Losing sleep due to neighbor's toddler
May 4, 2015 2:44 PM   Subscribe

I am this poster's downstairs neighbor (no, not literally), and I haven't gotten a full night's sleep since they moved in. What do?

I live in a building that has not had any children in it as long as I've lived here, but a family with a toddler has just moved in upstairs. The kiddo is ~2 years old. He cries a lot (which can't be helped, and can be blocked with earplugs/white noise), but he also runs a lot. Back and forth. Directly over our bedroom. Starting as early as 5:15 a.m. (which is ~1.5 hours before we wake up during the week, and 4+ hours before we wake up on the weekends). There are also running, bouncing, and dropping noises throughout the day, which wouldn't be a huge deal if the kid got started at 10 a.m., but what it means for us now is that we can't even make up our lost sleep by napping after work.

Our building has hardwood floors and terrible sound insulation (I can hear most of my downstairs neighbors' conversations and every toilet flush in the building). We're used to normal upstairs sounds - walking, talking, laundry, TV, dishes - but the running/bouncing is going to kill me.

Complicating factors:

- Their apartment is two stories. I haven't been up there but I'd assume the living space is on the 1st floor and bedrooms on the 2nd. I have friends in duplexes who are militant about only letting kids play on the top floor, but I don't think I can just, like, suggest that.

- The people upstairs seem really, really nice (we met briefly when they moved in), and I don't want to make them angry or have a bad relationship with them. We all live here.

- They JUST moved in. I don't want to immediately accost them with noise complaints (and I know that it takes time to get a little kid settled into a new situation), but I also don't want this to become the "normal" that gets disrupted when we do eventually have to talk to them. Also, they may just not know how much noise carries in this building.


- How long do we wait to have this conversation?

- How do we approach this in a solution-oriented way? Scripts, talking points, bribes, whatever will help us a) achieve sleep and b) maintain a cordial-to-friendly relationship with our new neighbors.

If your response is something along the lines of "toddlers gonna run" or "children are our future" - maybe stay out of this one. I totally get it and I love kids, but I also live here. This is my home and I live here, and I am a human being who needs to be able to sleep. I am looking specifically for advice on how to have this conversation, not advice on how to suck it up. Thanks.
posted by goodbyewaffles to Human Relations (29 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Landlord landlord landlord.

You don't have much to gain by talking to this person directly more than maybe once. And look at how that lady responded in the previous thread.("have a heart!").

I'd give them exactly one chance to be reasonable, then go straight to the landlord.

That previous thread covers most of what's typical and reasonable here. Many places have a minimum area covered by carpets. There are bounce absorbing foam interlocking mats that like, daycares and stuff use.

I think since they have an upstairs, then that's a totally reasonable suggestion. I'm not sure how you package that though, and it's totally possible they'll be assholes and "it's my house! kids are kids!" about it. You really need to talk to them, and then the landlord first.

This is one of those things it's hard to know how to approach until you've already approached it and gathered some intel about what the situation on the ground is like.

I'm still stuck with the awful kid and shitty parents i mentioned in that thread, and everyone in the building hates it. I'm sure i'll get a whole new raft of complaints this year, but the landlord took "but all his toys wont fit in the other bedroom!" as a reasonable explanation and dropped it. You haven't gotten a shitty response from that person OR your landlord yet, so go seek those out and see what happens.

I also think right when they moved in is an EXCELLENT time to do this. They don't have expectations of what they can do in the place yet! they probably don't even know they're bothering you! unless they're total soulless antisocial pricks, you can probably work with them. And unless your landlord is a complete pushover or kids-will-be-kids type they'll probably lay down the law if you cant.

I will note that if they disagree that this isn't ok and bring out the "but kids!" thing, you will have a shitty relationship with them. There's no way you can avoid that other than being miserable and letting them steamroll you. You don't know if that's the case yet, but it's not something you can diplomacy your way out of if they're going to be unreasonable. And i hate to be gloom and doom, but anyone who would let their kid do this in the first place is probably just an asshole or doesn't care.
posted by emptythought at 2:54 PM on May 4, 2015 [5 favorites]

I lived in a building with that kind of exceptional lack of soundproofing.

You can talk to your landlord about improving insulation and maybe adding more sheet rock to the ceiling (they make noise canceling types.)

