Pregnant, Have Toddler, Considering move...need Advice

Updated on September 07, 2010
M.A. asks from Cambridge, MA
6 answers

Pregnant, have toddler, and possibly moving to Denver; need advice
Hi mamas - I have a 2-year old son and am pregnant with #2 (knock on wood - just at 11 weeks)...we are considering a move to the Denver appeals because of the weather, western lifestyle, possible lower cost of living...(we live in Santa Monica now).

I'm seeking input on a lot of questions that we have as we try to decide whether to move now or wait until after #2....
- Do you live in these areas? If so, what was hospital for delivery? Good experience?
- Any warnings about insurance programs, etc? (i.e. here in CA, hubby had a job offer that would have required a hospital across town...)
- Are you a mom with a toddler? Do you have some good connections / groups / resources?
- Thoughts on the preschools and schools in your area?
- General thoughts on raising kids in Denver?

I'd love to hear from anyone - positive or negative - this is a big choice and all the information we can have is helpful. Thank you!

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answers from Denver on

Hey! Denver is pretty wonderful!
I had my daughter at St. Joe's. Loved the experience, my room was very nice with a queen size bed for after I delivered, so my DH could sleep with me without being uncomfortable. The nurses were like you'd hopefully expect. Women who love babies! They were all very sweet!
I'm a stay at home mom, and am choosing to teach preschool myself to my daughter, but as for social interaction, I'm putting my daughter in gymnastics. I take her to CGI, and they are great there! Patient, and my daughter, even though she just started is loving it! A thought for your two year old. It's also very reasonably priced!
I live out near the airport. I'm not sure what area you are looking into, but the further towards the outskirts of town, the cheaper the houses are, but also the nicer. It's all about the commuter thing. We chose our area because my husband is a pilot.
If you have any other specific questions, let me know!



answers from Denver on

Denver is a great place to raise kids. I had both of mine at St. Joseph's Hospital, but most of my friends used Rose, which we now use since they have a pediatric ER, so much shorter waits!

We have always lived in the city of Denver - taxes are much lower. My area of town, in southeast Denver, has big one family houses with big yards - you get the advantages of both the suburbs and city. Personally, I've never liked the suburbs - too much driving to get anywhere - though we now have a great train system, you have to live in certain districts to use it.
The Denver Public School system is very mixed - my kids have gone to magnet schools and had excellent teaching. Since it is a choice system, if you don't want to go to your neighborhood school (ours is rated very low), you can apply to any school in the district and attend if there is room.
The mountains are within an easy drive - just today we drove about 1 1/2 hours and spent the day in a pretty mountain town attending an arts and crafts show, having lunch, and going to a wine tasting while my son went trout fishing!
good luck with your move.

take care, S.



answers from Denver on

Lots of questions but I think I can help you with a few answers. I would move now. We have three kids and one on the way, we moved when we had a newborn and it was pretty easy on me because I couldn't do much it was really hard in general. I didn't have the time or energy to pack a whole lot so my husband and his friends did it. It was rough. I wish we had moved before the baby was here, I would have one less person to worry about and a bit more energy.

As far as a good hospital and doc. I have delivered all three of my kids at Rose and intend to again with the 4th. I have had nothing but amazing experiences there. You even have the option to do a suite with a chef and the works (pretty cool).

I also have been with the same doc for 20+ years. The office is Midtown Obstectrics and Gynocology. I see Dr. Zarlengo but he has 5 other docs in the office, all of which I have had good experiences with (just cannot imagine switching from Dr. Z I think he is amazing).

Both the hospital and the doc's office are centrally located so typically no more than a half hour (maybe a tiny more) from most metro locations.

I love Denver and the weather is quite mild contrary to what outsiders believe it may be like here. Denver has the most days where the sun will shine in the entire world! It is bright and beautiful. I have spent a lot of painstaking time looking for the perfect school for my kids (all elementary and below) and found Peace With Christ Christian School. They rank in the top 10 - 15% in the nation on the standardized test scores, have a loving environment and wonderful community (did I mention affordable?). The only down side to the school is the location, it is a ways out there but in my book quite worth it.

As far as insurance, Colorado is great because they have lots of options and also offer which gives you coverage for any pre-existing conditions until you have insurance worked out.

