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Toddler suddenly waking screaming ~ help!

(14 Posts)
Stilltryingtobeme Tue 24-Jan-17 22:08:28

Hi ladies!

I've got a 17 month old who has, for the last few weeks, suddenly woken at random screaming. It's happened about four times. He's inconsolable! Won't settle unless I cuddle up to him for a bit. One time it happened four or five times in one night. Most times its two or three.

His lower canines do seem to be coming in, maybe it's that? Growth spurt? Nightmares? Any clues?

Thanks in advance!

Aquamarine1029 Wed 25-Jan-17 02:32:05

Please don't worry. He's just having night terrors which are very common. He's not having terrible dreams, it's just a reaction that can happen between sleep stages. You're doing everything right. Most likely this will be just a brief stage in development. Try not to worry. Night terrors can happen at any age and usually don't last long.

Carollocking Wed 25-Jan-17 02:45:55

My middle daughter has bad nightmares since she was about 8 and not before,for her it tends to come if she's worried about something,luckily she is good at realising this and she tells me so she sleeps with me them nights always as by hugging her when she begins to experience nightmares it tends to stop pretty quick. I'm single mum anyway so I don't have problem any of then sleep in my bed when they want though it can get a bit full lol

doggle Wed 25-Jan-17 03:00:16

Sounds like bog standard night terrors. They are pretty grim but they do eventually just go away on their own. It took around 6 mos for dd2 but they did disappear. I think they are usually triggered around 2, so 17mo is a wee bit early, but within the bounds of normal (at the point where the child starts developing imagination and realizing they are a separate being from parents etc).
Sympathy, but it isn't serious. The child doesn't usually wake up properly, and doesn't remember anything about them the next day.

doggle Wed 25-Jan-17 03:04:57

The 8yo is having nightmares. The 17mo isn't. THey are completely different things. The 8yo has the capacity to be worried about stuff and her imagination is much more developed. Night terrors are a pretty ordinary developmental occurrence for toddlers, and nothing to be concerned about. An 8yo who has worries and is anxious about aspects of her life to the extent she gets regular nightmares is a different thing, and would benefit from some support to help decrease her anxiety. It's good she has developed a coping mechanism to deal with the nightmares, but it would be more beneficial if she developed a coping mechanism for her anxiety?

Stilltryingtobeme Wed 25-Jan-17 09:38:49

Thanks everyone! My four year old never did this, although he talks in his sleep and sleepwalks sometimes which is something I do too. Just took me by surprise!

He's most certainly now aware he is his own person. I've never seen a tantrum like one he can throw! They started hard a few weeks ago so kinda makes sense! Glad it's not just me!

Carollocking Wed 25-Jan-17 11:49:52

I've never heard before,never had with any my girls when young nor any friends so I guess it's not so common when young

doggle Thu 26-Jan-17 21:14:58

it's super common in toddlers. but 'super common' doesn't mean all kids experience night terrors. (only one of my three did - think the rate is somewhere between 5 - 10% of kids). But it's still a very common experience nevertheless. It's more common in toddlers than in any other age group. After that age group, it's more likely to be something other than night terrors i.e. nightmares.
it's common enough to be routinely recognized and not worried about, although acknowledged that it is unpleasant at the time for the parent/s. No lasting issues for the kids at all.
That said - I don't think it's something I particularly discussed - I probably mentioned it at the time to a close friend or two at my mums and toddlers group as it was stressful and I was knackered, but I know a whole ton of people and none of them would be able to say 'oh, yeah, one of doggle's kids had night terrors when they were tiny'. A whole lot more people know moon of my kids has cerebral palsy, and that's way less common lol. Once night terrors are over and done with they aren't really anything that warrants discussion - I bet you know a whole heap of people whose kids had them grin just luckily not yours. grin I couldn't pick out how many of the hundreds and hundreds of kids I know had night terrors - but statistically speaking, a whole bunch of them did. grin

Stilltryingtobeme Thu 26-Jan-17 21:51:06

Well we'll had another bout last night (which means I'm knackered). Poor fella has managed to time it before work days this week! He's got talent! Thanks for the advice. Got a group tomorrow so I might ask about, out of curiosity! And if my friends have had this and not mentioned it I'm blaming them for my cluelessness!

sykadelic Thu 26-Jan-17 22:27:13

Out of interest, though other responses have said they cuddle, standard advice is NOT to touch or interact with the person experiencing as it prolongs it.

Obviously everyone is different but in your sons case, perhaps you should give that a shot to see if that helps stop them happening so often.

Stilltryingtobeme Fri 27-Jan-17 07:27:30

The trouble we have is if I leave him he'll calm down for a moment, then it's almost like he wakes himself. Then he starts again and won't stop. If he does stop then he soon starts again. I tried the leaving him thing in desperation!

jazzandh Fri 27-Jan-17 07:39:46

Mine used be more prone to these when overtired or coming down with something.

wtffgs Fri 27-Jan-17 07:49:04

Bless him! Dd2 had these for several years but grew out of them. She seemed utterly terrified but fortunately couldn't remember a thing the next day. brew

toptoe Fri 27-Jan-17 07:54:12

I'd say his teeth are hurting him - teething always affected my lo's sleep. The pain would wake them up. Took us a while to work it out!

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