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Why is my baby screeching out loud? It sounds crazy!

Here’s why babies shriek, what to do, and why it is so unendurable for parents (there’s actually research on it!)

Be sure to check out the comments section, too – many babies seem to go through a screeching and squealing phase.

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Mom’s Question:

Why is my baby screeching out very loud? She is 5 months old and never stops screeching; it is very annoying. Even the dog has resorted to going outside to avoid the noise.

She’s not hungry, wet, cold, etc.

Please help.

Why Is My Baby Screeching..?

baby is screeching and squalingPin

1. Learning to Communicate

Some babies are quiet and seem to fuss very little. Other babies seem active from the first day of life and demand a lot of attention. Neither extreme means that there is anything wrong with the child.

Crying, screaming, and screeching are the baby’s first form of communication. Your daughter has learned she has a voice and can express herself by making screeching noises. My son did the same thing; he would screech and scream and then start laughing. So he was actually screeching for fun! He did it so much sometimes that he started to cough a lot.

You will soon start to hear her making different sounds and syllables that will eventually turn into words. Whenever she starts to make different sounds, she will not screech as much.

The squealing and screeching phase often starts at some point around 4 to 6 months, so at 5 months, your baby is completely normal. This is a development stage where the baby learns to use their voice in different ways to get your attention. They babble, laugh, coo, and… screech! And they develop different screams and cries for needs, such as hunger, comfort, fear, pain, etc.

So, as stressful as it may be – the screeching is most often completely normal!

2. Discomfort

Of course, screeching can be a sign of discomfort or pain, but then, of course, your baby would show other signs of not being well, too.

If your baby is doing any kind of odd movements while screeching or seems to be ill in any, of course, check with a doctor.

Why is it so Stressful for Parents?

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You could think that if this is a normal development phase, then the human mind should be used to it by now and not bothered so much…

Well, research shows that a high-pitched baby scream is quite stressful for parents, who will do more or less anything to make it stop! The parents’ heart rate even shoots up from the screeching sound.

It has also been seen that this particular sound has triggered unstable parents to abuse their babies.

Since high-pitched screaming can occur when a baby is in pain, ill, or very hungry, it is quite logical that we as humans are programmed to react to it (but, of course, a healthy reaction is to try to help your baby and nothing else)!

The problem is that, in some cases, the baby screeches as part of normal verbal development, and we have to accept that the stress we might feel has nothing to do with the actual situation we are in.

What to do about this shrieking phase?

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1. Positive Distraction

If you find the sound unbearable, try playing games with your daughter to stimulate other sounds. You can sing to her, say rhymes, or talk to her. You’ll find ideas on games to play with a 5-month-old here.

With babies, there is no way to “correct” their behavior – only use positive distraction and make sure there are no underlying problems that cause the behavior.

2. Not Too Much Attention to the behavior

Also, remember to NOT give too much attention to the actual screaming – positive or negative – since your attention might reinforce the behavior. I don’t mean to ignore or punish your baby when screeching, but simply to not react strongly to the behavior, thereby creating a situation where you end up steering your baby to screeching more rather than less.

3. Distraction for You

Since this screeching is most likely a normal development phase for your daughter, and even a good one since it means that she is practicing communication, you might want to add some positive distraction for YOU from time to time.

Put on some nice, calming music that competes a bit with your baby’s “singing,” or listen to a pod, for example.

4. Catch It On Video For a Fun Memory

Another thing – catch the screeching on video. :-) Before you know it, it will be gone, to maybe never return. In a few years, you can show the video to your girl and laugh together about how she even scared the dog, training her voice.

Here is another screeching baby that her parents recorded. Anything similar? :-)

Screeching Mimi Baby Dolphin

I hope this helps,

P.S. Hey, parents, anyone else who came here looking for answers to why their baby screeching..? Tell us about your situation and if you have any tips to endure it or to distract your baby by leaving a comment below. :-)


Read Next

Research References

why is my baby screechingPin

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. Meagan

    We wear earplugs all day! It drastically cuts down our stress about the screeching and makes it easy not to react to it.