Moving improved my quality of life and sleep 1000%. I still shudder at how bad that noise situation was.
posted by jbenben at 2:55 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Just go upstairs pleasantly and say that you are sure they don't know it, but the sound travels really loudly when the kid is running and it can't be blocked out with white noise machines, it's directly over your bedroom, and it starts at 5 am 7 days a week -- is there any way to try to keep the sound down before 7/9 on weekdays/weekends? A reasonable person will react reasonably to this, and a jerk isn't going to react reasonably to anything.
posted by jeather at 2:55 PM on May 4, 2015 [12 favorites]

Best answer: I would talk to the parents sooner rather than later. It shows them that this is a constant and important issue, and not just you being angry one random day. Maybe take some baked goods and small (quiet!) toy for the kid when you go for the chat, just to be a nice housewarming kind of neighborly/set a good tone kind of thing.

Frame it along the lines of you understand how kids work and that toddlers gonna toddle, but need to make sure you guys are all on the same page. Explain the building's crap sound insulation. Make some polite requests. Like, I think it's completely reasonable to request that the kid only play on their 2nd floor before 7am. Ask if they can put down rugs or some play mats for the kid. That kind of thing.

Good luck! I hope they aren't shits about it. If they are, go to your landlord.
posted by phunniemee at 2:57 PM on May 4, 2015 [21 favorites]

Best answer: Bring your neighbours some kind of treat (baked goods? chocolate? wine?) and make some small talk with them about how they're settling in before getting to the more difficult part of the conversation.

"Oh [neighbour], I'm so glad that you're settling in well. Unfortunately I have to discuss something a little awkward with you. Noise really carries in this building and your son has woken us up very early in the morning several times since you've moved in. It seems that his favourite place to run is above our bedroom! Is there any chance that you could encourage him to play elsewhere in your apartment?"

You need to talk to them about it now. They'll be baffled if six months from now you complain about it.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 2:59 PM on May 4, 2015 [24 favorites]

Are the neighbors planning to stay long term anyway? I know I'd want to be out in the suburbs with a little kid, not in an apartment.

If they're not going to move, you could move. That's what I'd do.
posted by w0mbat at 3:00 PM on May 4, 2015

I agree that you should go talk to them about it ASAP. Go over when you are calm; going over crazed and angry will get the convo off to a bad start. Are you in an area with lots of parks, playgrounds, etc? Maybe they don't know about those because they just moved. You could mention, hey, have you been to that great playground on Maple Ave, they have a climbing castle. Say it in front of the kid, he will drag his parents out the door every morning and then you can sleep :)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:06 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Their apartment is two stories. I haven't been up there but I'd assume the living space is on the 1st floor and bedrooms on the 2nd. I have friends in duplexes who are militant about only letting kids play on the top floor, but I don't think I can just, like, suggest that.

I get that, but it seems pretty reasonable to suggest that they only have the kid start playing on the lower of the two floors after some time later in the morning on the weekdays and weekend days (maybe 7am and 9am?)

I like the idea of talking to them relatively soon. They may not even know this is an issue.
posted by Area Man at 3:07 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I feel your pain. I definitely think it's reasonable to ask them to restrict the toddler to the top floor until a certain time (when do you usually get up)? Another, admittedly complicated suggestion: if you have the same layout, is there any chance you could talk to them/landlord about swapping apartments? Noise from below is so much less annoying.
posted by three_red_balloons at 3:10 PM on May 4, 2015

Best answer: I don't see why you'd wait. As they are getting settled into their new place, it may be more disruptive if they feel all settled and then this issue pops out "out of the blue" and they wonder why you didn't bring it up sooner. I am sure once they know it's an issue they will try to minimize it, but they can't until they know.

I'm not sure how you make this request, but I would raise the issue about the early morning wake-up calls and let them work out the solution. They can have their kid run in their upstairs at 5am, or invest in some carpeting and slippers for when people are using their first floor. Be as nice as possible as you can. Bring them some "welcome to your new apartment!" cookies.

I do feel your pain. I worked remotely and the people *below* me had a toddler who screamed all the time. I don't understand how I was able to hear it so well because I could hear literally nothing else they did, but it drove me batty. It sounded like a cat dying or something and I was convinced some animal abuse was going on until I finally figured out. I got lucky and they moved out.
posted by AppleTurnover at 3:15 PM on May 4, 2015

Best answer: It's not uncommon for landlords with wood floor buildings to require a certain percentage of the wood floor be covered with carpet if the floor is another unit's ceiling.

