One year old waking up screaming every night after one hour - help needed!

(19 Posts)
elizabethtailored Sat 13-Apr-13 20:49:31

Please may I have some advice? I am going spare.

Every night my nearly one year old wakes up screaming 45 mins-1hour after he has gone to bed at 7pm. He is extremely difficult to settle and it can end up taking a couple of hours to do so.

This has been going on for about three months now and I am at a loss as to why although I think it must have something to do with sleep rhythms.

His routine is
7pm up
Eats three meals a day. 2 bottles of milk
Sleep 12:30-2:30
Bed 7pm

He naps most days for about 20 mins/30 mins if we are driving somewhere between 9:30 and 10am.

Any suggestions please? I haven't been able to have supper with my husband for months and we are at our wits end.

silverangel Sun 14-Apr-13 12:43:45

Maybe time to drop the morning nap or, if you can't, shorten the afternoon nap? Dts went to one nap at 11months and they don't sleep for more than an hour and 15 mins now.

elizabethtailored Sun 14-Apr-13 12:53:17

Thank you.

Some days - if we are not driving anywhere - he does not have the morning nap and is very tired by 12:30pm. It doesnt seem to make a difference if he has it or not to his waking. I was concerned perhaps he was overtired?

Perhaps I need to give him a block of a few days with no morning nap. But how in that case do you manage to go anywhere in the car in the morning without them conking out?!

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sun 14-Apr-13 15:37:57

My dd does this when overtired. If she only napped for 20 mins once a day I would be able to set a clock on her waking an hour after she goes to bed

elizabethtailored Sun 14-Apr-13 17:21:22

Thank you Ophelia but he does sleep during the day which is why I am not sure if he is overtired? Can't bear the thought of another night of screaming. Agh.

dumbelina Sun 14-Apr-13 17:25:47

What are you doing to settle him at bedtime? This sounds like a sleep cycle issue. The sleep cycle is about 45-60 mins long, and then he will stir. If anything is different from when he went to sleep this will disturb him enough to wake. We had this with DS at the same age, we used to settle him to sleep with the hair dryer ( white noise, we were desperate!) but after a while he started waking around an hour after going to sleep. We had to change the way we settled him so there was no change in the room after we had left him.

elizabethtailored Sun 14-Apr-13 17:39:24

We do supper, bath, stories on the sofa (his room is too small) and milk and then in to his cot saying 'sleepy time/night night). No night lights/white noise etc and he goes to sleep at 7pm fine.

When he wakes up screaming an hour later we try using white noise to settle him. tends to just be on while he continues to scream. Last night I thought I would just leave him in desperation and an hour later he was still sobbing. We try back rubbing/shushing etc and not picking up - no good. We pick him up and walk up and down in the dark - sometimes he will stop but then scream hysterically when we put him down again.

Leaving him to cry for 5 mins, going back and saying 'sleepy time' etc and then leaving again and increasing the intervals just seems to make him scream all the more when we reappear.

What am I doing wrong?

MrsIgglePiggle Sun 14-Apr-13 21:28:43

It could be painful trapped wind. My DD is 23 months and has always woke constantly during the night, writhing in her cot and screaming. I put it down to teething and her having a low pain threshold, I just couldn't think what else could be causing it. I then came across a thread on mumsnet regarding toddlers and trapped wind, and suddenly it all made sense.

I have cut out things like peas, raisins, broccoli, beans etc. and no fruit after 2pm and there has been a marked improvement in her sleep.

She had colic from 10 days old and this seemed to be a common denominator with the toddlers suffering with trapped wind.

Food for thought !

PoppyAmex Mon 15-Apr-13 08:00:32

Are you absolutely sure he's awake? Sounds a lot like night terrors and if that's the case he will be inconsolable but unaware of what's happening.

It's dreadful for us but doesn't bother them much and they don't remember.

elizabethtailored Mon 15-Apr-13 13:48:00

He is awake.

Last night after I eventually got him out of his cot and room and walked around with him he was giggling etc.

