My neighbours have a child who is around 3 to 4 years old. The walls in my house are really thin, we can hear most things. Which is completely normal in an old terraced British house, but he screams uncontrollably for hours every day, some days are better than others but most days he screams throughout early hours of the morning and then again in the afternoon. It's keeping me and my housemates up and disrupting our studies/working at home. It's not that the child is screaming that is why I'm asking (we would have had a word already to let them know it's disrupting), but, it's the way they are approaching it, they just scream at the child to stop which to me rings alarm bells, as I feel if I do approach them they may become aggressive about it (they are obviously stressed also). This is why I've come to you. I'm not an expert on children or anything, but I know what is a normal amount of crying for a child but this really is excessive - it's been going on for ten months, although it didn't affect us until three months ago.
I've spoke to them a few times as neighbours should, they've asked for sugar and milk and we have done the same, which is normal in our culture. But, I just don't know how to approach it, we don't think the child is being neglected or anything like that, or anything malicious is going on and I know for sure we can't approach them and say "maybe if you stopped screaming at him, he might calm down" because again I'm not an expert. I just want if applicable a polite way to approach them about it without causing any animosity between us.
What we have tried so far
- Sleeping downstairs on the sofa away from the child's room (this helps If I have a meeting the next day or something important as we can be guaranteed more sleep but it's not comfortable)
- Wearing earplugs doesn't work.
- Moving the bed on the other side of the room doesn't work either.
Without moving house, We're out of ideas without approaching them, but now I think it's time we need to approach them about it. But I want to be delicate.
How can I approach them politely without causing any future animosity?
I would love for them to be able to not feel like we're judging them or anything as I'm from a family of 5 and having children is really hard, I just simply want to let them know that that it's disrupting us and in return may trigger them to change their approach in how they handle it, instead of shouting too. No parent is perfect and we're certainly not perfect neighbours either.