20 answers

6-Month-old Suddenly Crying Every Time He Is Laid Down

My 6-month-old baby boy is suddenly unhappy and crying every time he is laid down for anything - diaper changes, feeding, playtime, etc. He will cry until he is sat up or picked up, but is happiest being held (he has always been fine playing on the floor before, and has not been a previously fussy baby). He has been sick recently (fever and cough), but seems to be recovered from that. He is still breastfeeding mostly full-time, and has hardly been eating the last few days (we lay down to feed because he is a very heavy baby); tried a bottle this morning and he drank that fine. Has anyone had this experience at this age, and did you find any solutions, or did they eventually move past this stage? And could this possibly be related to teething (he has no teeth yet)? I am at a loss, and am thankful for any suggestions.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone who responded. He started eating fine again, but I will call the doctor if he continues to fuss when being laid down. I didn't realize that ear infections could cause discomfort while laying down and eating. From your responses and my own observations, I think there must be a few things going on at once - sick, teething, and the 6 mos. old sudden need to be held. We have thought he was teething for awhile now, so I will definitely try the homeopathic teething tablets to test if that is one of the problems - I didn't know you could do that. No matter what happens, I feel better just knowing that other parents have gone through similar situations with their babies.

Featured Answers

Have you considered teething? it happens about 6 months. And babies are very unhappy when they teeth. They want to be held and all routines are not what they want.

My first thought was an ear infection. I have a couple boys who had frequent infections as babies, and this was often the exact way it manifested. I was always suspicious if they were fussy a week or two after having a cold, especiallly if laying them down made them worse.

More Answers

My second boy has had a ROUGH time of teething. It seems to take FOREVER to get those teeth in, so maybe that's your little guy's problem. Have you tried a homeopathic treatment of Chammomila? It helps my kids. Just give him a couple of pellets every half hour until he calms down.

Another idea is just letting him yell a bit. My boys seem to need and like it alot. Maybe it feels manly to them or something. ;D

Don't worry, this cranky time will pass!

You know best! You are his mommy! And you love him the most!

I have a 5-month-old boy who has just gone through the same thing. Same deal- happiest kid ever, all of a sudden turned into a screaming mi-mi everytime he was left alone. Teething. His first tooth popped through a few days ago. We had several hours of relief, then the second started to get ouchy. It still hasn't come through. He isn't drooling even a 1/4 the amount that my first did, so I didn't pick up on it as teething right away. But, that is what his problem was. We are using teething tablets for small pain, teething drops for medium pain and Motrin for big pain (or nighttime). We are also holding him as much as possible, as that is the real comfort that he needs... but we have a 2-year-old as well, and holding a baby 24 hours a day isn't as realistic as it used to be. Anyway- hope this helps. Good luck.

Have you considered teething? it happens about 6 months. And babies are very unhappy when they teeth. They want to be held and all routines are not what they want.

Hi...maybe the fever and cough has turned into an ear infection-which could explain why crying when laying down- the pressure builds up. My son got his first ear infection around 6 months...

I would be suspicious of an ear infection.

It might be separation anxiety. Around 6-9 months they really start noticing that they are different from mom and can a lot of issues when mom is not around. If you haven't had your 6-month check up yet, then I would bring it up at your appointment. Otherwise, just give a quick call to the nurse to make sure it couldn't be anything else (like reflux). Our daughter had horrible reflux from birth on, but at this age had more issues with separation anxiety than anything else.

Hi K., I was wondering if you have had his ears checked for an ear infection. It is very common for babies to get fluid behind the eardrum after being sick. when they lay down there is more pain because of the pressure. Not wanting to eat is also common because the sucking is painful too. it might be that he is taking a bottle because the milk flows easier through the nipple and requires less work. it might be a less painful option if he has an ear infection. It might be worth checking out. I have three children, they are ages 11,8, and 9 months. my nine month old has had reoccuring ear infections recently and is not acting like himself either. he just got his first three teeth in the last month, which might have contributed to his ear troubles. He has been getting back to back colds (none serious), just stuffy nose, cough, some fever. but about a week after his cold seems to clear up he starts fussing at night, in the bath, while feeding, etc...
he acts so upset! He often doesn't want to play with his toys and will only fall asleep if i walk around the room with him in my arms. He is ok now but it was rough for a while!
i know with my other two children, they definitaly went through different phases. As they got older, they would often confuse the heck out of me when they did something out of character. I think when babies hit about 6 months they realize they are mobile, more verbal, more in control. they are developing their own personality and are constantly processing new information with their creative minds.My first child would squirm out of my arms constantly one week, then cling to me the next.
i hope this helped...please consider getting his ears checked, it's pretty common to get ear infections at that age and after being sick. -colleen

My first thought was an ear infection. I have a couple boys who had frequent infections as babies, and this was often the exact way it manifested. I was always suspicious if they were fussy a week or two after having a cold, especiallly if laying them down made them worse.

