Post # 47
@playdohpants: But people have a right to have children regardless of whether or not they have neighbors.
My husband can’t STAND noise. When we got our first apartment together, we purposely got one on a top floor. Same priority applied to the condo we purchased a year and a half ago. The only exception would be a building with concrete & steel (i.e., better soundproof) construction or, obviously, a free-standing house.
Post # 48
@ElbieKay: Oh of course, I don’t think people shouldn’t make their child bearing decisions based on their neighbors or anything, I was just saying she shouldn’t feel guilty about hating the noise when “the parents are going through it too” like PPs said.
Post # 49
Hi ladies, thanks all for your thoughts in this. Lots to take into consideration.
Just a note: why really irritates me about this, is that we’ve lived here for three years. This is the fourth couple to move into the neighboring apartment since we’ve been there. Until the couple with the baby moved in, we thought it was totally soundproof. We literally never heard any noises at all from previous tenants. I’m not sure what they’re doing differently, but we hear ALL of their day to day living! We moved in under the impression that we would have a quiet and peaceful home, and it has been that way for many years, and all of a sudden – gone!
And while I understand where pp’s are coming from with ‘think of how the parents feel’ but, they had a child not me. While it was my choice to live in an apartment, it wad under te impression that it had reasonable sound proofing, and it was certainly not my choose to have a screaming child. Sure the parents may be frustrated and tired, but, ultimately they chose to have/raise a child. If this was a neighbor with a barking dog, surely I wouldn’t be told to keep the dog parents in mind, because they must be sick of it too.
Post # 50
If someone blasted their tv or stereo because I had a crying baby, I would legit leave a flaming bag of shit on their doorstep.
Post # 51
@sofialovesmikey I would talk to the family first. They might not realize that you can hear the baby crying. Assuming they are decent people they should understand and move the baby’s crib or try to soundproof better.
If that doesn’t work contact the landlord and start making noise complaints. If that doesn’t work try local law enforcement. Just because it’s a baby doesn’t mean that the family gets a free pass to make noise that would otherwise be unacceptable. I also advise against putting any money into your apartment to soundproof it. That should be on your neighbors because they choose to have the child, not you.
Post # 52
I should also mention how irresponsible these parents are being by even raising their child in this townhouse. It was built in the 1920’s and we had to sign a waiver saying we were aware that lead paint was probably used at some point. Their nursery is on the third floor where it’s get about 3000 degrees in the summer and air conditioners don’t fit in the old windows. In the winter, the old windows are poor insulation are so drafty that running the heat is almost pointless. There are often rodents in the walls, and power outages on our block.
It all sounds really terrible when it’s all listed out, but it’s totally fine for Darling Husband and I. But, to actually bring an infant into that environment knowing all that – you’ve got to be nuts!
Post # 53
@sofialovesmikey: “If this was a neighbor with a barking dog, surely I wouldn’t be told to keep the dog parents in mind, because they must be sick of it too.”
This is a bad analogy because for the most part babies can’t be trained out of crying but dogs can be trained out of barking.
Post # 54
@sofialovesmikey: According to my parents, I was a colicky baby for the first 6 months of my life. That ended after my sleep-deprived mother passed out on the kitchen floor and dad called her mother to come help with me. Grandma ended up giving me some herbal formula and my colic stopped.
It’s possible the parents next door have a colic-afflicted baby and don’t know what to do. I liked the pp’s suggestions of leaving some kind of basket with the swaddle sack and some kind of DVD or something, maybe a CD with some soothing tunes.
Also go with hanging up some thick carpet or blankets on the walls to absorb some of the sound, and see about moving the bed into DH’s office and have his office in the current bedroom.
Post # 55
I would take the measures suggested in terms of moving the bed, putting up a wall rug, etc. Give it a week and if it doesn’t help then I would approach the parents in a non-aggressive way. Explain that you’ve tried everything you can think of on your end, and were wondering if maybe they could think of anything that could help on their end, like moving the crib to another room, etc.
Approach them in a way that is “Hey, let’s work on this problem together”. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are horrified that you can hear them as much as you can.
Post # 56
Ugh I feel for you. I would definitely ask the parents to move thr crib if you think most of the crying is coming from when the baby is there – but it sounds like you hear the baby crying all day long from whatever it is. Does your heating/AC system have a fan option that you can leave running all the time? Thay’s what I did when I had noisy neighbors. That plus a stand fan and a white noise machine made it possible for me to sleep.
Post # 57
@sofialovesmikey: People don’t have much of a choice where they live sometimes. And if the building is fine for you, it’s fine for a baby.
