My son "R" seems impressed that he is able to emit the sound of a scream, I don't know any better way to describe it! He just turned 6 months old, and for the last two weeks, he has been yelling and screaming (often starting with a yell, then raising the pitch into a high scream) A LOT.
It's not always for the same reasons. Sometimes it seems he is doing this for fun/experimentation, because immediately after a shriek, he will start babbling or blowing bubbles contentedly.
Other times, it is because he is tired or wanting to nurse.
Sometimes I can see it coming and prevent it by whipping out a breast. But other times -- when it's seemingly just "for fun" -- there's no predicting it. He did it a bunch the other day when we were visiting someone in the hospital.
Maybe I've misunderstood, too --maybe it's always a sign of frustration (and never for fun, but just seems that way). I've tried to become more responsive in general so as to head off any frustration he feels communication-wise.
What I'm wondering is, what SHOULD be my immediate response to a scream? And especially when I want to avoid rewards/punishments? (I LOVED Unconditional Parenting by Kohn.) I don't want R to feel that I am withdrawing my love when he expresses himself in this way. Most advise turning my back or leaving the room when he screams (punishment), and responding much more positively when he does something different (reward). I think surely there's another way, but I don't know it. I feel especially limited in my response because he is so young. What I DON'T want to do is to just let it go. It's the kind of thing that will keep us from taking him out places, you know? It will make him an unpleasant baby to have around (for other people). And until now, he's been very easy to take places, so this is a new twist.
Any advice for this new parent?