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Please help! Neighbour's toddler wakes up between 1am and 3am every night and screams blue murder for hours and this has been going on for a year. Do I go and speak to them?

(46 Posts)
wellyjobble Sun 02-Aug-09 07:34:21

Now of course, before anyone jumps down my throat, I have all my sympathies with them.

The situation is as follows. Both dh and I work full time. I get up at 6am and leave between then and 7am (long commute). Dh can sleep till 8am and then get up and go.

For the last year, this boy has woken up between 1am and 3am and screams v v loudly and constantly. They don't go to him till about 6ish when (according to his mother), she takes him into bed with her and they go back to sleep till about 10/11ish.

Now to me, it's pretty clear that this is what might be causing the issue (the sleeping on in the morning). He's their first child, the father sometimes works from home or works away so if he's there, they all sleep till 11am.

However, I am horrendously sleep deprived. So much so, that I need to drive today but can't because I am sure I will fall asleep at the wheel. I have fallen asleep at work and in the loo and teachers at school commented on how dd looks like she has 2 black eyes she is so tired!

We have tried ear plugs, moving the rooms around, white noise etc. but the fact of the matter is, he's large now and the noise is huge. We are in very narrow and small terraced housing (only 2 beds) so it is impossible to escape.

She (the mum) does speak to me about his lack of sleep. I want to (kindly) drop into conversation that the morning sleep might be causing an issue or even lend her my Ferber sleep book (if I can find it).

Dh thinks we shouldn't interfere (I know he's probably right) but I am so exhausted now, I think it's starting to affect my state of mind a bit. I'm snappy and feel a bit down tbh and have started trying to go to bed at 9pm to at least get some respite which is making me feel I don't have a life as I only really get in from work around 7pm!

MojoLost Sun 02-Aug-09 07:36:36

Have you tried ear plugs?

wellyjobble Sun 02-Aug-09 07:37:33

yes, we have tried everything. I even got someone in to look at sound proofing!

Littledawley Sun 02-Aug-09 07:38:51

I really do feel for you - you need to try and talk to the Mum but I'm not sure you'll get far as she's obviously grabbing sleeping where she can sad

JackBauer Sun 02-Aug-09 07:39:14

God, that's a tough one. It is obviously impacting on you but I think any comment has a possibility of causing tensions between you.

It sounds as if you are on speaking terms with her but can you invite her for coffee or something one day and ask 'how's his slepp?' or something and then maybe use an anecdote to say how it worked for you, maybe say dropping a nap was the only way you could get your DD to sleep through or something.
How old is he? If he is fairly old then maybe he will be in nursery soon so she will have to get him up?

Much sympathy though, to you and to her.

StealthPolarBear Sun 02-Aug-09 07:40:06

no idea what to suggest sorry but you poor thing

GirlsAreLoud Sun 02-Aug-09 07:41:02

I think firstly you have to explain to them how this is affecting you - but don't offer tips or opinions on what they should be doing, that could get their backs up.

The onus is then on them to sort it out somehow. They may well be those head-in-the-clouds types who assume something isn't a problem until someone tells them.

If you try that and it fails then maybe have a chat with your environmental health dept?

PrincessToadstool Sun 02-Aug-09 07:41:30

How old is he?

wellyjobble Sun 02-Aug-09 07:41:50

I know dawley . I feel for her, I really do. I know how relentless it can be looking after a little one and I obviously don't want to give the impression that she needs to change for our purposes (!) but it's just so soul destroying having disturbed sleep every single night then getting up and having to do a full day's work!

I just want to help her which might help all of them and end up helping us too but obviously, there's a really fine line to the way I might come across .

StealthPolarBear Sun 02-Aug-09 07:42:35

surely if he's getting too much sleep during the day then he would wake early?
Do you know why he's screaming for two hours? Do they leave him, or are they trying to calm him until 3?

wellyjobble Sun 02-Aug-09 07:43:08

he's around 18 months I think

I keep thinking he's going to grow out of it but he doesn't! He's very loud too but then children are at that age I suppose!

wellyjobble Sun 02-Aug-09 07:43:59

Stealth, that's what I think.

