Why Does Talking Toddler Get Stuck in a Loop

Trust Your Instincts

Quote of the Week
“The way we talk to our children
becomes their inner voice.
~ Peggy O’Mara.


It was so thrilling the day my children started to speak and use words to communicate. When they could tell me something hurt or that they wanted food and exactly what food they wanted. My children turn three and for their birthday my daughter said she’d like to go to Red Robin. So nice to have someone make the executive decision on what to do for dinner.

With the joys of toddlers talking comes to challenges, like all things. Pros and now cons.

The biggest con being their repetitive ness. I like to call it, “stuck in a loop.”

My husband and I have really been struggling these last few weeks on really keeping our cool while our children repeat themselves over and over again. So naturally I took the the interwebs to try and understand why this is happening and ways to help them move through - and us too.


Familiar. Remember that post about the best pediatrician advice ever? Well this plays RIGHT into that. When children like the feel of certain words or phrases they repeat them over and over again because they’re familiar. Familiar from hearing it from us and familiar because they’ve gotten then hang of it.

It’s the same reason they sing the same song on a loop. My daughter has masterfully figured out how to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star without ever reaching the end.


Remember when they didn’t have words at all? Remember how they couldn’t tell us what they needed and they just cried? Replace the crying with repetition. When my husband was redoing the kids bathroom they’d walk up and ask, “Dada, what are you doing?” He’d say, “Fixing the bathroom.” They’d follow up with , “What are you doing?”

They wanted something more specific than “Fixing the bathroom”, but they didn’t have the words for it. It took us a few weeks to figure out then he started saying, “Fixing the floor” “Putting up tile”, etc. and they chilled out with the, “What are you doing?”

When kids repeat the same sentences, they’re looking for more specifics about that question. So take a deep breath, turn to your kid and say, “I’m pulling up the bathroom floor so I can put down a new and better one!”


Did you ever find something baby did so cute and funny that you laughed… and then they did again immediately? Babies love nothing more than making people laugh and they don’t understand that the joke only works once. From my understanding this one just takes time. They will learn that they should quit while they’re ahead.


The reality is the only way out of the loop is for you, parent, to stay calm and to treat your little people, as that… people. This is a big scary world that they’re trying to figure out and repetition helps with that. As their guides we have to find our patience and remember that like all little heroes, they’re only looking for answers - most of which we need to help them find.

May the force be with you, Yoda, and your little Skywalker.

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