Babies and Speakers

For those out there with newborns or babies on the way, I ran across a friend who's a fellow audiophile who advised me that after my newborn son arrives in 3 months time that if I plan on getting serious speakers with a decent sub I should consider that I won't be able to run my system volume at pre-baby levels without waking up the child.

Short of buying a nice over the ear headset, which would upset me since I won't be able to run my floorstanding speakers, how big of an issue is this for all of you and what other ways have you worked around it?

Many thanks everyone for making these forums so helpful for an anxious Dad to be.
I think a fellow goner wrote up the baby and child proofing for the audiophile. Search for it. But as you now know, this will be just the first of many accommodation's you will be making.
Too many complications to answer but I never had a problem when my kids were little. Of course, they were 2-3 rooms away and, I think, they adapted to it, too.

I wouldn't worry about it now since you will simply do what you have to do.

Babies love least all of mine did. If you like all kinds of music (and most audiophiles do) the rock music for the awake hours, if your going to crank it up.

I ran across a friend who's a fellow audiophile who advised me that after my newborn son arrives in 3 months time that if I plan on getting serious speakers with a decent sub I should consider that I won't be able to run my system volume at pre-baby levels without waking up the child.

I find this information false. Our first addition to the family was a set of twin boys and we always played music and many times they wouldnt go to sleep unless we turned it on. I cant tell you how many times I have heard Eric Claptons' 'You Look Wonderful Tonight'.

When a new family arrives, its best to carry on with business as usual as then the baby get familiar with the noises that go on during the day. To many people these days try and be all to quiet when the baby is sleeping and then the slightest little noise ends up waking them up.

My kids to this day ( the boys are 16 and our daughter is 15) can sleep through the music at whatever level I have it at as they say it relaxes them.
Depends on how close you live to the Grandparents. Sure, you can't play at pre-baby volumes all the time, but if you stay home occasionally during the trips to the Grandparents, those rare opportunities to turn the knob past 2 are that much sweeter. I have the house to myself this weekend and don't plan on turning the volume down till Monday (or when the police show up).

Besides, as you will find out, the price you pay in music is more than made up for. And eventually he will be old enough to enjoy music at the proper volume.
maggie mmg's
I doubt that you'll have time to listen to music in the first 6 months...
Play Mozart. There is a theory that it increases IQ. They even sell CDs specifically produced for this purpose.
Most babies can sleep through smoke detector alarms and more. On the other hand, you will soon come to appreciate babies sleep time, and you will think twice about disturbing it. High sound volumes in close proximity to a baby is probably not the best thing for their delicate ears.
Just wait till the baby gets mobile, then things get really interesting.
Well Dad,

You do have to aware of the "little one" ears, so playing your floorstanders at Metallica levels in your living room is probably going to be a "no no" for awhile, and over doing the bass can be upsetting for an infant trying to sleep. But playing your music at moderate levels shouldn't be a problem, especially if the music is somewhat mellow. Playing music with female vocals, classic jazz, acoustic music, string quartets and piano music and the like is actually a good thing for babies and young listeners to be exposed to. Actually I was reading an article the other day that talked about unborn babies being able to hear and respond to sounds quite well at 6 months into their development.
I bought a new pair of floorstanding speakers the same year my first baby was born (1987). I chose a pair of ADS 1090's for the following reasons: 1) I liked the sound; 2) There was no port where a baby or toddler could insert baby toys or wet wipes; 3) the drivers were protected by a perforated metal grille, which would keep curious baby fingers from poking through and ruining the speaker cones or denting the tweeters; 4) they were floorstanders, so a curious baby couldn't yank a speaker cable and pull a mini-monitor off a stand and down onto her punky li'l head.

As for being able to play them, I played them plenty, but also used some common sense. Since the year of her birth was also when I got new speakers *and* my first CD player, I was bringing home new music and playing it all the time. If you bring a child up in a musical environment, they consider it part of their environment, not an intrusion. I also used common sense and listened on headphones when mom and baby went to bed at night.

Some of the speakers offered by use perforated metal grilles.
Jaybo, we do think alike (I think).

I was going to recommend the MAggie mmg as well.

Inexpensive and best sound at low to moderate volumes with least amount of baby (and wife) disturbing potential.

Its a no-brainer.
Congrats on the imminent arrival! Life changing stuff...and all for the good.
Play the music as much/often as possible, albeit at lower levels, at first. As Riley says, they get used to it and in the case of my daughters, learned to sleep thru most any volume setting.
Low levels on any system will work.

Low levels on mmgs might be the best sounding and very cost effective.

Give them a listen sometime if you think you will not be satisfied with what you have at low volumes, otherwise you'll be fine.

For what it's worth, I owned Maggie 1.3c's when both my children were babies. They slept well and have grown up with a nice appreciation of music as well.
Every baby will be different. I was in your shoe about 4 years ago. We live in the Silicon Valley, so houses are fairly small in comparison. We kept our main system in the living room, while I converted our guest room into the baby's room. And with that, my second system got disassembled, and turned into a headphone based system in my study room. We read all the horror stories and saw all the funny videos on TV where babies fed cereals to the VCRs, etc.

