children running

doitOctober 30, 2004

I was informed by my landlord that I should take my 20-month old to the park to run and not run in the apartment. He proceeded to tell me that he taught his children to do tabletop activities while at home and to run outdoors only.

I was taken aback by this request as we go to the park 1-2 times a day- I have an active toddler and one on the way.

He also reported that he had spoken to the young couple living below us who work out of their home and take classes and that "I now have a problem on my hands"

What can we do about this situation?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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do you have carpeting? that can help reduce the noise quite a bit.
unfortunately, most apartments are poorly constructed and sound travels. even small children can make quite a bit of noise when running back and forth.
i've lived under a toddler and it wasnt pleasant. the constant running can really get on your nerves. carpeting and padding (and no shoes) may make all the difference. or perhaps talk with the people downstairs and try and work something out.
sorry i am not more sympathetic. but i have been listening to my upstairs neighbor clomp back and forth across the apartment for the past hour and i am getting a headache from it (shoes on bare floors). i wish i had your landlord

    Bookmark   October 30, 2004 at 2:12PM
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regarding your landlord and your "problem"......
there is likely little your landlord can do to you about your child running around the apartment. i dont know if your lease specifically addresses these issues (other than tenant shall not disturb other tenants, or maybe the carpeting issue) but i doubt if you can be evicted because you small child makes noise. if you are a month to month tenant you have less rights.
but i do suggest you talk to the people downstairs and maybe listen to what it sounds like when you toddler is toddling. approaching things in a friendly way will likely lead to a better living situation for you and your neighbors.
sorry for being less than sympathetic before but the people upstairs from me really do drive me nuts and they are unwilling to change and the landlord is unwilling to do anything about it

    Bookmark   October 30, 2004 at 5:00PM
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Ask if there's a first floor apartment you can move into. Or offer to swap with the folks downstairs. It's quite possible they don't want to go to the trouble to move, which would give them less ground for complaining.

I don't see how you can keep your child from running around. It's what they do.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 4:36AM
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I can appreciate your predicament, but I lived in an apartment under TWO toddlers for about two years. The ONLY good thing was that the racket tended to stop early in the evening after bathtime, which I clearly heard through my bathroom vent.

Carpet is a must, no shoes in the house, and also, rolling or dragging toys can make very unpleasant noises for the poeple below. No dout they could meet you halfway on this, but since they already complained to the landlord, they have staked out their position pretty clearly.

Best of luck to you...

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 4:22PM
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I have included a link to sound proof padding that could be placed under the carpet (suggested by previous posters)

Here is a link that might be useful: Sound Reduction Mat Underlayment

    Bookmark   November 2, 2004 at 2:01AM
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He RENTED to a family with a toddler:

The no shoes and no wheeled (or at least no hard-wheeled) toys is a good idea, but kids are going to make noise.

Talk to the people who live under you and find out what their schedule is ... maybe they are being unrealistic and just need to see for themselves what a toddler is like.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2004 at 7:25AM
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Boy this is a tough one because I am also living the other side of the situation. The folks above us have a two year old and she runs from one room to the other and it sounds like a herd of elephants. We have not complained nor do we intend to, but it really is unnerving. Sorry I don't know what the solution is. In our case we are just putting up with it. Maybe checking their schedule would help. Our upstairs toddler is often going strong at 11:00 p.m. - my family is up and going by 5:00 a.m. Makes for a short night.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2004 at 11:47AM
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The landlord may have rented to the poster with a toddler, but he also rented to the downstairs neighbors, who have a right to a quiet home. I'm sure they are not expecting dead silence, but speaking as someone who lives under someone who stomps and creaks and squeaks all night, I can't wait to move. I can't get any sleep or any work done. The lease has a provision in it requiring that "no noise be heard outside the unit between 9 pm and 9 am." The landlord has to enforce that provision, and he knows it too, so he's looking into soundproofing the upstairs and tightening up the floor joints.

Not only that, but toddlerhood is a great time to teach children the differences in how you act indoors and outdoors. Running indoors is inappropriate and should be discouraged--it can very well lead to injury. And it's never to early to teach children respect for other people.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 12:48PM
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also note the word "toddler." A "toddler" is defined by his gait, and it is not POSSIBLE for him to walk all that quietly.

He CANNOT walk "heel to toe" yet. His muscles and tendons and balance won't let him. He TODDLES. So even when he's walking, he'll make more noise than a grownup. Also, depending on his age, some kids have trouble walking too slowly. A "trot" (not a run) is their normal enthusiastic gait.

So, you can make sure he doesn't RUN. You can put pieces of furniture that he has to maneuver around, to slow him down. And you can teach him to walk more slowly.

More than that, you can enforce "walking feet"--the secret w/ toddlers is to come down really hard and really consistently--not beat them, but time outs, toys taken away, etc.They's such amazing little learners, if you truly enforce that rule, you'll succeed.

You can find out the schedule of the folks below, and make sure to schedule play-dough time when they're at peak work flow. Or take him to the park at the right times. You may have to work really hard to engage his quiet attention--meaning, you sit down with him, and read books, or whatever.