  2. Rawr

    So happy to have found this article!
    My boy, nearly 6 months has been screeching for a month now 😅 it was cute for the first two days.. Now he does it every time he’s awake. I think we all react to it because it’s so loud our neighbours have commented on it! 😬
    I do try and distract him with songs or talking to him, playing peekaboo or giving him a pacifier (doesn’t last long). But after a whole day of listening to that.. Sometimes I just can’t 🙄and my anxiety kicks in, specially if I’m sleep deprived 🙁

  3. Sophie

    Thank you for the article, my 9 month old has been screaming on and off for last two months. I find it extremely tough, especially when out, as it’s so loud & actually hurts my ears. Plus everyone stares!!
    I feel it’s more than for fun, as doesn’t do it all the time. We’ve had lots of issues with constipation and teething. So wondered if it was more that than an expression thing, but then I feel I may just be over complicating it. I wish it would pass, as for me i find it stops me going places. I have tried ignoring, & saying it’s a phase, but he does it more, I’ve tried distracting him with other words or objects too. Sometimes I feel other environments make him do it more too, so over stimulated maybe!?
    It’s hugely frustrating, especially when it stops and then comes back with a vengeance. Plus I have friends with kids and none of theirs seem too do it, so can’t even feel like it’s a shared experience for comfort.

  4. Amy

    My baby boy is 4 months and it’s his new favourite thing noise. I love that he is doing this as it shows he is reaching his milestones. How could any parent try to Discourage this?

  5. Michaela

    Thank you very much for this article. My 4 month old just started to make this high pitch screeching noise and anytime I came closer to him he would just look at me and starts to laugh. Like it was some kind of game . The noise is so intense and loud my ears are actually sore so I didn’t find it funny at all and was wondering me giving him attention just encouraging it. Was also scared that he’ll get used to it that if he makes this noise I’ll come to him to comfort him and makes habit out of it.
    So thank you for telling me am not only one and that is completely normal even actually desirable behaviour.

  6. Sasha

    My Grandson doesn’t screech, but he yells all day. He has a completely different sound when he’s hungry (more intense). For the first few months he was super content, calm, and happy. He made sounds but not loudly and continually as he does now. I sense that he wants to “do” something (like go outside), and he’s trying his best to tell us. Or he just likes his big voice and is practicing using it!

  7. Sarah Stoltz

    My 6-month-old son screams a very loud, high-pitched scream along with his crying when he is upset, frustrated, hungry, or tired. It’s enough to give me a headache. It’s so hard not to react strongly to it because it’s so loud and hurts my ears. My anxiety kicks into high gear. I also live with my 72-year-old parents who can’t stand the noise, and I do my best to keep the peace. I hope this phase passes quickly.

    1. Tinsae asfaw

      Hi my baby is doing the same thing he is 5 month am worried 😫
      How is your baby is there any change

  8. Shannon

    This is so helpful , thank you so much! I’m at my wits end with the screeching. My son didn’t do this so I’m glad to know it’s normal for my daughter!

  9. Abby

    Oh my gosh. I’d love to know how the other parents in these comments got on with their little ones after some time has now passed! I have a 6 month old who has been screeching like this since 4 months (pandemic baby with not a lot of outside interaction yet either). He does it practically all day long, and we haven’t had any other babbling sounds yet. Would love to know if things improved once their sounds developed!

  10. Vanessa

    My baby is 10.5 months old and the screeching has began around 2 weeks ago, is that normal?
    I have 5 children and none of the others did this and I’m feeling very lost. I’ve even had people throw remarks at me like “oh she is definitely autistic.”
    It happens souch and is so loud that I have had to leave places that we have gone on outings to.

