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Crying Neighbor
updated: Oct 08, 2012, 8:50 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

My neighbors just had a newborn baby. I love kids but they leave their windows open for the screams to echo in our apartment complex. Is there a nice way to ask to close their windows when the baby is upset?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 329145 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 08:52 AM



 COMMENT 329146 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 08:52 AM



 COMMENT 329148 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 08:55 AM

Its not nice, but smoke cigarettes right outside their window until they close them.


 COMMENT 329149 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 08:55 AM

No especially when it's been hot out and these apartments around here are like little ovens.

Sorry for the crying but this too shall pass.


 COMMENT 329150 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 08:57 AM

you can close your windows and be thankful for getting to sleep through the night


 COMMENT 329151 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 08:59 AM

Leave an anonymous note. The offending party should be told.


 COMMENT 329152P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:00 AM

Hang in there, could be raining by Wednesday.


 COMMENT 329155 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:06 AM

I agree, close your window, get a fan, this too shall pass.


 COMMENT 329159 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:14 AM

I'd pretty much say exactly what you wrote. Say (politely) I'm sorry, I know babies will be babies, but the way the sound echoes in the complex, is there any way you could try to keep the windows (at least on the side that faces the other apartments/your apt) closed until the baby calms down?
Bringing some fresh baked pumpkin bread or something over when you ask wouldn't be a bad touch. Course if they are jerks when you ask, you can just take the bread home with you. :)


 COMMENT 329164 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:18 AM

This is one reason we moved from our apartment when we had kids. Granted, we had the choice and ability to move to a house, but we were the ones with the crying kids and I hated inconveniencing my neighbors. Fact is that the parents probably do actually feel bad. This was one of the hardest times in my life. You're used to dual incomes and tons of time to yourself. Then bam, it's all about the kid and there's very little you can do if your newborn cries. I actually wrote a letter to our close neighbors apologizing. It's a tough time. Maybe you can get some white noise going in your place.


 COMMENT 329168 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:21 AM

Check out what they are like by asking them about their baby and what it is like to be a new parent. If they say anything about being kept up, you can mention that you know because you hear the crying. If they are good neighbors they will realize the impact their baby is having and do something about it. If they are bad neighbors they won't care.
It might solve your problem and if it doesn't, you will know that to do anything about it, you will have to become a bad neighbor too.


 COMMENT 329170 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:24 AM



 COMMENT 329171P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:24 AM

If they act like jerks when you take the pumpkin bread, leave it anyway -- they're just sleep-deprived and probably normally nice people. If you have experience with kids, maybe you can offer to help with the baby or offer some other type of support -- bringing a meal, helping with a chore, running an errand, etc.


 COMMENT 329177 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:32 AM

If they act like jerks, i would definitely NOT offer to do their chores for them! Stress is no excuse for being a jerk to someone.


 COMMENT 329184 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:40 AM

Yes - write a nice note, place it in a personally addressed envelope . . . and then attach it to a quiet portable window air conditioner and leave it on their doorstep.


 COMMENT 329189 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:42 AM

Before you ask them to close their windows, make sure that you don't cause noise to bother the neighbors as well.

I deal routinely with people in a courtyard situation, often the ones complaining most about others are the ones making the most noise. Note I am not saying you are! Just think about things like football games, music etc. When one neighbor starts the complaint train about the others, it ends up with everyone complaining about each other, tons of nit-picky things.


 COMMENT 329190P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:44 AM

180: You're reading the OP's statement too literally although it's indeed not clearly written. I doubt that he/she is implying _intent_, likely meaning only that windows are left open (for air etc.) and the _result_ is ....

Having once had screaming babies who are now (occasionally) screaming teens, I can sympathize w the OP.

Speaking kindly to the neighbors can't hurt, but there may be limited actions they can take to remedy the situation.