He wakes between 1am and 3am but screams till 6am so anywhere between 3 and 5 hours a night till he goes back to sleep with them and sleeps till mid morning!

GirlsAreLoud Sun 02-Aug-09 07:44:47

He does need to change for your purposes though. Or, rather, they need to change.

They are leaving him to scream on his own for two hours in the middle of the night regardless of the fact that they have close neighbours. They are taking the p*ss imo.

StealthPolarBear Sun 02-Aug-09 07:45:03

oh sorry that makes more sense - I thought you meant he was awake from 1 until 3.

StealthPolarBear Sun 02-Aug-09 07:45:38

why on earth can't they just take him into their bed when he wakes?!
Sorry, helpful I know!

wellyjobble Sun 02-Aug-09 07:45:42

they leave him till around 6am when they take him in with them (apparently - and this is what it sounds like too). Sometimes they go to him earlier but generally he only goes back to sleep at around 6am.

I have a feeling they might be giving him milk at that time too as I've seen them downstairs in the kitchen with a bottle (our kitchen looks out on theirs and I try and get up so I'm not lying awake in bed for hours!).

GirlsAreLoud Sun 02-Aug-09 07:45:45

Jesus wept, 3-5 hours? That's just cruel, but obv not your business.

It's totally unacceptable of them to allow that level of noise when they could stop it by bringing him in to them.

HOw do you think they ignore him though, just out of interest?

wellyjobble Sun 02-Aug-09 07:46:31

nah awake from 1 till 6 or 3 till 6 <weeps>!

GirlsAreLoud Sun 02-Aug-09 07:47:34

You've got to speak to them.

Today.

Go round there today and explain, nicely.

If they don't take it seriously chat to enviro health, they may be able to help you with mediation or something.

wellyjobble Sun 02-Aug-09 07:48:02

I don't know how they ignore him. I think when her husband is away, she panics a bit and doesn't know what to do (am stabbing in the dark here). I also think on the occasion she has taken him in with her (I can hear him moving rooms), he doesn't settle that easily any more and I wonder if it's because he's so used to being awake then and falling back to sleep at 6, so he just waits for that time iyswim. But I'm guessing that.

inzidoodle Sun 02-Aug-09 07:48:19

I would annonomously post through a help book (no cry sleep solution) etc she doesnt need to know its from you and may help. Even put a note saying hope this helps, kind regards or along those lines so she doesnt take it as a dig.

PrincessToadstool Sun 02-Aug-09 07:48:50

18 months - it is affecting your family now so at this point I think that yes it is your business. Tell her you are too tired to be able to drive, DD is suffering - you can't go on like this can you?

StealthPolarBear Sun 02-Aug-09 07:49:32

Well from your OP it sounds as if he must be at least 18mo, so there are definitely things they could do.
(Says Stealth, with the bad sleeper and a complete wuss about any sort of routine)
Definitely invite her for a coffee and suggest changing his routine in the daytime! Can you arrange for your DD to be around and wingey so you can start the conversation with "she's always like this when she sleeps in the day - we're trying to stop her" or whatever?! - just a conversation starter?

StealthPolarBear Sun 02-Aug-09 07:51:15

I would hope that at that age just keeping him awake from say 7, one one hourly nap in the day would completely change his night's sleep - wouldn't be any need for sleep training as such.#Could well be wrong- I am the anti expert on baby and toddler sleep

wellyjobble Sun 02-Aug-09 07:51:19

I can't go on like this. I have been in tears all morning because I am so so tired and it's affecting all of us now. I have an ear ache and a headache and wake up feeling nauseous virtually every morning. I don't want to sound melodramatic but I do feel like I'm being tortured!

Ok, I will try and speak to her this week. They often go out on Sundays to see their family but I will try and catch her one of the evenings this week and I will dig out that Ferber sleep book from somewhere!

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