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Apologies if this is a duplicate, it searched for the question terms but found nothing similar.

Our baby is nearly 7 months old, and after being left to do anything for over 5 minutes, just starts to moan. Toys, bouncers, TV, anything we give her won't amuse her for more than five minutes before she starts moaning and groaning with discontent. The only thing that pacifies her seems to be us carrying her around.

My poor wife is going nuts at the moment. I looked around and see other people having the same issues for babies this age, but the forum posts lack any sense of solution! While I know social interaction is very important, she's not lacking that I promise!

So I need to know:

  • Is this just a phase? She's been like this for about 3 weeks now
  • Are her toys not "interesting" enough? Should we provide 9-month toys?
  • Should we just leave her to moan? We tried this but it was very hard with all the noise she makes

Or anything else? I don't have much hair left to pull out.

Update

Well, what an emotional weekend it was. On Saturday my wife and I got so frustrated with the noises we both had to take time off to calm down.

Then on Monday, she woke up and instead of the usual moaning, began making the cutest noises; part "boo", part raspberry-blowing, part shriek of joy with a massive smile, part trying to say words (as close as she can figure!). She's also suddenly starting moving her arms and legs as if trying to crawl, and I suddenly feel some serious bumps under those gums.

I also bought some 9-12 month toys. Although she doesn't realise what a plastic steering wheel is for, she seems content to try moving it and pressing buttons, so I guess that's helped as well.

While this may not be the end of the moaning per-se, it does obviously subside, and the reward as a parent listening to the result has been worth every minute of the previous grief.

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    Pretty much the only thing that got our infants through the "incredibly needy" phase was carrying (or sitting on a parent's lap, or playing with a toy with parent)... Have you got a sling or other carrier that allows you to basically tie her on to an adult, thus pacifying her need for closeness but also freeing up your hands and arms? – Acire Apr 30 '15 at 11:25
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    Thanks @Erica for sharing your struggle! Yes we have, but haven't been using it unless we go for a walk outdoors. Time to get fastened up...! – EvilDr Apr 30 '15 at 12:35
  • Please keep us updated! I'd love to know how that works out for you :) – Brian Robbins Apr 30 '15 at 13:44
  • Posted an update just now. Out of the demon has emerged an angel once more...! – EvilDr May 5 '15 at 9:39
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I've often found that my son was more whiny in the period before acquiring a major new skill, such as crawling, walking and advances in communicating. I felt that he was frustrated with his limitations as he approached the next phase. In a way this is good as it probably helps with progress. I particularly found this before crawling and he was much happier once he could move around. Your daughter is about the age for learning to crawl so maybe it's to do with that (you don't mention if she can yet).

So yes, I think this is a phase (most things are) which will soon pass.

I think this is also a difficult time for the primary carer as, in all honesty, the first few months of a baby's life are not generally that exciting. They don't do very much and you don't get much in return. I would say that around the 7-8 month mark was a turning point for me in my enjoyment of being a mother. Once the baby can move you start to get a picture of her personality, you can see more her likes and dislikes when she has more ability to choose her activity. Around this age you also start to get a bit more communication. I think my son learnt to clap around 7 months which is a small thing but all new things are exciting and help to keep the parents interested and engaged.

Finally, my biggest tip to get through the less fun times of staying home with a small child is to get out of the house regularly. Often if I was having a hard time with my son at home, I would go out - anywhere - and we'd both be in a better mood afterwards. I used to go for a walk to the same cafe nearly every day and it still helped. Meeting other parents with similar age babies also helps a lot. Of course all babies are different but they have a lot of similarities too and I often found that the problems I had were just the same for a friend with a baby the same age. Even now, my baby has become a toddler and he's a lot of fun to be with, I still try to get out of the house with him every day. He loves being outside as I think a lot of kids do.

  • Lovely contribution, thank you very much. No, she can't crawl yet. She just lies there looking upward before getting tired (cue moaning[!]), so yes, I think you have a good point there. – EvilDr Apr 30 '15 at 15:22
  • Good point about boredom! It's not just closeness to parents that an infant craves, but also interesting experiences :) – Acire Apr 30 '15 at 15:40
  • These phases are particularly difficult for a first time parent, especially who hasn't spent much time with other babies (like me) because you can't see the future to know it will get better. But it will - in six more months, spending time with your child will be a totally different experience – MiniMum Apr 30 '15 at 16:04
  • Updated the question today with feedback based on the "phase", which I know agree that is was. Thank you very much and I hope your answer helps others in the future. – EvilDr May 5 '15 at 9:39
  • Pleased to hear that there has been an improvement already! You may be interested in the book 'Wonder Weeks' which lists the developmental phases you can expect in the early months of your child's life. I found it all got a bit similar after a while but it's a similar concept to my first paragraph. I forgot to mention teething too - that's never much fun for babies – MiniMum May 5 '15 at 13:23
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Lots of great ideas here. I'll just add two:

If Mama needs to do a little housework, put baby in the stroller and wheel her around the house while carrying laundry to another room, etc. Do some wheelies.

Idea #2: Hired a mother's helper for an hour a day if you can find a young neighbor who's interested in babies. A mother's helper is a child who's not old enough to babysit yet. The pay scale is much lower. Babies and six-year-olds get along great. The mother's helper can make silly faces, play peekaboo, sing songs, give a little puppet show, etc., while Mama can step away from center stage for a while.

  • I know this is old, but I had to say I just love the idea to have a (reasonably responsible) mothers helper. Although I would go for older than 6 years probably, otherwise it ends up being more like having to look after another kid for the mum. – skymningen Mar 12 '18 at 12:51

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