Negotiating the space constraints inherent in sharing an apartment with a significant other or spouse can be tough enough, but, once you throw kids into the mix a whole new set of challenges tend to crop up. However, New Yorkers are nothing if not creative and resilient, so, below we present five common apartment challenges that are "born" with the baby—along with solutions.
Problem: No matter how much you try to pretend, your apartment just isn’t growing an additional bedroom
Hello, growing pains! Just because you’ve decided to go from zero to one, or one to two children does not mean that you suddenly have enough money for a full-scale gut renovation—if your building would even approve it.
Solution #1: A simple room divider bookcase can be a godsend with very little work involved at all.
This Bush Aero collection 16 Cube bookcase (shown above) has 16 equal compartments and will not only create a makeshift wall to divide two parts of a room, but will also give offer you some additional storage (sale price: $269.88).
Solution #2: For a little more permanence and much more privacy, you could go the pressurized wall route. Few New Yorkers haven’t had a pressurized wall at some point in their rental life, which makes one of these almost a city rite of passage. Just remember that you have to have a window in every room to make this legal, and building management companies are cracking down on these more than ever. Make sure it's okay before you go ahead.
Problem: Your neighbors are noisy
Apartment living can be super noisy. Thin plaster walls and residents with varying schedules can make getting your baby or child to sleep pretty difficult when the neighbors next door are just getting ready to host a dinner party. Instead of constantly complaining to the super, your best bet is to try to muffle the sound coming into your apartment.
Solution #1: Large, ceiling-height furniture or wall hangings can go a long way in lowering the decibel level of the sound that you hear through the walls. While it won’t be 100 percent, at the very least you can make your apartment feel a little bit less like your walls are made out of paper.
Solution #2: A white noise machine. While there are numerous tablet and smartphone apps that supply white noise, one of this writer's personal favorite gadgets is the Marpac Dohm-DS All-Natural White Noise Sound Machine (shown above). The same white noise machine used by many doctor’s offices, this is a simple two-speed motor with an fan that provides the sound of rushing air (and it's usually available for under $50). It’s also the "official sound conditioner" of the National Sleep Foundation—not a bad endorsement.
Problem: You are the noisy one
Children often wake up earlier than the rest of the world and want to play. Even during normal hours, toppling block towers, bouncing balls, jumping feet and zooming toy cars can create less-than-dulcet tones which may not endear your family to your downstairs neighbors.
Solution #1: Wall-to-wall carpeting or large area rugs. Most buildings actually require that up to 80 percent of an apartment’s floor area be covered with carpeting, so you could just jump the gun and have your apartment carpeted before noise complaints become an issue.
Problem: Not enough space for the furniture you need
Problem: Toys all over the place and nowhere to put them
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