you're not alone. my ds has a monotone voice he uses to make this annoying word? with - it's just a long ahhhhhhhhhhh sound. blech. drives me batty. one one hand, I'm glad he's making sounds (he's non verbal) but on the other hand, BLECH!
so my sol'n is similar to another already posted. I have him tell me what he wants (in ASL) and the standing rule is no attention when whining. He eventually gives up and starts signing - although we're trying to encourage verbal words. . . ..
I absolutely REFUSE to hold him in my arms when he whines. That just kills my tinnitis and then I'm grumpy d/t the constant tones in my ears.
If I notice more whining than usual, then I evaluate ME - am I not spending as much time interacting with him? Sometimes my newling is more needy than other times, or I get online to read a few e's - that's a guaranteed way to hear whining, so I just close the computer doors and then check e's later (like at 2am, lol, when everyone's snoozing.)
Just remind yourself, 'this too shall pass'. . . . it's what I remind myself. It's preparing us for those teenage days. . .