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Neighbour banging on wall when toddler cries

(88 Posts)
DizzyR Thu 09-Jul-20 23:55:29

We have a 17 month old who has a fever and cough and has been crying on and off all evening. Just now he woke up very upset and wouldn’t stop crying in a distressed way. The neighbour banged on the wall when he was crying (around 11pm). We were in DS’ room trying to comfort him and give him calpol when the knocking happened.

It’s not the first time they’ve knocked (they did it the last time he was ill and crying most of the night).

I’ve never met this neighbour and wouldn’t be able to point them out on the street. They’ve never spoken to us or left us a note about the crying. They’ve just knocked. We live in a terrace house and the house next to us (where they live) is split into two flats and the knocking neighbour lives in the upstairs flat.

What would you do? I appreciate no one wants to hear a crying baby but there is not much I can do about the crying when DS is sick other than cuddles/calpol/water etc. I was thinking of going round to speak to them but probably not the best idea as we need to self isolate because of symptoms.

OP’s posts: |
mrsprefect Fri 10-Jul-20 00:04:52

I would feel sorry for them having such a total lack of empathy for a child. Then I would put them out of my mind and focus on my little one (or if I was super stressed I might hammer the wall back and shout something rude, but not advising that!) Hope DS feels better soon.

ButtonMoonLoon Fri 10-Jul-20 00:09:18

You poor things. It’s tough enough having a distressed and poorly child without someone hanging on the wall. Did they really think that would help things?
I’d feel inclined to pop a note through their door, stating that banging on the wall is only likely to increase the distress of a poorly child, (hence potentially cause more disruption)and asking that they do not do this again.
I hope your little boy is much better really soon.

caringcarer Fri 10-Jul-20 00:12:51

Drop a note through their door apologising for child crying and saying child is unwell. Tell them it drives you mad too when you cannot make your child feel better. Hopefully they will feel ashamed of themselves.

Tardigrade001 Fri 10-Jul-20 00:15:29

People like that are infuriating. Do they think you're enjoying this? What do they want you to do exactly?
As you can't speak to them, probably best to ignore them for now.

Hydrate Fri 10-Jul-20 00:15:50


Drop a note through their door apologising for child crying and saying child is unwell. Tell them it drives you mad too when you cannot make your child feel better. Hopefully they will feel ashamed of themselves.

Do this. Hope your dc is well soon.

TheChiefJo Fri 10-Jul-20 00:18:42

Firstly, they are out of order. But you know that. Everyone needs to be ill, including children and it's sometimes a noisy affair. If you live near other humans, you'll hear them. So they're being silly and selfish.

You've 2 choices. 1, Do nothing. It has its advantages. It costs nothing and it minimises any risk of you causing escalation (not the same as preventing escalation, mind). 2, Do something. This is more of a gamble. The 'something' can be one or more of many different things. It can escalate, de-escalate or make no difference.

If you want to do something, my advice is make a polite request to have it recorded with landlord/police/housing association/local authority as having happened. Keep your own record of the dates when it has happened (do this even if you don't contact anyone about it). Be vigilant about personal safety, door security and so on.

If it is very frightening to you (I can see how it could be) or it continues, call the police non-emergency and ask them to record the incident and speak to the neighbours. If they're just being dicks, it might give them a jolt. If they are vulnerable and struggling, it might be the contact with authority that gets them help.

Personally, I'd do nothing at this time besides checking doors and taking security precautions. If you've never seen these people/person, they are probably banging out of impotent frustration. But if it ever happens again, I'd be demanding that uniform officers speak with them.

MoreCookiesPlease Fri 10-Jul-20 00:20:25

Gosh OP what a nasty person, it's not as if you're doing DIY with power tools at 11pm. Some people are ridiculous.
I would post a note through their door explaining that DS is sick and you're sorry for the noise but there's not much you can do about it, and banging on the wall only makes him more agitated.

Bloody hell, some people.

RedToothBrush Fri 10-Jul-20 00:23:27

Do not apologise.

Note through the door and thank them for their kind offer to babysit your sick child, and what time is convenient with them?

babbi Fri 10-Jul-20 00:23:29

Just ignore as they are clearly not worth your time and take care of yourself snd your child .
Hope he feels better soon .

TheChiefJo Fri 10-Jul-20 00:25:55

I should add, other posters are advising notes through doors and such. I wouldn't. It won't induce shame or embarrassment in someone who would bang in the first place. Plus, it can cause escalation with someone who is angry, entitled and not well socialised - this banging indicates that.

Make no attempts to contact them yourself at all. Not even banging back.

mathanxiety Fri 10-Jul-20 00:30:36

Send them a note telling them 'In case you wondered, the answer is no, banging on the wall isn't going to make my sick child stop crying. Fuck off you heartless waste of space'.

