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Old 07-03-2013, 00:02
Rita6
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I really need some advice as how to handle this sensitive situation.

A few months ago our neighbours moved out very abruptly and a new family with 2 young children moved in, they seem nice although they haven't introduced themselves and we have tried on several occasions but they seem to just nod and scurry into the house.

One of the children is roughly 2 years old and screams/cries every night. Now I understand that children cry and she may be teething or it could be colic but she sounds like she's almost making herself sick with it and it breaks my heart. The rooms next to mine.

I mentioned it to my friend whilst they were helping me around the house as they heard it and next door must have heard me mention it (this is how thin the walls are!) I just told them this is what it's like every day/night, this is a parent of 2 children who said that they don't know how I'm not going out of my mind. Truth is I am, I'm getting roughly 3 hours sleep a night, luckily I am off work at the moment (depends how you look at it) with broken wrists so I can try and catch up on a little sleep if they go out in the day, obviously with the pain I'm in its still not easy. I'm worried about when I go back to work.

When they came round the man seemed very nice and did apologise and said they have her in their bed or get in bed with her to sooth her, it's obviously not working. It can go on for 3 hours then stop for 30 mins then go on again for hours. I'm currently sleeping roughly 5am - 8am.

In all honesty I feel so sorry for them as they must get less sleep than me but this isn't my child and there's nothing I can do to stop her crying. They know we can hear her so I don't know what else I can do besides sleep on the couch downstairs but with broken wrists it's not exactly ideal.

Do you think asking them to go halves on sound proofing would be appropriate as I'm at my wits end 😳

I want to handle the situation as sensitively as possible as they seem nice and we have to live next door to each other so I'd like to develop some sort of friendly relationship with them.

HELP!!
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:10
StressMonkey
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Ear plugs?
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:22
logansdad
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Cant you sleep in another room? I imagine this couple have enough on their plates without the neighbour wanting some money for soundproofing...
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:30
Rita6
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I kind of guessed I'd get unhelpful answers. Ill go somewhere else for help
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:31
striing
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I feel for you OP but I don't know what you can do other than hope they move out - or move somewhere that doesn't do children.

The building where I live is pretty quiet - and very unsuitable for small children. For a short time a couple of years ago the tenant below me moved her small child in (I don't know where he was initially but he wasn't with her). At one stage he was waking me up every night and I couldn't take it. I started getting up and stomping across the room and slamming the door (enough to alert her - hopefully not enough to wake up the rest of the building). I guess she must have got up and lifted him up or something at that point because he went quiet, whereas if I did nothing he just screamed and screamed.

It ended quite soon after I happend to come home one day and see a man with a baby outside. I thought I recognised the baby so asked the man if he lived below me. He said 'his mum does', indicating the child and I said 'I thought I recognised that squeal from 2am'. I let him in and everything was fine - and within a short time the woman and baby moved out.

I'm pretty sure she hadn't declared that she had a baby when she moved in or she wouldn't have been given the place anyway.
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:34
SherbetLemon
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Do you think asking them to go halves on sound proofing would be appropriate as I'm at my wits end
No, that would be entirely inappropriate.

Next time you talk to them, ask if they've taken the kid to a doctor. There could be a medical reason for her crying. At the very least, a doc can prescribe something to calm her.

You have to make them aware of how much it is affecting you. Just because it's a child, doesn't mean it should be ignored. Noise pollution is unacceptable in whatever form, but I don't think any council will take action over a baby crying, unfortunately.
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:36
StressMonkey
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I kind of guessed I'd get unhelpful answers. Ill go somewhere else for help
What answer were you looking for?

There is nothing you can do legally - baby crying isn't noise pollution - you have no legal remedy at all.

And while I have sympathy for you, what advice can we give other than to suggest ways you can minimise the impact? It isn't your fault the walls are thin, but it isn't your neighbour's fault either.

