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How To Get Your Toddler to STOP SCREAMING (3 EASY TRICKS)

How To Get Your Toddler to STOP SCREAMING (3 EASY TRICKS)

If you have a toddler or baby who seems to only grunt or scream to express their needs then keep watching to see how you can help your child stop screaming by simply following these 3 tricks.

First of all, it is important to understand that screaming is a toddler’s way of communicating. They haven’t yet learned how to use their words effectively so they resort to this. Here are some reasons why a toddler or baby may scream…

  • They are deeply frustrated 
  • They don’t know how to express what they feel or
  • They are so upset that they can’t access the words they need to say what they need.

Another reason why your child may be screaming is that they are seeing the power in their loud voice and the reaction they receive from their parents. Just like when your child bites it’s a normal reaction for parents to react big in response to their child biting however, that only encourages the child to keep biting.

On another note If your toddler is biting make sure to check out this article right here.

How To Get Your Toddler to STOP SCREAMING

Okay, we are continuing on. When a toddler or baby screams they learn that it gets their parent’s quick reaction and attention. So when they want their parent’s attention even if it’s negative attention they may end up screaming to get that attention.

Now a toddler or baby may scream as a way to get what they want. For example, Your baby dropped their binky so they scream and you quickly hand it back or put it in their mouth. Or your toddler is upset that their block keeps falling down so you quickly set it back up so it won’t fall.

Now any time your little one wants something they have learned a great way to communicate that is by screaming.

To help get your toddler to stop screaming you need to help them improve their communication skills.

Now babies that are between 9-10 months try their best to communicate their needs through their sounds, gestures, and expressions but sometimes they need a little help from mom or dad to understand what it is that they are trying to communicate.

It is best to encourage your baby to actually use the correct sounds or gestures rather than screaming.

A child’s lack of communication often results in parents lovingly attending to their child’s needs. For example when your toddler was a very little baby and they started to cry you anticipate their need to be fed, a diaper change, or maybe to be held. When your baby was fussy you anticipate that they need a nap. Or your toddler who dropped their favorite toy you quickly bent down to grab it before they started to cry.

How To Get Your Toddler to STOP SCREAMING

Anticipating a child’s needs is very important at first, however as your child continues to grow and as a loving parent you continue to anticipate their needs. It robs your child of the opportunities or motivation to communicate with you at all. They become very dependent on you to understand them and anticipate their every need. Unfortunately, this can lead to a child who screams because they don’t know how else to communicate.

Always jumping in to do something for your child before they ask or communicate their needs to you, actually does the opposite of what you are wanting which is for your child to stop screaming.

So instead of immediately attending to your toddler or baby’s every need try these 3 things:

1) PAUSE:

When your toddler starts to scream take a step back and pause for a second. Even though this sounds super simple it is a very powerful tool to help build up your child’s communication skills. Children actually need a much longer time to think, process, and respond since learning a language and how to communicate is so new to them.

How To Get Your Toddler to STOP SCREAMING

So before you go to anticipate your child’s needs pause or even if they scream you pause and try to see what your child is trying to communicate. So for example you lay your toddler in their crib and anticipate their need and give them their binky or favorite stuffed animal right away. By doing this you are not giving your little one the chance to communicate with words or gestures to tell you what they need or want.

So you first want to make sure that you pause this will help you not automatically react to their screaming and not automatically anticipate your child’s needs and instead give you a chance to see what they are wanting.

The next thing you want to do is…

2) OBSERVE:

Take a good look at what is happening around your toddler or baby. See if there are any clues as to why they may be upset or what they may need. Your toddler or baby may gesture by pointing, looking at something, babbling, or saying simple words as a way to communicate what they want.

Make sure to give your little one at least 5 seconds to respond to you. So while you are observing you are going to want to show your child that you are waiting for a response by looking at them, smiling, or even tilting your head slightly.

This shows your little one that you are paying attention and that you are waiting for a response. You may be surprised but your little one will actually communicate back to you by looking at what they want, they make a gesture, or a sound or word, and when they do you will follow through with step 3 which is to…

3) ATTEND:

Once you have paused and observed what is happening then you can decide how to best attend to your toddler or baby’s needs. Once your little one lets you know what they are wanting then you follow through by giving them that thing while saying its name and then giving it to your child.

The benefit of naming the item or action your child is wanting is giving your child multiple opportunities to hear the word and they start to associate the word with the item or action they are wanting. So when they start speaking more words they will already know what to say.

Now here is an example using all three steps. Your baby wants you to hold them. You observe that they are by your feet and are looking up at you. You may ask “want me to hold you?” give your child at least 5 seconds to respond in their own way and once they do you may say to your child, “say up” Or show your child a hand gesture for “up”. Then you will pick up your child and hold them.

How To Get Your Toddler to STOP SCREAMING

By doing this you are showing your child the power of communication in a very positive and non-hair-pulling way. Once your child sees that they can communicate without screaming you could continue to use these new methods of communication in the future.

Make sure to practice using these 3 steps with your toddler or baby multiple times a day. If your baby or toddler does start screaming. Then you will want to follow the first two steps before you hand your child the item they want or follow through on an action such as picking them up. Model taking a deep breath and naming the item or action your little one wants.

Then pause again and wait for your child to respond in their own way (that is not screaming) then name the item or action again while following through and hand it to your child.

By doing this your toddler or baby is still getting what they want but are not screaming and you are teaching them a new way to communicate.

Conclusion

Try to be as consistent as possible with this new method of communication so that you can get your toddler to stop screaming and learn that this new way is how they are supposed to communicate from now on.

If you found this article helpful make sure to join my newsletter and if you wish to learn more gentle parenting tips. Check out my book called Parenting Without Drama where you will learn how to set boundaries that stick, how to get your children to listen, and much more. You can do so by clicking the link below.