Some of these reponses have made me cross.
You are entitled to live inside your own home and make reasonable noise. A baby crying is reasonable noise. Likewise, you are entitled to live inside your own home and not be disturbed by the reasonable noises of your neighbours. If your neighbor holds wild parties until 2am and wakes you, that is the fault of the neighbor. If the neighbor wakes you by vacuuming or doing their laundry, that is the fault of the landlord for not complying with building regs.
I used to live in halls. On one side of me were a couple who used to noisily and constantly have sex. There wasn’t much I could do about that… they are entitled to have sex in their own room. On the other side was a group who used to play their music so loudly that books fell from the shelves and the floor vibrated. That was not reasonable, and it was grounds for a noise complaint. But there is a difference.
Having a crying child is part of life… not much they can do about it. But the fact you can hear that reasonable noise as a neighbour… this is the fault of the LANDLORD, nobody else. To be honest, you have made this guy sound like a slumlord. Can’t you contact your local council or equivalent and get them to run a noise stress test? There must be local regulations about what is safe. They can force your landlord to comply with building regs.
One final thing… are you allowed to make improvements to your home under the lease? You may find that the neighbors or the landlord have replaced carpets with laminate, or changed the air conditioning/cavity wall insulation recently, which may have caused the problem. If possible, you could look into that.
Post # 58
@sofialovesmikey: I guess I’m still not really sure what you want them to do? Duct tape the baby’s mouth shut? If moving the crib to another wall would help, I think that might be a reasonable suggestion. But I simply don’t know what else they can do, if they’re already doing what they can to try to soothe the baby and it isn’t working, which is the definition of colic.
Also, I grew up in an old house that had awful heating and no air-conditioning and we probably had occasional mice in the house. There was probably even lead paint burried under other layers of paint/walpaper. The kitchen was so out of shape that when my parents moved in they literally had to use jacks to level it out almost a foot! And I was just fine. You yourself said that it’s fine for you. It’s probably fine for the baby as well. Babies are heartier than you think.
Post # 59
@sofialovesmikey: A few things– I have a 1930s townhouse that we are sure has lead paint (the realtor we bought it from claimed it didn’t and I laughed and asked her what she thought the house was painted with originally. It isn’t a problem as long as the walls have been completely painted over. And they probably have at least 5 times with save paint. As far as the temperature and all of the other things– it may be the best that they can do. I grew up in NY with no air conditioning and questionable insulation (looking back, it was the WNY air, not the house, that was cold). It was all I had ever known and it was fine. My parents were doing the best that they could– even if Micky and Minnie happend to run across the floor once or twice when we were young. They saved and we now have a rodent free house (still no AC).
But to your point– you are in a townhome, which is something people rent when they have families. It isn’t like a studio apartment where there is an almost 0% chance of a baby, this is a pretty high likelihood of happening. You knew it moving in and you have had great neighbors for three years! Now you have an annoying one.
If it were me (and I have had my share of annoying ones), I would give it 3 months. Sleep on the couch if it gets really bad (I used to do that when my neighbors fought). Give them the benefit of the doubt– I cried 24-7 for the first 8 weeks. My mom had an emergency c-section with a difficult recovery, she was trying to feed me breast milk to save money and I was horribly allergic, and I constantly had a sick tummy which turned into reflux, which turned into horrific cries. My parents did everything they could– they were holding me as I was screaming and terrorizing the neighbors (we were in a townhouse too). It took them a few weeks and once they realized that I needed soy formula, not breast milk, and that I would sleep if I was vertical, I was a much better neighbor. Our neighbors never said a thing until I was 5 and throwing a royal temper tantrum at a going away party– “oh, I haven’t heard you scream like that since you were a newborn. You have the best set of lungs”.
Give it time. You may go nuts now, but the parents are probably going nuts too. They are doing their best and there is nothing you can do to help. If it goes on for 3-4 months, then it is worth mentioning.
Post # 60
lol seriously? These parents are irresponsible for raising their kid in this townhouse! There’s lead paint and rodents and no insulation!!!! But it’s okay for us, JUST NOT THEM.
Post # 61
@sofialovesmikey: Your beef should be with your landlord, not the neighbors. The building has bad soundproofing. That’s the landlords problem. And to say they are bad parents is pretty awful, you don’t know these people or their reasons for living where they do. I live in a 100 year old building with a baby – does this make me a neglectful mom?
And to all the posters saying the parents are responsible for the babie’s crying, I’m pretty sure most parents with a crying newborn try everything possible to soothe them. Some babies just cry a lot. I hope the universe blesses you all with colicky babies so you can eat your words.