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At wits end with threatening neighbour over toddler crying. Help.

(40 Posts)
HavenforHaggis Fri 28-Oct-16 09:48:46

My DD is 3 now, she has autism and has recently been waking during the night screaming/crying. This would happen at around 3:30am, I would go and comfort her and she'd sleep until 4:30am where the cycle would begin again. I've gotten so desperate that I've started taking her into my bed but this causes little sleep for the both of us as she then wants to play or won't settle until an hour or so later. She sticks to her usual routine, usually getting up at 10:00 or 9:00 and not making up the lost sleep.

Neighbour has complained and asked me why I'm leaving my child to cry and how could I be so cruel etc I've explained myself and DD but she doesn't want to listen. She thinks I'm leaving DD in a room to cry on her own and wants to report me. sad

This is the last thing I need as I really don't know what could be wrong with my DD. I don't think it's teething as I've given her medicine and she automatically stops crying/doesn't wake when she's in my bed. I'm not sure about night terrors as she is awake. She doesn't just seem awake. She's aware but when I go in she's sitting in her crib crying. It's a high pitched cry and not just a whine but I don't know what this is or what to do. I'm exhausted and at my wits end. Please. Can someone help?

ConkerTriumphant Fri 28-Oct-16 09:50:24

Have you spoken to your GP or HV?

HavenforHaggis Fri 28-Oct-16 09:55:52

No, Conker. My GP takes weeks to get an appointment with and I'm not sure if my HV could help. I don't know how to explain it or if it's important because she's perfectly fine during the day.

oklumberjack Fri 28-Oct-16 09:55:53

I would say the neighbour (again) if she mentions it that you are not leaving your child to cry. She can report you, and let her. Anyone who visits or evens asks about it will dismiss the complaint.

I have no experience of Autism, but both eldest dd went through phases like this. After previously being an excellent sleeper she starting waking feeling 'scared' and crying but couldn't explain why. She never settled in our bed but one of us had to lie or sit by her bed until she fell back to sleep. It went on for a few months and then she just stopped. I think she was developing her awareness of 'scary' things and worried about something happening to herself, me or her dad.

I agree with asking the HV. You're doing fine xxx

Yamadori Fri 28-Oct-16 09:59:00

I'd make an appointment and see the HV anyway. Then if the neighbour does report you, it is already on record that you've been to see someone about it.

Seekingadvice123 Fri 28-Oct-16 10:00:45

Is the crying keeping your neighbour awake? I suspect she has probably as frustrated with it all as you if that is the case. Let her report you. It will come to nothing. In the meantime talk to your HV

JustFoundADairyMilkCaramel Fri 28-Oct-16 10:01:27

Have you had a diagnosis of autism? Can you phone the paediatrician and ask for another appointment so you can discuss what you're both experiencing at the moment?

Do you have a support worker or anything?

JustFoundADairyMilkCaramel Fri 28-Oct-16 10:04:24

Also most doctors have a slot each day for emergency appointments. Ask for one of those or an appointment with the nurse at the very least.

And as for her neighbour just ignore.

My middle ds has a really high pitch scream and had some communication and social problems a couple of years ago. When he had meltdowns it would go on for up to an hour. It's was incredibly stressful for him and those around him.

You're trying your best. Don't forget that

Dontpanicpyke Fri 28-Oct-16 10:08:32

Don't focus on the neighbour.

Do as justFound says and insist on an emergency appointment. Call your HV team too to establish contact and start getting help.

That's what they are there for.

Areyoufree Fri 28-Oct-16 10:10:01

My son has always done this. From about 9-10 months until now (nearly 3). No idea why. He can wake up screaming, and keep on screaming for up to an hour. We can get him up, comfort him, but nothing makes any difference. Sometimes he can calm right down and be wide awake, but then if he gets upset again, he's right back into the screaming, throwing himself around etc. However, he is also like this if he doesn't wake up naturally from a nap, so I suspect that something is waking him up when he is in the lightest part of his sleep cycle, which sends him into a kind of meltdown (he has meltdowns, although I don't think he is autistic). Anyway, when we moved him from a cot into a bed, things got a lot better - I think the cot was restricting his movement and waking him up. So, could it be something similar with your DD? What's different about your bed to her bed (apart from you being in it, of course!). And try and ignore your neighbour. It's hard enough to deal with a crying child (I know how scary it is when they are inconsolably screaming like that!) without having to worry about what the neighbours think. It's unfortunate for them, but you are doing everything that you can do.

VashtaNerada Fri 28-Oct-16 10:15:52

Don't worry about the neighbour, social services will think they're barmy. If they start to harass you over it though keep a diary of the interactions and make sure you are 100% polite in return. I hope you get some help with your little girl flowers

WuTangFlan Fri 28-Oct-16 10:22:20

Have you ruled out night terrors?