I am not sure of many groups, I have lived here most of my life so I hang with friends and the families from school. I am sure there are MANY groups and great people that you can hook up with. If you decide to look into Peace with Christ let me know, I can give you more direction if you need.

Good luck with your possible move!



answers from Denver on

Hi- Denver is a wonderful place to live. I second the other post that said the outskirts/suburbs are more affordable. If you like more urban living, closer to 'the city', the actual Denver area is great- very outdoorsy and lots of stuff close by. The suburbs are great, too. We live in Highlands Ranch and love it. But honestly, most suburbs here are great, very family friendly. Everywhere in Colorado I've lived has been easy to hook up with other moms. Lots of playgroups, etc. and there are endless things to do with kids all over Denver.

As far as schools, Douglas county and Cherry Creek usually are the top of the heap, but again- I don't hear bad things about any school districts. Like everyone else, all schools are dealing with budget cuts, but I have faith that they will still be fine.

I had my daughter in Colorado Springs, so not much help there. But I hear good things from the hospitals here, too.

I hope that helps. Good luck in your decision!



answers from Denver on

I grew up in west Denver and lived downtown for a while. I am now in the burbs. I agree with a post about not living in the city. It was loud and not for children. Wash park is gorgeous but again... Denver Public Schools suck. there are pockets of good programs but good luck trying to get in. I would stay south of Denver. I see nice areas north as well. I hear Jefferson county seems to not cater to families because of the older living population outweighs the number of families with kids so a lot of school supporting bills get knocked down. California cost of living is much higher than Denver so I bet you'd get a great house anywhere if you are looking to stay within an equal budget. Southeast Aurora is pretty.
As far as schools for youngsters--Primrose seems to be the best. People who can afford it, fight for spots. You can check out their website. I hope I helped a little. Oddly, my guage for a nice neighborhood is the type of food the local grocers carry. If there is a grand selection of veggies and fruit, it tends to be in the nicer neighborhood. Same with Walmarts-nuff said on that one.


I forgot to add in my last post--Kaiser is a nightmare, avoid like the plague.
Rose Med Center is a fantastic hospital and I am loyal to them but I wasn't happy with their neonatal department. Skyridge has fabulous neonatal. I might be prejudice on that though since I live across the street from their head nurse but I have been there a couple of times and had great experiences. Denver General is great if you get shot. They have an awesome trauma center.



answers from Denver on

It's tough to decide where to live in Denver. We moved here 5 years ago. I had graduated from CU Boulder, so I was somewhat, but not really, familiar with the area. The public school system in Denver is HORRIBLE (whatever people say, it is horrible - just look at the graduation rates) so if you are ok with that, and want urban living... that is what we have now in a neighborhood called Platt Park, near Wash Park. Nice areas. But, we can't sleep with the windows open beacuse the traffic is so loud in the early morning and early evening (when the toddler goes to sleep). So, for urban living, you get a premium house price, little yard, and horrible schools. Somehow this makes perfect sense to people. I can't understand it, so we are trying to sell the house (we have a couple of years yet) and move to the suburbs where you get a bigger yard, amenities for the kids, and better public schools. All this, and it's cheaper too. We are considering Ken Caryl. Yes, it's out there, and it will take us 20 minutes to get to where we want to go, and we will no longer be able to walk to top 10 restaurants in Denver from home... but we will be able to sleep with the windows open without ambulances and fire trucks and police cars and semi trucks and whatever else driving by our house. Even if the noise weren't an issue, the lack of a decent yard and the school system is enough to get us to move. I just really resent paying a premium for the house and having schools that rival the schools in the state of mississippi.

I'm sure my comments about the schools will irritate people, but it's true - look at the statistics. This is the only profession that when measured, they just argue that it's not an accurate reflection of ther work, and people buy it. Not me.

I used Rose for delivery. I am trying to get pregnant again, and I plan to look for another hospital. Experience was fine, not great.

Insurance here is Blue Cross or Kaiser. I believe that competition creates a better system, so I am a believer in Blue Cross. I also think that Kaiser for the most part is fine. But not the best.

I have never made any good connections with mom groups, but I work. I think that's why.

I do love Denver. I do think it's the best place in the country to live that I have ever lived. (I have lived on the east coast, and in Michigan, in Texas, in California, San Diego) The weather here is amazing. People are outside all the time. People are fit, people are friendly.

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