The Top Five Kinds of Toddler Noises


If you have a toddler at home, you know that they are very busy and make a lot of toddler noises. 

There are some toddler noises that I love, like when my daughter hugs me and whispers, “Mmmmm.” And some sounds that make me sad, like when my daughter started replacing her own word for dog, “Woo woo” with the perhaps more correct but also less adorable, “Doggie.” File that under things I never thought I’d cry about but most definitely did. Of course, there are also those noises – aka whining and possibly screaming about dinner/bedtime/the wrong shirt/the wrong food – that make me want to give up for the day. “No thanks, I’m not mom-ing today, kid!”

When the tiny baby coos and howls have gone (sob!), here are five main toddler noises you’ll likely hear daily:

1. Say My Name, Say My Name.

“Mom mom mom mom moooommy. Mom. Mama!” The toddler urgently needs you to get the water bottle that’s sitting 1 foot from their hand/hold their half-eaten apple slice/take a piece of string they found on the couch/a million other things NOW. This sound also comes out when they are whining about not wanting their water bottle even though they asked for it, when they’re upset that their apple has a bite out of it (that they took), or that there’s a string on the couch. The whining might seem never-ending at times, but it hopefully slows down long enough for the next sound on this list.

2. Adorable happy babble.

Adorable toddler noises requesting more food!
More cottage cheese, please!!

You understand 25-75% of what they’re saying at any given moment. But they sure are enthusiastic and excited to tell you their tale. If you’re lucky, this babble may also come in the form of song, likely pieced together from the tunes of songs they learned in music class and probably the ABCs too. Or as my daughter calls them, the “ECCs.” I mean, their sweet little voice chattering away or singing is heart-melting stuff. Other side effects may include turning into the live action version of that heart eye emoji.

3. “What is dis?”

See also: “Why?!” Your answer will either be satisfactory or it will lead to 47 follow-up questions. Don’t lose your cool or leave the room or try to change the subject, though, mama. Don’t you want your child to grow up with a curious nature/to be on the honor roll/to be successful and happy in life? Your constant engagement matters.

4. Screeching.

The main types of noises toddlers makeThis horrible, primal sound means one of two scenarios is playing out. One, they are trapped in a life-threatening situation. When you hear this noise, RUN. There is probably a bear trying to get into their room through an open window. Or the second option is that the hat they are trying to put on their stuffed animal won’t fit the way they want. Run as fast as you can, though, because there’s no way of knowing which situation your child is in. This noise may also be coupled with flinging their tiny-but-mighty body on the floor because the screaming wasn’t dramatic enough. 

5. Silence.

Ahh, silence. The best… or the worst. Silence could mean they are getting into something that is definitely not toddler-friendly. Think Sharpies. Or fancy, seldom-used makeup. On rare occasions, this also means the toddler is reading or playing quietly. However, when you inevitably rush around, expecting to find them drawing on their face with permanent ink, you’ll break the glorious quiet and they’ll start asking for snacks.

I’m glad to say that most days, my toddler sticks to the heart-warming, cute and definitely tolerable toddler noises. But sometimes even five minutes of #4 or a good healthy dose of #1 can make me want to hide in the bathroom. Oh wait, ever since we’ve started potty training, the bathroom is the toddler’s domain too, no matter who is inside. The closet or pantry, then.

What toddler noises would you add to this list?


  1. Don’t forget “nahhhhhhhhhhh” or “noooooooooooooooooo”! This could mean you did not give them what they want, or you gave it to them and they didn’t want you to or someone is touching them or looking at them or putting pants on them.


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