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My 18 mos old cries a shrill cry in his sleep, sitting up around the same time EVERY night for the past month!!

Its always between 2:30 am and 4 am...he just starts crying in his crib! I try to console him, rub his back but he just won't stop...I put him in my bed and he still cries for a little and then he is sleeping. What could be causing him to cry like that in his sleep?? No fever, no wet diaper...any advice is welcome!!

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Asked by GREEKLADYINNJ at 5:00 AM on Dec. 21, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (9)
  • Night terrors?

    Answer by Jan0609momma at 5:05 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • that was what I was gonna say. Call the doctor he may have night terrors, and that is no fun for anybody. The only thing to do if it is night terrors is soothe but DO NOT wake them it makes it worse. Just lay him back down and it will go away quicker. If he does wake all the way on his own take him out of the room walk him then lay him down to try and change the possible stimulus.

    Answer by truealaskanmom at 6:50 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • My daughter is 17 months and she has been doing it for so long that I have lost count. I usually just give her a bottle full of water and sit with her until she falls back asleep. (Bottle full of water is how I get her to sleep, the only way she will pass out) I have heard a lot of different theories. Night terrors is one. My daughter sometimes laughs and talks in her sleep. It could be because he is in such a deep sleep. I've noticed that sometimes my daughter opens her eyes and notices that I'm not right there with her, and she gets scared and wants me. Her eyes are shut the whole time because she isn't full awake. That may be why he stops crying when you put him in your bed.

    Answer by b_pacheco at 6:51 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • WOW!!! Thanks everyone for your responses!!! I will try to take him out of the room and walk with him and not wake him...thanks again!!!!

    Answer by GREEKLADYINNJ at 7:08 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • Could he possibly be hungry? That could be a cause, especially if it is many hours between his last meal/snack and the point that he's waking up. If he is waking up hungry then it makes sense that he is difficult to console and it sometimes takes awhile to get him back to sleep.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:16 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • It could definately be night terrors. Do some reserach on the topic and see if it fights. What happens is the child doesn't actually wake. So trying to soothing him isn't going to help.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:38 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • my son did the same thing from under 1 to I guess about 3-4 years old. Still had occasional lapses but rarely and like you I could time them. He used to wake up crying when younger or screaming No, no or whatever. I would just rub his back and soothe him and he'd soon nod off again -- as he was older it would actually turn into a conversation sometimes esp. since I was trying to figure out WHAT/WHY he was crying/yelling but never got a straight answer, i'd general just follow his flow.

    My DD is just recently (4 years old) having occasional night rage issues but her are BAD she just screams and yells and kicks, her eyes open but you can tell she's still in dream land and VERY HARD/IMPOSSIBLE to soothe.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 10:35 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • Also he gets a bottle of milk before he goes to sleep.

    Answer by GREEKLADYINNJ at 1:21 PM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • "What happens is the child doesn't actually wake. So trying to soothing him isn't going to help." That is incorrect. They are not awake but physical soothing does help because it calms the nervous system reaction to the trauma causing the night terror. They may not be aware of you presence for that type of soothing but touching them in a manner that won't wake them will calm them quicker and cause the night terrors to be shorter lived. This is knowledge that I attained in a psychology class we did an entire unit on sleep disorders and night terrors are a major sleep disorder for children.

    Answer by truealaskanmom at 3:54 AM on Dec. 23, 2009

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