Baby Noises

My lovely daughter is almost 6 months old and is a little chatterbox. She loves to talk to herself and anyone else who will listen and normally I find that trait pretty adorable.

Unfortunately, about a month ago she developed a bad case of constipation. We saw the doctor and followed her advice and the problem cleared up in a couple of days, but during that couple of days the baby would let out a horrifying shriek and cry her head off when she had to poop because it hurt her so badly. Once the constipation cleared up she wasn’t in pain any longer but she decided she really liked that sound and added it to her vocal repertoire.

Now she screams her little head off for no damned reason at all. She just sits and screams to herself because she appears to really like the sound. She is laughing and babbling and all of the sudden, “SHREEEK!” Then it is back to laughing and babbling like nothing happened. It seems like she is just exploring her voice and will probably stop after a while, but it has been a month already and she hasn’t gotten tired of the sound. In fact, she has sort of stopped exploring other sounds in lieu of screaming like she is being attacked by raptors.

Is this something I need to be worried about or is this one of those “this too shall pass” things? Is there anything I can do to encourage her to go back to normal baby noises instead of the screaming?

Baby niece is 8 months old now and the “OMG I can make really loud noises whenever I want to and all the grownups pay attention to me!” process is becoming much less frequent according to the parents. Down to a couple of times a day now, rather than pretty much constantly when she was babbling. She’s still babbling, but they’re starting to sound more like words and phrases now. Very interesting development phase.

As her regular babysitter, and one with sensitive ears, my sympathies.

My daughter has only done this as a duet with me, cuz I screech back. We take turns, getting louder and louder, until she sees something shiny that’s more interesting.

My husband spends a lot of time out in the garage.

It’s her newest toy, but she will tire of it (hopefully before you go completely insane) :slight_smile:

It’s normal. They usually stop before the men with the long-sleeved shirts come for the parents.

It’s a phase.

The main thing you can do if you want her to knock it off is ignore it. No cringing or putting your hands over your ears, nothing; when she shrieks, just wander off and do something else. Then when she goes back to babbling, go back to giving the babbling loads of response. That way the only fun she gets out of the shriek is the fun of actually doing it, not the fun of seeing Mama react, so it should wear off a bit faster.

Yep, totally normal. While the constipation may have triggered it, it very likely would have happened right around this point anyhow.

And I agree, ignore it. She’s old enough that a quick look of disgust and then walking away might help. She can read your facial expressions very well already. As** eclectic wench** say, you want to make screeching not so much fun as babbling.

You can also try introducing her to some lung expanding sounds that aren’t so painful for you. 6 monthers can be taught to sigh, or “Ahhhhhh” in a falling tone, or “Maaaaaaaaaa” like an opera singer.

Whatever you do, don’t take her to any big echoey buildings like a church or large public library - when they find out how much louder and more exciting that sound is THERE, well, watch out.

Good to know! I have started making other sounds when we play in hopes that she will pick up a few new ones and we bought her very first smart phone today to give her something a bit more interactive to keep her attention instead of just screaming at her rattles and stuffed animals (and her parents and the dog and whoever/whatever else happens to be in front of her.) Hopefully she will be done with this sooner rather than later!

This will not work with all babies (does ANYTHING work with all babies?) but one tip I read that worked great with my daughter was to make whispering a game. I will whisper (either actual words or psst psst psst noises) and she found this intriguing and started imitating it. She’s can be a little contrary, so when I started it, I acted like I was whispering for my benefit and didn’t whisper TO her at all, more like “I’m going to whisper over here, you do your own thing, whatever” or I would (pretend to) make a phone call and whisper on the phone.

It won’t really STOP a baby from shrieking, but it might get it down to 50/50 whether her fun noises at any given time will be quiet or loud.

Oh, I should add that the challenge is for the parent to act like whispering is equally if not more so fun than shrieking is annoying, which is kind of hard to sustain that level of enthusiasm for whispering … and fairly easy to be very annoyed by shrieking. It wasn’t something I did once or twice, I really kind of threw myself into it.

BTW, my friends baby at about 6 months, did something she called “talking to the dolphins.” It was long high pitched wavery screeches interspersed with screamy chirps. Really, it did sound like dolphins.


It went away on its own after a short period of time, like a couple weeks.

I had a co-worker many years ago who’s stairwell had a nifty echo. Gawd’elp her when her 8 month old daughter discovered this fact. She’d crawl out and start yelping like a rabid hyena.

It was downright scary first time you heard it…

Especially if you were watching American Werewolf in London

Spray bottle? My dog gets a quick spray when she barks for no reason.

See, this is why I can’t have kids…