Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Employee Angry When Passed Over for Better Job

DEAR HARRIETTE: My next-door neighbor has a newborn, and the baby screams his head off almost every night. The walls in our building are pretty thin, and sometimes the screaming wakes me. I know that my neighbor can’t control the child’s cries, but I’m beginning to feel like I have a baby, too. What can I do or say to reduce the noise in the middle of the night? -- Crying Baby Blues, Philadelphia

DEAR CRYING BABY BLUES: If you don’t have rugs in your apartment, you may want to consider investing in one to put in the room that is closest to the baby’s cries. Rugs absorb sound and may help to muffle the sound a bit. Also consider getting a white-noise machine. That, too, helps to make sounds less audible.

If you have a good rapport with the mom, you might make the same recommendations to her. If she uses a rug in her apartment, it can help to reduce the sounds. Tell her what you are doing to try to make it more comfortable to sleep. Ask her if she would do the same.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)