 COMMENT 329196 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 09:54 AM

I have a 3 month old and two older children. My older kids were perfect babies. My baby is happy and sweet but suffers from colic. He cries a lot until he finally goes to sleep for the night. I could imagine how horrible I'd feel if we lived in an apartment. Sometimes a crying baby cannot be soothed. Sometimes there is a medical reason for it. I would say if your building allows kids, there's not much you can do. It is unreasonable for you to ask that they keep their windows closed, they pay to live there too (are you willing to buy them fans for each room?) Try going over to talk with them, approach it as a concerned neighbor...is everything okay? If you have children, maybe these parents are going thru what I am, and if so another idea to try to soothe their little one would be appreciated. Maybe if you find that this baby has a medical issue, it won't bother you as much, or it would make it a little bit easier to live with.


 COMMENT 329201P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 10:02 AM

Babies have no other way to communicate than cry. Yes, it is bothersome but It will pass. We have a 5 year old gal next door that just loves to hear the sound of her voice and is constantly screaming. When we first moved in I thought something was wrong. I went over to ask if everything was okay and the Dad said she was just being a kid. Unfortunately this happens all day long when she is not at school. And what do I do about it? I sucked it up hoping it won't last long. It's been 2 years now:) My concern is one day she will be in trouble or hurt and no one will know to help her.


 COMMENT 329203P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 10:06 AM

One thing we tried with our little miss who cried a lot from 1 month old to 2 months old was a white noise machine. She is 16 and still sleeps with a fan. Maybe the baby is have a hard time sleeping because of all the noise in the complex. The can be purchased a Kmart or Amazon. Wrap it, give as gift and maybe you will make a life long friend.


 COMMENT 329205 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 10:06 AM

what 196 said, and an offer to cook some meals, do laundry, go shopping, rock the baby. You might be recommended for sainthood.


 COMMENT 329224 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 10:35 AM

So many overly sensitive people in this town - we should just all live in a bubble.


 COMMENT 329228P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 10:38 AM

My next door neighbors just had a baby as well. I don't hear it often but when I do I roll back over and smile knowing that I don't have to get up with it .


 COMMENT 329230 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 10:42 AM

Would we get the same responses for a chronically barking dog next door??
It has been 7 years and that dog never stops barking. So "this too shall pass" does not apply.

And yes, I have nicely spoken to the neighbors. They said, Yeah, sorry.

Nothing changed.


 COMMENT 329234 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 10:53 AM

I'm due to have a baby any day now... I'd say that if you absolutely have to ask them to close the windows, you should bring over a peace offering first. Maybe order them some pizza, cook a dinner, or bring a baby present? I know that I want to be considerate to my neighbors and might not know that I was disturbing others if no one mentioned it.


 COMMENT 329244 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 11:14 AM

Call your landlord. Chances are you're not the only who is unhappy about the situation.


 COMMENT 329249 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 11:21 AM

I thought this was funny because my wife and I just had a baby about a week ago and this could very well be us. Babies like warmth and so windows will most likely be closed pretty consistently. But like others have said, with the heat lately it is difficult to close our windows. We try to be considerate, especially at night, but apartments are apartments and everyone has to realize that there will be some noise from neighbors. And, just to let you know, we're not doing the "let the baby cry until she stops thing". We try to get her to stop as soon as she starts. But, with that said, if a neighbor came and nicely asked me to try harder, I would do my best.


 COMMENT 329257 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 11:29 AM

Take a village to raise a child and that kid is going to be working to pay for your social security some day. Give him/her a good start and offer to shift for the parents because they are probably more distraught than you are from lack of sleep.


 COMMENT 329259 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 11:34 AM

Who cares. People are struggling everywhere and your complaining of a new born child crying !! Get a life


 COMMENT 329262 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 11:35 AM

You can do what my dad did years ago. He took a microphone and loudly announced to the entire neighborhood his thoughts on the mother's parenting abilities. They got a nanny to look after the baby after that incident and there was a lot less shrieking and crying for his diaper changes and pain from rashes and everything else that poor kid went through.