    1. Kam

      I’m sorry someone said that to you, that’s no one’s place to say something like that. I am on my first baby and have no idea what’s considered “normal” or not but keep doing your best Mama!

    2. Melissa Orwig

      That is so rude of someone to say. I can say from experience, I have a severely autistic 4 year old, he never made much of a screeching noise when he was a baby. This is my second child, he is gestational age 9 months and just began the screeching phase. I don’t mind it, I actually like that he could be finding his voice. Problem is his brother doesn’t like all the screaming (although, that’s all he does all say while stimming), so it’s like a battle of a screaming and crying around here. I hope all worked out I know you posted a while ago. Xx

  11. Andrea

    I am so glad I found this article. I started to think there was something wrong with my baby girl but reading the comments was reassuring. My 5 1/2 month old stated screeching a few weeks ago, it is an unhappy screech, like she is complaining. She does it all day. I keep trying to distract her and play with her. She is teething so that might be bothering her. I hope this stops soon as it is very stressful, it is a high pitched sound, designed to make parents react :D

  12. Rachel

    I don’t like that you said “not room much attention” because there is no way to spoil an infant with attention. They have no cognitive ability to manipulate and are learning how to get an adults attention when they need something or just want attention.

    1. Paula @ EasyBabyLife

      Hi Rachel, and thanks for your comment. You actually made me clarify the writing a little bit. I certainly don’t mean to ignore your baby, but to not react strongly to the actual behavior. Babies, just like any humans learn by mirroring and interaction, and if the parent reacts strongly to the screeching, the baby may do more of it. It is not about manipulation, but about how we learn. I’ve linked to a research article about maternal mirroring in infancy if you’re interested.

      Again, thanks for making me clarify my point. :-)

      Early maternal mirroring predicts infant motor system activation during facial expression observation

  13. Carol

    Omg it is so annoying! It is cute at the beginning but when you hear the screeches every single morning it’s not longer that cute 🤯 I try to play with her or give her some teetha as I think sometimes she screeches because her gums are at her.

    1. Paula @ EasyBabyLife

      Sounds like you’re doing the right things. :-) How old is she?

  14. Nomfah

    I’m glad I’m not alone . My 5 months old boy screeches until, we all can’t take it anymore
    Even at night when he wakes up, he will start. He doesn’t show any sings of distress when doing it, it’s like he enjoys it. I hope he outgrows this soon because, really, it goes through me to the point that I wish to buy earplugs😂. I’m starting to hear bah, bah syllables on his noise, I’m hoping this is his way to start communication.

  15. Destiny

    I absolutely love it I can see her trying to Express herself I just screech back and she loves it like we’re talking to each other and she’s so proud she can talk to me we have plenty more years for real talking soak it in this is my 5th and screeching is the least of your worries what until she starts talking back then you will miss the screeching

    1. Paula @ EasyBabyLife

      That’s a wonderful way to see it! I can really see you screeching back to your baby. :-)

  16. Tigar

    My daughter is 4 months old and she screeches non stop she went from cooing to screeching it’s killing my ears And my husband works third shift she seems to do it only when he is trying to sleep I sure hope she stops soon my nerves and ears can’t take Any more I’ve tried everything she just loves doing it….

    1. Carol

      That was last year. How is she doing now? I’m experiencing the same thing here 😓

  17. Lucie

    My baby boy is 5mths old and he screeches for hours when tired or hungry, but also when happy. To be honest, I was thinking help is he normal, but after reading everybody’s comments I am reassured. I may start enjoying the noise instead of the dreading it. Hope it doesn’t last.

  18. zivootblog

    Very informative article. My baby niece is in a phase when she started screeching and she is unstoppable. We are afraid that she will hurt her throat. She is a very active and happy baby. This article is informative for us. Thank you.

  19. Sarah

    My daughter is 7 months and 8 days old and will screech for hours on end. I don’t get what is going on because she won’t laugh, and I try everything to make her laugh and nothing works. does anyone have some tips that may help?