Let your neighbors know ASAP. It's fine to be frank while also being kind and friendly. They are probably completely unaware that you can hear so much of what is going on in their apartment (both footsteps and crying). You may also want to hint that past tenants had rugs to muffle the sound.
posted by quince at 3:21 PM on May 4, 2015 [7 favorites]

I will tell you what not to do: when I lived in an upstairs (carpeted) aparrment with a toddler, one time as we were heading out we happened to pass our downstairs neighbor (who had never so much as said hi to me before) who with cheerful snark loudly exclaimed "OH Hi! It's the family of elephants above us!"

I was mortified. Having just had my first child, and being kind of oblivious, it had not even occurred to me that we were bothering the neighbors. I definitely made more of an effort to restrain the running and jumping after that. But seriously, a friendly but civil conversation might be enough to at least improve the situation. Then again, you may live under that previous poster, and it may not.
posted by celtalitha at 3:38 PM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

I think that asking them to keep quiet hours in the morning is a great idea, but keep in mind that if the kid is getting up at 5:15, it is not reasonable to ask them to be quiet until 9 or 10. That's a long time to keep a toddler contained. Finding something closer to 7 (8 on the weekends) is much more reasonable for the parents. It might still be earlier than you want to hear them, but asking for 10am is likely to sour the relationship.
posted by ohisee at 3:39 PM on May 4, 2015 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I think that asking them to keep quiet hours in the morning is a great idea, but keep in mind that if the kid is getting up at 5:15, it is not reasonable to ask them to be quiet until 9 or 10. That's a long time to keep a toddler contained.

That's too bad. They can put down carpeting or sound absorbing mats, or keep the kid upstairs. 7am on weekdays may be reasonable depending on OP's work hours, but 8am on the weekends is not. It's not reasonable for the upstairs neighbors to impose on the OP by destroying their ability to sleep in a little on the weekends.
posted by Mavri at 3:53 PM on May 4, 2015 [19 favorites]

The only things you can really do are a) talk to them about it, and b) complain to the landlord.

And frankly other than the 5:15am business they probably aren't required to do much about it, so try to handle it delicately
posted by Hoopo at 4:00 PM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Having that dreaded talk now before you build up more anger will probably make it a better talk. Also, just describing the problem to them and then trying to come up with solutions together (even if you already have ideas about that) is more promising than knocking at their door with a list of demands, in my experience.
posted by Ashenmote at 4:06 PM on May 4, 2015

Oh, another one i just thought of. Check your lease!

Several places i've lived had additional rules, above and beyond the city municipal codes(which you should also check!) to the effect of "quiet hours are 8am to 8pm". This was contentious, because in my city the regular rules are 8am to 10pm.

Another place i lived had 10am to 10pm as the quiet hours, which i loved but pissed a lot of people off who were early birds and wanted to do noisy stuff early. And they really enforced it.

They may very well be violating their lease here. I mean, try and be nice first, but do some legwork and see if that's the case because that's some real ammunition to bring to the landlord if you softball it with them and they hem and haw.
posted by emptythought at 4:09 PM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Talk to them first and assume good faith. If, as you suggest, they don't know how noise travels here, then they won't make changes until you tell them. Maybe they can get some carpets, make the kid play upstairs, or try to keep their kid quiet a little later.

But I mean, you think they're nice and probably don't realize how it is for you -- so that right there is your script!
posted by J. Wilson at 4:54 PM on May 4, 2015

Best answer: Definitely speak up now. I found it was much easier to alert newly moved in neighbours of the problems with noise in our building. If you leave it and they don't hear much noise (which my next door neighbours wouldn't have done as I was quiet and they were the end apartment) then they are more likely to think you're unreasonable. My bedroom adjoined next door's living room and when I introduced myself (during the day, so no one was feeling pressured to act immediately) I said "hi, I'm next door, by the way, my bedroom is right on the other side of your living room and I can hear everything" and as nice people, they knew to mitigate the noise (and also that deep and meaningful convos or living room sex would have an audience).

