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Help with SCREAMING night-wakings?

(7 Posts)
MogTheForgetfulCat Fri 24-Oct-08 14:31:21

Hello all - DS2 is just 8mo and is a dear little thing - generally quite placid, v active crawler (so should be tired!) and settles himself well for naps in the day, which are good. He is a thumb-sucker, which helps him to settle himself.

He is bf, and not madly interested in solids, so still wakes at night for a feed, usually just once. This is absolutely fine.

However, he has recently got into a pattern of waking around 11/12ish really screeeaaammming - and he is unbelievably loud! He is not hungry - will bat me away if I offer a feed. Seems v unhappy to be awake, it's a very angry/upset sounding cry. But takes an age to settle back to sleep - 2 hours last night.

DH and I are sleeping in our spare room, because we thought we might be disturbing him, but I am most nights ending up in with him trying to resettle him. But nothing seems to make any difference - cuddles, patting, shushing, leaving him... I am a bit baffled that nothing seems to help - he just gets absolutely beside himself, and this happens really quickly from when he wakes up.

Last night I lay on the bed next to his cot, reaching over now and then to pat him and let him know I was still there, but my presence didn't seem to make any difference, and he eventually just wound down. Am a bit sad that he is like this - feels a bit like doing cc against my will, iyswim.

He is teething, I think, but has teething powders, and calpol if he has been really obviously gnawing on things, so not convinced that's it. He is on anti-b's for a chest infection, but this crying pattern hasn't really coincided with that.

Any thoughts? Just hate hearing him so distressed and feeling unable to help sad and not knowing why he gets so upset so quickly.

Apologies for v long post!

PrettyCandles Fri 24-Oct-08 14:44:16

Could it be that something is waking him about that time? A noise, you coming up to bed, the central heating shutting down, the neighbour arriving home and slamming a door...? It does sound like he is being disturbed but, as you say, doesn't want to be awake. Though it's odd that he doesn't seem to know how to go back to sleep. Perhaps because he is so angry at being awake. IME if the baby doesn't want your attention, then the best thing to do is not force it upon him. What you did last night seems the best compromise. AFter all, if he gets used to lots of cuddles and attention during the night, then when whatever this is is over, he will continue to expect that same attention. It's not CC if you're with him all the time.

MogTheForgetfulCat Fri 24-Oct-08 19:15:09

Hmmm, can't think of anything in particular, although he does sometimes wake when we come to bed. But we are pretty quiet, and the room is not next to the bathroom. Can't think of anything else that could be waking him. Sigh. Will just have to wait and see how tonight goes...

elkiedee Fri 24-Oct-08 19:44:41

Is he fully awake? My ds is 17 months and does this sometimes but he's not awake at the time - apparently if your baby's having night terrors he's not necessarily awake, hence not knowing you're there and nothing seeming to comfort him.

The cot is one solution, another suggestion I've seen which sounds like what we tried last time is taking him to another room so he wakes up a little, then using whatever method you use to get him back to sleep properly.

luvaduck Fri 24-Oct-08 19:47:47

was just about to say sounds like a night terror...

4bears Fri 24-Oct-08 20:23:55

I had the exact same thing with my daughter at about 9 months - bloodcurdling screams and not being comforted - took months to figure out it was night terrors as sometimes she seemed awake. Once we knew it was terrors, we were told not to touch her or talk to her, but just sit by her - tried it, but couldn't follow through - they sound so....well terrified, and your natural instinct is to comfort. In the end (and she is now 5, and only has the odd terror about once every few months)we tried all sorts of stuff - waking her just before the terror-time is supposed to help as it changes their sleep pattern - but isn't exactly sustainable, but just holding her and letting her work through it seemed the only way. She did grow out of it slowly, but she never has any recollection of it the next day, even though she sometimes seems awake and is talking fairlt normally.

I know this isn't exactly helping you find a way out - sorry, I just wanted to let you know that it probably isn't anything you are doing, it's nothing that wrong with them and they aren't unhappy / upset. On the contrary, my daughter is a happy little soul!

Hope it helps, and hope it doesn't last too long.

katyamum Fri 24-Oct-08 20:34:05

Sounds a bit like night terrors to me.
My daughter had it.
If it happens roughly the same time, most nights, and he seems glazed and can;t communicate, then might be just a night terror.
Simple solution: you have to disturb them, gently just before the time it usually happens. My daughter used to wake 11pmish, so I would set our alarm clock for 10.30pm and go in and just gently roll her over, rearrange her, just enought o slightly disturb her sleep pattern. She never woke. And then the night terror was abated.
OR it might be like my son, who was so over-tired that he would wake and be hysterical, for c. 2 hours, punching and hitting me if I tried to cuddle/settle him, just EXHAUSTED. The solution to that was to sleep train him ie. go to bed earlier, nap at regular intervals in the day and have a really tight bedtime routine, and then the nights improved.
Good uck

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