How to pick the right neighbourhood when Baby #1 comes along
This one might seem obvious, but there are several factors at play when considering the safety of a neighbourhood. No doubt crime will be your biggest concern, as it should be, but there’s more to it than that. Noise pollution can be a huge problem, especially to small ears, and areas known for large student populations are likely be filled with endless parties, especially in the warmer months. Traffic should also be on your list, and not just busy roads. Sharp corners and blind spots can be equally dangerous, especially for bodies that aren’t tall enough to be seen by drivers who might think they’re being careful.
Proximity to a good school, whatever that means to you and your partner, is essential as kids spend up to eight hours there five days a week for ten years stomping around those school grounds. Not only do you want to give your children the best academic start, being close to a good school can also reduce hassle and stress in the morning if you know you don’t have to drive them in one direction before swinging around only to drive in the complete opposite.
Public playgrounds and parks
Cooped up, children can become decidedly unbearable. This isn’t their fault: they’re full of energy and still learning to be people. One of the best ways to wear out their energy, while also helping them learn how to play nice with other kids, is to take them down to the park.
One day those little toddlers will be teenagers who are just desperate for some space. Entrusting them with the responsibility to catch a train and watch a movie with friends can seem daunting, but it’s an inevitable part of growing up. Picking a house near a train or reliable bus route can help instil responsibility in your children at a time where they’re trying to prove to you just how much they’re ready for it. It also makes them more independent when they move out of home or begin travelling, as their ability to read a bus schedule comes in handy no matter where they are.
Room to grow
Kids don’t need endless space, but they do need some – and you’ll be grateful they have it when you are also seeking some alone time. You don’t necessarily need an endless, sprawling lawn or a dedicated play room to accommodate a family. If you’re considering having more than one child, definitely look into an extra bedroom or two to accommodate your expanding family. A backyard, no matter how small, is a great place for kids to work off some energy and explore their own imaginations on days that the park or an outing isn’t feasible. We also recommend looking for a combined dining/living area or a kitchen with a window where you can watch the kids from. This way, you don’t need to relocate them when it comes time to prepare meals, but instead keep an eye on them from the stove.