Redditor Asks If He's the A-Hole For Asking Neighbors to Keep 'Too Loud' Baby Inside

"I sent them an anonymous letter asking them to please keep it inside and not annoy everyone in a 3 house radius." Umm, how about no.

Back in my early 20s, I remember being annoyed by the sounds of the noisy toddlers and their always-yelling mom in the apartment next to mine. But the minute I had my son I completely got it: Kids, and especially babies, are loud. The truth is that as a parent, you have way less control over your kid's noise level than you thought you would.

And when it comes to a crying infant? New parents are already exhausted and trying to do whatever it takes to calm and quiet their baby. They deserve understanding and support along the way—not shaming, judgment, or reprimanding.

This dude on Reddit apparently never got the memo—or is simply young and naive like I was. "AITA [am I the a**hole] if I ask my neighbors with a baby to keep it inside while it's crying?" u/thecryinglad questioned. "Basically my neighbors across and left one house had a baby. They have this annoying habit of taking it when it's crying outside where it cries for an hour or more."

An image of a woman holding her crying baby outside.
Getty Images. Art: Jillian Sellers.

Most parents can probably relate—I mean, who hasn't taken their fussy baby for a car ride or walk around the block just hoping the fresh air and change of scenery will help. The original poster (OP), however, didn't see things that way.

"I sent them an anonymous letter asking them to please keep it inside and not annoy everyone in a 3 house radius," he explained, continuing with what he wrote the parents. "'Hi, congrats on your kid! I wanted to ask if you could please keep the crying baby inside. We hear it cry from quite far away. Thanks for considering it, neighbor.' I get it that kids cry, but at least make it more manageable for the rest of us."

Let's put aside the fact that he called the baby "it" (insert eye roll here) and acknowledge that however annoyed this guy must be with the crying, the parents' stress is probably off the charts—and this letter certainly isn't helping.

"Yesterday evening they were knocking on all their nearby neighbor's doors and asking them if they send the letter and they were pretty irate about the whole thing," the original poster said. "One of their other neighbors was yelling back at them and saying they would have sent a longer letter about how annoying their baby was."

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't enjoy the sounds of a baby crying or screaming. I'm not insane. Having a lively toddler—who, by the way, was an extra colicky baby—and a newborn on the way, though, I feel more for the parents in this situation. They've got to be anxious and tired and, surely, are trying anything they can to soothe their baby.

And while I get that this guy may have just wanted to reach out to the parents via a letter so as not to step on their toes too much, it really just comes across as a passive-aggressive way to say, "shut up" and "keep your baby to yourself." Instead of an anonymous letter, you know what could have actually been useful? Going over to the parents and asking if he could lend a hand.

"We don't know why they choose to go outside, but I don't think it actually matters," commented u/Infamous_Pen6860. "Some babies fuss endlessly and normal calming methods don't work. You just have to wait for that phase to pass. Fresh air and sunlight are good for mental health, and [original poster]'s neighbors should feel free to enjoy and make use of their property. If OP doesn't want to hear crying babies they need to move somewhere remote where they won't be able to hear neighbors. OP is the a**hole for thinking he can dictate what the neighbors do with their yard. They should have more empathy for the new parents who are certainly stressed by the fussy baby as well."

I've learned not to judge others—and especially not other parents during a pandemic. You never really know what someone else is going through. As other users pointed out, perhaps one parent brought the crying baby outside to give the other parent a much-needed mental break. Or perhaps one parent is on an important Zoom call for work and the other parent brought the baby outside so they wouldn't be disrupted. The point is that all we do know is that the baby was clearly upset and the parents used their own yard to try to pacify them, for which they have every right.

Having a new baby is hard enough. Let's give these sleep-deprived parents a little break.

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