Screaming 11 month old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-19-2007, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
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My 11 month old son has started screaming in a very shrill and demanding way *all the time*. It's earsplitting. I'm ending every day with a fierce headache.

He screams when he wants a specific toy. He screams when he wants food. He screams when he realizes he can't reach the ceiling fan : He screams all the time.

I have no idea what I should be doing to deal with this. For example, he screams at me while I'm peeling him a banana because he wants the banana *now*. Then, he stops screaming when I give him the banana. Am I somehow positively reinforcing the screaming by giving him the banana? How about when I let him have a toy he's been pointing and screaming at? Should I be redirecting, even when it's ok for him to have the toy, because he's been screaming?

Is there some way I can get him to realize that he can tell me what he wants just by pointing, and that he doesn't need to scream? If that's just not possible at this age, I understand, but I just want to make sure I'm not overlooking something I could be doing to help him stop screaming so much.
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#2 of 8 Old 09-21-2007, 01:28 AM
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Hi Honey,

My daughter was crazy with the screaming and the tantrums at that age (we are at 14 months now). I searched far and wide for the answer, and by the time I found something credible, the stage had passed.

From what I read, kids at this age have a very difficult time communicating. This frustration normally turns into rage....rage into screaming....and there you go! The best advise that I found on this subject was to teach your child sign language. For those in the working world, teaching sign language is a bit of a stretch. So I chose a happy medium and just began better communication with my daughter. You will be surprised how much your son understands. I chose to do a "play by play" of things i was doing with Ruby. "I'm going to change your diaper now"...."You need to sit up now honey"...."Mommy is peeling your banana and then you may have it." I think my daughter became engaged in the conversation, understood part of what I was saying, etc. At this point they want to gain this independence (aka Ego), but don't yet have the tools to do it. The "play by play" method was the best of both worlds. I still had the control as Mom, but she was in on what was coming next, and I think that gave her a feeling of independence.

I hope this helps!!
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#3 of 8 Old 09-21-2007, 09:53 AM
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I am right there with you mama. My husband keeps asking me if maybe he is "special" because he screams so much.

<>< Alison
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#4 of 8 Old 09-21-2007, 06:07 PM
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VernaBloom- Oh my, I could have written your post. My 11 month old has been doing the EXACT same thing. Most days I feel like I am just going to loose it!!!!!!! I struggle also about "am I reinforcing it my giving her what she wants." I have zero advice, except know I am there too. One day I just looked at her and said "enough!" then she started to cry..... Oooohhh, I felt like a bad mommy, but I was going nuts!!!!!
I guess I could say "this too shall pass" but that doesn't really help now does it?

Hang in there!!
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#5 of 8 Old 09-21-2007, 08:13 PM
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You know, my 11 mos old went through that (I guess we're at the tail end of it now) a month or so ago. I remember when my dd did it too. I really think it is just (at least in my case) them experimenting with their voices. Hey - I can make that sound. And I can do it louder/higher/longer. I really don't think it has anything to do with manipulation.

s It really is mentally exhausting, isn't it.

Mamma to 3! nurslings Emma (4) Daniel (3) and our new baby Beth! 10/10/09
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#6 of 8 Old 09-22-2007, 03:39 AM
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I am going through this right now. Its good to hear that it is a phase. I guess we need to work on some signs and maybe some earplugs
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#7 of 8 Old 09-22-2007, 09:15 AM
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My DD is a bit younger (7.5 months), but she had an ear-splitting shriek for a while there. It ended up just being a 2 week or so phase, but she used it to communicate for EVERYTHING. It was like, she figured out how to make that sound, and then substituted that for all her regular baby sounds. It stopped, but now she screeches and makes a motorboat sound for most everything (funny the first time, not so funny after a fussy afternoon!). Hope your LO can find a less shriek-y way to express himself!
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#8 of 8 Old 09-22-2007, 10:05 AM
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My six month old cries all the time... he only screams when he's happy so far. But yeah, the nonstop crying is wearing on me...
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