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16 mo waking from nap hysterical

(16 Posts)
TracyK Tue 19-Jul-05 18:05:47

ds is 16mo and the past couple of weeks hasn't really been eating a lot. Mainly I think due to hot weather and a tooth coming through.
He normally has a 1.5 to 2 hr nap in the car after nursery. Since Sunday he has awoken after 50 mins crying, I bring him into the house and he cuddled up on my lap and slept for another 1 to 1.5 hours. On waking from this second nap he is absolutely hysterical. I can't do anything for him/give him anything/pick him up - nothing - he throws himself on the ground howling - or stands in the kitchen howling. I've tried giving him a snack - but he he takes it then throws it to the ground in a temper. I've managed to calm him (eventually) with a bottle of milk (forced into his mouth really). after that he calms down and then eats a breadstick or banana or something.
Is he wild with hunger? or is it something else? He has been eating a lot of brekfast these past 3 days - but only half his lunch at nursery - do you think he's just really hungry and works himself into a state that he is so hungry?

YeahBut Wed 20-Jul-05 07:42:46

Worth taking him to the doctor just to get him checked out. Perhaps he has a sore ear, especially if he is teething too. This can make sleeping very difficult. They get excruciating shooting pains behind the eardrum which wake them up. It will put your mind at rest too. If there is nothing wrong, you'll know that he's just going through a bit of a grumpy phase when he wakes up.

TracyK Wed 20-Jul-05 08:26:24

I don't think its that cos he sleeps fine for almost an hour - then sleeps again for more than an hour - I usually have to wake him second part of the nap. And he sleeps from 7.30pm to 6am without a peep.

geekgrrl Wed 20-Jul-05 08:31:17

it could just be a developmental stage (but do get him checked out if you're worried!) - all mine did this at some stage during toddlerhood, lasting from a few months to about a year (not fun but you find ways of dealing with it as you have done with the milk and banana).

With dd1 we'd plonk her down in front of cbeebies as soon as she woke up and leave her there for 20 minutes, that seemed to ease the transition. Dd2 - never found a solution really, other than offering some popular foods which would work sometimes. With ds distractions like going into the garden sometimes work.

Caththerese1973 Wed 20-Jul-05 10:00:03

my dd was like this at around the same age. Sometimes I could calm her by carrying her and walking round and round....I had to keep moving or she would start tantruming again. I would be walking around with this big hefty toddler for up to an hour and a half before she would get over her distress! And sometimes even the carrying did not help.
I think it's just a grumpy stage (I used to call my dd's behaviour 'afternoon grumpies'.)Have you tried TV? (a badmum suggestion, I know!). Sometimes if my dd had her fave tape put on for her, it would sort of mesmerise her out of her hysteria. Is he verbal yet? My dd was quite late to talk, but once she got started I noticed that her grumpiness abated considerably. They get very distressed if there's something they want or need but they don't know how to tell you.

TracyK Wed 20-Jul-05 10:45:42

I think you're right CT1973 - he goes through to the kitchen and points at various things and I as I try and guess what he wants - he discards them and points at other things - just getting more and more hysterical - so maybe it is frustration.
Or do you think he needs more sleep or less in his nap? He used to be fine with 2 hours up until Sunday - but now I don't know how long he'd sleep for if I let him.

NettiSulvetti Wed 20-Jul-05 12:07:06

Hi TracyK

My ds, now 2.5, has done this for over a year. In his case he would do this when he was over tired, and if I could get to him quickly and lay him back down he would usually fall back asleep (sometimes for over an hour) as your ds has done. I assumed that he was just more tired as he was becoming more active.

Also, when left to sleep until he was ready to wake (rather then me waking him up), he would usually wake up in a happy mood. But if it was a bit late in the afternoon, I would put him to bed in the evening slightly later than normal. He generally sleeps now from 7:30pm to 6:30am and has between a 1.5 hr nap (on days he is at nursery) to a 2.5 hr nap (on days he is at home).

Hope this helps!

TracyK Wed 20-Jul-05 12:18:48

Thanks Netti - I think I may let him wake himself today and see what he wakes like. Yesterday he woke cos he was laying along me (I was napping too) and I moved to get up, the day before the phone rang for ages an ages - so maybe today I'll leave him to wake himself up.

TracyK Wed 20-Jul-05 16:48:56

Today he slept for 1.5 hrs in the car and when I saw him starting to wake up - I grabbed a bottle of milk and some cheese and ham and drove off to the shops. He seemed much better as I think 1.5 hrs is enough for him. Plus I think he ate more qty at lunch at nursery than the past couple of days.

knat Thu 21-Jul-05 21:44:44

hi i've had the same problem on and off for quite a while. Length of nap doesn't seem to make a difference and again like you after 45/50 mins dd wakes and then cries and sometimes will settle on me and have a further 45 mins or so. Other times she wakes fine or if I wake her fine, other days no telling what the problem is. Again it does seem to be about finding the right distraction and hoping the phase will pass!!

Louise1970 Thu 21-Jul-05 22:10:06

My child also does this, but until you have written this message, i have never thought it was a problem, just him being grumpy. I think i have worked it out to be he has not had enough sleep and now he is disturbed and grumpy. When he falls asleep in the car i leave him in the car until he wakes and is ready to come in. He can sit there for another 20 minutes before wanting to come in. I sit infront of the window watching him sleep.

TracyK Fri 22-Jul-05 08:49:22

I usually go and get him in from the car when he wakes. I give him 2 or 3 mins just to see if he nods off again - but maybe I should give him more time to 'come to'.

winnie65 Tue 26-Jul-05 11:03:12

My 2 year old does this every morning when he wakes up, he starts whimpering in his sleep, around 5.00am and then about 5.30 it turns into full blown yelling/screaming with temper as I go in, try to settle him with a drink, but he wants out and I don't want him to think he can get up whenever he likes. He is still in a cot and summer sleeping bag as he is a climber/bouncer and early riser. The screaming is really doing my head in, any suggestions?

morningpaper Tue 26-Jul-05 11:33:42

I suspect that at this age their brains struggle with the transition from sleep to wake occasionally and this causes the hysteria - there is a similar condition in adults which I've had sometimes and is very distressing. Just my personal hunch from what I've seen of my own daughter!

JiminyCricket Tue 26-Jul-05 12:15:57

my dd's doing this at the mo too - 22 months. Interesting that so many of them do. The best solution I could come to was to get milk and biscuits ready for her (she never normally has milk in the day but it seemed to soothe her) and sit with her on the sofa with the tv on (again, she never usually wants the tv on, but it seemed to help her 'come round' properly). Sometimes she will lie back down on the sofa but still with her eyes open, whereas before she was getting so distraught I was always putting her back to bed for more sleep and she was ending up sleeping the day away (I will encourage her to go back to sleep if she's had less than 40 mins tho). Interested in people's thoughts about why this happens?

Franniban Tue 26-Jul-05 12:22:57

Winnie, this is exactly what my ds does, 19 months old, not that I have any suggestions, but the health visitor came round this morning, and she didn't have suggestions either, except to run faster for the bottle of milk he usually has! It helps to know that it's not just us, but it's very frustrating, especially with a new born as well. Hopefully they will grow out of it, the sooner the better!

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