I thought the day of me listening to my main system was over, so I was really into building up my headphone gear. Well, now I have 3 headphone amps and 3 pairs of headphones, I don't ever use them. I've been back at listening to my main gear, mostly late at night when my wife and son go to sleep. Yeah, I don't crank it up that loud, but still pretty good listening level. If you train your kids from the start, they will sleep through everything. Take them out to cafes and noisy restaurants, let them sleep while you enjoy a nice meal or a cup of coffee. Walk through the malls while they sleep in the stroller. Get them used to loud noises early. Worst thing you can do is to train them to sleep only when the environment is quiet.

My son enjoys the music with me some times too, but mostly he's in the back playing with his toy while I have my system going. But these days more CD then LPs as more often than not that I'm playing with him or running around doing stuff.

All my gear are in open racks. I had supervised my son to turn on/off stuff for me. So the novelty worn off early on, and he never touched anything again. I got him a little CD player hook up with a pair of computer speakers in his room. He considers that his system. So he plays with that most of the time. But once in a while he would ask me to play something on "daddy's system", and we would enjoy it together.

I believe music is good for mental development. It's a complex stimulation that gives the brain a workout. Helps in getting those neurons and synapses all connected and fired up. However, be very, very careful of volume. Their hearing is much more sensitive than an adult's, especially with higher frequencies. You don't want to contribute to the child having premature hearing loss.
there is no harm, as long as it's not rap...
My wife always used a noise machine to play some sort of static or sound to block out the world so the baby would sleep. These are great (waves, birds, static, wind...).
Want one really cheap, we are done with ours?
it was so long ago my recollection is weak (my kids are now 25 and 23), but listening volume was never a problem for me when my kids were infants. In fact, my oldest son would fall asleep whenever we turned on the vacuum cleaner!

The bigger issue for me was I little to had no time to listen. I ended up putting my energy/money into the best car stereo I could manage since I have a 50 minute commute, this was my listening time.
Both of my boys were born at home to the strains of Pachelbel's Canon in D. The music never stopped and now they both play instruments themselves.
It's the toddler stage you want to worry about. They climb. They knock things over. They smear food and other things. They put little things into little places. They are curious and their investigations can have disastrous results. You won't really care though. They're only little once.
I had a lot of soft new age music playing when my son was born (Enya, etc.). So far, he is a very peace loving and inquisitive soul.

Music is good for kids as long as its not jarring or upsetting. I think it has been scientifically supported that music helps the brain develop. Kids are not good for stereo systems though. Keep toddlers fingers away from soft dome tweeters, for example.
Id be more concerned with making sure your speakers of anchored to avoid tipping. Safety is much more impt. then worrying about disturbing the baby. I have twins and sometimes they even liked the stereo. All depends on the kid, the time of day, the amount of bass etc.
I agree with many of the previously made comments. If your floor plan will allow, you might consider my soulution to the quandry. While many kids will sleep through significant noise (especially when trained to do so), I like to listen at pretty loud levels. The hallway that leads to the bedrooms in my house has an entry that is very conducive to setting up a sort of false wall. That is, I purchase sound board from Lowes and wedge it in between the existing walls for a pretty snug fit (includes some cutting). This has proven to be both effective and inexpensive. I have been able to listen to my system at any level, any time of night for years without waking up my kids even once. By the way, I do not consider my kids to be especially deep sleepers. For added measure, I place a baby monitor in the hallway. That way, I know if someone gets up, cries, uses the bathroom, or whatever.
My uber gear-head neighbor was visiting one day and he brought his 10 year old.
I had left playing some symphonic work.....probably Vivaldi's Four Season, the Telarc CD issue......

Dad and I were toward the back of the room talking.
The kid turned around and Shhhh'd us!
Based on the youngsters genetics, he had NO predisposition to like Classical music!

Properly introduced, your new one will love music, too!
Agree with Kbuzz... a floor standing speaker with a relatively low center of gravity would be safer once your tyke starts cruising the furniture. Or get some really stable Target four-post stands, and some velcro or Blu-tac to secure stand mounted speakers. A relatively rigid grill over the drivers would be ideal, too.
Not that I listen to a lot of Rap, but I don't see where it's any worse than Rock per-sae, except when viewed in the light of what genre of people it's made/produced by. Is that the basis of your comment, or insight to whom you are?
With my first son, I had a boom box in his beadroom and we played classical music every night, all night long. Not only is there a possible long term benefit to this??? but definately found that we did not need to be careful about making other noise in the house.

The biggest problem when playing your music loudly may be more you being able to hear him we he needs you!
For my baby, music is ok. However, I can't watch movies as those sudden explosions will wake him up. If it is continuous music at same level, they are fine. BTW, new born cannot sleep if it is very quiet, because the nurse said it is very noisy in Mommy's tummy. I found this is true. But I don't listen to rock, and I don't play music very loud.