10 Smart Ways to Calm a Screaming Baby

image001A screaming baby can be a headache literally! As your baby grows older, he will figure out that screaming will sometimes get him his way, and then he will turn on the pipes when he wants something or simply wants to get your attention. Babies have limited communication skills, so they will use anything they can to get their point across. Once they realize that their voice is loud and gets your attention, they will definitely use it!

When the screaming begins, make sure that you, your partner and any caregivers are on the same page with the screaming. It requires attention and discipline to make it stop. Remember: When a baby is old enough to figure out how to disobey you, he is also old enough to figure out how to obey. Here’s what you need to know about that screaming baby.

Why Do Babies Scream?

When your baby throws a screaming fit for no apparent reason, it isn’t because she has an ulterior motive. On the contrary, she loves hearing herself scream, literally! She has just discovered that she has a voice and now she wants to use it as often as possible. She’s experimenting with something new she can do, and that’s a good thing. But why does she have to exercise it all the time?

Young children have little impulse control, and they also have little idea of how to behave in public. That combines to create a screaming baby monster who throws a fit in public places, where the sound will echo loudly throughout the entire place. It also means that they are getting your attention, and they want that, too. When they get your attention–whether it’s positive or negative–they have done something with their voice and they feel the power of that. So they try it again and again.

They might also scream out of sheer frustration, for example, when they want a piece of candy or a toy and you won’t let them have it. They have quickly figured out that they might get their way if they scream loudly enough!

10 Smart Ways to Calm a Screaming Baby

Each child is unique, and that is definitely true when they start to test out that amazing vocal pipes. Some children will respond immediately to a certain technique, while others will ignore it completely and keep right on screaming. Unfortunately, you will have to figure out how to structure your time and attitude to get the best behavior out of her. Here’s how:

1. Use Indoor Voice

When your toddler won’t stop screaming, meet that head-on with a very soft tone. That requires her to calm down and listen to you when you say something to her. Simply tell her that you are feeling bad because of her screaming. Keep your voice low and ask her to do the same.

2. Take Good Care of Your Baby’s Schedule

It would be nice if your toddler would be okay with doing things your way, but sometimes you have to work around her schedule instead. Run your errands when she is well-rested, has used the bathroom, and is in the good mood.

3. Understand Their Feelings

Does your baby want your attention? She might be uncomfortable with the situation or the place. If that’s the case, ask her. She might be bored or cranky. No matter what the reason, acknowledge that she doesn’t want to be there, and tell her that it will be over soon.

4. Let Your Baby Chill Out

When your child is truly throwing a tantrum, the reasoning part of the brain is shut down. The emotions have taken over and nothing else will register. That’s why it is best to ignore the screaming until your baby calms down. Once he does, then you can talk to him again.

5. Distract Their Attention

Take advantage of his short attention span by distracting him with toys, treats and other goodies that will remove him from the tantrum he was just about to throw. For example, if you are in the supermarket and your child is about to meltdown over the desire for ice cream, ask him to help you pick out a new cereal to try. That might work to distract him.

6. Keep Your Baby Busy

Sometimes boredom can trigger a screaming baby. To avoid this, keep her busy! Plan small games such as asking your toddler to help you find things on the grocery store shelf or offering toys and snacks, that will keep them busy with something else while they mind forgets all about whatever it was that set them off in the first place. What you want is a baby who simply has no time for a tantrum!

7. Game with It

If you are in a place where you can do this, try joining her. Tell her that you are both going to scream as loudly as you can, and then do it! Transition from that to another game, such as both of you jumping up and down as high as you can. But once you are in public, make a game of being quiet.

8. Award Your Child for Good Behavior

Who says that bribery doesn’t work? If your child is on his best behavior, give them a reward. For instance, if they get through an entire church service without a peep, then they get to choose their favorite ice cream for lunchtime dessert. Make the incentives something they can truly have immediately, not just a hollow promise.

9. Go to Some Noisy Places

If you know your child melts down when they are in quiet places, go to noisy ones. Choose that restaurant that has outdoor tables especially for kids, or go to a fun place that encourages children to have fun, such as an arcade built into a restaurant. She can be as noisy as she wants and you can still have a good time.

10. Ignore the Bystanders

One of the most difficult parts of dealing with a screaming baby is the bystanders who love to pass judgment with their dirty looks. Nip that in the bud by ignoring them. After all, they want your attention just like your toddler does. They want to express their disapproval and make it clear they would do a better job. So ignore the little tantrum that they are throwing with their eyes and mind your toddler, not the bystanders.

What If They Are Still Screaming?

Sometimes, no matter what you try, nothing works. If that’s the case, there are still a few last-ditch efforts you can try to ensure the screaming stops. Here are just a few:

Tips

Description

Check the temperature

Make sure the temperature in your house is comfortable for your baby.

Check baby’s clothes

Check their clothes, they might be dressed too warmly or need more layers.

Cut the stimulation

Cut the stimulation by turning off the television, the radio, the lights–anything that might be too much for your baby.

Go outside

Take your child outside for a change of scenery. This might also help relieve the boredom that can lead to serious screaming.

Give your baby a massage

A gentle massage might make the baby calm down.

Learn more about how to get your baby to stop screaming with this helpful video: