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To report the parents on the other side of the wall

(110 Posts)
SteelMagnolia Sat 27-Nov-10 11:29:48

We share a wall with a family I haven't met. The entrance to their house enters on a gated mews, while ours opens onto the street. For at least nine months, we have heard crying babies on the other side of the wall. We have a one year old, and of course, he cries sometimes. But these babies...I think there are two...cry ALL the time. It just doesn't seem right. I'm listening to it now.

I feel like I should report this. Possibly these children are neglected, or perhaps the parents just cannot cope? Our experienced nanny also finds it odd how often, and for how long, these babies cry.

Would I be unreasonable to report this? If not, who do I call? And will they even do anything, given that I've never even laid eyes on these people?

Praline Sat 27-Nov-10 11:32:33

Maybe you should knock on the door & introduce yourself to them, maybe she can't cope & having a friend to have a cuppa with is all she needs, and perhaps she could borrow your nanny now & then.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Nov-10 11:34:10

If you listen to how that would sound telling any authorities 'I've never seen or talked to my neighbours, but their babies cry a lot' it does sound a bit OTT.

You've no firm evidence they're neglecting them, and some babies do cry - lots.

Even if you rang the NSPCC for advice, how could you phrase it? Because there doesn't seem to be anything amiss to me just going on what you've said in your OP.

Hassled Sat 27-Nov-10 11:35:26

Yes, I agree you need to establish more before you start ringing people. The baby could be a colicky nightmare, the mother might be really struggling - introduce yourself and see what you think.

PaulineMole Sat 27-Nov-10 11:37:19

some babies do cry all the time though, or as near as dammit.
dd2 screamed from noon to 8.30pm yesterday. agree you could knock and see if you can help.

TheCrackFox Sat 27-Nov-10 11:38:40

Why don't you go round and introduce yourself?

I have had one very cryey baby and quite frankly if someone phoned the authorities it would have tipped me over the edge.

mollymax Sat 27-Nov-10 11:39:01

I cannot believe you have been listening to this for nine months, and not knocked on the door to say hello, and to introduce yourself.
What is the worst that can happen?
She tells you to go away.
I find it sad that the British society has got to this.
Preferring to report to ss rather than try and help.

activate Sat 27-Nov-10 11:39:07

Why don't you get off your arse and go round and say hello we live next door and have babies the same age do you fancy a coffee?

SteelMagnolia Sat 27-Nov-10 11:40:24

I would have knocked on their door long ago if I could..."Hello, just wanted to meet the neighbors...oh, you have little ones? etc etc" Unfortunately, the entrance to their house is on a gated mews! (We front the street, over retail.) Unless I sneak in behind someone, I can't knock on their door.

I haven't called the NSPCC for that exact reason, ZigZag. How on earth does this sound? But as a mother, I can tell that they're just left to cry. And they cry so just kills me. Sometimes I hear someone clap loudly at them. I think to quiet them?

Until my nanny started working for us three months ago, I just told myself that because my baby is happy and laid-back, I just don't have anything to compare to and I'm being paranoid. But SHE thinks something is odd and has eight years experience.

I keep writing it off, but every day I listen to the crying and worry...

TattyDevine Sat 27-Nov-10 11:41:54

Is it that easy to knock on the door of a gated mews though?!?

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Nov-10 11:43:25

I know what you're saying, there's something about a crying baby that goes through to your very core, not in an irritating way, but it makes you want to help them be comfortable and happy, so from that point of view it must be very distressing not being able to do anything for them.

TheCrackFox Sat 27-Nov-10 11:43:59

Is there not a buzzer on the gated mews?

SteelMagnolia Sat 27-Nov-10 11:44:16

I can literally stand there and follow a person or a car in, sure. And then how do I explain that I just dropped by, as they know they have gated access?

CheerfulYank Sat 27-Nov-10 11:44:33

I agree. Pop over, say hello, and see what's what.

That's how I met my neighbor...he was a single guy and I'd never seen any children around his house. One day I saw him bring a crying little girl inside. I'm not an interfering person at all, but the thought that something might be going on and I could have stopped it horrified me. So I went over and said I was waiting for some important mail and asked if it got mixed up with his. blush It was all I could think of on short notice! We talked for a bit and the girl actually is his daughter, she just lives with her mother on the other side of the country and only visits a few weeks out of the year.

CheerfulYank Sat 27-Nov-10 11:46:07

Oh, sorry, just catching up. Could you just say you popped over to meet them? Or do you ever see them out and about? You could ask if they wanted to get together sometime.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Nov-10 11:47:50

It would look a bit contrived wouldn't it, just going in to talk to them? It's not as though you could just slip it into the conversation even if you did knock on their door.

SteelMagnolia Sat 27-Nov-10 11:48:42

Thanks Zigzag. It exactly as you say...I just want to go pick them up and cuddle them! I suppose if I am this concerned then I can just figure out a way to sneak in there.

There may be a buzzer but I don't know their house number. It's just one of those odd London configurations. Lots of houses in the mews, and the address will be different street to ours even though we share a wall.

If you all think I'd be laughed of the phone to call it in, perhaps I will just need to follow someone in the mews and not worry about how they'll react with my knocking. But yes, it will seem very contrived.

CheerfulYank Sat 27-Nov-10 11:49:20

Bring them some muffins and just say you're there to introduce yourself. Is that only done in America?

SteelMagnolia Sat 27-Nov-10 11:50:20

That post idea is a good one, CheerfulYank. I'll look like a bit of an airhead, but as our houses ARE right next to each other, I could probably make that my reason for knocking...

SteelMagnolia Sat 27-Nov-10 11:51:02

I'm American as I could get away with the muffins, I think. grin

ladylobster Sat 27-Nov-10 11:54:02

Seriously, do not call anyone until you have more evidence than a cryey baby

My baby is a cryer due to reflux, not bad parenting, people often look at me as if I should be able to just stop her, its just part of who she is

We don't all have mute babies!

SantasMooningArse Sat 27-Nov-10 11:54:33

Whilst I suspect this could be just a cryey or even sn baby if you call the NSPCC youc an do so anon and chat it through without giving details of any kins about identity and that would always be my advice

SteelMagnolia Sat 27-Nov-10 11:56:32

Does anyone know...if I reported it to the NSPCC, and just told them what I have told you all, would they send someone around in a friendly way...just to look in and see if all ok? Or would it be stirring up some major trouble for the parents?

ladylobster Sat 27-Nov-10 12:00:39

A local hv yes, nspcc no, seriously think hard before you do this, as your playing with lives, ok to be concerned, and surely as your neighbours you would share a health centre

CheerfulYank Sat 27-Nov-10 12:02:02

Well, DS sometimes throws enormous screaming tantrums and has been known to shout "don't do this! don't do this!" when I'm only trying to brush his ever-loving teeth. (He gets his, erm, theatrics from his Dad I think blush ) It sounds for all the world like he's being abused and I've often wondered if someone was going to call CPS! But you know, I don't think I'd mind. It'd be a pain in the arse but it would mean someone was looking out for him, and I could quite easily prove he's not being hurt.

I'd think they'd just send someone to speak to them and look around, so if you're really truly worried I'd say go for it. If the post and/or muffins fail, that is.

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