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Redditor Threatens To Call The Cops On Neighbors Whose Newborn Won’t Stop Crying

Newborn baby crying
juanma hache/Getty Images

Sharing walls and fences with a neighbor can be a very unpleasant experience.

But the neighbor getting frustrated over something like a baby crying only would make the situation worse, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Crafty-Ocelot9612 was convinced, though, that their neighbors needed to be more mindful of the people living around them when their newborn baby was crying.

But when their wife called them out on their behavior, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were being over-the-top.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for asking my neighbors to be more considerate?”

The OP knew the neighbors, who were finally back at home.

“My neighbors are a young couple in their 30s (Annie and Bill), and they had a baby a couple of months ago. The baby came home last month after 3 months in the hospital.”

“My wife is friendly with Annie. We can’t have children so whenever we have a neighbor with a baby, my wife makes friends with them.”

“We have my mum staying with us, as she is no longer able to live independently.”

The neighbors did not appreciate the trouble the baby was having.

“My mum has complained several times that she can hear the baby crying, especially at night.”

“My wife says the baby has bad reflux, and they are trying to deal with it.”

“The baby screams several times a day, it’s awful listening to the poor thing cry for so long.”

“But it does feel like they aren’t dealing with the baby as quickly as they should be. The baby screamed for 10 minutes solid the other night.”

“My wife says that the baby screams when they bathe it, as Annie has told her that baby doesn’t like being bathed.”

“The baby is always crying and it’s frustrating, especially when mum needs peace and quiet to recover from surgery.”

The OP was also angry about parking.

“Since the baby has come home, there is no longer any room on our street during the day as we have on-street parking.”

“This is making it difficult to get mum to appointments as she can’t walk to the end of the street to get her in the car but we also can’t park in the middle of the road as it blocks the road and can take over 10 minutes to get her in the car due to mobility issues.”

“There had always been at least one empty bay outside our house but now it is always occupied by either someone from their families visiting or one of the healthcare professionals involved in the baby’s care.”

The OP lashed out at the new parents.

“I reached a breaking point over the weekend. Mum had been home alone all day and she was in tears when I got home from work. My wife was away visiting friends. She said the baby had been screaming all day long.”

“It was still crying when I came home. I went and knocked on Bill and Annie’s door to ask if they could quieten the baby.”

“I could see through the frosted glass that Annie was sitting on the bottom of the stairs not even trying to calm the baby down.”

“When she came to the door, she apologized and said she had been trying to calm the baby down, but the new medication was making him constipated, and he was straining to poo. She had Bill had gone to pick up an emergency prescription to try and help.”

“I snapped as she clearly hadn’t been trying as she was on the stairs and told her that they need to be more considerate of others and if she didn’t quieten the baby then I would log a noise complaint with the police.”

The OP’s actions were not well-received.

“Annie was upset at this and closed the door in my face.”

“When my wife came back, she told her what I had said. Now my wife is angry with me as I was making life difficult for a young couple with a sick baby and is giving me the silent treatment.”

“I feel like I may be in the wrong because of how my wife has reacted, but at the same time, the baby is always crying and I think they need to be more considerate of their neighbors.”

“AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some thought the OP was inconsiderate of what the new parents were going through.

“When this mom of a 17-month-old read that the baby cried for 10 WHOLE MINUTES STRAIGHT, I thought, have these people never been around a baby??”

“They cry. It’s how they communicate literally everything. And this one spent three months in the NICU!” – sheworksforfudge

“I literally can’t believe that OP counts his parking problems against the family that just had to spend THREE MONTHS in the hospital.”

“Like, the obvious answer is that OP needs to move to a place with designated parking or a driveway because his place doesn’t fit the needs of everyone living there. The answer is most certainly NOT that other people don’t have the same rights to that parking as he does just because he doesn’t want to put any work into finding an actual solution.”

“‘How DARE these people to allow the MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS who are helping their SICK BABY have cars. Don’t they know how important OP is and how urgent it is that they handle whatever business they have RIGHT THEN and have an IDEAL PARKING SPACE for that business?'”

“Not to mention, if the parking is an issue because of a disability as mentioned, there should literally be avenues to get accommodations that don’t involve other people losing the ability for medical professionals or visitors to come to their house.”

