Updated: Nov 29, 2022
How to quiet a noisy toddler…
Could you say that again? I couldn’t quite hear you over the toddler noises.
Every parent who’s been around a toddler can tell you the moment you pick up your phone to talk, the moment you want to hear what the radio is saying, the moment you get into ‘the zone', the moment you want to say something to your significant other, the moment the baby FINALLY falls asleep … the toddler speaks. Not just any speak, but the more annoying version of repetitive nonsensical words and sounds mixed with a deafening volume.
We asked a few experienced moms what they have done to help their toddlers quiet down. See if some of these work for you:
Teach them how to whisper. Toddlers seem to like learning the concept of whispering and how to do it themselves. Be sure to give lots of praise when they do it right. (While whispering, of course!) You may have heard this, but the quieter you speak, the more they have to strain to hear what you are saying. Plus, when you whisper to your toddler, it creates a calmer, quieter example for them to follow.
Spend some time taking turns talking. Make it a game. Later, when you need to be busy with something, the toddler will know it is mommy’s turn to talk. The child may listen more readily, knowing her turn will be next.
Give them the mom look. (You know, the one – where you are so serious your eyes practically fall out of your head when you make it?). If anything, it will distract them for a moment.
Feed them something they really like. Make sure you have plenty on hand so that the “MORE, MORE? MORE? more MORE Please” diatribe doesn’t begin and drone on.
Introduce a ‘quiet play’ hour at home where your toddler plays with specific quiet toys. Include it in your daily routine. Then, use that time to complete the things you need to do that require quiet.
Teach them the ‘touch’ method of garnering your attention. They touch you on the arm nicely when they want to tell you something. When you touch their hand back, they know you have heard them. This is really ‘handy’ when adults are having a conversation together.
Keep a few ‘quiet’ toys hidden. Bring them out when you want quiet time. They will be excited to play with the toy they have either never seen or haven’t seen in a while.
Coloring time! For some, coloring time is a time of concentration. For others, toddlers want mommy and daddy to draw them a ‘hippopani’, dog, or stick-man.
Remind the toddler (if you have a new baby) not to wake the baby. Use the finger over the lips when you “shhh” shush. Explain to the toddler the cause and effect. Say something like, “Shhhh let’s be quiet so the baby can fall asleep. Then you and I can go play.”
Screen time. Though we don’t like to admit it, many parents offer some screen time. Throw a good movie on, or a 20-minute-long learning video, and they will be fully captivated.
Play the quiet game. This works great in groups of toddlers. Rather than talk, they make all manner of breathing and other noises at each other, often resulting laughter, which - really - is the purpose of life anyway, right?