Have you noticed that your toddler cries when other babies cry? If so, you should know that this is completely normal, as many toddlers do this. There are eight reasons your toddler cries when other babies cry. You might just find that your toddler is upset for one of the reasons below!
A Sensitivity Issue
One reason your toddler may be crying when she hears babies cry is because you might have a sensitive toddler. This is a good trait to have, as it means that your toddler is sympathetic to the needs of others. Your toddler may realize that when she hears a baby crying, the baby may be in need. Therefore, your toddler cries because she knows a baby needs help. You might just find that you are raising a very empathetic child who cares about others. Your toddler may have a high level of emotional intelligence as she can sense when those around her are not happy, which means she isn’t happy either.
A Scary Time
Another reason your toddler might cry when she hears other babies cry is that she may be scared. For example, your toddler might feel frightened when she hears crying because isn’t sure why the other baby is crying. She might fear that she should cry because something bad is happening or hurting the other baby. This is especially true if your toddler can’t tell why the other baby is crying.
It can simply be frightening for your toddler to hear loud cries, which can cause your toddler to feel anxiety or stress. If your toddler’s anxiety level increases, your toddler will likely cry as a coping mechanism.
Joining the Noise
Some toddlers cry when other babies cry simply because they want to add to the noise. Crying babies can be quite loud and will surely get your toddler’s attention away from playtime or nap time.
Once the crying noise has your toddler’s attention, the noise will likely keep your toddler’s attention. This means your toddler might as well join in the craziness of the moment and cry as well. This doesn’t mean that anything, in particular, is bothering your toddler; it simply means your toddler wants to make loud noises to join in making the sounds.
Attention Is Needed
Many toddlers are smart enough to realize that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. In this case, the babies who cry get the most attention. Once your toddler realizes that a crying baby gets the attention of the daycare teacher or the parent, your toddler is likely to mimic the behavior just to get more attention. This means that once a baby starts to cry, your toddler imitates the baby’s cries to see if she can get more attention, too. This works most of the time. Therefore, your toddler may continue the behavior to gain attention until you can break your toddler’s tendency to do this.
Check the Ears
Did you know that some toddlers cry when other babies cry because it hurts their ears? This is especially true if your toddler is near a crying baby who is screeching loudly or who is whining very close to your toddler’s ear. If your toddler’s ear cannot tolerate the loud sound, your toddler may cry because she wants to get away from the sound. In fact, you might notice that your toddler covers her ears or runs away from the crying baby to avoid hearing the noise that might be causing her ears some discomfort. If your toddler is overly sensitive to loud noises, you may want to discuss this with your child’s pediatrician.
A Toddler’s Habit
One other reason toddlers might cry every time they hear other babies cry is simply that it has become a habit to do so. This is especially true for toddlers who go to daycare and hear other babies cry on a regular basis. They get used to crying along with other babies, so they continue to do it even when they get used to other babies’ crying spells. The good news is that this usually goes away over time as your toddler starts to pay more attention to the world around her and less attention to the babies she hears. For example, you might find that your toddler gets so wrapped up in putting together puzzles or playing blocks that she starts to block out the sounds of crying she hears.
A Need for Reassurance
Everyone needs a bit of reassurance every now and again, and toddlers are no different. Your toddler might be crying along with other babies because she needs to be reassured that everything is okay. If your toddler seems nervous when other babies cry, you may need to take a moment to explain to your toddler that everything is okay even though the baby may still be crying. Your toddler may need reassurance that the baby’s cries do not affect her. It may be helpful to explain why the other baby is crying. For example, your toddler might feel better if she knew the baby was crying because she needed a diaper change. Once your toddler understands the reason the baby is crying, she may stop crying and go back to her own activities.
A Desire to Help
Some toddlers cry when other babies cry because they have a genuine desire to help the baby. If you are raising a toddler who is thoughtful and caring, you might notice that your toddler tries to soothe the crying baby while crying along with the baby. This is a sign that your sweet toddler wants to help you soothe or take care of the baby. If you give your toddler a small task to do to help you take care of the crying baby, your toddler will likely stop crying. One idea is to ask your toddler to bring you a clean diaper or to pat the baby’s back to calm the baby and the toddler at the same time.