 COMMENT 329265 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 11:37 AM

262 - a crying baby does NOT equal parental neglect or "inability"


 COMMENT 329266 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 11:40 AM

262: That is despicable. I hope you are not a parent.


 COMMENT 329293 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 12:33 PM

My son had colic, and I was operating on three hours of sleep for a week at a time. If someone came over to my apartment at that time to tell me to keep my kid quiet, I would have punched him in the face.


 COMMENT 329305 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 12:58 PM

148's "advice" is great if you want to be a horrible neighbor yourself. Seriously, cigarette smoke under the window of a house with a newborn baby?? And don't get me started on 262. A lot of knee-jerk responses to crying babies, here. Emphasis on the work jerk.....

I think part of this is just something that comes with the territory of apartment life. But you can certainly say something nicely if you wish as long as you realize there's literally nothing they can do at this point. It's been hot out, they have every right to have their windows open. It's a temporary noise and it will get better as the newborn starts to get into a more predictable sleeping pattern. Until then, try a noise machine in your house. As others have said, it will get better. We were all newborn babies who cried once. We've all done to this to someone, at some point!


 COMMENT 329308 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 01:05 PM

I find it interesting that the OP stated that they love kids almost as if that is supposed to soften what they need to say. It doesn't make you a bad person if a crying baby bothers you. Weather is getting cooler and it's likely that the open window thing will pass. The baby will grow out of the whole yowling sob thing. You can try and talk to the people but don't be surprised if they are not receptive and take it the wrong way. It's not fun to live around situations like that - there's a carelessness and lack of respect that is permeating the world right now. I wish you luck.


 COMMENT 329311 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 01:11 PM

No. It's illegal for anyone to refuse to rent to families with children, or create special rules that only apply to them. Unless you're offering help, babysitting, or sound-proofing service, keep it to yourself, and invest in earplugs.


 COMMENT 329313 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 01:12 PM

Back in the day, late 60's early 70's many Santa Barbara / Goleta apartment complexes had "No Children" rules.


 COMMENT 329314P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 01:15 PM

Are apartment complexes allowed to be 'No children allowed'? If so, then you should consider moving to one yourself. There seems to be lots of babies living in apartments these days. By the time this one sleeps through the night there is likely to be another.


 COMMENT 329320 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 01:30 PM

Get some Mac's ear plugs. Our first child had colic. Almost no way to soothe her until she grew out of it at 10 months.


 COMMENT 329324 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 01:34 PM

Call Animal Control


 COMMENT 329332 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 02:12 PM

Having a new baby can be one of the most stressful things a person can experience. Trying to soothe an upset baby when you are running on weeks of only a few hours sleep a night (if you're lucky) is beyond exhausting. Worrying about bothering the neighbors is the last thing a new parent should be worried about. They are trying to take care of a brand new human being, and that's where their focus should be. Bring them food, offer to clean their house, buy earplugs. It takes a village!


 COMMENT 329335 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 02:15 PM

It seems quite a few people commenting on this thread have never experienced living next door to yowling babies that then grew up to be obnoxiously loud spawn from hell.

I think it couldn't hurt to try the "pumpkin bread" offering technique. You may luck out and have considerate neighbors who care that they are "sharing" the pain of raising a crying kid.

My neighbors (houses, not apartments) had screaming babies that are now as ballering and mega-mouthed as their parents. Several neighbors have asked (over the years)----nicely----that the volume be kept down to a dull roar. Hah. Good luck with that.

Just because you are living in an apartment, that doesn't mean you and they can't be considerate. Ask these new parents nicely and I wish you all the best.

(Earplugs are great, but the trade-off is that you are risking your emergency awareness. You won't be able to hear someone yell "Fire!" or know if there's an intruder.)


