground" floor apartments have at least some stairs leading up to them. Would the risk of harm be minimised if you endeavoured to always carry or make sure your child walked with you (held your hand) up and down those stairs?

    Re: not having a yard - do you think having a park with a playground close by (less than or about 5 minutes walk away) would work as a fair substitute? Obviously I would have to make it a priority to get there regularly and spend the time there with my child. I feel like I am committed to doing that, because I recognise that there's no backyard in an apartment.

    Thanks for helping me think this through. I don't know how long we would be renting there, but we have no intention of buying in the near future, so we will be renting somewhere for many years.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    NSW Central Coast


    Hi Michelle,
    My DH and I live in a 2 br unit with our DD. Our place is pretty big and it will even do for us to have our next bub for a little while.
    The things that I think would be good for you to look for would be a place with not too many stairs- we live on the 3rd floor and going up and down 3 flights of stairs with a baby and shopping is such a PITA every day. Most units have balconies, so I think just be sensible like you said probably not one with railings but with brick or fully enclosed would be ok. You're not gonna leave bubs on the balcony alone anyway are you?!! Another good thing would be an internal laundry, it would be hard dragging washing around with a baby too. Lots of storage space, builtins or a storage cage. A bath or laundry tub big enough for a baby bath, much easier than an actual baby bath.
    Can't think of anything else at the mo....

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Melbourne, Vic


    We originally were renting a 2 bedroom flat and then bought a townhouse.
    I think pretty much its just getting the place child proofed as the get older.
    Where we are now we have stairs inside so have put gates in, any stairs leading in or out to places you can help them with til the get old enought to learn how to safely step up or down.
    Just check too in places the access to kitchen. At our old place the way it was it was easy access for Ash, and we couldn't block off so if we ever had to use the oven we had to really watch her so she didn't touch it. Our new place we've been able to block off the kitchen so she can't get in there.

  6. #6


    Thanks for the advice re: balconies and chairs and being able to climb over - I hadn't thought of that. Ahh! So many things to consider. But that's exactly why I asked, because I wanted to make sure I was thinking of other possibilities that hadn't entered my headspace as yet.

    No, Kellie, I will definitely not leave my child out there unattended - especially now that I have realised the danger!! Eeek!

    This is also helpful because my parents (and everyone else I personally know) had a house to raise their children in, so never had to consider these things.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    We are renting a little ground floor apartment and we're more than happy to stay here for as long as possible. Our place is like a small house though as the block is very quiet and we have a little yard so it's at least somewhere to take baby outside. We also live near a huge park so that's a plus. I guess size of rooms is important as we'll just be fitting everything in here once we have bed, cot, computer desk, dining table and lounge all set up. We're in a one bedroom w study apartment and bubba will sleep in our room so I dont' think we'd stay after bubba is about 1.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    We live in a 2 bedroom unit on the second floor of our building.

    Theres a couple of things that are a bit of a PITA about it.

    1. carrying stuff up the stairs. I usually have to do a couple of trips. I used to just carry the pram with her in it up the stairs but now she is bigger its a bit heavy to do that, and I dont like to leve her inside by herself while I go downstairs so I bring her with me up and down the stairs alot.

    2. we dont have an internal laundry, so I always have pooey/spewy clothes soaking in buckets in the bathroom. Try to get a place with an internal laundry. Itt will make things easier. Its not so bad now becuse she doesnt spew much anymore and doesnt do explosive poos, but when she was first born she did heaps.

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