so embarassing

  • Hi.  I'm new to the message boards, and have a question for all of you wonderful moms out there.  I have a 9 month old son who has an embarassing habit of screaming at the top of his lungs...often.  It has been going on for months, and it started out cute, and seemingly random.  Now it seems to be when he is wanting a change (when he's done in his highchair, when he's bored with the toy he has, when he's sick of playing on my lap), and it's just not cute anymore.  I've had to walk out of church, apologize when talking to people, and try to explain when people comment on it.  So my question is this: do I start disciplining him for screaming?  I try to use the "ignore" method so that I don't encourage this as a means of getting what he wants, but it doesn't seem to be working.  Please help!!!  Thank you...

  • This is commonly known as the "seven month scream" -- because it manifests at about seven months and lasts for about that long, too. It's a totally normal developmental stage that you just have to ride out until he can find a more effective way to communicate with you.

    Try to talk to your son when he does that and let him know that it's not okay, but keep in mind that at this age, he probably won't understand much. You could also shush him gently and say that this is not something that we do in public, and if done consistently, he should eventually get the point. Have you thought about baby sign language? This may help channel his communication skills in a more appropriate direction. 


  • Sign language is a good idea. There are tons of books and videos out on baby sign language.

  • Funny you should write this.. my son is 8 months old and does the EXACT same thing! I dont know what to do, i usually try to give him a toy.. to stop him or tell him that its not very nice. I know he cant understand me, but i say the same thing every time. he eventually stops screaming but he screams SO loud i never know what to do.

  • Yay, something to look forward to.  We hit 6 months in 2 days, and she is already slightly screeching...

  • I too would recommend baby sign language. My son was born with developmental delays and is now 2 1/2 and still can't speak, but knows 50+ signs. we started at about 8 months old and he uses signs now when he is hungy, thirsty, wants more of something, is all done, or whatever else he wants. It is much better than the screaming. I would recommend the 3 beginning signing time dvds. We learned a lot from them, and he loves them!

    Good luck!

  • mamiller1,

    Thank you so much for suggesting the dvds!  I would really like to start sign language, but don't know how/where to get started.  Are these dvds for the adults or for the kids?  My husband and I have decided not to let our son watch tv/dvds for the first two years, but maybe this would be a good exception?  I also have a question for any of those of you who have done sign language with your kids: do you require your child to give the sign before you grant their "wish" starting on day one, or do you model it for a while first?




  • Sign language is a great idea.  Although many people think that babies do not understand, I will also suggest that when your baby screams, get him to look at your face, sternly say NO and shake your head NO.  He will eventually make the connection that you do not find his behavior funny, but he may still continue it if it is proucing the results he is seeking.  This behavior is also normal (and irritating), so good luck!

  • I haven't gone through this yet, but one thing I do suggest is NOT yelling at him for it, DONT use a stern tone, DONT let him think your mad. Distract him, smile at him like he's 2 months old again and say hi. If this that works, then in the middle of church do that, don't walk out, cuz then he learns that when he's restless and screams you guys will leave. If you NEED to leave, just walk out, calm him down by distracting and SMILING, then walk back in. He may start using the screaming to get his own way soon enough. Good luck. Now I know to enjoy it as much as possible when he starts that and it's still cute!