  20. Line

    My 5-month-old baby just started screeching. If it is his way of communicating that fine…I just want to make sure something isn’t wrong with him… He has loved his tummy time and being on his tummy, but lately when I am sitting next to all of sudden he will be on his tummy playing with a toy and just start screeching and wailing… Sometimes he looks frustrated as if he wants to move and can’t …

    I can pick him up and he’ll look at me and laugh so I just don’t know what to do. Last night I picked him up and he continued to he ok is he in pain is there something wrong??

  21. Aussie Mom

    My little girl is six months old and has been making a really high pitch squealing noises for about two months. It is the worst noise, my husband and I both have headaches by the end of the night and even our three years old complains about her noise!! How do we stop this???

  22. Ann

    My 6-month-old has been doing this for a few weeks now. I was beginning to think there was something wrong but after reading these comments I guess not!

    I’m reassured to hear that other babies also do this no matter what!

  23. Tired mom

    It’s not so fun when it’s constant! My 4.5mth old has started screeching and it’s NOT cute!! Once he gets going he won’t stop until he starts crying uncontrollably…there’s no consoling him, it’s awful.

  24. Beth

    My 4-month-old has been screeching for a few weeks now. I love it! It’s the cutest thing in the world! Sure, it’s loud and sometimes I can’t hear people talking – but she’s expressing herself! I encourage her to do it! =D

  25. Happy

    My 5-month-old has been screeching for about 1 1/2 months now and I love it. Actually so does my partner. It’s fun to hear him learning to make new sounds and try and vocalize what he is feeling. And the expectant look on his face when he reaches new levels of noise and pitch to see how we react and respond.

  26. Karen

    Glad to hear I’m not alone. My 5 mth old screams ALL the time, happy, excited, hungry, tired, alone, with me….literally ALL the time. I really hope he grows out of it soon or I really am going to have to buy earplugs – the noise goes right through me!

  27. Kelly

    My 3 1/2 month old has been screeching a lot lately, at first it was cute but it is really starting to be to much. Especially for my husband who has very sensitive ears..guess we are going to have to start wearing ear plugs! I really hope this isn’t going to last long, but I guess we will wait and see. Like most moms say I don’t want to discourage her from talking, and finding her voice, but it definitely gets to be to much..especially on top of her go go go personality! I am VERY thankful she sleeps through the night.

  28. Isabel

    My 4 /12 month old girl started screeching a couple of weeks ago. She does it when she’s happy, excited, mad, tired or bored – in other words: all of the time. Ha! She seems to love the sound of it, but it is truly awful to be around. I too am hoping she gets over the enchantment with it soon. She does mix it up with other pleasant baby babbles, so I’m crossing my fingers.

  29. Jo

    My second daughter has screeched since she was about 3 months and still does and is now 6 months. Its the type of noise which goes right through you and gets to a point where it hurts. I’m hoping she grows out of it sooner rather than later as really awful to be around.

  30. Estelle

    My 4-month-old daughter is screeching. I can’t take it. Whenever she doesn’t get her way or is tired, hungry, grumpy wish I could put my ears to sleep till this sound goes, though I happy her voice is progressing so nyc and loud.

  31. Emily

    The 4-month-old squealing is WAY DIFFERENT than the screeching we are talking about. It is so high pitched it is almost deafening. It is NOT 4-month-old squeals.

    My 6 month old uses it when she is throwing a temper tantrum. Like if she wants the remote control or anything she is not supposed to have on the table, or really if she wants anything. She has all but replaces crying with it and it is HORRIBLE.

  32. Sez

    Aww, it’s cute! My baby is 3 weeks and has been doing this since he was born! :o) I love it!

  33. Jessica

    My Jacob is 15 weeks old now. He started screeching when he was 10 weeks old… I and my husband feel happy when he is making loud noise seems he looks happy and content he catches attention from people and got a lot of good compliments that our baby is a happy baby.