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Toddler wakes from nap screaming ... and screaming

(19 Posts)
violator Tue 11-Mar-14 20:01:39

Wondering if any mumsnetters have experience of this, because not one of my friends has!
DS is 2.5 and a bright, happy little boy. He's always been very exuberant, loud and extremely chatty. He's stubborn as a mule and is most certainly going through the so-called terrible twos at the moment.

However... for the past 6 months or so he is waking from a nap screaming his head off, very angry and throwing a tantrum that lasts between 20-45 minutes. Nothing at all will pacify him, believe me I've tried everything.

His naps are usually around 1.5-2 hours and he definitely still needs it.

He's up around 7am and on the go from then (playschool in a nursery two morning a week or park/play centre/shopping with me) and by 1pm he's tired.
On the odd occasion he skips a nap he's crying by 5pm and very cranky.

He's had something to eat before he goes for a nap so it's not a blood sugar issue.

Has anyone else's toddler gone through this? I wrote it off as a phase but it's going on so long now .... I'm also back at work and my mum is minding DS, I feel awfully guilty that she's faced with this most days.

Bedsheets4knickers Tue 11-Mar-14 20:07:10

My son is now 3.5 so he doesn't have a daytime nap anymore. It's a relief because he would wake up from his nap dreadful. I used to dread it he could carry it on for a good 30-40 mins. He always woke up in the morning really happy. Naps were bloody awful. I used to make sure peppa pig was on. Have a nice snack ready . Didn't really help in anyway.

ceeveebee Tue 11-Mar-14 20:10:25

Yes, my DD and DS regularly do this (2.4 yo twins). Not every day but maybe once a week each.

Does he wake naturally or are you waking him?

My two usually need to be woken or they would sleep for 3 hours. Its all about how I wake them. DS likes to wake up in my arms whereas DD likes to wake up herself so I open the curtains, pick him out of his cot, leave the room and have a cuddle while he comes round, and leave her for a few minutes. If I don't follow this routine then one or the other will scream!

Sometimes it's because they are thirsty or hungry so I usually give them their water and a snack as soon as possible after they wake.

violator Tue 11-Mar-14 20:14:30

Thanks for the replies, I'm actually very relieved that someone else has gone through this because I was getting a bit concerned!

I never wake him, unless he's been asleep for more than 2.5 hours. Strangely on the occasions I do wake him gently he doesn't seem as bad.

I'm beginning to think he's waking up before he's 'ready', some days it's almost as though he could do with another 30 minutes' sleep and is furious that he's awake!

Theyaremysunshine Tue 11-Mar-14 20:18:28

Oh yes, well do I remember this phase! Hideous. You'd think you were murdering them!

The only way to prevent the screams here was to provide something he'd like when he woke peppa blush

It does pass. But lasted months for us. Sorry.

MandMand Tue 11-Mar-14 20:21:12

Yep, both mine used to do this too. My solution was a biscuit and CBeebies immediately on waking - seemed to distract them enough to allow them to "come to" properly.

Mycatistoosexy Tue 11-Mar-14 20:22:21

Put cbeebies on the moment they wake up. Try to avoid any eye contact or speaking to them. Honestly. It seems to anger them more.

I found this was all that worked when DSD went through this phase.

Mycatistoosexy Tue 11-Mar-14 20:22:50


God bless cbeebies

violator Tue 11-Mar-14 20:26:26

Thanks again. I've tried food and drink, cuddles, toys, CBeebies and my iPad (!) in desperation.

Mycatistoosexy, I'll try not actually talking to him, that seems to rile him up even more. Hopefully it won't last another 6 months.

Dwerf Tue 11-Mar-14 20:28:26

Glad to see this thread, dd1 was asking me the other day about dgd who does this. She's just 2. Dd wondered if she was having nightmares.

EatDessertFirst Tue 11-Mar-14 20:49:08

My DS (now 3 1/2) did this for months as well! From about 2-2 1/2 when he dropped his nap.

I used to put a drink and a snack within easy reach and retreat to a safe distance! He'd come find me when he calmed down.

I'd maintain your current (pretty dam perfect!) routine until he naturally drops his nap.

This too shall pass!

mummywithLplates Tue 11-Mar-14 20:55:53

You've just described my DS (2yr 10m)He is worse if I wake him. OP you are not alone!

ChampagneTastes Tue 11-Mar-14 20:56:56

I have this with 20mth DS and it never even occurred to me to worry! It takes a good few minutes crying before he'll have a snack and a drink in front of CBeebies. It'll be a good hour before he's back on form and not demanding to be on my lap the entire time.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Tue 11-Mar-14 20:59:54

Yes! I've taken to putting him back in his cot. He then snaps out of it. I don't understand.

HelenHen Tue 11-Mar-14 21:48:18

Ds does this... Anything up to an hour! It used to be every day but now it's kinda every second day! I never worried cos the in laws all turn into monsters after naps... Lovely people otherwise but it seems to be a family trait grin

Now it helps if I leave him in his cot for a while and just chat to him or carry him about before changing him and play games where we spot the car out the window or put cbeebies straight on... On the really bad days I stick him in the buggy and just go out for a bit!

MrsPennyapple Tue 11-Mar-14 21:56:52

DD did this for a while, I did the same as MandMand and Mycatistoosexy: TV, snack and drink and leave 'em to it. Asking what she wanted, did she want a drink, did she want CBeebies, etc etc just enraged her (even though she DID want them).

RandomMess Tue 11-Mar-14 21:59:34

What worked for mine was to wake her and deposit it straight into the pushchair and give her a drink of milk whilst was still half asleep. Found this out by accident as used to be rushing out for the afternoon school run!

HelenHen Tue 11-Mar-14 22:02:26

I always let him wake on his own though and give him Time to wake up and chat to his teddies quite a bit, seems to help!

UnacceptableWidge Tue 11-Mar-14 22:03:03

My DS did this, nothing would ever calm him. I used to dred him waking. Eventually figured out best to leave him to his little kick off as literally anything I did made the tantrum last longer.
To be honest I feel like that when I wake up most days so shouldn't be too surprised that at least one of my DC felt so cross to be awake when sleeping is such lovely, blissfulness!

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