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Night Terrors? Why Is She Waking Up Screaming?

My 8 month old daughter has been acting strange lately. I haven't seen it until tonight because my mom watches her 3 nights a week while I'm at school. But for the last couple weeks, every few days, she goes to bed and then wakes up screaming and crying about an hour later. My mom says she throws up a little sometimes. but she was screaming, like she was really scared or something, and tonight's the first night I've seen it.

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Asked by Call-Me-Mommy at 10:05 PM on Sep. 17, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (8)
  • Infants that age don't dream. Most children do not dream until the age of 2 or 3. Night terrors are not happening at your daughter's age because their mind doesn't comprehend yet the complexity of dreaming. Babies however, are very habitual creatures. Is there something in their routine that is being interrupted? Has she started teething recently? Anything new happen? The best thing I think you can do is calm her while she is still in the crib, use as little words as possible, and she should lull herself back to sleep.

    Answer by midnightshadow2 at 10:11 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • The puke or vomit is an indication that the issue is likely physiological rather than psychological (or dream related). You should note what and when she's eaten when this occurs. You should also note how long she cries and what it requires to calm her.

    This may be a reaction to something she's consuming, something environmental or related to the time she eats and is subsequently put to bed.

    Report these things to the doctor and get his or her advice.

    Answer by Angebor at 10:11 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • My daughter did the exact same thing. I took her to the pedi and they assured me that it was not night terrors because of her age but I couldnt figure out what it was another pedi told me that it was night terrors. So there is a conflict about that but my dd is now 2 and continues to do this from time to time but its not everynight anymore. I dont know about the throwing up though, no exp with that.. sorry. I would just comfort her and try to put her back to sleep. Could it be she is just not used to sleeping at your moms and is waking up scared because it is a dif environment? Sorry not much help but wanted you to know that your dd is not the only one who has done this! Hope it gets better.

    Answer by ashleyuc07 at 10:34 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • From experience, sometimes, a child's tonsils are too big, causing them to suffer from sleep apnea. Which causes them to wake up (or just seem like they're awake, but still asleep) screaming, crying, etc... you may want to have your doc look at them, it may just be a simple case where they need to be removed. It's a very common procedure. Like I said...I know of this because of family experiences. I hope it's nothing, but if this is what it'll see a big difference right away, if it's fixed. I do hope it's nothing though. I hope things work out ok.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:44 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • My mom watches her at my place, by the way.

    Answer by Call-Me-Mommy at 10:51 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • Good point anon.. the dr did mention sleep apnea. And my daughter does still have her eyes closed when she cries out. OP does yours still seem like she is asleep when this happens?

    Answer by ashleyuc07 at 11:14 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • I can't even believe the first two posts!
    Babies and infants can and do dream, not to mention, no, the vomit is not from anything other than her getting too excited/over worked.

    Answer by VonWiggles at 11:51 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • My son at 1 1/2 had night terrors he would wake up screaming yelling for me and i would be right there talking to him trying to comfort him and he would push me away and scream "mommy", it was heartbreaking and scary, to hear your child scream for you like that and when you try to comfort them have them push you away at the same time. I finally had to learn how to get through it without taking him out of bed, DH and i would pat his back and talk to him, waking them up is very hard to do when there are in the middle of a terror, their eyes can be wide open but they don't really see you, once my son would calm down we would normally bring him to bed with us to cuddle. Eventually we moved him back to our bed and the night terrors stopped almost completely. Now at 11 he has one a couple times a year, normally when his sleep schedule has been thrown off for a few days.



    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 2:07 AM on Sep. 18, 2009

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