18 answers

Can a 5 1/2 Month Old Have Allergies?

I have a 5 1/2 month old who has symptoms of allergies. He rubs his eyes often and pulls his ears. I took him to the doctor because I thought he might have an ear infection but she checked him thoroughly and informed me that he is perfectly healthy. The doctor says he is too young to have allergies. I know babies rub their eyes when they are tired but he rubs them at all hours of the day. Has anyone ever had an infant with allergies or these sypmtoms?

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Yes, kids can have allergies that young! My whole family has seasonal allergies and my doctor was diagnosed with food allergies at 6 months.


Babies certainly can have allergies. My now 2 year old is allergic to both dairy and soy (food allergies) and has been since he was born. He's also got some environmental allergies that cause him to have eczema and he's had that since he was tiny also. I ended up taking my son to pediatric GI doctor and then an allergist because my regular pediatrician was absolutely no help.


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I never heard of that... I tend to doubt it.
Do you have any pets? The dander can often create those same symptoms in people... I was like that as a child... I was basically allergic to any type of animal fur (real or stuffed animals), and dust.

Is he breast or formula fed? I don't know but sometimes, something in the foods (usually additives) can create itchy ears/eyes/throat (my sister is like that with "MSG" food additives). If breastfed, sometimes something you are eating can pass on into the milk.

Does he nap? Maybe he is basically tired all the time if he does not nap.

Is he hydrated enough? Lethargy is sometimes due to dehydration.

Or, it could be a "self-soothing" mannerism that he has... something that is just him. And perhaps, this somehow relaxes him or helps him relax when things are too over-stimulating.
Some kids also rub their eyes, and "force" themselves awake... even if they are tired. (my son sometimes does that...he'll be playing then stop, rub his eyes, then keep going without missing a beat...but I know he "is" tired, and if I put him down he'll just pass out pretty quick).

Or, maybe he is sick... and coming down with something. Try keeping a watch on him, in case a cold does erupt in a few days. Usually, if I am going to get a cold I can tell ahead of time because my ears and eyes and throat gets itchy first, like a precursor to what is coming.

Is this a sudden symptom of his, or something he's always had?

I would get a second opinion.

take care,

First, read some baby books, and you'll see that rubbing eyes and pulling ears is a sign of already being over-tired. A great book is "Healthy Sleepy Habits, Happy Child." It really helps a mom realize how often a child needs to sleep, the signs, etc. The author explains that once a child is at the state of being over-tired, he rubs his eyes and pulls on his ears. That is our sign to get Clara into bed NOW or else she'll fight it. Clara also rubs her eyes constantly and pulls her ears constantly...I thought there was no way she can always be tired, but she needs a TON of sleep!!!!!

Second, yes, Clara has also had allergies, allergic to our dog. She sneezes everytime our dog is near her. When our dog is at my parents house, she doesn't sneeze anymore. Plus, she was allergic to squash and strawberries at first and broke out in hives. After a few months and then trying them again, she's fine. Sometimes their little bodies aren't just ready for some things yet!!!

Good luck....motherhood is the toughest job of them all!!!

Most definitely a 5 1/2 month old can have allergies - I only say this because my son did and it came over him in the form of eczema. It started as early eye rubbing and ear pulling, but soon turned into a full body rash. More than likely though, your son is doing this to comfort himself. My first son used to rock his head back and forth before sleeping and I thought something was wrong, but they all just have their "thing" that brings them comfort. If he's not in any pain and the doctor has checked him I would try not to worry. I now it's hard and you're doing all the right things by asking all the right questions. Good luck.

I have a four month old who does the exact same thing..I thought it was ears, allergies, or something. The dr. said it is just his little thing he does. He tends to do it more when he is tired. Also he does have allergies so I use fragrance free-sensitive skin products..Good luck to you!

Perhaps your doctor did not undestand your question, because absolutely yes a 5.5 year old can get allergies. If he did understand your question find a new doctor. At any rate, look for a good allergist in your area and have your child tested. Good luck.

I don't think your baby is too young to have allergies- especially if you and/or your husband have allergies. Even if he doesn't- I would think about what cleaning products I was using and detergents. My whole family is allergic to perfumes (especially the ones in magazines and laundry detergents). I would try and clean with water and microfiber clothes when possible.

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The symptoms you are describing could also be the signs of teething. Ear pulling happens a lot when teething begins. Take a peek into his mouth to see if his gums are swollen.
My daughter started pulling at her ears at five months and sure enough, within a week, a tooth broke through the bottom gums.

Hope that helps!


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