After stumbling across this Ask Metafilter post about approaching parents of a newborn to tell them their baby is making too much noise, it reminded me how absolutely stressed I was about this before bringing Wesley home.
My main point of anxiety revolved around the neighbors not signing up to bring home a newborn even though we did, and I was really worried someone would say something nasty to us about the noise.
Fortunately, Wesley turned out to be a pretty content little fellow and honestly, he cries more now than he ever did as a newborn. Unexplained crying jags? We had our first around 5 or 6 months and it lasted for about ten minutes and I had no idea what to do. He’d never done it before! Every other time he cried, it was a reasonably easily solved problem. (I had it easy. I know. Trust me when I say I do not take this for granted.)
Back to the post: I feel like the answers in that post are mostly good. You can’t stop a newborn from crying, the parents probably want it to stop more than you do, go buy a white noise machine, etc.
This comment and this one both struck a chord with me, however, because a few people suggested asking the parents to move the baby’s crib in order to mitigate the noise and these people say that’s completely reasonable. I disagree.
I understand that bringing home a baby doesn’t give me the right to disturb neighbors in their own home. I agonized over this for weeks and felt dreadful about even bringing him home because we lived in an apartment.
In our situation, had a neighbor actually complained and asked us to move the crib, I would have scoffed at their faces. We still don’t even own an actual crib, and I am not going to spend extra money (to the tune of several hundred dollars) to buy an actual crib so I can move my brand-new infant from our bedroom with us into the LIVING ROOM so that YOU get a better night’s sleep. I’m sorry, but no.
We are raising Wesley the best way we know how, and right now, that involves co-sleeping and responding quickly when he cries. Acquiescing to a neighbor’s request to relocate my baby’s sleeping quarters would have necessitated a drastic change in our parenting style and there’s no way I would have been okay with that. I can guarantee you that separating me from Wesley would have resulted in more crying, not less.
I guess I’m curious what that person feels a good solution would be. I didn’t (and still don’t) think that I should have to put my life on hold until we manage to live in a single-family dwelling. Surely people bring home babies to apartments (or condos!) all the time?
What say you? Are you in an apartment situation? Did you make a point to be in a house before bringing home a baby? Are we total jerks for not doing that?