Every time I put him down he would scream blue murder again and just wont give up.

Am taking to the doctor this pm to see if they can see any reason - doubt they will be much use.

ifherbumwereabungalow Tue 16-Apr-13 21:47:42

I would be really interested to know how you get on at the doctor as I am having similar problems here with 10 month old DS waking after an hour and screaming and screaming. I've been able to settle him, but the second I put him down he is wide awake and crying blue murder. Up till the last few weeks he has been sleeping through beautifully for months so this is a rather upsetting development, especially as I start work at 6am in the morning. Would love to hear how others are coping.

elizabethtailored Wed 17-Apr-13 13:13:36

This sounds exactly the same as what we are going through and similarly, he slept through for months unless ill!

Doctor did not have anything useful to suggest. Colic at one year??

Last night he was up at 8pm and didnt sleep til after midnight - howling and howling. I feel like death today and he is also in a foul mood from not enough sleep.

Just dont know what else to do.

ifherbumwereabungalow Wed 17-Apr-13 14:41:44

You poor thing, I am feeling the same today, nearly nodding off at my desk here. I think it might be a combination of teething, separation anxiety and possibly the fact that the nights are getting lighter, so that when he is put down its still light, then he wakes up in darkness, which might freak him out a bit.

Think I might try and put up a black out blind to see if that helps. Some other things I read suggested putting him down awake and letting himself get off to sleep on his own, others said about calm music. To be honest though, with me being so tired its a lot of effort and heartbreak, when I know if I bring him in with me he will drop back off again. Unfortunately, I can never co-sleep as I spend the whole time worrying about squashing him or a pillow covering his face!

elizabethtailored Wed 17-Apr-13 20:41:10

Am sorry for you too!

My DS will not sleep in our bed. He never has so thinks it is play time or just continues to scream and we dont seem to provide any comfort at all for him.

I put him down awake for all naps and at 7pm but this just keeps happening. How is your eve going? My husband has just taken him out in the car to see if that works. Ridiculous thing to start now, especially at this age!

am hitting the wine and can't face thinking about supper!

ifherbumwereabungalow Wed 17-Apr-13 21:36:29

Well , it's all quiet at the mo, but I am predicting he will start screaming the second my head hits the pillow!!! I did give him a massage before bed, but rather than relaxing him it just made him really slippy and eased his escape from capture.

I think you have definitely earned a liquid dinner!

ifherbumwereabungalow Thu 18-Apr-13 21:18:31

How's it going elizabeth? My DS slept beautifully for the whole night last night. This evening? Point blank refusing to go to sleep and screaming his head off. Might have to start crying with him in a minute...

thehumanegg Fri 19-Apr-13 19:14:48

I don't think I'm right but am putting this out there as its an easy one to test. Could it be an objection to a wet nappy after having evening milk? My 9 mo has been waking similarly screaming/wimpering at 4am every morning for the past month or so, really weird. I assumed she was in some kind of real pain though couldn't find a cause but now I've noticed when I've changed her nappy earlier on in the night this doesn't happen so far.. (still doing night feeds at about 3am so ties in)

elizabethtailored Sat 20-Apr-13 15:00:43

Ifherbum - ugh, poor you.

We had one night where he slept through and then last night he woke after the usual 45 mins but settled fairly quickly.

I am not sure whether it is because I have reintroduced reflux medication that I had taken him off believing he had outgrown it - or that he has had nearly a three hour sleep at lunchtime over the past couple of days.

(btw - I also posted my thread under chat as was worried that no one would find it in Sleep so there are some more suggestions on that one that perhaps could help you too?)

Victoria2002 Sun 21-Apr-13 08:39:28

Google confusional awakenings and night terrors. These can happen at the same time each night. My ds did this when overtired (but at 4/5/6 months) and I read that if it happens at the same time each night you can break the cycle by waking them a little just before it's gonna happen. My ds totally appeared to be awake but was inconsolable and apparently trying to comfort etc can make it worse?!

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