I've also had toddlers running around upstairs and I feel your pain. I'm also cynically wondering whether the parents are sleeping happily upstairs while toddler runs amock wrecking your sleep. But giving them the benefit of doubt, lots of people have no idea how badly noise transfers through buildings. I would approach them in a friendly, cheerful way, lots of understanding about how kiddo (what a cutie!) loves running around but maybe they could try those interlocking mats, they worked great for friends of yours with thin floors/ceilings in their house blah blah blah thereby offering a solution (even about entirely made up people who are also super nice just like neighbours etc) cause omg, lack of sleep sucks big time doesn't it? Be friendly and positive that a solution will work for all.

Then if they turn out to be total jerks, landlord. Also I had no problems annoying neighbours who repeatedly listened to the TV so loud the whole street had to listen by popping in every time in my pjs to say 'waaah, I'm sleeping, please turn the TV down!' - I figured if they had no consideration for me, I'd be happy to interupt their show (and turning up in my pjs often got the sympathy of their guests who had no idea). If they ignore your very reasonable request for quiet at 5.15am, then I'd be popping by and visiting them and pointing out why you are awake so goddamm early.
posted by kitten magic at 4:55 PM on May 4, 2015

Best answer: As a parent of two small, noisy kids, I say speak up soon. If I was that kid's parents, I'd want to know, because I'd hate to think we were being annoying and I would really hate to think we were waking people up at the obscene hours our children sometimes keep. I want people to like my kid, so I want to keep my kid from causing other people trouble.

Keeping the kid upstairs is simple. Taking the kid out is also simple (something I often did when we lived in a tiny house and my spouse needed to sleep in after nursing much of the night). Definitely ask. As parents, they can think their way through this to make it better for you, and if they're nice people, they probably just don't realize how noisy it is because their kid drowns out the noise they'd normally hear from other apartments.

I think it's very sweet to bring a welcome gift, and it might be nice to think of this as a visit to meet your new neighbors as well as mention the noise issue, but it's also not necessary.
posted by hought20 at 5:13 PM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm also the parent of small kids. I implore you to keep it friendly. Our downstairs neighbor will ask us to keep it down in a nice way, and we love her. Whenever the kids get noisy, I say "Don't bother [neighbor]!" and the settle down because they love her too. It makes a world of difference. Nice people are mortified to think that they are bothering the neighbors, but as you are aware, it's hard to control little kids.

I would maybe invite them to come down and hear what it sounds like so that they can realize just how loud it is (present this in a really nice way). New walkers go "thump thump thump" more than adults do, but it's hard to realize this without being one floor down. I think covering the floors with either rugs or mats is perfectly reasonable. As relative new parents, this might not even have occurred to them.

Don't even mention how you get to sleep in on the weekends. That will just make them hate you, for obvious reasons.

I do not recommend going to the landlords. Again, you want them to *want* to be nice neighbors. If you go to the landlord, they will do exactly what the lease requires and not one iota more. If you are nice, they might make a real effort to help accommodate you. The landlord will never say "don't play on the 1st floor of your house," for example.
posted by tk at 5:42 PM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: We lived above a lovely family when we moved into an apartment that had laminate flooring. We had three boys ages 6 through 13 at the time. About three days after we finished moving in, the mom came up around dinnertime, knocked on our door, introduced herself, gave us a fruit basket and a book of her poetry that had just been published, met the boys, and then casually mentioned that they could hear everything. We apologized profusely and promised to put down some rugs and to make sure the boys were being soft-footed and respectful of standard quiet time hours. We had to remind the boys all the time when they'd stomp around/slam the toilet seat lid/scream at one another/etc.--and I mean all the time--but it was the effort to minimize it that we could guarantee, not 100% satisfaction with the results. Our downstairs neighbors were very understanding, became great friends of ours, and we both cried and hugged a lot when we moved out years later.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 5:47 PM on May 4, 2015 [10 favorites]

Best answer: Yes, just let them know nicely, while emphasizing how absolutely adorable and obviously intelligent their teeny person is. It's a way to let parents know you're on their side and you're just letting them know about an issue -- rather than a kid-hater who's judging them and might get nasty (just the idea of which is threatening when you have a toddler you might have to throw your body in front of to protect them from the crazy person, which makes parents sometimes get very defensive to innocuous complaints). I know my kids intrude on other people's space in ways I am not always aware of, and I will always take steps to control it when I'm made aware of it. (Whether nicely or nastily ... but of course I feel a lot more inclined to work a lot harder over a long period of time when someone's nice about it because GUILT.)

