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21 month old waking in the night inconsolable, screaming and screaming. DESPERATE for advice please!

(13 Posts)
ratbunny Sat 01-Nov-08 11:00:11

he has been a fantastic sleeper for quite a while now, sleeping 7 - 7 with only very rare waking in the middle of the night.
but over the past 2 weeks, he is guaranteed to wake in the night - usually about 5, but last night at 1 - screaming and I just cant settle him. He wants to come in my bed, but when there he just gets up and wants to go downstairs. I have taken to getting a duvet on the floor in his room with my feet against the door so he cant escape!! He will eventually come and sleep with me.
But its like a tantrum. He will not be held or comforted, just screams and wants to go downstairs. I ask him what is wrong (he is very verbal, speaking in short sentences), and he just says he wants to go downstairs / in my bed.
I am a single mum, and so am exhausted!
any ideas as to what is causing it? or how to this?get past i

Bienchen Sat 01-Nov-08 18:28:27

No idea. Hopefully someone will be more helpful. Why would he want to go downstairs? Any aches or pains (ears/teeth)?

Chaotica Sat 01-Nov-08 18:35:10

Teeth? Or get him checked for an ear infection. DD has similar phases... Does calpol work?

ratbunny Sat 01-Nov-08 20:12:40

Well I am bracing myself for tonight
I will get the calpol ready. His teeth are hurting at the mo, but I usually dose him up before bed anyway. I try to avoid giving it in the night, as I tend to pour it everywhere. and husually tells me if his teeth hurt.
I think he wants to go downstairs to play hmm
I have also left the landing light on so his room isnt totally dark incase he is becoming scared of the dark.
he is incredibly verbal, but cannot tell me what the problem is, except he wants to go downstairs. I am tempted to take him downstairs to see what he does, but I know that that could lead to a VERY long day...
It the tantrums that are doing me though. Usually I get him in bed and he squirms about, but he wont even do that at the mo. Just wants to go downstairs..

janou8 Sat 01-Nov-08 21:45:12

DS did this when he had an ear infection but it wasn't just occasionally it was through the day as well, really unlike him. Worth getting checked out if it continues.
Another thought - could he be hungry/thirsty? Sometimes my DS says door/kitchen/downstairs mummy, when he is ready for his breakfast at 5.30am! (he is a couple of months younger) and he gulps down milk and scoffs his breakfast!
Alternatively...just another phase....
Hope it gets better for you both.

RedRice Sat 01-Nov-08 21:52:34

Just a thought but I went through something vaguely similar and my father introduced some snaity ... when staying for too brief visit ... took DD downstairs, played for half an hour quietly then back to bed with a little warm milk. Actually worked!

RedRice Sat 01-Nov-08 21:53:05

sanity sorry not snaity!

puffylovett Sat 01-Nov-08 21:54:43

My friends DS did this. She kept him upstairs for ages, convinced he just wanted to play. Eventually she caved (it was about 11pm) thinking maybe her DP could calm him. As soon as they got downstairs, he immediately said 'milk milk', so she gave him 10 ounces, then he went straight back to bed.

Worth a thought ? have you tried taking him downstairs ? To see what it is he actually wants ?

ratbunny Sun 02-Nov-08 07:46:37

he woke up at 11 last night! I offered calpol, but he refused. he wanted to go downstairs. so I took him downstairs, offered milk (no milk! put in microwave! hmm ), but he took it eventually. but he didnt wnt to go back to bed, he wanted to watch cbeebies!!!
so I convinced him to go back to bed, he had a major paddy and I resorted to doing cc for an hour.
then up again at 3 for about 10 mins, then 6.30.

he goes down no problems, and the house is reasonably warm all night.
is he just being bloody minded?

liath Sun 02-Nov-08 07:57:06

Ds has done this a couple of times (he's 19 months) - wakes up screaming then just seems to chuck an amighty tantrum. He won't be comforted, runs around demetedly screaming. I did a bit of research (ie searched MN archives wink) and I think they might be night terrors.

ToughDaddy Sun 02-Nov-08 07:58:31

Sorry to hear- must be diff as you don't have anyone to share this load.

Our 3 yr old was doing a version of this when he got back from summer hols. We said very firmly to him that he MUST stay in bed but offered him comfort by holding his hand initially. Then sitting by his side and slow withdrawal over a few nights. He is still not as good a sleeper as he used to be- says he is scared at night.

A room that is too hot or too cold doesn't help so need to get the balance right.

ratbunny Sun 02-Nov-08 08:37:27

I was thinking night terrors too, but he definitely appears awake, and you can hold a sane conversation (well as sane as conversation with a toddler can get) with him. Not sure if that would be the case if it was night terrors?

I have tried staying in the room with him, but he tries to escape his cot if I am there, and gets really worked up. I can hear that using cc he is actually calmer than if I am in the room.

so I have tried -
comforting him
getting him in bed with me
sleeping on the floor of his room (works, but not for me!)
calpol (not interested)
milk (still wont settle afterwards)

what could be wrong with him?!

Bienchen Sun 02-Nov-08 18:31:47

You could try teething gel, it has helped with our DD's waking a few weeks ago (she's 20months)

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