Question of the Day: When does an unruly neighbor cross the line to Baby Bullying?

When does a neighbor become more of a baby bully than unruly?  How do/would you deal with a baby bully?  Might seem like an odd questions but here is what happened to us and how I dealt with it in a sleep deprived state.

My Answer

We live in a large Victorian house on the top floor.  We are quiet for the most part with normal baby noise.  A little background as to what I was dealing with up here.  Our little guy had been teething with 4 molars and 2 more bottom teeth, 6 at one time wasn’t fun plus, after a visit to the ER a double ear infection.

Every time the baby crawls the guy down stairs pounds on the wall.  He can’t pound on the ceiling because each apartment has drop down ceilings with insulation between it and the “real” ceiling.  After a couple of days of him pounding and it registering that it was because of the baby I went down and asked him if the baby’s crawling was bothering him.  He said “don’t pay attention to me, I think I am going crazy.  I’ll come up if it is really bothering me.”  I went back up stairs and the pounding seemed to stop for a couple of days and then it returned.

Every time our little guy would crawl he would bang.  If a toy was dropped or the little guy fell over trying to stand, he would bang on his walls.  After that I started not letting him out of his bed room when he got up until he went down for his nap.  When he got up I would let him play in the living room for until lunch and his afternoon nap.  After his afternoon nap I would have him in his room and a little bit of time in the living room before dinner and bed.  The night we had to take the little guy to the ER was the beginning of the last straw.  I put the little guy down long enough to put the diaper bag together and the pounding began.  Our little guy was beginning to think it was a game so the more the guy down stairs pounded our little one would raise his feet or hands and smash them down in response so this process would repeat.  When we got home from the ER I tried to get a little sleep but our little one wasn’t sleeping more that 1-1.5 hours at a time.  I was exhausted.  Over the weekend his daddy was home from work and the pounding was getting under his skin and he said something to me and I responded “What do you want me to do about it?  Go downstairs and say something to him?”  I was livid, I didn’t even let Sean answer and I was out the door, stomped down stairs paced back and forth to calm myself down before I knocked on his door nicely.  I was all ready to be sweet and ask him about the baby’s crawling again but he didn’t answer the door, he didn’t even respond to my knock.  So, up stairs I went and we didn’t hear another peep from him all night.  We decided that night that we were going to buy an area rug and padding to go over that part of the floor.  The next day was mostly quiet down stairs with little pounding here and there but the day after that is when I couldn’t take it any more.

The little guy had not been sleeping more than 2 hours at a time and it would take an hour to get him back to sleep.  That means I wasn’t sleeping and I was a bundle of emotions.  I had the little one in his room all day until after his last nap I put him in his high chair to eat lunch took him out put him on the floor long enough for me to wipe down his tray.  We are talking maybe 2 minutes max.  and the guy started pounding.  So I scooped the baby up, took him down stairs and knocked on the guys door.  This time I told him “I have been keeping the baby trapped in his high chair and cooped up in his room which is making him not nap or sleep well.  We spent money we didn’t have to spend on a rug and padding to make it better for you and if that doesn’t work I don’t know what else to do.”  By that point I was in tears.  His response was “I didn’t mean to make you feel bad, don’t worry about me.  let the little guy crawl around I won’t say another word or yell anymore.”  I was thinking “yelling, I never heard yelling”.  I said thank you and was on our way back upstairs.  from that moment on we heard no more pounding other than his normal random pounding that is not baby related.

I consider him a borderline baby bully.

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4 thoughts on “Question of the Day: When does an unruly neighbor cross the line to Baby Bullying?

  1. Pingback: Question of the Day: Baby Bully Neighbor – How do you address the issue without “tattling” to the landlord? | Baby Lanes Cove

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