And, if you know what room they work in, you can stay out of that corresponding room during peak work time. You can roll a ball back and forth in the bedroom, to be active, while they work in the living room.

But I also think it's not fair of them to insist that the WHOLE apartment be toddler-footfall free.

And, as he gets older, he'll get better at simply walking quietly.

Good luck! this is really hard. Much harder than turning your stereo down, or moving your computer to the living room so the keyboard and beeps don't float through the quiet, quiet night to your upstairs neighbor.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 7:39PM
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From my experience, plenty of adults can't walk heel to toe!

Or won't, that is.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 10:52PM
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When we were looking for temporary housing, we had to turn down a nicer apartment complex because the only available unit was upstairs. We have 2 boys and they still run around the house at times. They're not toddlers anymore and usually listen when I say "stop running," so what can we expect from a toddler? Right now, there's a toddler upstairs and it's irritating with all the noises and bumps and stomps, esp. at midnight, and just like the other poster, we have no intention of complaining to them or to the apt. manager, because we were in their shoes once, and toddlers will be toddlers.
Since you mentioned that you're pregnant, maybe if you plan on moving to another apartment in the near future, try to get a 1st floor unit.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2004 at 10:18AM
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Rich69--good for you for refusing the upstairs unit. When you live in apartments, it's important to be realistic about your own habits and what might impair another person's reasonable expectations for noise, etc.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2004 at 9:48PM
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Ah, this is always a favorite and well-discussed topic in this forum. You'll have each side (the parents and the non-parents) arguing passionately.

For myself, I have lived above children and it was simply awful. I can't imagine living underneath them. I will NEVER take an apartment or condo that is not top floor. Even then, sound travels but it's not as bad as having it over your head.

I agree with the people who have suggested you see if there is a ground-floor unit available. It is simply maddening to many of us without children to listen to the running and jumping -- I'm sorry to be so blunt, but it's the truth. "Kids may be kids" and all that (and please, I am not attempting to start a flame war here) but nonetheless, unless one has superhuman abilities to block noise out, it is incredibly irritating.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 8:29PM
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It is not acceptable for any tenants to have to hear a continual amount of noise beyond a whisper from those who reside above them or below...

As for normal child behavior, play time should end at dinner time...that is when children should be winding down, getting baths, doing homework, or be part of some type of parent interaction like games, stories, or art projects...that "includes" toddlers.

I agree with the landlord, with the running issue, there should not be any running in any apartment building, that is unacceptable behavior "Peroid"! You are to respect the privacy of those you live next to, and you can be accountable by law if you continually neglect the rights of other tenants. That means you can face eviction.

Also, you should be glad to spend time out your home with your child, and the sun exposure is best source of vitamin D for you both.

Accommodation..runs both ways...if the single person below you always blasted their rap music, and it interrupted your day or child's nap you may be bit upset with them and say something to them about, stop and think before you let your child willfully jump up and down, run back and forth through the apartment, slam toys into the floor, and scream or cry at early hours of the day every day for two years, and still expect that single person to turn down the music "right away", cause you are mad.

We all have to work together or find other places to live.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 12:12AM
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Next time specifically request an apartment on the ground level. Running isnt acceptable for an apartment~so either teach your kids not to do it,or move.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 4:21PM
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Hey Liem. can you say everything you wrote to the toddlers?? because I'm pretty sure the parents understand your thoughts. You probably don't have kids, so youuu don't understand that it's really hard not to allow KIDS to be KIDS. They have rights, you can not tie them, they need to be kids. that is part of their development. i think the landlord has to solve this problem, not the parents. The landlord is gonna have to move you guys to a first floor. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 9:04PM
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"i think the landlord has to solve this problem, not the parents. The landlord is gonna have to move you guys to a first floor."

This is the problem with society today. Parents no longer want to take reponsibility for their own kids and expect society to watch and raise their kids! If these are YOUR kids, why does the landlord have to do something? YOU are the one who chose to have kids while still living in apartments. YOU are the one who chose to live in an upstairs unit, knowing that your toddler will be noisy and more than likely disturb other tenants living downstairs.

