Neighbour's 'unreasonable' note about baby leaves new mum 'in tears'

The new mother was shocked to find the folded letter in the mail.

The note the new mum found in her Queensland mailbox.
The Queensland mum was shocked to find a note from a neighbour in her letter box. Source: Supplied

A war of words has broken out in a “friendly” Australian suburb after a new mum discovered a note from a neighbour complaining about the noise her four-and-a-half-month-old son makes.

“I was just checking my mailbox and saw a letter,” Tiffany, who did not want her last name published, told Yahoo News Australia. “I was pretty upset by it, like I was in tears.”

On an A4 piece of paper, an anonymous local from Redcliffe in the Moreton Bay region of Queensland, had left a message for the young family.

“I’m writing this on behalf of your neighbours and wanted to reach out to you regarding the noise level coming from your residence, particularly the crying of your baby,” they said.

“While we understand that babies cry and a newborn can be tough, we can clearly hear everything from the early hours of the morning, throughout the day and into the evening.”

“The prolonged and frequent crying has disrupted your fellow neighbours. Some of us work from home and others are shift workers. We have tried closing our windows and doors and even have turned on appliances with the TV and radio and the crying is still being heard.”

A baby grasps a woman's hand.
A new mum has been outraged by a note left by one of her neighbours complaining about her young baby's cries. Source: Getty, file image

The person ended the note by stating that they valued “being good neighbours and respecting each other’s space”, before asking if the new parents could close their rear doors and windows “while the baby is feeling unsettled”.

For new parents Tiffany and her partner John — who worked hard to buy their first family home last year — the note came as a huge shock, especially as their freestanding, three bedroom, 1950s property is near a busy main road “with a reputation for hoons”. The mum said the house is up the street from a service station and police station, and across the road from a high school and a “very lively” ibis colony.

“I have a feeling it might be the upstairs neighbour in a unit complex behind, because I have heard them slam their window a couple of times,” the 36-year-old woman told Yahoo. “Their windows overlook our backyard but they’re set back quite a distance from the house.”

Going on to explain that her baby is “pretty chill”, “settles quickly” and doesn’t scream throughout the night, Tiffany slammed the note as “unreasonable”, while describing the struggle of new parenthood as “challenging and isolating”.

Redcliffe State High School.
The property is near the busy Redcliffe State High School. Source: Google Maps

“When you read the undertones, you know the reason they’ve used that language is to cause guilt,” Tiffany added. “It’s to make them not feel as bad by making it sound like it’s from multiple people, because I think deep down they know how unreasonable it is to complain about a baby crying in suburbia.”

She also added that there are better ways to go around this kind of dispute.

“If they’d come and had a chat with us and said, ‘Hey, look, we work these hours and these are the times that it’s really bothering us’, we would have been open to a conversation. But I won’t be closing my windows, and we’re not going to lock our house up or muzzle our baby.”

After sharing the note on Facebook, Tiffany’s post went viral, racking up more than 160 comments and almost 300 reactions.

“As a new mum myself, this really hurt reading this,” one woman wrote. “As if we don’t have enough to worry about already.”

“Ew they could have offered to help you out,” said another. “That person obviously has never dealt with a newborn,” added someone else, while another referred to the letter as “rude and pathetic”.

But not everyone agreed with the new mum’s perspective.

“I see nothing abusive in the wording or attitude of this letter,” one person wrote, describing the request to close the doors and windows as “very reasonable and well considered”.

“I don’t see any harm in it,” another added. “It’s not an aggressive letter or anything abusive or threatening. Even says he wants to be good neighbours.”

According to the City of Moreton Bay website, council can investigate breaches of noise regulations in the home in regards to air conditioning equipment, amplifier devices, blasting, building work, gardening equipment, power and trade tools, pumps and refrigeration equipment, but there's no word on a baby's cry.

A spokesperson for the council has urged locals to attempt to sort out issues amongst themselves.

“We encourage City of Moreton Bay residents to engage with their neighbour first about any noise complaint,” they told Yahoo News. “Your neighbour may not realise the noise from their household is affecting other persons. Council only regulates certain noise issues.”

Meanwhile the Queensland Police say “a noise compliant can be made at any time of the day and can be made about music, instruments, gatherings of people, a motorbike or vehicle, or a car stereo on a road or public space”.

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