Sound proofing is expensive and you have no legal right to ask your neighbour to contribute. So I suggested a cheaper option - ear plugs. You can get fantastic soft foam ones, wax ones, silicon ones. Bound to be one to suit. Combine with a different room and maybe white noise, and perhaps you'll get a good nights sleep.
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:38
Rita6
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Thank you so much for your advice, just knowing someone else knows what I'm going through and that I'm not trying to be unreasonable I just want to sleep helps!

Ill try dropping something into conversation next time I see them.
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:45
Rita6
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Iv had to sleep with the TV on go drown out the noise but then I worry that she can hear it and it may wake her when she nods off, kind of going in circles. I'm just frustrated and wanted opinions of someone who's been in this situation. I didn't want to bring up the sound proofing idea but someone mentioned it to me and in a moment of desperation I thought I'd find out what other people thought. What I meant is that why post on here something completely unhelpful to try and make me feel even worse than I already do, all I want is help which I didn't see anything wrong with.

To those of you who have sympathised with me I really appreciate it, we all know a lack of sleep (not to mention my broken wrists) can do to us I'm off to buy some wax ear plugs in the morning!
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:46
striing
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Definitely sleep in a room away from it if you can and put on something like the radio. I don't think you can make them pay for soundproofing but you can make sure they are aware it's waking you up. Some parents leave their child to scream and get used to sleeping through - or sometimes it's recommended to get the child into a pattern - but they need to get up and pick the child up if it's waking you up.

To be fair, lots of people do find earplugs useful in various noise sitatuions. They wouldn't be my thing but if you can stand to have them in your ears it's gotta be worth a try.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:25
c4rv
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Thank you so much for your advice, just knowing someone else knows what I'm going through and that I'm not trying to be unreasonable I just want to sleep helps!

Ill try dropping something into conversation next time I see them.
I don't think ther eis any need to mention it. The parents have already said they are aware of what is happening.

There is no easy answer to this, as others have suggested ear plugs maybe or can you switch rooms for a short while. Sometimes kids are going to cry and it not the best thing for them to go rushing in to settle the child straight away. The good news is that it shoudln't go on for too long, hopefully just a couple of weeks. It could be teething or some temporary.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:40
Tyr
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I would imagine ovens are fairly soundproof. So i would politely suggest to them that they make their child sleep in the oven until he grows out of crying, (obviously the oven should not be turned on, or maybe just on a very low setting to keep him warm).

The washing machine is an alternative option, i imagine it too would muffle out most of the sound (again not turned on).

You could also ask if they have a coal bunker. They are usually made out of pretty thick concrete, making them fairly soundproof. I spent most of my childhood in a coal bunker, and i turned out just fine.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:54
Hugh Jboobs
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Agree with this. It is not unhelpful advice at all OP!

In my first year at uni, I was in halls of residence. The people on my floor were idiots who were doing Mickey Mouse courses which required them to attend a total of about four hours worth of lectures per week. They would play their shitty drum n bass music at loud volumes at all hours.

Pointless asking them not to, so my only option was ear plugs. I used to get them from Boots and they're bloody good. You can get these expanding foam ones which you roll up and put in your ear canal and they really do work brilliantly.

Hopefully yours is a temporary situation. Ear plugs will help you get through it until the kid is a bit older and doesn't cry as much.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:37
annette kurten
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why do they build houses with such poor soundproofing, it must be horrendous for the family [also], it`s bad enough having a night screamer without the extra pressure of trying to keep the [normal family] noise down.

i hope you find a solution op but to be honest as it`s ordinary household noise, i think the responsibility for sound proofing here [morally] lies with you.

edit: short term [as the screaming probably is] full cup headphones drown anything out.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:44
Makson
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I would imagine ovens are fairly soundproof. So i would politely suggest to them that they make their child sleep in the oven until he grows out of crying, (obviously the oven should not be turned on, or maybe just on a very low setting to keep him warm).

The washing machine is an alternative option, i imagine it too would muffle out most of the sound (again not turned on).

