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Happy, Incessant Screaming -- What to do?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Our nine month old son has taken to screaming ALL the time -- it's happy, but shrill and tremendously irritating.  Also, inappropriate in many situations.  It is particularly provoked by animals, but pretty much anything can set him off.  Is there *anything* we can do to help break this habit?  


I didn't see any other question like this on here, hope this is not a repeat question.  It has been suggested to us that we do more signing with him -- but while he understands "milk" and "eat" when I do it -- he makes no attempt to copy me.  He also isn't really screaming in demand of things (yet!).  Thanks for any help or suggestions!!

post #2 of 8
My youngest kid does this, still to some extent, at 21 months. I 'll think she's complaining about something, but I'll look over and she's smiling. She's just opinionated. Her increasing vocabulary has helped and I do try to label emotions for her. "you are so happy to see that puppy, they're so fun too look at, I know how much you love them!"

It helps me remember and it helps others realize that it's pure unmitigated joy. How can you stop that, how can you really be mad about that? And I like to think it models more, *ahem*, appropriate reactions without squashing her happiness. But is it doing anything, who knows?! I mostly just grin and bear it smile.gif
post #3 of 8
We did a lot of "ouch, that hurts mama's ears" spoken softly while making the sign for hurt and pointing to my ear. And "you can use a gentle voice." At 17 months he still tries out his screeches occasionally. But it's gotten so much better from the 9-10 month loud streak.

Also, our little guy didn't make signs back until about a year old--which isn't unusually. Keep it up, and one day he'll sign back!
post #4 of 8

Those squishy ear plugs work wonders. They really do. Then you won't react to the harshness, and this too shall pass. It's like "cool! I can make a really great noise!!". And I'm like "cool! And I'm just gonna go ahead and muffle it on my end, and you can go to town!" (FWIW: I used to use them when DD wanted to watch Caillou)

post #5 of 8

I've found that the screaming is just a normal part of a baby's development and they generally grow out of it after the novelty wears off. They're learning how their vocal cords work!

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone!  Good to know at least it's normal.  It isn't bothering me the most, maybe because I spent years working in a roomful of infants or toddlers at daycare :)  One kid just isn't all that loud to me!  But it drives my husband and all the grandparents crazy.  And the grandparents on both sides have started commenting on it.  My parents (who are awesome and very AP themselves for the most part) are saying "You need to do something about that" (and I"m like "Exactly what?")  and the other grandparents have this thing about how he all he wants is attention and he's doing it "because everybody isn't looking at him right now" (their interpretation of every. single. thing. he does.  I'm interpreting this to be that they think I'm training him to be this way with the nursing on demand, babywearing, etc., but maybe I'm oversensitive).  


It's just gotten very awkward this holiday season (Church. Hospital visits to relatives. Etc.). . . . 


Maybe I should have given out earplugs to everyone one else for Christmas! :)  

post #7 of 8

Tell 'em to shove it! Haha, I'm kidding. Mostly.


Holidays are crazy with babies, anyhow. My 11 month old is usually really easygoing, but the holiday season threw her regular schedule off so much that she spent most of it in tears.

post #8 of 8

Crazy holidays put everyone in a tizzy!  My DS used to do that all. the. time. while in public.  I'll let you know that it's the weirdest thing when a grocery store goes absolutely silent because your child is screaming, lol! And even more priceless is when another child from a different isle responds...most people have BTDT and are pretty understanding, but it can definitely wear on the nerves.  I agree it's really awkward when people say that you should do "something" when there clearly isn't anything much to be done!


One thing that I did to make *other* people more comfortable was to label DS's screams as LOUD.  And then I would made a quiet sound and label that as quiet.  It really did help him learn the definition of those words...but then every time he heard the words "loud" or "quiet" he would scream to demonstrate that he knew what we were talking about.  It's definitely normal, and eventually it will stop. 

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