I have a son who is 2 years and 4 months old, and a 4-month-old infant. It came to our attention that the toddler was scared of the sound from a toy, such as an electronic toy car beeping or flashing the light, or any other toys that make sounds. He would cry out loud at the sound and rush into my arms or his mother's.

We also noticed that:

  1. It mostly only happened with toys - he shows no such emotion when hearing the sound of a real car or the likes.

  2. It didn't happen when he was even younger, as far as I recall, he was fine playing with those toys at age 1 or so.

Also I'm always a little concerned about my son being too attached to us, as a result sometimes I decline his request for a hug and encourage him to walk on his own - am I right or is it too early to teach him to be independent and tough?

  • Do you also have a younger son or other children, and what ages?
    – Warren Dew
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 17:31
  • yes, a younger one just aged 4 month.
    – J.E.Y
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 17:38
  • @WarrenDew - Great intuition. Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 3:59
  • Toughness and independence are best built on a solid foundation of positive self-esteem, which is fostered by a strong, loving, trusting relationship with parents. Do encourage your child to walk on his own (in a positive way), but don't skimp on the hugs. Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 4:01

1 Answer 1


This sounds like a natural reaction to the new baby. Your older son is insecure about the loss of parental attention to the new baby, and is trying to get more attention for himself. I have three kids spaced at two year intervals, and have been through this twice.

The solution is to give as much attention to the older child as to the younger one, to the extent possible. That will reassure him that he's not being displaced. Definitely don't decline requests for hugs. Encourage him to walk on his own by giving him plenty of enthusiastic praise when he does so, rather than taking it for granted.

It can also help to give him privileges that you don't give the baby, "because he is the big brother". That will help keep him from regressing, which is another technique kids use to retain attention when a new sibling comes along.

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