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What to Do When Baby Is in a Whiny Mood

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Before you get too frustrated, keep in mind we all have moods – even adults!

Yet, for some reason, we’re less inclined to let babies and toddlers have their moods even though it’s totally normal and natural, even the whining.

Granted, babies and toddlers don’t have the capacity to hide their moods. They feel emotions so strongly and clearly that a whiny baby or toddler can really wreck your nerves and burden your heart. It is frustrating and parents often don’t know how to respond or react. Toddlers seem to expect things to go a certain way and become annoyed and frustrated when their expectations are not being met. explains this through Jean Piaget’s research:

“Piaget described periods of equilibrium and disequilibrium. When all is right with the world and things are unfolding as your child expects them to, he’s a happy camper. When things are new and unexpected or aren’t working out as he thinks they should, then watch out!”

So what can you do?

Elizabeth O’ Shea has some tips…

When Baby Is Whiny

How Can You Stop a Toddler Whining? (Raising Toddlers #1)

  • Play a game called “ignore the whining.”
  • Praise your toddler when he or she uses normal voice.
  • Do an action replay.

Frustration And Learning

You can help eliminate frustration when it is going too far to cut down on whining, as well. But, remember that some frustration is normal and important to the learning process. Being frustrated can help toddlers learn how to do things for themselves and build self-confidence. So, make sure you do not rescue them all the time.

Empathizing with your toddler can also help him feel understood. You can let your toddler know that you recognize he or she is upset and then demonstrate better ways for him or her to express that. Model the communication skills that you want to see.

Hopefully, you find these tips helpful and can cut down on how often your toddler is in a whiny mood.

Also check out Dr. Laura Markham’s post at Aha! Parenting – The Cure for Whining.


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Lori Hil is a freelance blogger and content curator with an AAS in Early Childhood Education. She now gets to combine her love of writing and teaching through the written word. You can find her all around the web, but especially enjoying the freelance life at

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