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

Furious young doctor, 26, files noise complaint against her single mum neighbour whose crying baby left her so tired she ‘couldn’t do her job’ – so who’s in the wrong?

  • A woman has told of how she filed a noise complaint about a mum’s crying baby 
  • The 26-year-old said she has been kept up at night by her neighbour’s new baby
  • She works 100 hour weeks at a hospital and fell asleep standing up on the job
  • The woman complained to her landlord after failing to contact the single mum 
  • She got into a yelling match with the mum after finding out about the complaint 

A busy medical resident has told of how she had to file a noise complaint against her neighbour – a single mother with a newborn baby – after losing hours of sleep. 

In a post to Reddit, the 26-year-old said she works 100-hour weeks as a medical professional and has been kept up every night by her neighbour’s crying baby to the point she ‘fell asleep standing up’ at work. 

She said she tried to contact her neighbour, who lives in the flat above her, to talk about the issue before eventually resorting to filing a complaint – which made the new mum ‘furious’. 

‘My downstairs neighbour had a baby last month. Since she came home from the hospital I haven’t slept through the night. I’m woken up every 1-2hrs by the baby and this baby screams,’ the exacerbated medic wrote. 

A medical resident had told of how she had to file a noise complaint after being kept up so many nights by her neighbour’s new baby she fell asleep on the job

‘I know the mum is trying her best – I’m sure she doesn’t want to be woken up either but I’m losing it. I fell asleep Thursday standing up in the middle of rounds. My attending was not impressed and I was reprimanded.’ 

She said she can’t wear earplugs as she won’t wake up to her alarm or her phone ringing when she’s on call and even tried to sleep on the couch but the mum ‘walks the baby around the whole apartment’.

‘Every time I’ve had the chance to go to her apartment she’s got a note about the baby sleeping and please don’t knock. I do not have her number or other way to contact her,’ she explained. 


Who is in the wrong?

  • The mum 6 votes
  • The neighbour 6 votes
  • Neither 5 votes
  • Both 3 votes

The woman’s sleep deprivation got so bad, she was given days off as she was considered ‘a risk to patients’. 

‘I spoke to my landlord Friday evening. I was very clear that I’m not trying to blame this woman, I just wanted to know if there could be some sound proofing done or something,’ she said. 

She was napping on her day off when she woke to the sound of the mum ‘pounding and screaming’ at her door, furious she had complained to the landlord. 

‘The mother was furious with me and kept screaming about how I’m selfish and trying to kick out a single mom. Neighbours were watching and I kept trying to explain but she (and the baby) just kept screaming,’ she said. 

‘I lost it. I’m beyond exhausted and just screamed back. I told her her baby is so loud she might cost me my job and that I can’t function anymore because of her and that soundproofing isn’t the end of the world.’

The tense confrontation ended with the enraged mother crying and leaving and the woman felling ‘awful’ for losing her temper. 

She can't wear earplugs as she won't wake up to her alarm or her phone when she's on call and even tried to sleep on the couch but the mum 'walks the baby around the whole apartment'

She can’t wear earplugs as she won’t wake up to her alarm or her phone when she’s on call and even tried to sleep on the couch but the mum ‘walks the baby around the whole apartment’

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

The model by-law in New South Wales stipulates that ‘an owner or occupier must not make noise at any time within their lot or on common property that is likely to disturb peaceful enjoyment of another resident or anyone using common property’.

If attempts to resolve the noise issue have been unsuccessful, you can speak to the owners’ corporation or the residential tribunal.

If the matter remains unresolved, you can:  

1. Contact your local Community Justice Centre for free mediation services. To learn more, click here.

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

3. Apply for mediation through the NSW Department of Fair Trading. For more information, click here.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority offers a range of free resources regarding 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 babies crying in the middle of the night are very difficult to prevent and unfortunately there is not a great deal that can be done. 

‘While the baby is causing noise that is affecting other people, unlike unruly parties or power tools, we can’t limit the time a baby decides to cry for the betterment of other residents,’ one agency wrote.


The landlord called her to say he had heard about the dispute and had no intention of evicted the single mother but wanted to soundproof the apartment. 

‘She was never in danger of being evicted. I NEVER WANTED THAT EITHER. Babies cry, but I didn’t sign up for this,’ she added. 

After hearing the tired doc’s story, thousands of Redditors shared their opinions with many divided over whether the poster, the mum or neither of them were out of line.  

‘This one is tough, because babies cry and sometimes there is very little you can do to make them stop but I do understand how it must be frustrating for you, especially if it has negative consequences on your job,’ one user commented. 

‘You are right that a screaming match is not the way to handle it, but I can totally understand losing your patience when someone is screaming in your face,’ they added. 

‘You are basically asking her not to walk around during hours when you want to sleep, but quietly walking around one’s apartment is reasonable at any hour. What do you expect her to do?,’ a second said.

‘Apartment living doesn’t mean that you just put up with everything, it means you figure out how to co exist, and that goes both ways. Maybe leaving her a note would have been ideal, but it is also an appropriate thing to talk to your landlord about,’ a third replied.