I have definitely experienced the humiliation of a public meltdown courtesy of my dear toddler. We were at the fair and he had a monumental fit when we left. I had to push him in the stroller through a crowded parking lot and down a busy street while he shrieked like he was being eaten alive. I didn’t have any options but to continue pushing him to the car. Sometimes babies are loud for other reasons, however. Even the happiest babies can make a commotion in public. What is a parent to do?
Your first instinct might be to simply ignore their behavior. I think for a really young toddler who is having a tantrum, this is a good approach. But if your child is shrieking with delight rather than anger, ignoring it may not work. Realize that your child is probably just bored, and so she is entertaining herself. Your best bet is to create a different entertaining distraction. This can be you entertaining her with your voice and motions. It could also be a special toy that you save for such occasions. When that doesn’t work, I always keep a container of snacks and a sippy cup on hand, which usually occupies my son long enough for me to get the grocery shopping done and hightail it out of there!
The best strategy is to be proactive. Bring several different types of toys, a drink, a snack and one other thing that your baby usually isn’t allowed to play with (like your keys, for example) and save that for when everything else fails. If your baby uses a pacifier, that’s definitely something good to have on hand. Take extras. We have given up the daytime “binki” and that is definitely something I miss sometimes when we are in a store and he is getting bored. The binki always keeps him quiet and content. He seems to relax and take it all in, like he’s sipping a latte at the coffee shop or something.
Above all else, be patient with your baby and remember this is just a short phase. If other people are disturbed by her happy outbursts, they will just have to deal with it. Either they have forgotten what it was like to be blessed with a baby, or they have never had children.