Another magic phrase during your preliminary flattery is, "Oh, what a great age!" which is code for "I know your kid will grow out of it but until then ..."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:22 PM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

One addition to the approach is to be sure not to assume that you haven't done the same to them. If you keep normal adult hours, you may have, or may in the future, wake or keep their cranky child from a nap or night time sleep, just by entering or leaving the house, closing doors, showering, having sex, starting cars, watching tv, etc. The people I know with toddlers often feel like the conversation is very 1-sided, that their neighbors are surprised (and defensive and sceptical) about how much sound travels in the other direction, so you might get some mileage from that.

I would also, in talking to them, try to work out which of their rooms is right above your bedroom. If, for example, it's the kitchen, no amount of carpet discussion is going to matter. If you have multiple bedrooms, you may try to strategize with them about possibly moving your bedroom if you currently sleep in a naturally high traffic area.
posted by vunder at 10:03 PM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I agree polite conversation paired with a housewarming gift is the way to go. One thing you might try is to point out to them which room is directly over your bedroom. It's possible that things would improve significantly if this particular room were avoided during designated 'quiet hours' rather than the entire first floor of their apartment (which is less reasonable if it includes the kitchen, etc). They also might be able to take more significant sound proofing steps (thick carpets, sound-absorbing foam, etc.) for this room which might not be as financially feasible for them right now for the entire apartment.

I will also just say, as someone who has lived and slept in a variety of loud apartments over the years, that it is quite possible you will learn to get used to the noise over time. This DOES NOT mean you need to just suck it up and that you shouldn't try to solve the problem -- I absolutely think you should, and that reasonable neighbors ought to work with you on this. Just that you might find things more bearable as time goes on and your ears adjust. (Now, this does not seem to be true for everyone -- I know some people who ultimately can't adjust and just have to move. But at least for some (me included), it is possible to train yourself to sleep in a noisy place.)
posted by rainbowbrite at 8:20 AM on May 5, 2015

Best answer: I've been in this situation before, and my upstairs neighbor was my landlord. Obviously, I never said anything because it was my first apartment, they had 3 boys, &, y'know, they were my landlord. Once my lease was up, I moved. In other apartments, I've had to deal with inconsiderate noise in other environments, & I think everyone who is suggesting approaching your new neighbors directly, welcoming them with a housewarming gift of some sort (maybe something kid-friendly like a coloring book, sidewalk chalk, or bubbles), & then diving right into the issue in a kind way is your best bet.

While you can't ask them to keep their kid on the higher level outright, if you treat the conversation as a brain-storming, "let's solve this together," thing, you can mention that while you're not sure if it's feasible for them, you have friends with toddlers who restrict early morning playtime to the highest level & that seems to have been a huge help. Really, it all depends on how you frame the conversation. If you're friendly, open, & approach it as something to fix together, I think you'll be fine. There is the possibility you'll discover your upstairs neighbor is an inconsiderate, defensive person, who gets huffy & refuses to work with you. In that case, if things don't improve even after what appears to be a negative reaction (people can be awful but then once their bluster has passed, actually make changes), get in touch with your landlord. Good luck!
posted by katemcd at 10:37 AM on May 5, 2015

Mod note: Couple of comments deleted. AskMe is not a debate space; please focus on constructive answers for the OP rather than duelling generalizations about why parents or non-parents are "the real problem."
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:42 PM on May 5, 2015

Best answer: One addition to the approach is to be sure not to assume that you haven't done the same to them.

The difference is, and i'm really trying to obey the mod directive here and talk to the OP because i've been caught in this trap... That there's a basic understanding that there WILL be some baseline level of noise in shared housing

Stompy 5am kid is not within that. Closing your door, or doing other things that are normal but might disturb someone is tough shit territory.

There's a lot of ground between walking around, and running around super early in the morning. In between might be something like the high heels on hardwood floors thing that's grey area tilting towards nah.

Just because the other party feels they have been wronged doesn't mean they actually have a legitimate point other than "NO U". "But YOU bothered me TOO" isn't really an argument if you've been doing normal life stuff at acceptable hours and they've been making lots of noise at 5am.

