16 answers

Help!! My 14 Month Old Screams a Lot!

My 14 month old daughter screams when she doesn't get her way or when she wants something. She will point at her cup on the table and will scream instead of asking for it. I can not get her to say please or more she just screams. When she points at other things she say "I see it" or "What's that" so she does not alway scream when she points. Also if she is running outside too far and we pick her up she screams and if we take something out of her hand that she should not have she screams. I try to stay calm and talk her down and she will calm down but I don't know how to avoid it in the first place. Thanks

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So What Happened?™

Thank you so much to all of you for your advice. I really appreciate it. I knew that this was probably just a stage but my mom approached me regarding her screaming but did not really have any advice to give so I thought I would check in here. The game plan at this point is to just keep plugging along. I always tell her what I expect her to do ie "please don't yell at Mommy, and use your words Hannah say cup or please" etc. I am a firm believer in speaking normal to them not in baby speak and I also am firm on no yelling. I feel like if we lose our temper and yell at her then we are teaching her that yelling is ok. I know that she is young I am just looking for the best way to encourage her to get beyond the screams. It is hard for me to see her frustration but I guess it is a learning time for both baby and Mommy. Thanks again and if anyone has any more advice I will gladly take it.

Featured Answers

I have a 19 month old and he started screaming for things even though he has been able to communicate with a few words. I will ask him calmly to say cup or up whatever it is and if he continues I completely ignore the screaming. Within a few minutes he will walk up and say what he wants and is realizing that he will NOT get what he wants from screaming. It is very hard to listen to him scream but if you put on some calm music and walk away eventually you will see the change. Good Luck! Give her a great big hug when she does ask for something the right way also. A., Mother of three, Michigan

Hello T.-
I have a 14 month old son who screams all the time too! He screams when he is happy, sad, mad, you name it, he screams it! I know it can be so frustrating. I just read an article that this is a very normal behavior at this age. They can't communicate what they want PLUS they like to hear themselves scream. I know exactly how you feel, but hang in there! I think once they start talking more, they will scream less.


More Answers

I have a 3yr old girl and a 2yr old boy. All I would say is that age kids don't have all the words to communicate.
Imagine if you were looking at a magazine or getting a fork or something and someone just walked up and grabbed it out of your hands. You could say to me " What are you doing or...." A 14mth old can't.
It is frustration to them. they want what they want and don't understand.
My suggestion- Inform kids what you are doing. Make it short and to the point.
When she is pointing at her cup at the table get down at her level and ask her "Do you want more?" "Are you thirsty?" she may scream still, but just try to wait and say tell mom what you want. Say "show me!" I Am big on using sign language. That helped big time. Just the basic sign of more and drink worked wonders. There are tons of books on baby signs at borders. I found with my kids they weren't as frustrated because they could communicate there needs. Just a few simple signs made a big difference. Also they started talking sooner I believe because of signing.
If you aren't into that. just try to inform.
Like if she is running outside to far. Say in a strun voice " To far! go back to the house!" Give her a change to make the rt choice.
Taking things out of her hand. I just say " Not to play with! Give to momma!" My kids slowly would follow my commands.
I still have to shout at my 2 yr old not to put things in his mouth. I keep it short and sweet. I say in a voice that he knows I am not messing around. Not yelling, but you know what I mean. " Not for mouth!" and he will stop.

I hope this helps.

My 15 month old daughter is very similar! I think they are just at an age where everything is exciting and they are also learning how to make their needs known to you. My daughter has a pretty good verbal vocabulary and knows signs as well but she will still get upset when I do something she doesn't like. If there are things I know she really likes to play with but when I take it away i know there is going to be a battle, I try to just avoid giving it to her in the first place. Staying calm and letting her work it out on her own has also helped. I try to use a calm voice and explain why we are doing something. The public displays are definitely entertaining, when people look at me I just say "she is a drama queen". That seems to get them to chuckle and move on. Hang in there and enjoy your little girl!!

At 14 months she is probably frustrated because she can't verbalize her wants completely. When she screams and points at her cup, say cup and hand it to her just be consistant with telling her " if you want your cup honey, you ask mommy by saying cup " that way you are letting her know what is expected of her. As for screaming when you pick her up or take something away from her again keep telling her thats naughty and we don't behave this way. I hope this helps.

Don't worry. It's a phase. My daughter went through this too. If I had a dollar every time I said, "Use your words" when my daughter was that age, I'd be a millionaire. Hang in there. As her speaking gets better, the screaming will subside.

Just last night on Supernanny they dealt with this. Talking in a normal voice. Mum and dad sat down with the kids of various ages and told them that they hear whining a lot. The new rule was talk in a normal voice. There will be no contact otherwise.
So think about it T.. Give it a shot. Normal voice or nothing. Be consistent. And it might help to give a taste of her own medicine. Try screaming yourself. Chances are she won't like it. Especially when you do it when she does or louder. Then you talk to her in a normal voice.
Good luck. Remember it IS part of the package of having kids. She's only a little over a year. And there may be some unseen reason for it.

Hello T.-
I have a 14 month old son who screams all the time too! He screams when he is happy, sad, mad, you name it, he screams it! I know it can be so frustrating. I just read an article that this is a very normal behavior at this age. They can't communicate what they want PLUS they like to hear themselves scream. I know exactly how you feel, but hang in there! I think once they start talking more, they will scream less.


LOL - I feel your pain!! My son just turned 14 months last Friday and he has been doing that for a little while now. You take something away he wants, he screams, you don't do what he wants, he screams. He has an extremely high-pitched scream too! When we're out in public and he does it I always get stares. I don't really have any advice other than to be calm. It's a phase I am sure they will grow out of. They are learning how to express what they want and don't have the words to do it quite yet. One thing I can say is don't give in. If she is screaming for something, don't give it to her because that will teach her if she screams, she gets what she wants!

Sorry, I am not much help, but wanted to let you know you are not alone! Good luck!

I don't think I'd tell my child screaming is naughty, sorry. It's not, it might be annoying, but not naughty. My child is 17 months and sometimes she screams and sometimes I scream with her and occasionally I say softly. I think your child is trying to communicate and just does not always have the words to do it. She is only 14 months, and talking is a new skill and everything is not accessible to her mind. Try sign language if u really can't deal with the noise. There are a lot of books out there that will teach you the basics.

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