Is my 13 month old having nightmares?

Michelle - posted on 09/14/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My 13 month old son has been going to bed about 830 at night and he wakes up off and on screaming until about 1am. Like he had a terrible nightmare or something scared him. Sometimes I can just rub him back to sleep but it's sometimes so bad I have to hold him. He's my 3rd and I don't remember this with my other 2 so I don't know if I should be concerned. I just feel bad he is going through it.

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Nicole - posted on 09/17/2010

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My 13 month old daughter has been doing this same thing for the past month. This is my second child. I don't think they have nightmares yet at this age. I think it is a combination of separation anxiety and teething and learning to walk. My little girl wants me to hold her or be with her 24/7 but I work full time. Plus she has 2 molars coming in right now. I know it's very worrisome, if you are worried I would take your little one to the pedi just to make sure he doesn't have an ear infection or something, otherwise I just think it is a phase that some babies go through. Has your son started walking yet? I know right around the time they are learning to walk it can disrupt their sleep because their little body is trying to master this new skill and its very challenging for them so they get restless in their sleep.

Helen - posted on 09/14/2010

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my 13 month old son does this all the time but i dont think its nightmares as his 6 year old sister does it too. when we ask her whats up its usually that she doesnt know where she is. she settles quite quickly once we have been in to her but my son doesnt always and sometimes we have to get him to fully wake up and play with him for 5 minutes or so before trying to settle him again.

Cara - posted on 09/28/2010

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We have had the same problem. I have just been leaving him for a little while and then go in and calm him down. normally the pacifier works. It might be night terrors or it could just be growing pains. Just remember, cuddle you baby when you think they need to be cuddled. This is my third and I have learned that all is temporary (even though in the moment it seems like it will never end) and this too shall pass

Caitin - posted on 09/24/2010

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My 13 month old does the same. I asked her doctor about it at a past well visit and she told me it is very common for some babys to wake up and have no clue were they are at and get scared. The doctor told me not to rush in there unless she cries for more than 5 min to let her figure out and put herself to sleep. She has not done it in over a month since we stopped rushing in to give her her blanky or rub her back.

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Lisa - posted on 10/13/2010

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This Conversation is SOO GOOD,... Thank you for asking it! My 13 month old son DOES THE SAME THING! I have to go in and rub his back, sometimes pick him up if there are tears. I also turn on his winnie the pooh light mobile, it distracts him and he falls back asleep (Most of the time).

Julia - posted on 10/11/2010

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i am glad to hear that i am not the only mom who has experience this. my 14 month old son cries in his sleep quite often through the night. it's hard for me to wake him out of his sleep. sometimes a bottle will help or if i hold him and lay him beside me. but other nights nothing works. can anyone tell me why they experience this and if there is anything that can eliminate or decrease it from happening.

Audrey - posted on 10/11/2010

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My son is almost 14 months now and he was going through the same thing. For about a week straight, he would make up screaming and it would take HOURS to console him and get him back to sleep and he would only falls asleep in our bed. My husband would have to hold him until he was fast asleep and ever so slowly, put him down in bed. That was rough. Now he's refusing to take naps in his cribs too on the weekends, cause I'm back at work full time. I don't know what to do, but he just screams his head???

Amber - posted on 10/01/2010

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this was very helpful, my son did this for the past week, it got really bad lastnight wen he woke up every hour screaming, i will definately get a night lite now. my husband thought he doesnt need one cuz he's never had one before, but i gues mother knows best afterall :) thes posts just confirm my suspicion of nightmares.

Michelle - posted on 09/30/2010

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I only pick up when it's so horrible with his shreeking and shaking. If it's just a cry I leave him be. I feel like I have a newborn some days when he's been up a few times the night before. I can't wait for it to pass. Thank you everyone!

Dorota - posted on 09/27/2010

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I have a 13 month old son who is like that. Every night about midnight he is screaming. I don't know what to think or do.