You could also ask if they have a coal bunker. They are usually made out of pretty thick concrete, making them fairly soundproof. I spent most of my childhood in a coal bunker, and i turned out just fine.
Don't forget the chest freezer which is also ideal. Again, just make sure it isn't plugged in.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:07
LIZALYNN
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I do feel for you Rita6.
It is so difficult to keep a small child quiet. The little kid maybe getting too much sleep during the daytime and simply isn't tired enough at night time.
But her parents will be sensitive about the screaming keeping you awake and presumably themselves.
I live in a semi where the walls are paper thin too so I know what you mean about that. We have neighbours who do constant DIY (drills and hammering) and we have had to learn to live with it.
They argue everyday and slam doors all the time as well. The noise can get to you down at times and earplugs are not the answer. I don't know what is other than to move. Sorry.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:48
bazaar1
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No, that would be entirely inappropriate.

Next time you talk to them, ask if they've taken the kid to a doctor. There could be a medical reason for her crying. At the very least, a doc can prescribe something to calm her.

You have to make them aware of how much it is affecting you. Just because it's a child, doesn't mean it should be ignored. Noise pollution is unacceptable in whatever form, but I don't think any council will take action over a baby crying, unfortunately.
I think asking them if they've seen a doctor will just piss them off. It would me! My daughter had serious reflux and later GERD and cried and cried and cried some nights. She didn't want to be held or touched, so all I could do was sit with her a try to talk to her to sooth her whilst the medicine worked. It was horrendous as a parent, and if a neighbour had the cheek to ask if I'd been to the docs I would not of taken it well.

Op you don't say how old the child is, are we talking a new born or a toddler?

Edit. Sorry I see you say 2ish. I would presume there is some medical reason for such crying, and as you say they bring her into bed with em it sounds like they are doing everything they can. I'd go with the ear plugs suggestion.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:58
fluffymingo
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Does it work like this - you go to bed, and lie there, waiting for it to start. When it does you tense up and say things to yourself like'Now I'll never get to sleep'. When the crying stops you lie there waiting for it to re-start. Eventually you fall asleep through sheer exhaustion.
This is how I was until I realised that I was making things worse for myself by my reaction. We got a fan to provide a bit of white noise and when the crying started I would tell myself that it was ok, that it was just Charlotte, and that I could relax and go to sleep. There are relaxation exercises you can learn on the internet.If things got bad I would also take Kalms or listen to my iPod. When Charlotte turned 3 things got better and I only heard her occasionally.
I tried earplugs but I find them uncomfortable due to a medical condition. I hope you find a solution that works for you.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:00
DrFlowDemand
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Maybe they're using the cry-it-out technique to get the child to sleep alone either for the first time, or because of the new environment? If so, the good news is that as long as they do it properly, the crying stage doesn't last long. Pressure from the neighbors might push them to comfort the child early though, which will just undermine the whole process and make it either last longer or just not work at all, thereby continuing the crying.

Maybe ask them in a friendly way if they're trying this method as, if they are, you can then feel confident that it will soon end, especially if they're not worried about upsetting the neighbors.

If this isn't what's going on, perhaps you could help them by introducing them to the technique, also known as controlled crying?
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:45
workhorse
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I kind of guessed I'd get unhelpful answers. Ill go somewhere else for help
I thought ear plugs was the best suggestion,I use them sometimes and they enable me to sleep but I can still hear my alarm.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:49
Glowormfairy
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Why not put a book called 'the sensational baby sleep plan' by alison scott wright through their door. Is only a couple of pounds. I have 2 children under 2 and this book saved me from insantity from sleep deprivation.
The lady may already be trying some sleep controlling method as others have said. It must be a really difficult situation for both of you and she is probably stressing already about keeping neighbours awake
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:09
4smiffy
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I kind of guessed I'd get unhelpful answers. Ill go somewhere else for help
Actually the replies were helpful. I don't know what else to suggest to you. It must be absolutely awful for you and I really feel for you, but realistically what exactly can you do? I don't think they'll cough up for sound proofing, but by all means you could try I suppose. Moving into another room could be an option and ear plugs is a good idea. I wear ear plugs at night and we sleep separately, due to snoring. You just have to do what you can to get some sleep.