DiscoMike Fri 28-Oct-16 10:22:45

See your GP. Get a referral back to whoever dx your DD and ask them about long lasting melatonin. Ask for a referral to the behaviour nurse. Have you been offered an Early Birds or Cygnet course?

user1477282676 Fri 28-Oct-16 10:23:12

When I lived in a council house, our housing officer told me that crying babies and children playing are normal noise and there's nothing to report.

She said this because our neighbour was constantly moaning about our DC playing quietly in the garden.

HistoriaTrixie Fri 28-Oct-16 10:24:36

Oh, your neighbor's such an assclown. It's one thing to be frustrated at being awoken but acting out, throwing around social services, and accusing you of neglect aren't helping any.

This is going to sound crazy, but have you tried setting your alarm for maybe 3am (or a half hour before she usually gets up in the middle of the night) and going in and gently waking her up then letting her fall back asleep? You can 'reset'/start the sleep cycle over by waking her (not all the way; keep the room dark and quiet and don't carry a bright light) then letting her fall back asleep. If 30 doesn't work (i.e. she doesn't fall back asleep) try 45 minutes or an hour before. Even if she has trouble falling back asleep the first few nights, she won't be waking up all of a sudden and getting scared and needing to scream/cry, poor thing. Good luck!

HavenforHaggis Fri 28-Oct-16 10:25:39

Thank you for the supportive replies, everyone. It's a relief on my part to some degree. I'm a single parent and it isn't easy. I've rang my GP and requested a call back to see what she thinks but I'm also going to contact my HV for extra help and to have it on record. I've asked I'd DD has been keeping my neighbour awake becuase if she has I've offered to move her to our spare on opposite side of our semi detached. Neighbour replied with "Oh so no one can hear her screams then?" I've never felt worse! I feel like I'm torturing my child but I can't get her to stop these sessions. I've given medicine, made sure her crib is comfortable, lay with her, taken her in with me but nothing has worked really as she still wakes up again the next night.

My other issue with neighbour is I've had SS involved (not becuase of any fault of my own) but becuase of my MH problems they automatically have to get involved. So I don't want to flag up. I'm terrified of that. sadI think I'm more emotional though because I'm exhausted though DD seems fine.

Fairylea Fri 28-Oct-16 10:28:07

My son has autism and without melatonin none of us would get any sleep, definitely go back to your paedatrician and request some. You must all be shattered. Children with asd don't always produce enough melatonin to sleep deeply, it's a very safe medicine to take as it's something all of us produce naturally anyway (a bit like replacing thyroxine if you don't have a thyroid that works properly).

If your neighbour threatens you again tell her to go ahead and report you. Especially if you have spoken to the paedatrician about the sleeping issue she won't get anywhere with it.

HavenforHaggis Fri 28-Oct-16 10:28:48

Wu, I don't think it's night terrors as she's actually awake when I go in and raises her arms/motions to be picked up. She's non verbal so her way of saying I want up.

Disco, we're still on the waiting list to see our autism clinic never mind. DD's appointment was pushed back 6 months because of the waiting lists. Trying to get her extra help has been a constant struggle here. sad

Pickled0nions Fri 28-Oct-16 10:29:21

Bless you. I used to have a neighbour whose newborn son would cry all day.
I think they did come in now and again to check on him but from my side it did sound like he was just being left there.

It's very hard to judge when the cry is that loud. You expect children to settle when they have comfort so I suspect that your neighbour is thinking that your child isn't being comforted.

I would go GP so that's it's logged onto their system incase your neighbour does take it further and SS do get involved. At least you have taken necessary steps to try and understand why this is happening.

Good luck x

teachergirl2011 Fri 28-Oct-16 10:32:50

Not trying to be controversial but I lived next to a child who would do the same and working full time and commuting it took it's toll. I would try and make sure her bedroom isn't the one joined to the neighbours wall.
She is being unreasonable threatening to report but it does tip you at breaking point.

Justwanttoweeinpeace Fri 28-Oct-16 10:33:51

Goodness, your neighbour said that She sounds like a bit of a bully!

I agree with pp's that you should be polite, avoid her as much as you can and not worry if she does report you.

She probably won't. It's very easy to be nasty to someone in passing but actually phoning up and talking to authorities is another story.


Justwanttoweeinpeace Fri 28-Oct-16 10:35:41

And yes, lack of sleep does make you unreasonable, but a usually sensible person would have just taken the offer of you moving rooms, not suggested you were neglectful confused

FetchezLaVache Fri 28-Oct-16 10:39:21

Fairylea you got there first! Melatonin has changed my life (DS has autism too and I can't tell you how much I used to dread bedtime).

Heartbroken47 Fri 28-Oct-16 10:41:25 Please get some help from this charity re sleep - sleep deprivation is awful and they may be able to help. Your neighbour is being unreasonable and adding to your stress- this isn't your fault - tell her to go ahead and report.

HavenforHaggis Fri 28-Oct-16 10:41:47

Teacher, I offered to move DD (and have moved her) to the opposite side of the house so she wasn't disturbing neighbour as much. I'm a single parent and I work so I sympathise with her but I'm not neglectful in any way to my child. sad

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