Why does my baby cry out several times a night for about 10 seconds??

Lindsey - posted on 02/26/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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Every now and then my 11 month old will be down for the night and all of sudden after a few hours just start screaming, but it only lasts about 5-10 seconds. Then he'll continue to wake about once an hour and do the same thing until about 2 AM then he'll end up waking early in the morning. I'm baffled by this.....we never have to go get him, he always falls back to sleep. Does anyone else have this problem? Is he having nightmares? Lately this has been happening every other day.

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Becky - posted on 03/10/2009

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Quoting Cindi:



It does sound like night terrors. My son has them. They can start as early as 1 day old. He sometimes gets them so bad. I pick him up and hold him and he flails and crys with his eyes shut. Then after a few minutes just calms down and stays asleep. Apparently, they are not harmful to the babies, and they don't remember them the next day. My son is almost 11 months too. Hope this helps. Sometimes, Leland even laughs in his sleep, or babbles, smiles then rolls back over. (one of the perks of cosleeping) 






AJ does that same thing...cries at the top of his lungs, flails his arms, arcs his back...just like he is throwing a temper tantrum...but he is asleep with eyes closed.  I usually know when he is having them because when I go in to pick him up he is standing in the corner of his crib holding the rail...crying hard--and his eyes are closed!  Usually when he wakes up, his eyes are open.  It takes anywhere from about 3 minutes to 1 hour to get him calmed back down.

Ashleigh - posted on 03/05/2009

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Night terrors is when their nightmares are really vivid.  But Im surprised that they said it was night terrors since that usually doesn't start to happen until the baby is at least a year and a half.  If he is only crying for 10 seconds it isn't night terrors (you can barely console them when it's the night terrors and it happens for way longer than just 10 seconds). 

Tiffani - posted on 03/10/2009

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Quoting Caroline:

Sorry to be blunt - I don't think that babies this age have nightmares that make them cry out - Its most likley teething or wind - most babies don't start with proper dreams till they're nearly 2. Some babies do a 'phantom baby' cry in their sleep but its much more common with windy babies so . . .



Actually...thats not true. My daughter used to scream out of the blue in her sleep for about 4 seconds and then be sound asleep again and i asked the doctor and she she said that my daughter was having nightmares. So, babies do have nightmares from the time they are born on through. They dream just like we do except they have short term memory so they dont ever remember their dreams.

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Rati - posted on 10/17/2012

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i think its quite ok if ur child cries during night...just sooth her/him ..take him/her in your arm/lap,divert her/his mind to some toy or anything she/he likes ,sing if she/he likes it,u will notice her sleep quitely again.to avoid it just spend some quality time with ur child before making her/him sleep ,give her a bath ,sing a poem or a bed time story will help..good luck

Emilie - posted on 03/09/2009

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Glad to hear that other people are having this issue too!  I thought it was just my daughter!  :)

Tiffani - posted on 03/08/2009

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I heard that when a baby cries like that it means the angels were playing with him and then they left ......but it also means that he is having nightmares. Poor thing. Thats terrible ):  I hope it gets better.   

Caroline - posted on 03/07/2009

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Sorry to be blunt - I don't think that babies this age have nightmares that make them cry out - Its most likley teething or wind - most babies don't start with proper dreams till they're nearly 2. Some babies do a 'phantom baby' cry in their sleep but its much more common with windy babies so . . .

Kamaria - posted on 03/06/2009

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my daughter does the same thing i think there having littl nitemares i wouldnt worry tho

Sammie - posted on 03/06/2009

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Thanks for the info guys.  My daughter has been doing this for about 2 months.  She seems to still be asleep when she cries out for those few seconds.  Sometimes she gets really upset and cries for like 30 mins.  I pick her up after about 5 mins and  she still cries.  I take her out of the room and turn a light on and she plays for about 30mins.  I change her nappy and give her a bottle or some water and she goes straight back to sleep.



Thanks again for the info.

Cindi - posted on 03/05/2009

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It does sound like night terrors. My son has them. They can start as early as 1 day old. He sometimes gets them so bad. I pick him up and hold him and he flails and crys with his eyes shut. Then after a few minutes just calms down and stays asleep. Apparently, they are not harmful to the babies, and they don't remember them the next day. My son is almost 11 months too. Hope this helps. Sometimes, Leland even laughs in his sleep, or babbles, smiles then rolls back over. (one of the perks of cosleeping) 

Becky - posted on 03/05/2009

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I was at my son's doctor yesterday and they asked me how he was sleeping. I mentioned this to them. They said it sounds like he is having "night terrors". What on earth is that? Is that a fancy name for nightmares?

Becky - posted on 03/02/2009

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My little boy is doing the same thing. He usually wakes up crying about midnight-1am. I have to go to him because he is crying so loudly. Once I pick him up he puts his head down on my shoulder and he is out again. I have said to my hubby that he doesn't look like he is completely awake. Then he will do the same again around 3am-4am. It has been happening for about a month now. He is 11 months old tomorrow. I hope he outgrows it soon. Last night was the first night he hasn't done it in that last month. He only wimpered a little last night then fell right back to sleep. I am completely baffled.

Geralyn - posted on 02/27/2009

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I think, for my son, its what Ashleigh said.  I think that they can cry/stir/wake up, when they are drifitng in and out of a deep sleep.  Its their typical sleep pattern at this point.  They do not stay in the deeper stages of sleep as long as adults do.  I see it improving, and he is better able to get himself back to sleep without having to be held or nursed.  As it happens less and less, he will do better in his crib.

Ashleigh - posted on 02/26/2009

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My son use to do that ( sometimes still, but not as often).  I watched him one night, and he would cry when he would move, so I figured it was that he kind of woke himself up, but then went right back to sleep.

Tara - posted on 02/26/2009

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My daughter used to do the same thing....we just figured it was a bad dream, she would fall back asleep on her own. She still does it once in a while. I was kind of curious as to what babies would have nightmares about, but I'm sure they know more than we think. My daughter was born via c-section so maybe she has nightmares about that. Who knows, but he'll be ok.

Maleasha - posted on 02/26/2009

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My son does the same thing. I think he's just having bad dreams. He cries for a few seconds and then he's back asleep. My daughter also did the same thing when she was about the same age. She grew out of it within a month.

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