The good news is the child will grow out of this, and probably quite soon.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:33
VOICEINTHENIGHT
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Lots of children have difficulty sleeping, our eldis son had asleep disorder, he still finds sleeping difficult but we taught him stratergies to allow other to sleep even if he was unableto himself (he still uses some of them today at 34 years old) what we did was showed him (even whilr he was quite young) that he was 1. Safe. 2. We were nearby (even a small child can be spoken to through a baby monitor, 2 way of course) 3. We encouraged him to play (when older read) when not sleeping rather than cry. 4. we left the door open (putting a baby gate in the doorway so the he could hear us, talking and/or watching TV. 5. leave a drink of water and a passifier (dummy)by the bed, for the child to have if wanted/needed (better that than a screaming child)

I am aware that this crying child isn't yours but you could find an artical somewhere that gives this kind of advice, preferably from a specialist and print it off for the neighbours.

Say you are concerned that their child sounds so distresses by not sleeping and knowing how difficult it would be for them to do research about the childs problem you have done the research for them and have found this advice that you think may help their child. (cos you feel so sorry that s/he isnt able to go to sleep and enjoy it as outer children do) say you don't want to seem like a meddling neighbour but you feel upset that the distress the child is experiencing must cause them real concern, then yous pass the document over to them.
If you are at all concerned for the safety of the child, (IN ANY WAY, FOR ANY REASON) Contact Childrens Services, DON'T DELAY' children die every week in Britain because people say "I DON'T WANT TO INTERFERE!"
Voicy.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:50
caras
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If and when you speak to them. Maybe it is worth trying to empathise and show a little sympathy. You know, something like you must be so exhausted. Then you can gently ask if they have spoken to the health visitor. Who may be able to offer support and come up with a plan.

I often see Mum with this problem and the trouble is they really feel bad for their neighbours so the sleep problem never gets dealt with because they worry about noise. It can take up to 2 weeks to solve a sleep issue. So maybe it would be worth discussing how if they need to start a plan you can say it won't be a problem for you, gives them a chance to get it sorted. Also you could book a small holiday or weekend away whilst they do the plan.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:12
bazaar1
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Lots of children have difficulty sleeping, our eldis son had asleep disorder, he still finds sleeping difficult but we taught him stratergies to allow other to sleep even if he was unableto himself (he still uses some of them today at 34 years old) what we did was showed him (even whilr he was quite young) that he was 1. Safe. 2. We were nearby (even a small child can be spoken to through a baby monitor, 2 way of course) 3. We encouraged him to play (when older read) when not sleeping rather than cry. 4. we left the door open (putting a baby gate in the doorway so the he could hear us, talking and/or watching TV. 5. leave a drink of water and a passifier (dummy)by the bed, for the child to have if wanted/needed (better that than a screaming child)

I am aware that this crying child isn't yours but you could find an artical somewhere that gives this kind of advice, preferably from a specialist and print it off for the neighbours.

Say you are concerned that their child sounds so distresses by not sleeping and knowing how difficult it would be for them to do research about the childs problem you have done the research for them and have found this advice that you think may help their child. (cos you feel so sorry that s/he isnt able to go to sleep and enjoy it as outer children do) say you don't want to seem like a meddling neighbour but you feel upset that the distress the child is experiencing must cause them real concern, then yous pass the document over to them.
If you are at all concerned for the safety of the child, (IN ANY WAY, FOR ANY REASON) Contact Childrens Services, DON'T DELAY' children die every week in Britain because people say "I DON'T WANT TO INTERFERE!"
Voicy.
again - all she is going to do by 'doing research for them' is piss them off. If someone showed up at your door, telling you how to 'treat' your son's problem you'd be unwelcoming to say the least.
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