Lots of toddlers go through a stage, some call it testing their vocal cords, pitch and range – I call it squealing!! Sometime younger babies can do this. What starts out as a shock or even cute can soon turn into an ear splitting screech. Baby can do this for lots of reasons – just because they can, because they want your attention (you maybe on the phone), because they are unhappy with where you are taking them or if you have said ‘no’.
Ear piercing as it is – you certainly need to be careful how you react. Giving the ‘squeal’ any type of attention will surely cement this to your baby/toddler that ‘hmmm, mummy took notice’ so therefore next time I’m not happy with a decision or what happening, just do that ‘thing’ and mummy will notice.
Before you know it, there is squealing and screeching often. So, hard as it is, pretend you havn’t heard anything. If you are holding baby, simply put them down immediately and take a few steps away from them. Show no interest. When they have stopped squealing come back pick them up and continue on.
It certainly gets hard to ignore this in other places – for example in the car. That squeal can be difficult to ignore, so if it is really getting to you and you have turned the music up loud and that’s not working for you, simply find a shady tree, park, take yourself out of the car, close the door, leave the airconditioning on if you know they will not escape their car seat and be dangerous. Turn your back, and lean against the car, gazing off into the distance.
When the squealing has stopped, wait a minute or two and then open the door. If the squealing starts again, close the door and repeat. You may be late but that’s ok, your baby / toddler is rapidly learning and will soon realize that the squealing sends you away. This is not what they want so they will soon, stop.