I Think My Neighbor Is Selfish for Being Bothered by My Crying Toddler

Family & kids
7 months ago

Dealing with a teething toddler can be difficult, especially due to the sleepless nights. One dad was shocked at his neighbor’s reaction when she refused to be more understanding about the situation. On the other hand, the neighbor felt like she did not sign up for missing sleep, and so a disagreement happened, also dividing the internet.

A dad got into a disagreement with his neighbor about his toddler’s behavior.

I am the father of a one-year-old toddler. Recently, she started teething, as her molars have started to come in. First, it was the top ones for about a week, then we had a week’s break, and now the bottom ones are coming in. It’s clearly causing my daughter a lot of pain, especially at night. Before she was a good sleeper, but now it’s been rough. She’s been waking up around 1am and then 3am daily, screaming with her little fingers in her mouth.

My wife and I have tried comforting her, bringing her in our bed (she sleeps in our room anyway and her crib is next to our bed, but normally she likes to sleep cuddled up when she’s uncomfortable), we’ve even given her baby Motrin to help with the pain, but she still screams for about 10–20 minutes each time until we are able to settle her. It’s shrill, and it sucks, but there’s not much we can do beyond what we are already doing.

We live on the ground floor of a new condo building. It’s made of heavy concrete and decently sound proofed, but not perfect. Above us lives a single woman in her late 20s / early 30s. This is an expensive part of town in a new building, so we can assume she’s decently monied. She also keeps her balcony door open all day and night that faces into our courtyard. She has been “punishing” us during the day by blasting loud music directly into our unit by putting a stereo next to her balcony. We are on the ground floor and have a fully enclosed courtyard so it vibrates around. She’s got great music taste, and my daughter will dance to it all day long. So while my wife hates her intention, I think it’s worked out just fine... until now...

Last night, she came barging down at 3am and rang our bell 4 times while we were trying to settle our daughter. Motrin works for about 8 hours, so by 3am we have to give her another dose and wait through the cries, cradling her for 15–20 minutes for it to kick in again. My wife (a strong tempered petite woman, amplified by her first year of motherhood) wanted to go fight her then and there, but I said let’s just concentrate on settling the baby and ignore her. I also didn’t want to make the baby any more upset than she already was. So yeah, I just let her fume outside my door at 3am.

The next day, I delivered a small care package to her door with a long letter and chocolates. She was not home so I put it next to the door. We are only here for a couple months (temp rental until we finish construction) but I’d rather offer an olive branch than see all the pettiness continue. Yes, it sucks to be woken up. Yes, it’s a shared building. Yes, people throw parties here until 3am on the weekends. Yes, babies cry and we try our best. For those who live in very big cities— mine has 22 million— this is what you experience. I’m listening to loud mariachi music from the neighbor across the way right now.

The poster offered more details in the comments.

  • “My neighbor yelled at my daughter the other day from her balcony (standing inside so we could not actually see her) calling her a ‘terror of the building’. There is normally little logic with this situation — all emotion. My daughter is loud, but not unusually loud. I can literally just be in the other room and as long as the door is closed it’s not that loud, but you can still hear the cries.” mcreichel / Reddit
  • “My toddler is not howling. It’s not brutally loud either, I tested it by closing the door and going to the next room in our own place. I could hear it, but it wasn’t awful. Keep in mind, the woman upstairs gets mad when she’s laughing in the courtyard.” mcreichel / Reddit

Netizens thought both sides could have managed the situation better.

  • “Your neighbor could be more understanding and the stereo thing is stupid and childish. But as a person without kids, why should she be awakened because your child is teething? It is not her fault. But you seem to have no sympathy for her position.
    I am not suggesting that you should somehow force your child to stop crying, nor am I suggesting that you are doing anything wrong. Teething is a normal part of child development. But that does mean your choice to have a child should infringe on other people’s choice to get a good night sleep.” donnamayj1 / Reddit
  • “Your neighbor sucks for how she seems to have handled the problem. If her music is directed at you, then she’s taking the passive-aggressive route, and that’s petty. However, I can understand why she’s so upset. She doesn’t have children, and likely needs to rest before work like most other people in existence. If her sleep being affected every night, I’d be butthurt too.” Several-Questions604 / Reddit
  • “Wow, these comments are ridiculous. Babies cry. Sometimes in the middle of the night. Sometimes for hours. You should not be medicating your child on behalf of your neighbors. People who don’t want to hear the natural noise of other humans should not live in apartment buildings.” False_Present_2513 / Reddit

Living in an apartment building has its own set of challenges. Recently, we published a story that shows another perspective: working from home and having to listen to the kid-next-door’s tantrums all day long.

Preview photo credit mcreichel / Reddit


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