This is the kind of thing i have to recalibrate my brain on a lot when i get annoyed that people are making noise at 9 or 10am when i just want to sleep. They're allowed to do that then, even if it pisses me off. It's normal doing stuff time. If i'm making noise at 3am, even though that's normal doing stuff time for me, then i'm wrong.

The sort of "well you could be disturbing them too!" thing you describe basically throws out, or at least greatly diminishes the legitimacy of Normal Reasonable Person Standards. And i honestly think the only reason this is so controversial is because "omg but kids r kids and make noises and you just have to deal with it they're the future!" seeping in. Don't get caught up in that, OP. There is such a thing as reasonable standards.
posted by emptythought at 12:50 PM on May 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: So, I'm kind of your upstairs neighbor. I have a toddler and I live on the 3rd floor of an old 3-story apartment building. There are hardwood floors and the building has terrible soundproofing. About two weeks after we moved in, our downstairs neighbors (who moved in at the same time as us) started complaining that they could hear every step, hear our phones buzzing, hear our TV (we don't have a TV, we hypothesize they meant the radio), etc. It's only gotten worse since our son was born. He doesn't cry much, generally, but it happens and yes - he runs, drops things, pushes stuff down the hall, and he wakes up EARLY. (Both apartments are one story, 700 square feet, 4 rooms total.) We've gotten quite a few notes from the neighbors.

Here are some the things we've done, some of which were suggested by our neighbors:
-bought 3 rugs (hallway, small bedroom, living room baby play area) to add to our other 2 rugs (bedroom, living room)
-we always wear socks indoors and we are in the habit of stepping gently at all times
-we took all glass and metal items out of low shelves so our son can't drop heavy things at odd hours, and put babyproof locks on cupboards with anything that would make particularly annoying sounds
-we put our son in a playpen with layers of blankets, if he will tolerate it, when he drives his toy cars around energetically
-we never do house cleaning before 9 AM, no matter how early we get up
-we bought our kid a soft cloth ball, a little cart with rubber-coated wheels, a big bean bag, a yoga ball, and several other "noisy toy alternatives" that we can suggest to him when he wants to do something loud
-we take him outside as much as possible, even all winter long
-we suggest reading as much as possible in the early morning hours

Most of all, we spend SO. MUCH. FREAKING. ENERGY. on teaching our son to be respectful and quiet. Oh my god, you cannot IMAGINE how exhausting this is. He's one - he just wants to throw, kick, run, climb and play with everything in sight. I can't tell you how difficult it is to honor his natural need for play, yet constantly try to redirect him towards quieter activities without making it seem like a punishment. (If you try to force a toddler to be quiet, it will not work!) We tell him that he's being too loud so frequently that we've developed a kind of Pavlovian cringe whenever he drops anything, because we dread the ensuing task so much - empathizing with his need to play, understanding he's not being bad, trying to come up with something equally attractive for him to do that's much quieter. When we visited my parents in the countryside a few weeks ago I felt my stomach churn every time he dropped something for the first three days, and as soon as I was finally relaxing about it, we had to go back. We really want to move - in fact we almost made it out this year - and we can't WAIT to be somewhere where our one-year-old's natural behavior isn't upsetting people and causing strife with the neighbors.

Here's what we can't do: we can't somehow force our son to only do quiet, sedate activities in the early morning. It just doesn't work. However, your neighbors have TWO LEVELS and I am almost green with envy thinking about that. It is possible that they may be able to restrict noisy play to the top level. Depending on the layout of their apartment this will be more or less possible.

Here's my suggestion. Talk to them IN PERSON. Do not act as if the child is a bad child, and please understand that noisy toddlers are normal, healthy toddlers. Tell them the specific hours during which you would like them to be quieter. Specify which rooms, exactly, you would like to be quieter. Offer to give them a rug if you have an extra. And then, if they seem like decent people who say they will make an effort, the next time you hear things being dropped or little feet running, do not assume they have forgotten your request. Keeping a toddler quiet in an apartment is a difficult and totally thankless chore. I know that in my case, I think about my neighbors a billion times a day, and I expend an enormous amount of energy worrying about keeping my son quiet (and teaching him to respect others) without making him feel bad, and I know that my neighbors hate me because they give me and my son unpleasant glances. It's miserable, you know?

Also, things have recently gotten better because my neighbors adopted a yappy puppy that wakes up super early. So you could always get a puppy...
posted by Cygnet at 5:19 PM on May 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

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