It seems that right around a year every one of my kids developed the ability to scream.

It’s a bone-chilling Halloween-quality scream that would make any B-Movie actress ashamed of her performance.

I can hear it anywhere in the house, and it pierces my ears, my heart, and my soul….even though I know she’s not in hurt or in pain because that’s a totally DIFFERENT scream. This is the “I want that” scream. From “I want to walk” to “I want that juice box” to “I want you to hear my voice” – everything is scream-worthy.

While the easiest way to stop the scream is to pick her up and snuggle her, making her forget she wanted anything but love from mama, I also realize that rewarding the scream and distraction will only take me so far in parenting-land and that without some boundaries, however minimal, I’ll end up with the kid that screams at the store and makes ALL the moms want to die for just a second.

So I kind of mix it up. Sometimes there’s a snuggle, sometimes I just ignore it, and sometimes I say “Stop!” in my best mommy-is-DONE-with-this-mess voice. Basically, the goal is to confuse her so she doesn’t bother with the screaming anymore. It worked with the other two.

Or they grew out of it and it had nothing to do with my technique.

Either way, it felt good to be doing something about it instead of just suffering in silence while she sounds like she’s trying to break all the wine glasses in my house at once.

It’s piercing.

3 Comments on What To Do When The Baby Keeps Screaming

  1. You know, I always marvel at how many different approaches there are to parenting that *work*… But I tend to believe it’s because there are so many different kinds of kids.

    I always picked mine up & cuddled her. Always.

    The one time (and I do mean one) that she screamed in a store? I looked at her and said “if you can’t behave in public, then I guess I won’t be taking you to the store with me anymore.” That’s it. Just once. Pushing 8 now, she would never do something like that. But I tend to think it’s because that’s her nature, not do to anything I did.

    I love that you found a solution that works with your kids!! 🙂 Hopefully this advice will hit someone who really needs it right when they need it the most. 🙂

  2. There is a lot of “Boogie, that.is.enough!” in our house, lol. Cuddles don’t cut the mustard anymore since mama nom nom’s (breastmilk’s) all gone. All would be better with mama nom nom’s, oh how I miss it during hourly tantrums…

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