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To be pissed off with the neighbours???

(61 Posts)
MrsBootTheFarmer Thu 13-Mar-14 23:35:17

Guys, I think I need a reality check but definitely need to vent. Absolutely fuming about neighbours complaining about No1 crying in the night. I'd appreciate some different views/ experiences.

With out boring you with all the details we live in a top floor flat sharing a stair well with 3 other flats.

No2 is all of 5 weeks old and in the last month of the No2s pregnancy, 21 month No1 started waking at night and deciding to cry/ scream instead of self settle. The worst week had 3 of these wakings; each time probably involved about 1 hour of white noise.

I'm sure it wasn't pleasant to listen to, but getting a knock on the door at 12 midnight and 2am the next time did nothing for our nerves, and this after No2 was born!
We were then basically invited, by several emails and texts, to discuss the "noise" at a meeting with the 2 of the other 3 flats???? WTF? This was to include 2 lodgers from one flat whom we'd never even met! We would be out numbered 5 to 2...

I'd totally understand if we were smoking crack on the stairs and leaving the kids to get their own fried chicken, but I thought we got on with these people....

Try not to be too harsh, they're not in league with the devil and No2 is keeping us awake so I might be getting my knickers in a twist over nothing.

ikeaismylocal Mon 17-Mar-14 09:38:03

But exactly the same could be said for those with children/people who want to make noise, why don't they move to a detached place so they can make all the noise they want and don't disturb anyone?

Because the people with children don't have a problem, it's the people without children who want silence.

An example of other people's lives intruding on our life is that our neighbors on both sides smoke, when they smoke on the balcony they close their door and windows so their flat doesn't get filled with smoke. If we have our window open ( which we very often do in the summer as it gets very very hot in our flat) we get smoke in our flat. Ds has trouble breathing sometimes so smoke isn't good for him.

If we want to live in an environment we can control, no smoke, no noise, no smells we need to move. Moving is an option and we will move in the next couple of years, not because ds and dc2 disturb other people, that's their problem, but because we don't like having to live so close to smokers. It would be unreasonable for me to ask our neighbors not to smoke, as it would be unreasonable for them to ask our dc not to make noise.

lastnightIwenttoManderley Mon 17-Mar-14 08:21:41

Has the OP been back?

DH and I don't have children but we live in a Victorian terraced house. The general pattern in our street is: Young professional couple move in, get married, have kids, move somewhere a bit bigger. There are therefore normally quite a few little people at any one time.

We had a couple move in next door, she was about 5 months pregnant and when their DD arrived, yes, we could hear it (back to back bedrooms) but we could also hear parents doing all they could. As DH and I said to each other, they must be knackered!

Unfortunately couple with young child moved out and couple with three teenage children moved in (houses are 2+1 bedrooms, so not big at all!) and we are regularly disturbed by doors slamming, kids screeching, mother screeching, mother on the phone to her mates at 2am, kids belting up and down the stairs. This I mind as they are all essentially adults not a herd of elephants and therefore perfectly capable of acting quietly.

OP as someone said previously, you may genuinely not realise how the sound travels in your block, is DDs bed against a party wall? Your neighbours may be closer to her than you are! I would agree with others who say don't go in all guns blazing. Acknowledge there is a problem and try and work with them to find a mutually acceptable solution within the constraints of you all living there. If their DD had had a bad night, our neighbours would bump into us and say 'we're really sorry, hope she didn't disturb you?'. That counted for a lot as they were aware of it.

Your neighbours may be feeling pretty awkward about raising this and want to make it a group discussion rather than 1on1. Perhaps give them the benefit of the doubt?

LouiseSmith Mon 17-Mar-14 07:50:54

It's annoying listening to kids crying in the night but most people accept it and try to muddle through x

UncleT Mon 17-Mar-14 04:08:41

Yes, babies cry. I don't buy all this throwing up of hands and resignation to nothing possibly being done to help end it or reduce it though. We have very little info about what precise steps are taken to minimise the disruption to neighbours. As someone already suggested, taking the screaming child away from party walls until settled is a no-brainer when pretty much the entire block is being affected. It's not likely that they all just happen to be complete bastards. It's far more likely that they have complained because they're genuinely messed up by it. Of course there is no magic wand and it's a hugely imperfect science, but it's not true that nothing can be done to at least try and help. If it was clear exactly what is being done, if anything, to at least try to minimise disruption, it might be easier to figure out where overall sympathy should lie. Noise disruption is no joke though if you have a gruelling work pattern though, regardless of what causes it.

MiscellaneousAssortment Mon 17-Mar-14 00:57:56

I suspect your neighbors don't have much experience with babies and toddlers. I can well imagine they think you are not doing your best to quiet the child, and if they explain what a living hell their nights are, you'll be able to chance your behaviour and have the child quiet much quicker.

I think you need to help them understand you are doing the best you can, and give them an idea of what is actually going on in your house when the screaming is going on. Usually people are much more tolerant if they understand what's happening, otherwise they'll make up their own, alot less flattering scenario than you as good parents and considerate neighbors suffering as much as they are...

I would not be going in all guns blazing, or angry and defensive, or refusing to attend the meeting and getting all high and mighty. That will confirm their suspicions.

wouldbemedic Mon 17-Mar-14 00:34:41

herrena the OP does NOT say she comforted her crying baby this week. She simply says that usually the baby doesn't need soothing, but THIS week she has been crying for an hour. We aren't told whether this crying is alongside comforting or not, only that it is happening instead of the effective self-soothing that was happening before. We don't know whether OP is listening to her for an hour thinking 'she doesn't usually do that' or whether she's actually in there with the baby.

HerrenaHarridan Mon 17-Mar-14 00:31:36

Ffs sake you bloody loonies the op said she didn't self settle like she usually does

Ie usually she self settles happily but recently has been crying for an hour.

I don't see any cause for this lunacy.

Also if you live near other people sometime you will hear them, if you don't want to hear them go an live quietly by yourself.
You can't expect to live near lots of people all tiptoeing round your work / life / sleep patterns

I shouldn't be mning at this time of night grin

penniespigsandpewter Mon 17-Mar-14 00:21:36

Your toddler needs you for whatever reason she is waking & you don't try comfort her at all? Shit, that is ridiculous. Your toddler is still a baby herself ffs

penniespigsandpewter Mon 17-Mar-14 00:19:17

I don't blame your neighbours one bit. I bet they're worried for your dc. How awful

penniespigsandpewter Mon 17-Mar-14 00:18:10

You just let your toddler scream herself back to sleep? What if she's in pain from teething or having night terrors? Wtaf?

Misspixietrix Mon 17-Mar-14 00:08:32

Of course it's horrid being woken at 2am but how exactly do the neighbours knocking on the door...also at 2am expect this to be placating?! The parents aren't exactly having a good time neither.

RaspberryRuffle Sun 16-Mar-14 23:45:35

LOL at "white noise".

maddening Sun 16-Mar-14 23:16:59

please could you clarify what you were doing to appease the crying ?

RightsaidFreud Sun 16-Mar-14 22:13:44

"I think that it is one of the risks of living in apartments, if you want silence you need to move to a detached house rather than those who make noise ( for whatever reason) being made to feel bad"

But exactly the same could be said for those with children/people who want to make noise, why don't they move to a detached place so they can make all the noise they want and don't disturb anyone?

I think in an ideal world everyone would like to live in a detached house, but few can afford them!

ikeaismylocal Sun 16-Mar-14 21:50:19


We live in a flat with a shared wall between our bedroom and next door's bedroom.

Our neighbors have a ds a month younger than our ds and he woke up screaming for 20 minutes+ up to 10 times a night. The parents comforted him and tried to settle him but he was very hard to settle. We co-sleep and ds never ever cried in the night as he just breastfed and then went back to sleep if he woke. We just felt sorry for our neighbors and thankful that we had a reasonable sleeper.

The neighbors with the baby moved and a single guy moved in. A couple of weeks later I got pregnant and had flu, I physically couldn't breastfeed ds anymore, I was so run down and exhausted.

