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Redditors divided after sleep deprived woman complains about her neighbour’s screaming baby

Furious young doctor, 26, files noise complaint against her single mother neighbor whose crying baby made her so tired she ‘couldn’t do her job’ – so who’s wrong?

  • A woman has shared how she filed a noise complaint about a mother’s crying baby
  • The 26-year-old said she was held up overnight by her neighbor’s new baby
  • She works 100 hours a week in a hospital and fell asleep standing
  • The woman complained to her landlord after failing to contact the single mother
  • She got into an argument with the mother after she discovered the complaint

A busy doctor’s assistant has told how to file a noise complaint against her neighbor – a single mother with a newborn baby – after she lost hours of sleep.

In a post on Reddit, the 26-year-old said she works 100 hours a week as a medical professional and is cared for every night by her neighbor’s crying baby to the point that she “fell asleep standing up” at work.

She said she tried to contact her neighbor, who lives in the flat above her, to discuss the matter before finally resorting to filing a complaint – which made the new mother “furious”.

‘My downstairs neighbor had a baby last month. I haven’t slept all night since she came home from the hospital. The baby wakes me every 1-2 hours and this baby is screaming,” the aggravated doctor wrote.

A resident physician had told her to file a noise complaint after being held up so many nights by her neighbor's new baby that she fell asleep on the job

A resident physician had told her to file a noise complaint after being held up so many nights by her neighbor’s new baby that she fell asleep on the job

‘I know the mother is trying her best – I’m sure she doesn’t want to wake up either, but I’m losing it. I fell asleep on Thursday while I was in the middle of the rounds. My presence was not impressed and I was reprimanded.’

She said she can’t wear earplugs because she doesn’t wake up to her alarm clock or her phone ringing when she’s on duty and even tried to sleep on the couch, but the mom “walks the baby all over the apartment.”

“Every time I’ve had a chance to go to her apartment, she has a note that the baby is asleep and please don’t knock. I don’t have her number or any other way to contact her,” she explained.

opinion poll

Who’s in the wrong?

  • the mother 11 votes
  • The neighbour 9 votes
  • Neither 6 votes
  • Both 4 votes

The woman’s sleep deprivation got so bad that she was given days off because she was considered “a risk to patients.”

‘I spoke to my landlord on Friday evening. I was very clear that I didn’t want to blame this woman, I just wanted to know if some soundproofing could be done or something,” she said.

She was napping on her day off when she awoke to the sound of the mother “banging and screaming” at her door, furious that she had complained to the landlord.

“The mom was furious with me and kept yelling that I’m being selfish and trying to kick a single mom out. Neighbors watched and I kept trying to explain, but she (and the baby) kept screaming,” she said.

‘I lost it. I am beyond exhausted and just yelled back. I’ve told her that her baby is so noisy she could cost me my job and that she can’t function and that soundproofing isn’t the end of the world.”

The tense confrontation ended with the furious mother crying and leaving and the woman becoming “terrible” for losing her temper.

She can't wear earplugs because she doesn't wake up to her alarm clock or her phone when she's on duty and even tried to sleep on the couch, but the mom

She can’t wear earplugs because she doesn’t wake up to her alarm clock or her phone when she’s on duty and even tried to sleep on the couch, but the mom “walks the baby all over the apartment”

What are the noise rules for apartment living in New South Wales?

The New South Wales Model Ordinance states that ‘At no time shall an owner or occupier make any noise within their property or on common property that may interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of another occupant or anyone using common property’.

If attempts to resolve the noise issue have not been successful, contact the owners’ corporation or the court.

If the issue remains unresolved, you can:

1. Contact your local Community Justice Center for free mediation services. Click here for more information.

2. Complete a 10-day sound diary, then seek formal action by City of Sydney (if your strata scheme is under their jurisdiction)

3. Request mediation through the NSW Fair Trade Department. For more information click here.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority provides a range of free resources related to common noise complaints, including neighbours, alarms and motor vehicles.

While there have been circumstances where parents have been fined, most strata agencies agree that complaints such as crying babies in the middle of the night are very difficult to prevent and unfortunately there is not much that can be done about it.

“While the baby causes noise that disturbs other people, unlike unwieldy parties or power tools, we cannot limit the time a baby decides to cry for the betterment of other residents,” one agency wrote.


The landlord called her to say that he had heard of the dispute and had no intention of evicting the single mother, but wanted the apartment to be soundproofed.

“She has never been in danger of being evicted. I NEVER WANT THAT. Babies cry but I didn’t sign up for this,” she added.

After hearing the tired doctor’s story, thousands of Redditors shared their views with many who were divided on whether the poster, the mother, or neither was out of step.

“This one is hard because babies cry and sometimes there’s very little you can do to stop them, but I can understand how frustrating it must be for you, especially if it negatively impacts your work,” commented one user on.

“You’re right that a screaming match isn’t the way to deal with it, but I can totally understand losing your temper if someone yells in your face,” she added.

“You’re basically asking her not to walk around during the hours you want to sleep, but walking around your apartment at any hour is reasonable. What do you expect her to do?’ said a second.

‘Apartment life doesn’t mean you just take it all, it means you figure out how to coexist, and that goes both ways. Perhaps it would have been ideal to leave her a note, but it is also appropriate to talk to your landlord about it,” replied a third.

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