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Compliant from the neighbours

(73 Posts)
ftm1984 Mon 17-Oct-16 15:43:35


We are currently sleep training our 9 month old baby girl. We live in a terraced house, so can hear loud noises from our neighbours on either side of us. Last night the neighbours started banging on our baby's bedroom wall to stop her crying. Well, it didn't help as it just made her cry more and when she was close to self-soothing herself back to sleep... They banged three times over the period of an hour.

I can understand how hearing a baby crying in the night would be frustrating (she's in the same house as us so I can hear her too!!), but would never bang on the wall of a neighbour with a crying baby.

In retaliation, I banged my fist against their wall too. I was simply doing exactly the same as what they'd done (but there wasn't a baby in that room).

I politely went to my neighbours this morning and asked why they'd banged on he wall and all I got was abuse. They accused me of:
Not consoling my baby (I went in at regular intervals to console her)
Failing as a mother (because I can't get her to sleep through the night EVERY NIGHT. So obviously I'm failing)
Struggling as a mother (?)
Not being maternal (because I didn't go in frequently enough to console her)
Being a liar (for saying we could hear their banging at the other end of the house, when we could)
Imagining things (hearing their banging at the other end of the house, when we could)

I walked away crying and feeling as though I'd been verbally attacked. We own our home, but the neighbours rent and I'm scared to see them again as I don't know what they'll do/say.

Please mums, what should I do???

Thanks in advance.

Introvertedbuthappy Mon 17-Oct-16 15:48:42

I would wait until it's calmed down and go and apologise - going round to ask why they were banging when it was obvious was never going to go well. If you knew how poor sound proofing was in your houses you should have gone round with a bottle of something/earplugs to warn them it would be happening.
Is there a way to change room configuration so that sound will travel less? It's a difficult situation, but I can understand that if you don't have a baby it would be distressing to listen to one screaming/crying for hours in the night.

Introvertedbuthappy Mon 17-Oct-16 15:49:20

Oh and flowersbrewcake - sleep deprivation is horrible.

ftm1984 Mon 17-Oct-16 16:02:59

Well, granted, I know why they banged... but why now after nine months???

The woman next door has two adult children and so she knows what we're going through.

In addition, they also asked us to move our baby to a different room, but it's not possible. I also do think that's an appropriate request.

My main issue is that I was verbally attacked by these people and it's seriously not what I need while suffering from PND.

ftm1984 Mon 17-Oct-16 16:08:55

*don't think that's an appropriate request.

InsaneDame Mon 17-Oct-16 16:10:53

I agree with PP that it probably wasn't a good idea to go straight over this morning and ask why they were banging. Maybe you could have gone over to apologise and explain your situation, then it wouldn't have been a full on confrontation from the moment they answered the door to you questioning their actions.

Wait for things to settle then go over with a little present and try to start over - apologise for what was said previously, explain what is happening in your house right now and ask for a little understanding and recognition that it won't be going on forever.

PurpleDaisies Mon 17-Oct-16 16:14:10

In addition, they also asked us to move our baby to a different room, but it's not possible. I also don't think that's an appropriate request.

Why not? If your baby is keeping them up you really should do everything you can to stop it. You say they have children so they should understand what you're going through-maybe they soundproofed their rooms and moved the baby as far away from the neighbours as possible.

Sorry you must be having a tough time and I don't think your neighbours were right to just hammer on the walk but you do need to do your best not to keep waking them.

Whatabloodyidiot1 Mon 17-Oct-16 16:15:57

I don't think youve been 'verbally attacked'. You don't seem to be willing to see things from their point of view at all. I can't imagine it's very nice for them being woken up by a screaming baby all hours of the night, they have lives too, work etc so why should they suffer?
You live in a terraced house and as such you can't act like you live in a detached! Swap bedrooms with the baby or put the cot in your bedroom. Or accept that you're not going to be able to leave a baby crying for long periods of time when you live so close to others.

InsaneDame Mon 17-Oct-16 16:17:16

They might not understand what you are going through - some are blessed with amazing sleepers! (Sadly neither of mine were but my neighbours at the time were so noisy themselves that we were complaining about them!)

SilenceOfTheYams Mon 17-Oct-16 16:17:20

Personally, I would stop the 'sleep training'. The cry it out/controlled crying method is horrible. Yes, sleep deprivation is horrible too, I've been there with my daughter, but I just had to grit my teeth and get through it.

Your neighbour is also a complete tool for thinking that banging on the wall is going to magically stop a crying baby. Idiots.

Whatabloodyidiot1 Mon 17-Oct-16 16:17:36

As for 'why now'? Well it sounds like they've been patient for 9 months and now they've had enough!!

Amandahugandkisses Mon 17-Oct-16 16:18:37

I don't think going over there the next morning was the right thing to do. V confrontational I'm afraid and it was obvious you were going to get a mouthful.