Hi K.,
I would take him to the doctor or call them at least. Especially since he is getting over a cold. He could have an ear infection or upset belly from his recent cold.
I don't remember my girls getting fussy when laying down while teathing... they were fussy no matter what position they were in!
Good luck!

You may want to take him into the pediatrician. Since he just got over a cold it sounds like an ear infection to me. when you lay him down the pressure in the ear causes pain and if he is also not wanting to eat that is another symptom. Eating causes pain in the ear also. They may not do anything right now, but it's worth at least knowing what is going on.

I recently had the same problem with my 11-month old daughter. I took her to the doctor after about a week of sleepless nights and she had an ear infection! She showed no signs of it. She was happy and playing throughout the day. It hurts the ear more to lay down when they have an ear infection. So maybe take him to the doctor. Good luck!

I don't have many tips about not laying down a baby, because sometimes you just have to. About feeding time, now that he is 6 months and able to sit at least with help try sitting him on your lap to breastfeeding. Maybe the upright position will be more comfortable and he'll eat better. This position actually frees up your hands more.

If he doesn't like lying down and has had a fever have you considered an ear infection and fluid in the ears? The change in position would change ear pressure and could be uncomfortable.

It sounds like he might have an ear infection. They're fairly common after any kind of cold. I'd definately take him to the pediatrician and at least have his ears checked. It only takes a minute and should be painless.


Six months old is usually when kids get their first bout of separation anxiety. Does he have his little fits when you walk out of the room too? They are starting to get the idea of object permanence, but don't have it yet. If it is separation anxiety talk to him, tell him what you're going to do before you do it, and while you are doing it. He knows your voice and it will help if he can hear you.

It could also be teething. Six months is usually when they cut their first teeth (unless they're my kids). Is he super drooly? Does he chew on everything? If he lest you put your finger in his mouth does he calm down when you gently rub his gums? Does he flat out refuse to let you put anything in his mouth?

My son cut his first two teeth at four months and loved the chew/teething toys as long as they were room temperature. He just got drooly and crabby.

My daughter cut her first tooth at 11 months, is now 20 months and only has 10 teeth. With her it's really hard to tell what's going on because she doesn't show any of the "normal" teething indicators.

Both of my kids liked to have their gums rubbed. It provides a counter pressure to the teeth coming through and does help, as long as they let you stick your finger in their mouth.

Hope this helps,

Possibly acid reflux, myu daughter had this and was on Zantac for a year, as she grew, her system matured and she outgrew it.

Call your pediatrician ASAP. It's sounds like an ear infection. With my first (in 2004) we had a horrible time with ear infections. He had 5 in his first year! Anytime there is coughing or cold symptoms, there is a possibility for ear infections. I would get him into the pediatrician as soon as you can. Some ear infections will go away on their own and some are bad enough that they need antibiotics. In the meantime, try to keep him upright and give him some Tylenol. Also, try Similison. It's a liquid to put in his ears that sooths the pain a little. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do for him while you are diaper changing except to do it very quickly! Good Luck and let us know what happens.

My daughter went through that too. We took her to the doc and found out she had acid reflux. It could be that your son needs to burp or is gassy. I'd try elevating his head so it's higher up then his tummy, that might help (it's what we did and still do).
As far as the eating goes, my daughter weaned herself from the breast. I think she liked the taste of formula better :( She only breastfed twice after we gave her the bottle, she just didn't want it anymore :(
Hope it's helpful! Good luck

it seems during sickness they want more cuddle then when they are better they still want the extra cuddle. i've had to wean them back to the normal. teething is possible but you won't know for sure until one pops thru! good luck

Ear infection? They come after colds and really hurt whenever you lay down. I should know--I had my first ear infection in 20 years this past March--laying down was the worst!

He may have an ear infection

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.