We night weaned ds, he cried for an hour one night ( we shushed/cuddled/sang/patted him but all he wanted was boob) I did feel bad for our new neighbor, I went to try to talk to him the day after but he wasn't in. From that night ds has not cried and mot breastfed at night. Mostly he sleeps through, occasionally he wakes for a cuddle ( we still co-sleep)

I think it's regrettable that our neighbor was disturbed but we needed to do it. I think that it is one of the risks of living in apartments, if you want silence you need to move to a detached house rather than those who make noise ( for whatever reason) being made to feel bad.

hugoagogo Sun 16-Mar-14 21:20:10

It sounds like you had the kind of baby you could move without waking Nanny not all babies are alike. Both mine could not be moved an inch without waking.

Flats and babies are not ideal, when ds was born we lived in a crappy flat and the people down stairs used to like to pound on the ceiling- what with I never found out- the moment ds started to cry. We took great pleasure in making as much noise as possible early on the morning we moved out.

You have my sympathy.

CrohnicallyChanging Sun 16-Mar-14 21:12:39

Nanny ogg- But then DD would cry when I put her back in bed, so you're only delaying the inevitable (she doesn't sleep as well anywhere but her cot, so for her sake I wouldn't want to keep her downstairs all night). She doesn't have the 'transferability gene' and will ALWAYS wake if you try to put her down or move her while she's asleep.

Rest assured, I will always do what I can to minimise her crying (at any time, but especially in the night) but what worked for you might not work for someone else.

RightsaidFreud Sun 16-Mar-14 21:11:35

YABU about leaving your 21 month old to cry at night. Of course everyone expects babies to cry from time to time, but it sounds like your leaving your older child to cry and that is just not on, esp as you live in a flat. Hearing a child cry isn't 'white noise' its bloody awful, esp when its not your own. You have a tolerance for it, it was your choice to have kids, it wasn't your neighbours choice to have to listen to your toddler crying for hours on end.

Sneezecakesmum Sun 16-Mar-14 21:09:48

What in heavens name are you letting a toddler scream for an hour at a time several times a night. Ffs. YABVU. He/she is obviously NOT self soothing so you need to soothe her until she readjusts to a new baby.

ProlificPenguin Sun 16-Mar-14 21:07:30

Totally with your neighbours on this. YABU to leave a child cry/scream for an hour.

Nanny0gg Sun 16-Mar-14 21:07:00

So if both sides are a party wall, then at least go downstairs!

It may upset your routine if you get them sleeping downstairs and then you put them to bed but it's far more considerate!

That's what I did for 2.5. years when my DC1 wouldn't sleep! Never left them in their room to disturb the neighbours when it was prolonged crying.

sarahquilt Sun 16-Mar-14 21:00:44

YANBU. The people downstairs have a crying baby but I'd never complain. It's not like they're making the baby cry deliberately. Your neighbours sound like dicks.

RedFocus Sun 16-Mar-14 20:54:24

I feel sorry for my son is 10 and he still cries like a baby when he doesn't get his own way wink
Seriously though op just ignore them. Good luck and I hope you all get a decent nights sleep.

CrohnicallyChanging Sun 16-Mar-14 20:08:17

NannyOgg- no can do, we have party walls both sides of our house so wherever you go, you are against a party wall. Besides, if I got DD out of her room to calm her then she'd just start up again when I returned her to her room. Better to soothe her where she is.

As withextradinosaurs suggests, if your baby does cry for a long time, better to approach your neighbours and apologise /explain they are unwell, teething, night terrors or whatever. Even if they are annoyed, it's hard to be rude when someone is apologising to you.

TwittyMcTwitterson Sun 16-Mar-14 18:22:21

My DD is an horrific sleeper. She has probably slept through ten times in 2.5 years. She is in the room attached to my neighbours. We live in an end terrace. I always apologise. They say no worries as they've had kids and understand. I'm not sure id be so understanding but there isn't anything I can do. I go to her instantly and cuddle her and she sleeps. They're probably woken up for five mins max but still feel guilty.

I don't know what they expect you to go. Just go with an apologetic face grin

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