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Apartment living August 26, 2011

Filed under: Short Advice — The Anonymous Mum @ 8:38 am
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So I had a traditional upbringing in New Zealand, small house and a big backyard within 10 min drive of the beach.
When it was sunny, we were out in the backyard either playing cricket, soccer, tag, netball/basketball, or down at the beach, and when it was crummy we’d be inside building forts..never once thinking that my own kid would start their own life without the same experience.

We moved to Melbourne, AU last year (from Wellington, NZ) as the husband unit couldn’t find a job for 8months after being made redundant and we found out we were pregnant a month later while sitting on a blowup bed on someones floor. We wanted to find somewhere as central as we could so it was easy for me to get to appointments and no public transport costs for the man, but obviously there are no places with land/grass/decent size deck in any city unless you’re made of gold. So we ended up with a 2 bedroom apartment in Southbank in Melbourne on the 23 floor..

We are renters, we don’t like being renters but we don’t have a choice.. and it amazes me how most apartments have the most ‘prone to stains’ cream carpet, let alone having a baby around.

Here are some tips we have found since having a baby within our apartment living:
– 23 floors great view! but it is a bit much for a fire drill during a 35degree day with a 6week old…
– Before getting carpet cleaners in make sure you check about the chemicals they’re bringing in otherwise you might all be camping in the lounge for the next week while the fumes clear
– Cant paint? wall decals are amazing!! and family photographs make you feel less ‘cabin feverish’
– Aircon and ventilation, if you think your apartment is going to get stuffy and you’re about to go out.. open windows/doors/anything! not going out, put the aircon on. When it gets stuffy, it gets really stuffy – baby will not like it and neither will you after a nights sleep.
– Check how close your ‘favourite things to do’ are –  how far away is public transport/the beach/ a park – when you have cabin fever you will need it.
– minimalistic furniture..I think we’ve been lucky with falling in love with IKEA in Australia.. very minimalistic and cheap.. it also makes it seem like we have more space in our apartment
– babies don’t need many toys –  don’t go overboard, they don’t need much to keep them happy.. more toys means you need space to put the toys away
– window outlook –  Ive had an apartment once which looked directly onto another building 1 metre away… believe me it drives you insane! get a place which you either see out onto a courtyard/road/beach(if you’re lucky) and natural light.. if you don’t have natural light your place will be very cold and the electricity bills will be very high!
– make sure the windows are safe with a baby/toddler around – any curtain/blind cords put well out of reach, as chances are your wee one will want to play around the windows –  I have heard some horror stories.
– measure spaces AND door ways before buying furniture –  we had to put our washing machine in via our bedroom as the bathroom door is 2 inches smaller than all the other doors in our apartment –  funny after the fact, but not during.
– check out storage before moving in –  we have one cupboard and one pantry doors worth of storage… luckily we didn’t have much stuff being new to the country and only having 3 suitcases worth of stuff.. but you don’t want stuff clogging hallways/doorways –  it will make you feel really down.
– Let your bub experience the world! – being stuck in an apartment your wee one doesn’t see much –  take them down to the park, let them feel the grass, take them for a swim, take them for lots of walks(if you’re usually a car bound person) they will love you for it!
– Sards wonder soap is amazing –  it cleans any stain on the wall/carpet/floor

We would LOVE a house in suburbia with the white picket fence.. that day will come, but for now we try and stay sane.  Apartment living is definitely an experience though and I wouldn’t give up that experience for the world, I believe it teaches you to be cleaner and respect your space a lot more – but if you can avoid it with miniyou’s around, it would be a little better.

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