Waking Up Screaming and Inconsolable

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by lilybay, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. lilybay

    lilybay Well-Known Member

    My youngest, S, had two surgeries for congenital cataracts in late June of this year. After the surgeries, he had a rough couple of weeks and often woke up crying at night, and nothing we could do would calm him down. I just attributed it to the stress of the surgeries at the time.

    But it's continued since then. Not that often, maybe every couple of weeks he'll wake up crying and I'll try to soothe him for a few minutes until he goes back to sleep. (The soothing doesn't help him, I guess it just makes me feel better.) I still wasn't too worried about it until one night last week. He woke up screaming bloody murder. It was terrifying - he was thrashing around, arching his back. His eyes were wide open, so I thought he was awake. Nothing my husband or I did could calm him down. He went on like this for a half hour, until I finally put him in the car and drove him around. That calmed him down enough that I was able to put him back to bed.

    Now the past couple nights he has been waking and crying again. Not as bad as last week, but still inconsolable. There isn't a specific time he wakes up each night, but it is usually within the first six or so hours he's asleep (never near the morning.) I've been reading about night terrors and to me, that's what this sounds like. But 13 months seems young for night terrors!

    I should add that he is normally a great sleeper, both at night and for naps. We stick to a daytime schedule and a bedtime routine and nothing has been out of the ordinary lately that would be stressing him out.

    Anyone have any experience or insight on this? Thanks!
  2. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Night terrors!

    Alice had them from the time she was about 18 months on. . .We just put her in a safe place and let her work it out on her own. The first few times it's terrifying though.
  3. MarchI

    MarchI Well-Known Member

    Yup, we've dealt with them also. The best thing to do is make sure they are safe and leave them alone. Apparently any sort of interaction resets the clock and the night terror will actually be longer than if you leave them alone. It stinks but in our case, they went for 1.5 hours to maybe 20-30 mins. Jacob now sleep walks which is a lot of fun.
  4. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    That's younger than any of mine have done that, but it does sound like night terrors. 3 of mine have had them around 3 years old. It's really awful.
  5. lilybay

    lilybay Well-Known Member

    Thanks, ladies, for confirming my hunch. The past couple of nights, I have let him cry it out on his own and I just stand outside his door feeling sad. :( At I know he's not the only one. And I am really grateful that his brother (they share a room) can sleep through his screaming!
  6. w101ttd

    w101ttd Well-Known Member

    I totally understand your feeling. My boy did it for a long time from 1 to 1.5. He stopped now. He woke up screamed bloody murder until he puked and actually physically awake. And it happened between 11- midnight.

    The only thing I could do to reduce that was I came in turned him around a bit 30 mins before it started. Basically I Kindda woke him up a bit then put him back to sleep. Night terror happens when a child move from stage 3 to 4 of non rem sleep. This process happens 90 mins after a child falls asleep. At the time it starts, u stop him from going to stage 4, it won't happen. It worked most of the time for my son. However some nights it didn't happen then but later around 1 or 2. Whatever you do only helps reduce the times he gets it, can't get rid of it completely. He will out grow it eventually. Make sure he establish a healthy and stable sleeping schedule. Reduce stress from his daily life.

    I remember that my son out grew it around 16 months or so (can't remember correctly), after he got most of his teeth, walked, talked a bit (after he met all the important milestones).
    Hang in there he will outgrow it. Gl!
Similar Threads Forum Date
waking up screaming at 2 am...every morning! The First Year Feb 25, 2011
Waking up crying and screaming at night The Toddler Years(1-3) Jan 3, 2011
waking up screaming? The Toddler Years(1-3) Jul 6, 2010
waking up screaming first thing in the morning The Toddler Years(1-3) Jun 29, 2010
Waking up from naps screaming and crying inconsolably The Toddler Years(1-3) May 11, 2010

Share This Page