“This is not the first time that someone has needed parking because they’re taking a disabled person somewhere. There are entire systems in place for EXACTLY THIS ISSUE which don’t involve infringing on the rights of OP’s neighbors.” – TrustMeGuysImRight

“Honestly, the fact that OP went straight to ‘Maybe I should file a police report’ before ‘Hmm, maybe I should get a white noise machine or noise-canceling headphones or try to help out’ is astounding. YTA.” – samandriell

“No hate here to the parents and I’m child-free. Young babies cry because they can’t communicate any other way.”

“This is an infant with health issues and your aggression toward your neighbors is completely rude. Do you think THEY want the baby to cry often? Don’t you think THEY would like their baby to be healthy and happy?”

“What do you think filing a noise complaint is going to accomplish? The police will come and arrest the parents? The infant? Use your brain and have some sympathy.”

“YTA, OP. A huge one.” – gymngdoll

“This little baby has lots of health complications and the parents are doing what they can, especially if they have home health visitors to continue care for the child!”

“That poor baby, those poor parents.”

“OP is definitely the a**hole. The compassionate thing to do would be to drop off a couple of homecooked meals and a case of diapers, especially if the wife is friends with them.”

“It also sounds like a driving force is possibly caregiver burnout, which I’m sympathetic to, but one should not take it out on a young couple with a sick baby. OP needs therapy and to consider if his home is the best place for his mother.” – specialkk77

Others agreed and pointed out Annie was doing the safest thing she could have done.

“OP definitely doesn’t realize that the official recommendation to prevent shaken baby is to step away from the child until you can regain composure. The mother in question is doing the right thing to keep her baby safe.”

“I’m a pediatric nurse and after a 12-hour shift, I sometimes require a few minutes of silence in my car in the dark before going into my house. I cannot imagine what it must be like to not be able to walk away and then to be shamed by some AH for taking a moment to calm yourself down.” – nololthx

“OP, you may not think Annie was doing the right thing, but she was. The baby will be fine if you set them down in a safe place (crib) for a few minutes to regain composure. Dealing with a very fussy baby can be rough as h**l; I’ve been there.”

“I’m just imaging how I would react if, in the moment I set the baby down and took a breather, some whiney a** neighbor came by to tell me I wasn’t doing all I could to quiet my child? I would probably end up in prison.” – energetic-dad

“YTA. These people have a new baby who had a lot of complications and the baby is having difficulties. And you go to people who are overly stressed with a newborn and throw a hissy fit because their baby is stressing YOU out?”

“I’d be terrified to add stress to that situation, for fear they would take it out on the baby.”

“For crying out loud, think about the big picture! Wanna help? Maybe make friends and ask if you can help them, watch the baby while they take a walk or prepare some food for them or just sit and have a cup of coffee with them while they are dealing with a difficult and sick newborn.”

“Your actions increase the risk to that child. Try turning on some classical music or walking outside, but don’t create more stress. YTA definitely.” – Ok-Trouble2979

“Sometimes you can’t quiet the baby no matter what you do. The baby is screaming and you hold them, rock them, pat them, bounce them, and they’re still screaming.”

“What exactly is it that OP wants her to do? And to say he’d make a noise complaint to the police. For a crying baby. You can’t just get a baby to stop crying on command.”

“This post makes me so angry. My daughter has 6-week-old twin boys and sometimes they cry. They’re babies. OP is definitely YTA.” – Allkindsofpieces

“I’m a mom of a baby who spent considerable time in the NICU (months) and came home to needing specialized home care several times a week. My baby cried continuously for nearly 18 months. She rarely slept and I don’t know how we made it though, to be honest.”

“We tried EVERYTHING. She had a lot of gastro issues that weren’t treatable and have thankfully evened out with age. She’s the sweetest most laid-back girl now that she isn’t in terrible pain 24/7 and knows she won’t be ripped away from her mother for months on end.”

“If one of my neighbors had the audacity to act like OP and parent me in this scenario I would have first taken out all of my exhausted postpartum rage on him and then gone next door to give his mother tips on raising her son to be a more compassionate person.”

“OP, YTA. Get your mom some earplugs and turn on your hazards if you have to block traffic to load her up. S**t happens.” – LinkAvailable4067

The subReddit was sympathetic to these new parents whose baby was likely struggling with some early-life complications, and they were left shaking their head at the OP who couldn’t look beyond their minor inconveniences to see how they could help the parents.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.