NerrSnerr Mon 17-Oct-16 16:23:29

How long was she crying for? It's difficult from their perspective because even though they've had children that doesn't mean it's ok for them to be up all hours listening to your baby cry. How long have you been sleep training for? If it lasts longer than a few days I would give up for now.

RiverTam Mon 17-Oct-16 16:25:44

Unfortunately that was quite passive aggressive to ask why they banged. Better would have been to go round, apologise and explain that your sleep training and hopefully things will settle down very soon.

You have PND (flowers for that) but you have no idea what might be going on with them.

Maybe your DO could go round in a more placatiry way and try to get things smoothed over? Sounds like everyone's a bit fraught.

RiverTam Mon 17-Oct-16 16:25:58


YoungGirlGrowingOld Mon 17-Oct-16 16:26:53

It's tricky because babies cry and it can't be helped, but the onus really is is on you to minimize the disturbance to them really. Not sure about verbally attacked either tbh. It sounds as though you went round there for an argument and they obliged.

They were totally wrong to bang on the wall. I agree with PP's - go round there, apologize and explain the sleep training, give them some suggestions about how you plan to minimize the disruption, ask them please not to bang again but to discuss with you in person and take it from there. They will likely apologise for banging at that point!

I am also not sure that prolonged periods of CC or "self soothing" are appropriate in a poorly soundproofed terrace. It sounds from the neighbours' reaction as though she might have been crying for a long time.

Floralnomad Mon 17-Oct-16 16:28:52

They weren't banging on the wall to stop the baby crying they were banging because the baby was crying and from their side of the wall it obviously seemed that nobody was trying to stop the baby crying . I'm sorry OP but you said they banged 3 X in the period of an hour , an hour is way too long for a baby to be left crying in the night , particularly when you have neighbours who are also having to suffer .

ToxicLadybird Mon 17-Oct-16 16:33:31

What do you mean by 'sleep training'?

What time was it? And how long was you baby crying for?

InsaneDame Mon 17-Oct-16 16:37:14

I was worried when we had a puppy that the whining at night would wake the neighbours - I actually warned them in advance before we got him and went around during to apologise again (they couldn't actually hear him!) I can't imagine leaving my baby crying long enough for the neighbours to be bothered and not pre-warn

ftm1984 Mon 17-Oct-16 16:49:47

Ok... Looks like I'm in the wrong.

When I say I went over in the morning, I mean I went over at about 11.30am - not first thing. They had also said they'd planned on coming to see me, but I'd been out all morning.

Our baby was crying (not screaming and not crying constantly) for one hour and they first banged on the wall after 2 mins...

We don't sleep train for more than an hour. And when I say 'sleep train' I mean let her cry for short intervals and then we go in and console her.

Thanks for the feedback.

purplemunkey Mon 17-Oct-16 16:51:29

I have a 23m DD so am very familiar with sleep deprivation and night wakings. However, even though I've now 'been there, done that' I still don't feel bad about jumping up and down on my bedroom floor at 4am years ago after months of being woken by a crying baby and arguing parents in the flat below every bloody night.

We had a lot of tough nights but were always aware of our neighbours when we were going through similar years later. If it'd got to the point where they were banging on my wall I'd be embarrassed and apologetic I'm afraid.

It sounds like you're right in the middle of a difficult stage with PND and sleep deprivation so I can understand why you feel the way you feel, but I can also empathise with your neighbours.

As others gave suggested I'd try and have a more rational conversation with them when things have calmed down flowers

Blu Mon 17-Oct-16 16:58:02

When I lived in a terrace (and had not had kids) my neighbours came round and explained that they were starting sleep training and to apologize in advance for more crying than usual.

It is very distressing listening to crying babies , both because of the noise in the night , and because you feel for the baby.

What with your own lack of sleep , and PND, you might not have thought it through from their pov.

I hope your baby starts asking less soon.

ToxicLadybird Mon 17-Oct-16 16:58:56

What time did this happen? There's a huge difference between letting a baby cry for a while at 7.00pm and letting them cry at 3.00am

randomsabreuse Mon 17-Oct-16 17:01:16

Sympathies OP. I don't know how the neighbours think they would hear you comforting the baby - yelling at her to shut up is hardly going to work - quiet soothing/stroking won't carry through a wall the way the crying does! Sometimes they just don't work (and I have a good sleeper except when she isn't!) and crying continues regardless of what you do!

Terrace is difficult - depending on layout there may not be a non adjacent room - there certainly wasn't where I grew up - the house was one room wide and attached in all bedrooms - not unusual in most terraced houses.

You can get soundproofing that attached to existing walls (Soundstop) and you lose about 2 inches but it's disruptive to put in and I would not be doing it with a baby in the house - fibreglass type insulation goes everywhere!

venys Mon 17-Oct-16 17:01:34

I would try and keep the peace as much as possible by not sleep training. Babies will sleep through eventually in their own time. Co sleep in the meantime to minimise the crying and the impact of waking for you. I know it's freaking tough. Sat here right now trying not to nod off. But like I say I know it will happen when the time is right for your baby.

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