Parental Queries

Why Do Babies Cry When You Moo At Them?

By Ankit Karki | March 23, 2023 11:10 AM

Baby reaction to the moo sound is becoming a viral trend on TikTok
Baby reaction to the moo sound is becoming a viral trend on TikTok( Source : smithsonianmag )

Why Do Babies Cry When You Moo At Them? Newborns often cry when you moo near them because they get easily startled by unfamiliar noises.

One thing almost all of us can agree on is that babies are weird. All they do is cry, eat, poop, and sleep. 

And, despite all our efforts, we are miles away from understanding what causes a child to react in the way they usually do. There are so many things that can make a baby cry and, at times, the crying can go out of hand if you don't know how to calm them down.

Recently, a strange trend is going on in social media where parents intentionally make their newborns cry by mimicking the sound of a cow's moo.

The kids' reaction to the sounds is getting traction as funny content for countless netizens and parents all over.

Why Do Babies Cry When You Moo At Them

Babies cry when you moo at them because they get startled by the unfamiliar and irritating noise.

Several parents have raised the issue that the seemingly harmless sound can become a major trigger for a child's cry.

This behavior is most common in newborns but it can also be witnessed in older children.

This Has Become a Trend on TikTok

In the last few weeks, a trend has been going viral on the internet, primarily in TikTok. Parents make the sound of a cow's moo and record the reaction of their babies. 

Almost all babies show the same reaction; they appear confused and nervous before using their weapon, the cry.

On March 3, a TikTok user named Alli Kendall shared a TikTok video of her son Baker Scott, performing the above-mentioned experiment. The 48-second-long video showed Alli had to make a few tries before getting the expected reaction of her child.

@alli_kendalllll They say if you “Moo” at your baby they will cry… 😅 #BakerScott #Moo #babyboy ♬ original sound - alli_kendallll

Ally is not the only one to test this bizarre theory on their kids. Several parents have shared similar videos where they start crying without exception.

However, the videos don't provide a conclusion on whether the kids only cry when they are exposed to a cow's moo or have the same reaction to any strange noise. Meanwhile, similar studies have shown that kids get frightened by loud sounds and the fear of falling.

Sounds That Make Babies Cry

Babies cry so much because of many reasons and as mentioned above, a moo is not the only sound that trigger them.

It's not uncommon for an infant to show negative reactions to loud and unfamiliar noises. Further, as kids have smaller ear canals than adults which amplifies sounds, even regular sounds can be louder for children. 


NOOO i thought it was fake :((

♬ original sound - ☆ Kelly ☆

The different types of noises that can usually trigger a cry from a baby are:

  • Sound of airplanes
  • Thunder
  • Ambulance/police sirens
  • Car honks
  • Construction noise
  • Gunshots, etc.

However, it's not always the loud noises that can frighten a child. Studies have shown that even the sounds made by everyday households equipment can have a similar effect on some babies like:

  • Television
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Hairdryer
  • Washing machine
  • Dog barking.

As all kids are unique, their reactions to different types of sounds might not be necessarily harmful. Most kids get over the fear by the time they are six months old.

On the other hand, some children have shown continued symptoms and might need therapy to cope with their fear of noise. 

You can get your baby to stop crying by rolling them over or trying different other techniques. Here is an article on how to get your babies to roll over gently.

Sounds That Babies Love

Kids love the sounds of their mother and of animals because they are not frightening. Not all sounds are frightening to newborns.

There are many sounds that babies adore and love to listen to on repeat.

For instance, a mother's voice is a soothing sound to her baby and can calm them down in almost any situation. Due to this, psychologists recommend women regularly communicate with their babies, even if the communication is only one way.

Babies have a calming effect to white noise as it resembles the sound they heard in the womb
Babies have a calming effect to white noise as it resembles the sound they heard in the womb( Source : yahoo )

A woman reading a story, singing a song, or even repeating a baby's sound helps in forming a bond between the mother and her child. Similarly, the gentle sound of rain or wind blowing also has a calming effect on young kids. 

Likewise, white noise is also a powerful weapon for parents to help their babies sleep better. Using white noise has shown similar results to that of swaddling a child. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of such noise to treat a fussy baby. 

White noise is defined as a constant sound that consists of mixed sound waves that extend over a vast frequency range. Some examples include radio static, traffic sounds, running water, rain, and more.

An NCBI study conducted on 20 newly-born babies in 1990 found that 80% of the kids fell asleep within five minutes of playing white noise. Another research discovered an increase in sleep and a decrease in crying when parents used white noise with their babies, especially colicky babies.

White noise is proven to be so effective as it resembles the sound a baby hears when it is still in its mother's womb like heartbeats and the flowing of blood.