Take the kids outside if they need to run. Toddlers and young kids CAN be taught not to run or to be noisy. It's called DISCIPLINE. Don't try and reason with a child. TELL the child what to do, don't ask it.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 5:33PM
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I agree with socialdisneydude. I have a 9 year old and we have ALWAYS requested a bottom floor apartment so we dont disturb anyone.
And,when we did visit friends who lived in upper level apartments,you can bet she was told not to run or jump! And she listened! Imagine that.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 11:02PM
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I agree, Coolmama. I live on the bottom floor and there have been some people living above me for 2 months that have made my life hell. They have a 2 or 3 year old daughter who runs incessantly across the apartment. During the day, evening, and middle of the night. I doubt she ever sleeps. I've invested a small fortune in ear plugs. I have it down to a science now. If I want to watch TV, I stuff the ear plugs in my ears and turn the TV up as loud as it will go. Then the thundering of the child is blocked out, but I can still hear the TV. If I want to sleep at night (who would do such a silly thing!), I stuff the ear plugs in and turn on two loud fans. Then, I can ALMOST not hear the stomping. Running should always be done outside, and never in an apartment that isn't ground floor. I had people live above me before and the only noise I ever heard was water running and the occasional vacuum cleaner. That's it and that's the way it should be. People should control their kids. I haven't decided if I should just grin and bare it, knock on the door and talk to them, tape a note to the door, mail them a letter, or speak with the office. I collect antique vacuum cleaners and because I care about other people, I do not ever run a vacuum if the sun has already set. When I do vacuum it is in broad daylight and never for more than 10 minutes at a time. I also bake... I never use the food processor, or electric stand mixer after dark. I used to be mindful of the volume of the TV and stereo... now I have to turn it up so it compensates for the ear plugs being in. I think tomorrow I will turn on 35 antique vacuum cleaners and leave the apartment overnight. Parents should control their children. Children should only ever run outside, and at least should never do so in an apartment that isn't ground level. End of story.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 8:25PM
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"I think tomorrow I will turn on 35 antique vacuum cleaners and leave the apartment overnight. "

Haha! That would fix their wagon wouldnt it? Sorry to hear you guys live with such inconsiderate parents who let their kids do this.
My sister used to be to blame for this too.She had an older lady underneath her apartment who was always upset at the noise my sister's child made. My sister didnt even TRY to stop her son from jumping off furniture,and running back and forth. The lady didnt take it laying down though and kept complaining. Finally my sister got the hint and moved to a ground floor apartment.

I think you just have to keep complaining about it to get anywhere.
The poster who said,"kids are kids and shouldnt be denied running" doesnt take into consideration that it is DANGEROUS for kids to be running in the house in the first place. I have never let my daughter do it,even on the ground floor. She goes outside if she wants to act crazy.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 2:09AM
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I think the biggest issue is always that once in a while, of course you are gonna hear a bang, a drop of something, or something slam or heavy footsteps, but, once a week is one thing, a constant, uninterrupted noise is a totally different issue. This was discussed in another post, but we talked about like in the complex we are in, there are "kid" buildings and then non kid buildings. I think that is the way it should be. It is not discriminating, it is just common sense in any structure where you are adjoined to your neighbors. Like minded people are going to enjoy each other better. In the kid area there is a huge playground, a bike riding area so they are not around the cars, things like that. Where the non kid buildings are there is a gorgeous lake, picnic areas and tons of wild ducks and egrets. Everyone enjoys the "area" they are in, kid or non kid. It is set up for both.

Best of luck! We live downstairs and never have before. We have a 10 year old dog and she just can't do steps. Luckily, we have never heard a peep from the upstairs people and next door to us is the model so no issues there either.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 12:01PM
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I am lucky to be in a complex that has children and toddlers all grouped together in one unit
and senior citizens in another unit
college students in another
It is not a mix and match complex
this way we can all get along!!!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 11:58PM
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Wow. I wonder how sound proof the new apatments now days are than?? I have a daughter that is 2 I don't let her run, I try to understand even though I never lived downstairs before. When ever she runs I remind her not to. But these stories sounds so bad!!! We haven't gotten any complaints before... But please tell me if the newer apartments would be more sound proof!? And voice level... my daughter talks but sometimes kids talk louder when they are excited... I still have 11 months on my lease... after that I think I'm just going to get a house. Until than please tell more about sound proof. Our manager did say that our apartments are pretty sound proof. What does that mean?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 8:18AM
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What about baby sitting..Becuase I was told there was NO kids when I moved in now all she does is watch her friends kids.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 7:39AM
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I think the problem is the heel to toe, thats how the ones above me do it, stomp on there heels. I can walk toe to heel like. I wish they would wear shoes all the time, it would put rubber between the heel and floor.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 4:30PM
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Okay so does no one have a solution to convince toddlers to not run in the apartment? I have a VERY energetic two year old and I am Very pregnant and not energetic. Had I known how loud a toddler running on linoleum on the second floor could be I would have a first floor apt right now. My toddler is ALWAYS in bed by 8 never up before 7 and takes at least a two hour nap in the middle of the day but that still leaves a large chunk of the day for him to run. He is at daycare during the weekdays so that is only two full days that he is even here and my neighbors still complain. I'm moving in a few months but that isn't an option now. Does anyone actually have a good method for stopping a 2 year old from running? We can only spend so much time in the park. It's great to reiterate that its annoying for the people below me, its annoying for myself as well. If he was 5 I could explain it to him but for now he is not getting it. Any ACTUAL solutions?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 6:58PM
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You should move to a park if you want to let your kids run back and forth over someones head. Reasonable noise is to be expected, the occasional running back and forth, dropping things. But to let your child run from room to room is asinine and to let your child run from room to room all hours of the day is absurd. I hope your landlord evicts you.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 10:18PM
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