6 Month Old's whining...need to Find the Cause I Am Going NUTS!!

Updated on March 17, 2010
S.Y. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
18 answers

As I write this, I am actually having a glass of wine to calm my nerves. My baby has been whining for THREE MONTHS most of the day. I cannot pin this to anything specific, and even went to the Doctor to see if it was anything other than a) boredom b) teething. It is just constant "complaining", sometimes more than others. I try what seems to be EVERYTHING, to no avail. Sometimes I can distract him with an interesting toy, but then it starts up again. Between the whining he is adorable and smiling, but for the most part he is complaining.

Could I be eating something to cause this ?(I'm nursing...oh, and my Doc said a glass of wine here and there is fine, before someone mentions it) Has anyone else gone through this?

It is worth mentioning that this is my third child (so I'm not a novice here) and I REALLY KNOW WHAT BABIES SOUND LIKE when they are enjoying making sounds. I don't believe that to be the case in this instance.


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answers from Gainesville on

It could be that he is just a high needs baby. Have you tried using a sling or mei tei baby carrier? He may just need more of you or closeness.

Are you able to get out of the house to things like storytime at the library, maybe a music class for babies, the park, museums, etc?

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answers from St. Louis on

Is he 'complaining' or do you think maybe that is his way of talking? Maybe he's just very verbal but in a negative way? My son gets this way sometimes and while I think he's upset, he never actually starts to cry. So I think it's a combination of talking/whining or maybe complaining because he can't do something.

Do you notice anytime when it's better - ie: if you are carrying him or he's being entertained by sister/brother? Maybe he's just very smart and is telling you that he's bored or wants/needs constant stimulation. My son is getting better but for seemed like, whatever, he had to be walked around just to 'see' what was going on!

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answers from Honolulu on

Maybe it is just his personality.
Maybe he will be an early talker.
Maybe he is active cognitively...
Maybe he is going through "object permanence" and separation anxiety... thus he always "wants" you.
Maybe he is tired.
Maybe he wants or needs something and no one knows what it is.
Maybe gas
Maybe hunger... does he feed well and on-demand still?
Maybe growth spurt... 3 months and 6 months are growth spurt times.
Maybe that is just the way he is... to a certain extent, each baby/child has their own personality and we can't extinguish those tendencies... but maybe it can be redirected. And later teaching him how to communicate and cope with his feelings.
Maybe teach him baby Sign-Language so he can "communicate" better... when my kids were 6 months, that is when I taught them sign language... its real great and useful.
Maybe he is just going through a stage where he enjoys hearing his own voice... and is going through a babbling stage etc. Babies often do this.
Maybe he seems to "complain"/whine because he wants to do something he cannot yet do, being only 6 months old.
Maybe he does not know how to play on his own... or he wants others to play with him... some babies are just not independent or self-directed.
Maybe he is just a noisy baby? Even some adults always mutter to themselves.
Is there any "trigger" to his "complaining" or whining? Tiredness? hunger? wanting a cuddle?
It could just be he is like that.

All the best,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New London on

Does he look like he is in pain? Is he more crying or just talking? At 6 months they are discovering their voice and will make whiney noises that sound like screeching, because they are trying to talk. What is the noise like? Maybe he is gassy, have you tried gas-ex? Does he look bothered? Maybe he is trying to get your attention. Some babies just make more noise than others. My sisters baby is 6 months and cries and makes noises all day too. My daughter is pretty silent unless she is "talking" to me or crying because she is hungry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

Hi S.! Two recommendations......the book "Happiest Baby on the Block" and going to a chiropractor that has experience with infants.
Your intuition seems correct. You KNOW when babies are just making sounds. Most likely your little one is in discomfort. My son cried continually until we took him to the chiropractor as an infant. He INSTANTLY stopped crying, slept contentedly for hours and lived happily ever after. :) Just kiddin', but you get my drift! The change in him was amazing.
Come to think of it......I feel like whining when I am hurting too.

Good job, Mama! You are right to wonder what's going on with your lil' one! I hope you find a solution soon!

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answers from Austin on

Sometimes that's just the way they are. Some solutions:
A sling
A babysitter

I'm serious when I say earplugs. That or listen to some music on headphones. If there is nothing "wrong" with your child and he just likes to make that annoying sound, just tune it out. You know he isn't doing it on purpose (right?) and he won't do it until he turns 18.
Hang in there!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Could he have colic? I know that one thing you need to watch is green peppers,broccoli. These could make your child gassy. I am sorry that he is whining all of the time.


answers from Williamsport on

Hi, S.!
My second was super pissed off to be small when he was around that age. We used to call him the Curmunchkin or Curmdudge for Curmudgeon. All I can describe it as, was he was mad he wasn't bigger and couldn't do more. My friend even visited and said, "He really seems angry that he's trapped in a baby body." He would sort of whine and vocalize angrily when he was bored-which was often since he couldn't move around! I actually decided to try to start calling him "Smily" one day to try to turn it around-which worked! I'm NOT saying it really worked, I'm just saying around that time, the phase passed.

