Help!!! 2year old waking up screaming at night.

Tiffany - posted on 09/29/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )




I have a 2 year old girl who has trouble waking up at night screaming. When she goes to bed she refuses to get in her bed. After I get her to sleep she sleeps about 2 hours then wakes up screams every couple of hours the rest of the night. I don't know how to help her sleep. Before this started I would tell her to get in the bed and she would. I would stay in her room til she fell asleep and she would wake up no more than once and sometimes not at all. When she would wake up I would go to her room and stay with her a few minutes until she went back to sleep. Now I have no choice but to get her out of the bed because she screams so. I have a small house and her older sisters sleep in the room too. They are 11 and 12 years and need there sleep for school. Can anyone help me? I'm at my wits end with no sleep, tired, and stressed.


Renae - posted on 12/18/2010




Hi Tiffany, I'm new to this community.

You first need to ascertain whether this is night terrrors. When she wakes up screaming, does she know what is going on? Does she accept your comfort or does she freak out when you touch her? With night terrors, the child is often sitting straight up, staring and screaming at the top of their lungs, they appear awake but they are actually not fully conscious. Usually, any attempt to comfort them seems to make things worse, this is because the child does not realise that is it their parent, you become part of the terror. After the episode is over, the child has no recollection of what just happened and can not tell you why they were screaming or what scared them. Does this sound familiar? Once I know whether or not we are talking about night terrors I can give you further advice.

Cara - posted on 12/19/2010




I thought I was the only one dealing with this!!
My son is 18 months and has been waking up at least 3 times a night for thepast few eeks, at first I thought it was teething but it got worse and my Dr also told us night terrors. He will wake up screaming and I can only stop his cries by bring him into bed or letting him get up for a while, this has made for a very tired mommy..If you figure out what to do to help these poor little guys let me know!!

Seirra - posted on 02/16/2012




wow i have thje same prob but i doubt its night terrors cuz mine just wakes and cryes like throws a temper tantrum and cryes for milk even if she has it in her hands but i think imma try that chant thingy tonight. also i jhave a hard time getting her to bed

Elizabeth - posted on 09/29/2010




Hi Tiffany,
I too have a 2 year old he is a boy and I have the same problem, he just wont stay asleep he has a couple of times but most nights it is a battle from getting him to bed to him sleeping throughout the night this is my first son so I really don't know what to say to you since I have he same problem except your not alone! I hope we can get some advice because I get so frustrated I cry!

Amber - posted on 12/19/2010




wow i didnt realize so many toddlers do this stuff my daughter does the same stuff only her scream is like she got scared or something and she had a nite mare or something idk just glad to no i am not alone with this issue

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Liz - posted on 10/26/2011




My 22 month old daughter recently started waking with a start and crying loudly in the middle of the night too. Most of the time she manages to self soothe back to sleep, but once or twice a night she needs us to go in and cuddle her to reassure her. Sometimes she'll wake and cry as many as five or six times, all from about 2am onwards. I was worrying a little bit, but it helps to see that this seems to be a common occurrence with children of this age. I'll continue with the love and hugs that she needs.

Have to say, I love this community.

User - posted on 10/24/2011




help have a 2 yr old granddaughter that wakes up the same time every night screaming on top of her lungs and throwing her self she was 10 weeks early she only weighed 2 lbs at birth and has had surgery done at 5 days old for her intestines but surgeon says everything is fine now just need help on this screaming every night dont know what to do

Jessica - posted on 12/19/2010




I know the feeling, my daughter started this at 2 years old, Dr. told me it was night terrors and said there was nothing I could do about it at her age, easy for him to say, she did finally outgrow it at age 4 thank goodness, but it was very upsetting to watch her go through this, I felt helpless as I couldn't calm her when she would sit up screaming sometimes 30 minutes at a time :( Just know that it does slow with age.

Jodie - posted on 12/15/2010




I'm having the same problem with my daughter, she's almost 2, and with my second child, he's almost 4 and has stopped. Most nights she sleeps really well but a couple of times a week she'll start off really well sleeping a couple of hours straight. Then she'll wake up crying, I'll get her settled then she'll sleep for 10-20 minutes and wake up crying again. It lasts anywhere from 3-4 hours. I'm by myself with the kids 24-7 so it makes for some very long nights and even longer days!

Tricia - posted on 11/04/2010




I know this may be a little "out there" but I am a certified hypnotherapist and also do regressions/past life regressions. You might try repeating in a calm, soothing voice something like 'It's ok, that was another time and place. You are here now and you are safe. Everything is fine. Let it go. It's ok to just let it go.' I know it probably sounds crazy to a lot of people but you really have nothing to lose by trying it.

My 2 yr old used to wake up crying and then it turned to screaming the last couple times. I tried this with her and it's been a few weeks now since she has woken up like that.

Leslie - posted on 10/28/2010




Sounds like night terrors to me. My daughter would wake up screaming uncontrollably when she was just under a year old. My pediatrician told me what it was and that it would pass. It did a short time later and we have been sleeping through the night ever since. But he did say to wake her up completely before putting her back to bed, it is the only way to stop the occurrence. I never had to try dream catchers or anything like that but I would say try what ever you need to.I know it is very frustrating for Mom and Dad. Hang in there!

Tanya-Lynn - posted on 10/28/2010




just take her from her room take her some where like the kitchen have something to drink or let her watch a short movie i do that with my son or i take him to my room to sleep with me then all is well cause they expect u to be there when they wake up my son still cries in the middle of the night as well but usually he wonders downstairs and ends up falling asleep on the couch or comes to my room i used to let my oldest when she was 2 to stay up for 30 mins have a snack then put her to bed, above all u will find the right routine for her good luck

Josie - posted on 10/27/2010




My 3 1/2 yr old daughter has had bad dreams everynight for as long as I can remember..I have talked to hear about them and all of the other typicall things. What did HELP alot was getting her a "good-dream bear" to sit above her bed...since your daughter is lder maybe you can read up on dream catchers with her and try one them above her bed.

Kylie - posted on 10/10/2010




My son is 2 years old and he use to have bad night terrors until i went and say some people who knew all about night terrors and stuff they told me to get a rose quarts stone and put it somewhere in his room that is near his head, i also got him a dream catcher and put it in his room. I dont know if u believe in this stuff but it really worked. He still wakes up every now and again but he doesnt scream he calls my name and just goes back to sleep it has helped alot, he sleeps much better now... I hope this helps ur little girl i wish u the best of luck

Bethany - posted on 10/07/2010




My son is 3 and had the same problem. His dad and I took him to the ER one night because it was sooo bad. The dr told us that it's night terrors. The only thing to do is to make sure the child is fully awake (that way they stop having the terror) calm the child and put them back in bed. The dr said that eventually the child will grow out of it but it is stressful untill then. The only thing that has helped my son is getting him out of bed and turning on the living room lights and making him walk...that way he's fully awake. Then I rock him for a few minutes untill he's calm and then lay him back down. He used to get up 5 or so times a night but now he rarely has them and when he does he wakes up pretty quick and sometimes he'll tell you what scared him. Hope this is helpful. Oh and some drs will tell you that your child might need therapy but if you ask me that's extreme.

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