Is Basement Apartment Good for Toddlers?

A basement apartment isn’t the ideal environment for toddlers. However, you can make it more suitable by making a few changes.

Pros of Raising Your Toddler in a Basement Apartment

Some of the advantages of raising your toddler in a basement apartment include:

Low Rent

Basement apartments are typically offered at low rental rates. This is because most people consider them a last resort when they are apartment hunting.

This low rent could be advantageous if you want to raise your child in a good neighborhood, but can’t afford the rent for ordinary apartments. 

You can then use the money you save toward raising your toddler in healthier ways.

For example, living in a basement apartment might save you $200 each month compared to living in a regular apartment. 

You can spend this extra cash on healthy food options and books to boost your child’s development. This could be more advantageous than living in an ordinary apartment.

More Space to Raise Your Toddler

Basement apartments are often more spacious than ordinary apartments. Basement apartments in the United States typically vary from 500 to 1500 square feet in size.

By contrast, ordinary apartments are around 880 square feet in size. This means your toddler will likely have plenty of space to move around in a basement apartment.

All this extra space means you should be able to fit a sizable playroom in your home. You can also set up a child-friendly living room with lots of space for your own entertainment.

More Privacy

Privacy can be an important factor for any living space. After all, no one wants their apartment interior to be visible from outside.

Basement apartments can offer good privacy because they often don’t have windows. This means it is impossible for outsiders to see inside.

For this reason, parents will have peace of mind knowing that their toddler is safe from any prying eyes in their basement apartment. 

You should note that some basement apartments do have street level windows. In this scenario, you may need to get shutters to prevent people on the street from looking inside.

Cons of Raising Your Toddler in a Basement Apartment

There are many disadvantages associated with raising your toddler in a basement apartment. This includes:

Lack of Natural Light

If your basement apartment doesn’t have any windows, your toddler won’t get any exposure to natural light when they are home. This can cause many types of issues.

For example, studies have found that regular exposure to daylight boosts concentration. Conversely, lack of exposure to daylight can lead to poor concentration.

This means your toddler’s learning ability may be compromised if you live in a basement apartment without windows.

Sleep experts also believe that lack of exposure to daylight can also disrupt a child’s circadian rhythm. This controls your toddler’s natural sleep cycles.

So your toddler may start sleeping and waking up at the wrong times if you choose to live in a basement apartment.

Claustrophobic Feeling

Not having windows in your basement apartment can lead to many other problems. Such spaces often convey a cramped and claustrophobic feeling.

Your toddler might not necessarily be able to explain this feeling. However, you should be vigilant if you believe your basement apartment is creating this issue.

Toddlers are at the prime age to explore their surroundings with curiosity. Keeping them in a basement apartment could stifle this curiosity and impact their mental development.

Difficulty Moving Items and In and Out of the Apartment

While most apartment floors are accessible via an elevator, many basement apartments can be accessed only via a staircase. This presents many issues.

For example, simple tasks such as bringing groceries in and out of your apartment with your toddler become far more frustrating. 

Your toddler might be able to walk around freely, but you will need to assist them going up and down these stairs. To do this, you will need to let go of any items you are carrying. 

This will delay how long it takes to complete a simple grocery run.

Living With Loud Noises

You and your toddler might have to deal with many noises while living in your basement apartment. This is because these apartments tend to be at street level.

This means you will likely be able to hear most street noises throughout the day and night. This includes the sound of cars passing by, dogs barking, or people talking loudly

Many apartment buildings also keep utility systems such as furnaces in their basements. 

This furnace might not be placed directly in your basement apartment. But you might still be able to hear it from next door.

All these unwanted noises can disturb your toddler at night and impact their sleep. For this reason, a noisy basement apartment might not be ideal for your child.

Pest Problems

Another drawback of living in a basement apartment with your toddler is having to deal with pests.

Pests such as rats and cockroaches can enter basements relatively easily.

Such pests are naturally attracted to dark and damp basement environments. This problem can be especially bad if your basement apartment has windows at the street-level.

Opening these windows gives any pests from the street free rein to enter your basement apartment and create havoc. Getting rid of such pests is no easy feat either.

No parent wants to worry about their sleeping toddler being bitten by such pests. For this reason, you should opt for a basement apartment only if you can keep pests at bay.

Also read: Pest Control Cost for Apartments

Health Risks from Mold

Basement apartments are also at higher risk of developing mold than ordinary apartments. This is because they are damp and cool environments.

Such environments offer the perfect conditions for mold development, which can become a never ending problem.

Mold isn’t just unsightly. It can also cause you and your toddler to develop many symptoms. This includes excessive sneezing, itching, headaches, fatigue, and even difficulty breathing.

How to Make a Basement Apartment More Suitable for Your Toddler

The disadvantages described above should alert you to the problems with raising your toddler in a basement apartment. However, you might not have another option.

In this situation, you will need to take some steps to make the basement apartment more hospitable for your toddler. This includes:

Getting a Dehumidifier

As mentioned earlier, basements are naturally humid environments that lead to mold development. You can get rid of this excess humidity by setting up a dehumidifier.

You should ideally run this dehumidifier for twelve hours a day. However, you can increase or decrease this running time depending on your basement’s exact humidity levels.

Installing Blinds Near Windows

Getting privacy certainly isn’t easy in a basement apartment with windows. 

You can stop people on the street from seeing into your basement apartment by setting up window blinds and closing them at night.

This will allow you to control your privacy level as needed and ensure your toddler stays safe.

Setting Up Pest Traps

Keeping your toddler safe from pests can be tricky. You should first focus on creating conditions that discourage pests from showing up.

This includes vacuuming and wiping down surfaces regularly. Many pests appear in basements seeking food, so getting rid of leftovers should discourage them from appearing.

If pests such as rats have already gotten into your basement apartment, you can opt to set up rat traps in different corners of your living space. 

You should note that certain kinds of rat traps aren’t suitable for homes with toddlers. This includes glue traps and jaw traps. 

Such traps can hurt your toddler if they become curious and decide to touch them. Therefore, you should be careful when choosing pest traps for your basement apartment.

Cage-based live-trap mouse traps are a good option for homes with toddlers. Such traps don’t have any sticky or snapping component that could hurt your child.

Getting a Fake Window

If your basement apartment doesn’t have windows, you can always set up a fake one. Many brands have begun manufacturing and selling window blinds with built-in lights.

Such products are designed to mimic the appearance of window blinds illuminated by daylight. You can set up such window blinds in your basement relatively easily.

When set up properly, they can give your toddler the illusion of living in a space with natural daylight.

This solution is no substitute for taking your toddler outside regularly. However, it should help them feel more comfortable when they are indoors in your basement apartment.

Giving Your Toddler a Great Life in Your Basement Apartment

As you can see, basement apartments aren’t ideal for toddlers. Such spaces come with no shortage of problems that can impact your toddler’s development.

The above guide offers some great tips if you can’t avoid living in a basement apartment with your toddler. So consider consulting it to make life more comfortable for your toddler.

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