Screaming Toddler: How To Stop a Child From Screaming For No Reason
Continuous screams of an inconsolable crying toddler can be extremely stressful for the parents. Understand what is behind your child’s screams and ways to keep the volume down!
Delighted, sad, thrilled, hungry or bored…toddlers shriek! A toddler may scream due to several reasons: some you need not be worried about and some might need immediate medical attention. This article provides reasons associated with the screams and how to stop a child from screaming for no reason.
Inconsolable Crying Toddler: Why Do Toddlers Scream All The Time?
It may come as a surprise to many but screaming is a way used by toddlers to express their feelings. He/she may scream when he/she sees his/her pet or favourite toy, hears the chuckles of mum or dad, or is busy enjoying listening to his/her own shrieks.
Your tiny tot might not scream only when excited; the shrieks can come when he/she is angry or in pain too. Thus, as a parent it is very important to understand the reason(s) behind all those deafening shrieks. According to Elaine Weitzman, a speech-language pathologist, toddlers only know just a few words so they communicate using other gestures like screaming.
Although many toddlers could scream just for fun and to entertain themselves, the screams are not well-received by adults. Some may feel concerned and others may feel irritated. The key is to find out the reason behind the screams and see what you can do about it.
Ways To Stop Toddlers From Screaming For No Reason
Toddlers scream due to several reasons. Let’s explore some of these reasons and remedies here.
Squeals of joy
One way toddlers enjoy expressing their excitement is by screaming. While the loud vocal demonstrations mixed with smiles and laughter may be concerning for some parents, paediatricians say that it is normal. Allowing your toddler to scream inside your home or in a park is fine. Concerns arise when the squeals of joy are let out in public spaces like hospitals, libraries, religious places and other establishments like shopping centres.
What to do: Pick your toddler in your arms and gently pat her back. Based on the environment around, tell her if it’s ok or not to scream.
For example, if you all are in a park, tell her that it is alright to scream, but in case you and your toddler are inside a shopping centre or a library, politely request her to keep the voice low.
Nowadays, when both parents are following a hectic schedule, attending office calls from home as well as managing chores, they spend less than the required time with their toddler. This leads to screaming and crying for attention.
What to do: Lift your toddler in your arms and gently rub her back, plant a kiss on her cheek or forehead and give her a smile. This will assure your child that she is special to you and that you are not ignoring her.
The moment a toddler realises that she can scream, she gets curious about her own squeals and shrieks. She tries to make loud sounds by screaming and modulate it so as to satisfy her curiosity.
What to do: Keep her busy with colourful toys, games and puzzles. Play a game in which she is not supposed to scream till you count to 20, and every time she gets it right, reward her with a tight hug or kiss on her cheek.
Between the ages of 1 and 3, toddlers find it difficult to express themselves clearly. Their vocabulary is still developing so they cannot express themselves using words. Toddlers exhibit what is known as Toddler Screaming Tantrums and these tantrums are identified based on the change in attitude and temperament. At one moment your toddler might be happily playing and singing and at the very next, she might be screaming at the top of her lungs. This happens as the toddler cannot communicate the exact reason of her frustration with the elders around her. Therefore, she uses gestures like screaming to communicate.
What to do: Console your child by hugging her and rubbing her back. Try not to pay attention to the screams but to understand what she wishes to communicate. Tell her that you can’t understand anything when she screams and to express herself in a quieter voice. Try asking questions like “Are you in pain?” or “Are you hungry?”
Burning off extra energy
Toddlers are full of energy and they have to vent it out in some way or the other. One of the many ways they burn it off is by screaming.
What to do: If your child has been inside the house for a long time, step out and take her for a walk or visit the park, where she can burn off the extra energy.
When extremely tired, most of the toddlers scream and cry. Being unable to rest leads to tantrums, crying and irrational behaviour. Signs of tiredness and lack of sleep includes restlessness, rubbing of eyes and yawning.
What to do: Depending on what time of the day it is, put your toddler down for a nap so that she wakes up relaxed and calm. Fix timings for daytime naps and also follow a fixed routine for her bedtime.
Hungry and angry
Hunger might be the cause of all the yelling and screaming if your toddler has just woken up or has not eaten for more than 3 hours. Most toddlers find it difficult to communicate that they are hungry, so they display anger in the form of screaming.
What to do: Try offering some snacks, preferably her favourite ones. Also, keep a few snacks handy while you step out of the house with your toddler.
When To See The Doctor?
If you are dealing with an inconsolable crying toddler that doesn’t stop even after being comforted, then you might want to consult the paediatrician immediately. Many a times it could be a health-related issue like a stomach infection or an injury that might have occurred in your absence.
When your child screams or cries continuously, try to find the cause, console her and give her some time to calm down. How to stop a child from crying for no reason may seem like a difficult task, but with some love and comfort you will manage to calm her in no time.