CHRISTINA - posted on 09/25/2010

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i have a 6 year old a 5 year old a 4 year old and a 13 month old.. they all slept thru the nigth since birth exept the 5 year old who would wake up 2-3 times a night SCREAMING and would sometimes last hours from age 15 months or sooner until the baby was born 13 months ago.. since she was born he hasnt done it but once! they all 4 sleep from 8pm to 7am on school days and 8pm to 9am on weekends.. i dont remember the last time i had to get up in the middle of the night:)

Lyndsey - posted on 09/25/2010

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My son occasionally suffers from Night Terrors as well. Not often but my husband suffered from them as a child as well. Doctors told me they dont know if its a hureditary but that it is commen in babies this age to start with nightmares or terrors like this. My doctor also said not to pick them up right away for fear of making it worse

Amy - posted on 09/24/2010

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I've spoken to my daughter's doctor a couple times about the same issue. He calls them "night terrors". He says they're completely normal and it's just a way of processing their day.

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I found that since my 13 month old daughter started drinking milk (we're trying to ween her off formula so we're mixing the 2), she wakes up some nights a couple of times screaming. We thought it was her teeth at first but it turned out to be gas. Once she toots a few times after a tummy rub she's ok and sleeps the rest of the night.

KAREN - posted on 09/23/2010

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Thank you for your responses. This was helpful because my daughter just woke up randomly earlier this week with a scream. We ran in thinking something was terribly wrong but she was totally out of it and basically just wanted to be left alone. I had to let her cry herself to sleep which was only like 5 minutes off and on and then she was okay. You live and learn I guess.

Tracy - posted on 09/17/2010

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Make sure there is a night light and also shut closet doors and check out mirrors in the room. My girls will bawl their heads off if I shut off the light and the closet is open because it is totally dark in there. Also with a night light there is enough light that their own movement in a mirror when they wake up might startle them. My daughters are 13 and 23 months old and they both occasionally do it when they are teeting and such however if the oldest one wakes up and "Pony" which is her Lil Snuggler has fell out of her crib she will scream bloody murder and get all worked up until she gets it.

Nicole - posted on 09/17/2010

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My 13 month old son also gets night terrors since he was about 6months old. I thought at first they were bad dreams he would wake up screaming sometimes for a few minutes sometimes for 20 mins. He would look like he was awake but he would look right through me like i wasnt there. It is so heart breaking to watch cause you really cant do anything for them:( I found that the sound of my voice when he was younger helped him get back to sleep but now he gets rolling around in his crib and gets really restless so I usually rock him and rub his back until he stops crying so he doesnt hurt himself. I find that he gets them when he is over tired or doesnt nap well in the day. Our doctor told me night terrors are harder on the parents then they are on the child as they dont remember what happened and to be careful not to wake him just comfort him. Hopefully he grows out of them soon cause im only 26 and i have gotten alot of grey hair in the last 13 months lol :)

Jenny - posted on 09/17/2010

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my 13 month old son suffers from night terrors. he just starts screaming at random times in the night but theres nothing i can do, the doctors have told me to leave him cause if i pick him up he'll get more upset cause i've woken him! it is heart breaking to not be able to pick him up!

Chantal - posted on 09/17/2010

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its normal for them to have nightmares. My son is 13 months and sometimes if he saw something sometimes it can scare him. Just try to put a light in his room so he can see whats around him maybe he wont be so scared than it helped my son alot

Corie - posted on 09/14/2010

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My daughter has done this since about 7 months Wakes up SHRIEKING for a few minutes and then falls back asleep. I always think she's had a nightmare. She is a really good sleeper most of the time but every so often she does this. I don't think there's anything moms can do but make sure there is a nightlight in the room, so they wake up and know where they are and possibly a "white noise" like a fan.

Angie - posted on 09/14/2010

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I've read that now is the time for nightmares to start. My son isn't showing signs of any yet, though. It is completely normal and nothing to be concerned about.

Stacey - posted on 09/14/2010

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my sons almost 13 months n i swear he has nightmares cause he does the same thing, wakes up screaming n distressed. it never takes long to put him back down but i reckon babies would have nightmares. maybe something might have happened during the day that they didnt like i dont see why they wouldn't everything's so new to them and there is so much they dont understand yet.

Michelle - posted on 09/14/2010

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I see, that does make sense. I thought because of him being so startled like that he was dreaming. Thank you for your input.

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