 COMMENT 329338 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 02:19 PM

329314P No. Apartment complexes are not allowed to be "No Children Allowed" unless they are designated as "Housing for senior citizens".

329313 : Yes, "back in the day" some buildings had "no children" rules. But that's illegal now, just like most of the other highly discriminatory rules and practices that used to be around in the "bad old days". Progress is good.


 COMMENT 329343 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 02:29 PM

OP seems to think the parents are ignoring the crying. They are Probably working on no sleep. This too will pass would be a good way tho think about it.


 COMMENT 329354 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 02:41 PM

i haven't had this exact problem, but we live next to vacation rental homes and have been disturbed by their noise many times. besides contacting the rental company, i've found that a sound machine in our bedroom really helps drown out unwanted noises from the adjacent homes. also, ear plugs are my best friends! i like the pumpkin bread idea, too! a combination of consideration on their part and some pro-active tools on your part should moderate your noise level. best of luck!


 COMMENT 329362 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 02:59 PM

Wow really...........


 RICHYRICH agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 03:17 PM

I stick by my philosophy: when I can no longer pee from my front porch, it is time to move.


 COMMENT 329374 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 03:22 PM

EMUWREN1, I actually was one of those who wrote that apartment life is like this, and I have lived next to a home with new babies and children and dogs over the years. It's loud sometimes.

But a brand new baby cannot be controlled like a barking dog or yelling parents or loud music. Having some compassion for a few weeks isn't asking for much. I'm not even a parent, and I feel just as much empathy for the new mom and dad as I do for the neighbor being kept awake. I don't think asking parents to keep their newborn quiet is polite, and it's not even really logical. Babies cry. It lasts a while. That's life.


 COMMENT 329449 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 05:31 PM

If it was me, I would talk to the apartment manager, and find out what the policy is on noise, all kinds of noise. Who do you file a complaint to etc. Ask the apartment manager if s/he can make the parents aware of how the sound of the crying is traveling, and maybe they can brainstorm how to lessen it. Or you could ask the apartment manager if another apartment away from the crying baby will open soon that you could switch into. But, I would do it through the apartment manager...the parents obviously know the kid is crying, and keep the windows open....so they are not aware or unconcerned of the affect it is having on neighbors. It is the manager who should let them know, not you. That is the job of the manager....


 COMMENT 329499 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-08 10:10 PM

Part of apartment living is dealing with neighbors that make noise. It costs more to rent a house but you get more privacy and typically more quiet for the increase in costs. In my 20s I coped with apartment living but no way could I handle that now in my 40s, it's just too noisy. It is harder to pay for a rental house but worth it in my book. Unfortunately there probably is not much that you can do except for the white noise suggestion from people, but living in an apartment complex that could be a good thing anyways.


 SDP agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-09 07:58 AM

Why don't you try being a really good person and neighbor: cook them a nice meal and take it over to them and offer to hold the screaming baby while they eat it.


 COMMENT 329550P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-09 08:45 AM

Give them a gift for their happy event - the book Baby Wise by Robert Buckman, MD and Gary Ezzo. Fantastic advice on putting babies on schedules (cuts out most of the crying), getting them to sleep through the night, etc., etc. My daughter successfully used it to raise her two babies and to coach many friends through the same events with their babies.


 COMMENT 330282P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-11 09:24 AM

I'm not sure I agree that progess is great. Why is it illegal for an apartment building to be designated as adults only. Some people do not like to be around children. There is really nothing wrong with that. These people who decide they do not want their own children and don't want to deal with other people's children should be able to have an apartment complex that has no children living in it. This whole idea that everyone has to accept everything is ridiculous. The OP should not have to cook, clean, or watch this kid. The OP did not have a child and certainly was not consulted during the planning of this little miracle. Parents need to understand that they love their children but the feeling is not always shared by all of their neighbors. I do not feel bad for new parents, they made the decision to have the kid. That decision should not inconvenience their neighbors.


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