5 Month Old Becomming Whiny

Updated on November 05, 2006
K.B. asks from Baltimore, MD
8 answers

My son is 5 months old and has all of a sudden become very whiny. Up untill now the only time he really cried was when he was hungry. For the past 3 days he's cried on and off all day. I'm not sure why he's crying so much, but I have a few thoughts...daylight savings might have thrown his sleeping off (he's been getting up an hour before he usually does and he's been taking two to three 1-2 hour naps instead of one 3-4 hour nap), he could be teething and in pain, or it could be the fact that I just went back to work (I work from home and I feel like he hates being in the office with me because he knows my attention is not on him when we're in that room although I do have all kinds of toys/exersaucer things in there for him). If it's the last reason, does anyone have any tips about working from home and caring for your baby at the same time??? Before I used to work at his office, but his company set me up a remote office at home so I can be with our son, but it's been a very difficult 3 days.

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So What Happened?

Well, the past 2 days have been much better. No teeth yet, so I think it was just him getting used to a new envirement and having to entertain himself for longer periods of time than he was used to. I have different stations set up around the office that he rotates around, and on my lap in one of them so he gets some 'mommy time'. I also make sure I leave the office for lunch. We eat together downstairs and then spend some time outside with the dog. I ordered a doorway jumper which I'm sure he'll love b/c he loves his free standing jumperoo so much. My sister in law made some C.D.s with kid friendly, but adult songs on that we listen to. I think we both needed to adjust to our new schedule, which we have and now I have my happy go lucky baby back! Thanks for everyones advise.

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answers from Dover on

I would almost guarantee that it's the teeth. My son cut his first tooth at 4 months & my daughter at 5 months. Lots of frozen chewy toys worked best in conjunction w/ baby orajel & once in a great while I'd give them tylenol when they wanted to go to sleep but just couldn't stop crying. Good luck!

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answers from Albany on

Hi K.!

Congratulations! If it isn't the teeth (which it sounds like it could be) and he isn't sick then it could be the work thing. I work from home and on days that my daughter was with me at that age I would put her in the doorway jumper (johnny jumper I think it is called) or I'd bring the fisherprice jumperoo over for her and she would jump in either of those. It worked out great and usually tired her out so she wanted to take her nap. She LOVED it and it kept her busy for a while. Good luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi K.,

It sounds like we're livng in the same household:) Thank you for your response to my request. My 5 month old is doing the same thing. He used to sit in one of his chairs and chill. Now it feels like unless he's nursing or sleeping, I have to hold him or keep switching up his environment to keep him happy. I did buy baby orajel and tylenol a while back because he started drooling, knawing on his hand and whining, so I figured he could be teething. Still, it seems to be something different. I told my fiance that I thought it was daylight savings time that messed up his schedule. He had just started sleeping through the night, and last night he got up 3 times! He hasn't done that since the first month. I'm exhausted! Working from home is difficult with this new fussiness. I literally keep changing it up, holding him, the exersaucer, the swing, the chair, the floor gym...whatever pleases him:) Two things you may want to try that sometimes work when nothing else does are the stroller and bed. Sometimes when he's beside himself and it's not food, I will lay him in his crib and he will happily pull his covers up and eventually drift off to sleep. And I feel like an idiot because he just wanted me to put him to bed. As for the stroller, we keep the small one-seater stroller in the house now and just push him around in it, since it's cold and getting darker, he loves it. I'm thinking that maybe because our sons are five months and will be trying to crawl soon, they have alot of pent up energy and they want to MOVE. But we're the only ones that can move them around right now. So, maybe they are getting bored more easily. For instance, if I walk out onto the porch with my son, he is so calm, he loves watching the cars go by and listen to all the noises. That's my guess personally. I imagine we'll be wishing for those days when we were their sole transportation in a few months...we'll think back to when we had so much more control over keeping them in the office:) Good luck and I'm right there with ya. Let me know if you come across any other solutions:P
N. W


answers from Reading on

Hi K.,
I too have a 5 month old son, well 5 1/2 months old. Anyway, about two weeks ago he was really whiny, I mean to the point that I was about to pull my hair out because I just couldn't make my baby happy. Usually he is so pleasent. So, last weekend my mom was up to my house and she mentioned that by the way my son was drooling and chewing and playing with his tongue, she thought he might have teeth. I pretty much blew that idea off since my daughter didn't get teeth till 7 months. Well, later that day he started laughing and I caught a glimpse of his pearly whites! So, maybe you'll see some new teeth in your house soon too.
If that's not the case, it could be true about him being in the office with you too. He just wants to have you all to himself. When I have a lot to do on a particular day and know that I'm going to be busy for a while, I make sure that I give my son a lot of time to crawl around and sprawl out and I get on the floor with him to play before hand, and then I put him in the swing or bouncer or whatever while I'm busy. Or,maybe if you could stop work for a few minutes every half hour or so and give him a few minutes of your undivided attention, he might be more satisfied with that. This age is really when babies become more aware of their surroundings and desire alot of mommy's attention.
Hope this helps and good luck.



answers from Reading on

I hope it's teeth. Do the gums seem very hard whitish? I have worked in my home office for many years and have always kept my daughters here with me. Until the oldest was almost 3, she was very whiny and would have tantrums any time the phone rang and my attention was on a customer instead of her. I had to put her in her playpen each time someone called so I knew she wasn't hurting herself. Nothing properly distracted her until about 33 months old. Now that she's almost 4.5, she just sighs when the phone rings. She's very good with her younger sister - when I take calls now, the older one makes an extra effort to play with the 2 year old so she doesn't act out.

Best of luck,



answers from York on

I have three children all under the age of 5. Sometimes it is very normal for them to go through something like this for days. If it is teething his gums should be hard, or have a bump, usually it's the bottom fronts that come in first. Give him a dose of infant ibuprofen (I use walmart brand and a dose for an infant is one dropper full) and if he seems better and not so whiney in about 1 hour, that may be it. You can also try orajel too. If he is having a change of schedule (and I will tell you the secret every parent knows: daylight savings time sucks!!! it will cause problems with sleep for years!) then just try to keep him to his regular schedule as much as possible, keep him up and engaged in something and put him down at the same time you did before. You said you went back to work, who cares for him now? Maybe that persons nap schedule is different then yours. If you don't want to go back to work but he is not adjusting to you keeping him in the office space with you (which at this age staying in a saucer for anytime over 10 minutes and not engaged in something else is seemingly akin to torcher and will only get much worse when he is mobile), how about hiring a nanny part time to watch him when he is awake and playful so you can get some work done.
Above all remember this too will pass and a cuddle can cure most things.



answers from Philadelphia on

I would put money on teething. Whiny usually describes it best.



answers from Scranton on

Do you have a good sling? I found it pretty easy to wear my daughter at that age and do deskwork. Even putting her on the boppy on me I could get stuff done, but nothing beats a sling. Check out http://www.mamatoto.org/ if you're interested.

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