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screaming 9-month-old babyPin

Mom’s Question:
My son is nine months old and spends much of his time screaming, sometimes this is accompanied by crying but not always. When I say screaming I mean it’s really, really loud.

Other mothers have started commenting that they have never heard a baby so loud or who screams so frequently. This has been going on for weeks. When he screams he never has a temperature, I offer food and drink and he wants neither nor does his nappy need changing. It is just short bursts of exceptionally loud screaming and it can continue on and off for hours.

It mainly seems to start if I put him in his stroller, cot, bed, highchair or sometimes the floor, or sometimes when I talk to someone else, but sometimes even when I am with him or carrying him or giving him sole attention he screams too.

He had a recent checkup and he doesn’t have an earache, sore throat, or urinary infection. He has just cut his third and fourth teeth so I don’t think it’s teething either. I am really worried there is something wrong and I know people think that too.

Easy Baby Life:

Tips For Screaming 9-Month-Old Baby

When reading your post, a few possible reasons for his screaming came to my mind.

Screaming due to pain

One possible reason is pain. It is very good that you have had him checked up since understanding what is actually painful can be difficult with babies.

One possible source of pain that you didn’t mention is tummy pain. Could it be that you introduced some new foods some weeks ago, that he’s belly can’t tolerate? That’s at least something to consider.

Screaming because he is scared

Another option, especially at his age, is that your son is scared. At his age, his mind is developing and he is starting to realize that he is his own person, separate from mom. For many babies, that is terrifying.

One of my children, my daughter, reacted in a similar way as your son. That she has a strong voice didn’t help. She screamed so load out of the blue (in my view) when we met some people or even at some voices, that I thought something really hurt her. (At four years old, she had a lovely singing voice, which wasn’t bad.)

9 months old really is at the peak of both separation anxiety and stranger anxiety for many children. (You can read about 9-month development and milestones here. )

They need very badly to be reassured that mom continues to be around, despite her actually having her own body, separate from theirs. It may sound like a joke, but for the children, this really is a trauma. Being put down, put in a crib or just left alone for a couple of minutes can be more than they can take.

Studies have shown that babies that are allowed to really be held and carried and have their needs for comfort met at this time actually grow out of their anxiety faster. So even if it is tough – and it is! – don’t be hard on your son. Don’t use any cry-it-out methods and don’t worry that he isn’t normal. He can probably sense that from you too, which doesn’t help as it makes him even more uncertain. Instead, carry your little screamer around, hug him, kiss him and tell him that you love him over and over again. And when he does show small signs of independence encourage him with a big smile.

Screaming for attention

If your son isn’t scared, it can be so that you have unintentionally reinforced his screaming. As parents, it is so easy to grab a moment of peace whenever our children are happy and not looking for our attention, so we unconsciously reinforce more demanding behaviors by simply mainly attending to our children when there is something to correct.

It is possible that your son has learned that he will get a lot of attention from you by screaming. To counter that learned behavior, make sure you give him lots of attention in a positive way when he is happy and calm. Play games, make him laugh, sing and let him “help out” by being around where you are.

Also, don’t make a big fuss of his screaming. Don’t try to shut him up, just try to distract him instead. Make sure he is comfortable, not scared and with you and then do not react strongly to his screaming. Give him something interesting to look at or play with together with you instead. At 9 months, a baby can learn to imitate your movements if you do Itsy Bitsy Spider or some other song. They can even learn sign language. So there is a lot of fun to try out together.

And on what other people say…

Finally, don’t bother what other people say! Having a strong voice is a good thing that will help him later in life. Whether he is scared, frustrated or is simply looking for attention or even just trying his voice, it all still a phase that will pass. It is great to try to figure out what triggers the screaming and then act to mitigate this.

I hope some of the thoughts above will help you find some ways to improve the situation. Be on the lookout for screaming that can be related to pain. But otherwise, just be with him, cuddle, have fun, distract him and enjoy him as much as you can!

He is simply growing up. And that can tough, as we all know :-)

Take care, and don’t worry,

More Crying Babies

Can you relate? Do you have a screaming 9-month-old baby? Or do you have any tips that worked for you in this situation? Please share below!

You can also find many more o Crying Baby articles here.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Raury's mom

    My son (9month old) Raury screams and cries and wails all day long from the time he wakes (4:30 am) to 7pm when he goes down for bed.

    He very rarely wants to sleep though he gets exhausted, and when he does go down for a nap its usually very short. Sometimes I just know he is tired and put him down and he will cry relentlessly for an hour. :-(

    He is also a wiggle worm and does not seem to like being held cuddled or wrapped up tightly in a blanket, this has made feeding time very difficult I had to quit nursing & switch to formula at 1 month old because I could not get him to be stil and eat, so my milk dried up. Because the only way he will eat is by laying down in his crib with a bottle( because there are no distractions) he has learned to only go to sleep with a bottle. I’m afraid this could lead to bottle rot. :-(

    He is also not sleeping through the night yet he still wakes up 2 – 3 times a night and acts like he is starving….I have tried feeding him more fatty foods before bed like yogurt and meat or potatoes, pasta ect….I’ve tried only giving bottles of water when he wakes up at night nothing is working with this one Im soooooooo tired and frustrated. What can I do?

  2. Eva

    I think she just likes the sound of her voice. She will crawl up to me and just start screaming. its really nerve wracking! i cant figure out anything that explains to her that screaming is bad.

  3. Miranda

    I am having the exact same problem. My son screams for no particular reason. I think that he is too young to understand “No” or “Shhh”. It helps when I feed him, but he will still randomly scream. You are not alone!

  4. sharon

    you am not alone i am a mommy of three and my third one all he does his scream high pitch for no reason dont matter if he is playing or being hold, but he is a poorly baby has been since birth so just put it down to that

  5. Jennifer

    Recently, my son has started screaming to get attention. He is not hungry, his diaper is clean, and I am within his sight. He simply thinks I need to be holding him 24/7. When he has started to have a screaming fit I simply take him to his crib, give him a kiss and tell him I will be back when he stops crying. When he would stop crying I would go back in and pick him up, give him and kiss and hug and tell him I love him. If he started crying again later I would repeat the cycle. He has begun to understand that crying for attention when I am in the same room and not necessarily ignoring him is not allowed. I hardly could do this anymore and it only took about a week for him to get the idea. Now he simply crawls to where I am or plays while I am working on something else.

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