He got more cheerful with each physical advancement like crawling, standing etc. He felt his freedom and strength growing I guess. And now at 2 he is very cheerful and gentle so it wasn't at all a sign of character. Now my 8 month old likes to "yell" angry shouts a lot-which is different than my other 2. She's cheering up more now that she can sit up on her own. I think if your instinct serves that he isn't in any pain, he's just frustrated!



answers from Pittsburgh on


My daughter Rose was a crying baby fromone week through about 4 months. She cried every day for 4-6 hours. You have alreay probably tried all of the suggestions here (changing your diet, changing your son's diet, rocking swaddling, etc. After all you are an experienced mother.) I did not find out until she was diagnosed years later but my daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder. She cannot filter out sensory input or process it properly. So she was constantly overloaded and the only way she had to deal with it was by crying. At four months, she started crying less but she was a "cranky baby". By eleven months, her crying had changed to screaming and shrieking. Doctors thought it must be a GI problem but it wasn't. It was her SPD.

By the way, my pediatrician didn't catch this at all. Even after her diagnosis she still did not understand the implications. I had asked her numerous times but always got the "every child is different" line. Since you are in Pittsburgh, you may want to consult with Children's Hospital. I have also included a link for you about SPD in infants. http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/SPD-symptom-ch...

Good luck


answers from Austin on

Have you placed him in a baby swing? Maybe he likes to be moving all of the time..



answers from State College on

Have you started him on food? He may be ready for more than nursing. How is he after he has nursed? As you probably already know, they are all different and may need some special tries that you have not had to do. He sounds uncomfortable. Yogurt helps the bowels and stomach and little ones usually like it. Does he use a pacifier? Not a favorite of mine, but I tried everything at times.



answers from Redding on

Dear S.,
Hang in there!
Some babies are just fussy and cry a lot. That could be his temperament.
It's hard to hear, I know, because we want our babies to be happy all the time. If you've ruled out being hungry or wet and all that other stuff, he might not know another way to express himself until he gets a little older. He's only 6 months. My friends have a granddaughter the same way and it's almost like if she's NOT crying, they wonder what's wrong. She's a perfectly healthy baby, she just fusses all the time. They usually outgrow it though.
My doctor told me that having a glass of wine occasionally was perfectly okay for me too when I was nursing my children.
If you can relax, your baby might be able to relax too. Especially if you are getting frustrated.
When my kids got fussy, I played music or sang to them and it really helped.
I figured out my son loved the sound of the vacuum cleaner. There was something about that sound that quit him from crying. When he was old enough to walk, he wanted to help vacuum. He loved it for some reason. Don't ask me why.
Just keep your patience and find the little things that will work.

Best wishes.


answers from New York on

Use your ipod when you need a break from the complaining.



answers from Harrisburg on

Since you mentioned that you are nursing, it may be something in your diet that your baby is having a reaction to. I had this problem with my son years ago when he was an infant. I kept a food diary and it turned out that broccoli and apple juice were the culprits! Good luck!


answers from Allentown on

Hi, S.:

Babies are trying to learn a schedule during the first year of life.

Get yourself on a schedule to take time for your baby.

Before you nurse him, massage his back, move his arms and legs around.
Nurse him.

After you nurse him and burp him. massage his back.

Hold him for an additional 30 minutes after each feeling.

Spend alot of time with your baby.

Contact your local chapter of the International Association of Infant Massage.

Hope this helps.
Good luck.



answers from Lancaster on

Have you tried cutting all dairy from your diet because you are nursing? My daughter was like that (she drove me NUTS) - after being off dairy for a couple days she was a new baby - she was very sensitive to it. It is something easy to try. Good luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

I'm totally with you...... I have a six month old who is pretty high-maintenance lately. If he's not actively being engaged every second, he's whining to be held or played with, etc...

The pacifier and getting him out of the house are my only saviors. For some reason putting him in the car after a full belly really helps.......And- he really likes being in new surroundings..... I know it's hard to pack up the car...especially with other kids...... but you may want to try it.

Also- my friend has tried those Baby Sign time DVDs... her baby was so miserable her husband already had his tubes tied! (and they baby just turned 1)
Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I can't help you at all except to let you know that I feel your pain. My son will be 5 months old on the 24th and he is the same way. He is very fussy and entertaining him really doesn't help. He cannot soothe himself at all and has to be nursed or rocked to sleep and he is a terrible sleeper. I talked with my pediatrician and even had him to a gastroenterologist at the recommendation of my ped. He is fine and healthy which I am grateful for, but it does get very frustrating. My daughter was a L. fussy and a crier, but by 5 months things were a breeze with her. I know that there is a WIDE range of normal for babies and children, so I have just come to the conclusion that he is still a L. immature and hopefully time will make it easier. Oh, and I tried all the books too, Happiest Baby on the Block, Ferber method, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child...none worked.

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