Lollypop4 Fri 10-Jul-20 00:32:11

Post a note
" Our child is unwell at the moment, apart from the comfort and mediction he is recieving, there isnt much else we can do to soothe his upset, banging on the wall though, is of no help at all.
Kind regards, "

Thats the polite version...
The not so polite
" Our child is unwell and we are hoping he will feel better soon with the comfort and medication he is currently on...
Rudely knock on the wall again, and I will (insert swear word) lose my (insert swear word) you (insert swear word) (Insert last swear word)

Tolleshunt Fri 10-Jul-20 00:37:10

I’d bang back. What kind of arsehole does that when it’s plainly a small child crying? Hope your DS gets better soon.

Dullardmullard Fri 10-Jul-20 00:39:18


Drop a note through their door apologising for child crying and saying child is unwell. Tell them it drives you mad too when you cannot make your child feel better. Hopefully they will feel ashamed of themselves.

No don’t apologise just state child unwell

Dullardmullard Fri 10-Jul-20 00:41:36

In fact scrub that ignore the twats and get on with soothing your child

PumpkinP Fri 10-Jul-20 00:42:16

I had this happen. My dd has autism and bed time can be a struggle . Upstairs neighbour decided to hang a broom out of his window one night and bang it against her bedroom window! I was furious and shouted up to him, he had previously told me he was going to call the police/council on me to complain about my child’s noise. I made a complaint about him to the council and luckily he moved not long after. Nasty vile man.

MLMsuperfan Fri 10-Jul-20 00:47:23

We had this and it was horrible. Surely people know that if there was anything you could do about it, you'd have done it already. I'm actually annoyed with myself I didn't go round and knock on their front door and asked what the hell they thought they were doing baning on the wall.

Coyoacan Fri 10-Jul-20 00:52:04

Your neighbour is well out of order, but is it possible to swap around rooms?

Pixxie7 Fri 10-Jul-20 01:09:54

People like this are cowards, I would be tempted to go round apologise but explain you little one is unwell and their banging on the wall is really not helping.

jessstan2 Fri 10-Jul-20 01:11:23

Your neighbours are inconsiderate to a fault. Everyone knows babies cry, it's normal, and yours is ill at the moment. You can't do any more than you are doing.

The only suggestion I can make for now is to take your little one out of that room during the illness and keep them with you somewhere else.

However I am annoyed with your neighbours. Even if you can hear a baby crying through the wall, it will be muffled and not like being in the same room. Your neighbours would have cried when they were little! Honestly, some people. Don't let them upset you, they're nasty.

hopeso Fri 10-Jul-20 01:33:41

Really sorry to hear this, it must be hard enough for all of you when your child is unwell, but doubly so when you have such an unreasonable neighbour. Do you know the downstairs neighbours at all? If so, you could maybe sound them out about what the upstairs neighbours are like before you proceed with any contact.

If not, I would suggest just trying to ignore them for now, but if it persists, then a note though the door. I know some posters say not to do this but I think you could maybe head them off by taking the first step. Does the neighbour have to be up early for work? Who knows. I have had neighbours who've played music so loud, I could hear the lyrics to the songs. One woman was so rude to me when I went down to complain (I was studying for a PGCE at the time), that I ended up in tears on her doorstep. However, she did turn the music down. This is added stress for you. If you feel you can ignore it, then do, but if not, then you may have to address it with the neighbour directly. Obviously, stopping your child from crying is not an option! Good luck!

FrugiFan Fri 10-Jul-20 01:54:12

If it is very frightening to you (I can see how it could be) or it continues, call the police non-emergency and ask them to record the incident and speak to the neighbours
I dont think this is a great idea. I may be wrong but I thought neighbour disputes which have got bad enough to he reported to police have to be disclosed if you sell the house. Not worth it for what is really a mild issue, albeit annoying and rude.

OP to be honest I would just ignore it. They're morons and it is tempting to write a note or go round there but I do not think it's worth it. They're not going to apologise - someone who things this behaviour is acceptable would never do so - and it will just end up in an argument.

earthyfire Fri 10-Jul-20 02:07:29

Everyone is so polite with their notes...I'd bang back. If they think it's rude, well tough I think they are also rude for banging in the first place!

theendoftheworldasweknowit Fri 10-Jul-20 02:28:34

I take it you can't move DS to another room?

I assume the neighbour banging is doing so out of frustration rather than out of being a jerk. It could be that your DS is sleeping directly beside a very tired and grumpy neighbour - as you're in a house and not a flat, you probably have the most chance of being able to split up DS and the grumpy neighbour. There's only so much rejigging you can do with a small flat.

(Of course, you run the risk of then inadvertently moving DS to next to the bedroom of your currently not unhappy downstairs flat neighbour...)

I would seriously explore if you can move DS to another part of the house, as the current situation is upsetting for you, DS and the neighbour. Children of that age cry at the drop of a hat, and the noise is apparently carrying very badly. Terraced houses can have really thin walls...

If you genuinely cannot move DS, I would drop the neighbour a note to explain that you did try, but it's not possible, and you would appreciate it if they stopped banging on the wall as it makes it even harder to settle DS quickly. Maybe consider leaving a peace offering outside their flat with the note like a dirt cheap bottle of wine. If the neighbour is just at the end of their tether rather than wholly awful, that should placate them and hopefully encourage them to stop banging.

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