why does my daughter 2 month old wake up screaming and go back to sleep seconds later?

Ashley - posted on 11/23/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )




she is asleep one minute and the next she is screaming like someone is trying to kill her but just a few seconds after that she is fine and back asleep. Is this normal? should i worry? can 2month olds have bad dreams?


Bobbi - posted on 11/23/2009




my baby girl did that for the first few months also. it turned out that she had reflux. The doctor said that some babies with reflux will wake up screaming and then stop shortly, and that it was ok to prop her up on a boppy pillow while she sleeps. after that there was no more screaming!

Melany - posted on 11/26/2009




It's normal my daughter would do the same thing sometimes im guessing bad dream or just startled by something i wouldnt worry bout it 2 much but if u feel that somethings wrong ask ur doc. well best of luck!!!

Tracey - posted on 11/26/2009




Hi Ashley,

Hopefully there is nothing too abnormal happening with your daughter. Maybe just some extra gas in her tummy creating some cramping during sleep. You could try giving her some gripe water just before bedtime and see if this helps (check with your doctor first).

But if this continues and you are concerned there may be something more serious going on I would suggest asking your doctor to look a little further. Below is a little bit of information regarding Infantile Spasms. Though they don't often occur during sleep, they can and do. And they aren't limited to an exact pattern:

Infantile spasms may begin up to age 2, but most commonly begin between 4 and 6 months, with about 90 percent beginning in the first year. The causes are widely variable and in some cases are unknown. However, the most common causes are tuberous sclerosis and perinatal asphyxia (lack of oxygen).

Parents sometimes attribute the cause to pertussis vaccination, a connection that has yet to be proven. Since the peak in onset of spasms occurs at the same age range that the vaccination is given, it is likely this concurrent timing is the only link.


The characteristic symptoms of infantile spasms are usually rapid, though generally not violent, with muscular contractions or extensions of limbs or other parts of the body. The spasms last one to two seconds and occur in clusters ranging from a few to more than 100 at a time. Infants may experience up to 60 clusters a day. The episodes rarely occur during sleep but are common in the early morning and just after naps.

The following are behaviors or symptoms that might occur in what is classified as infantile spasms or West syndrome:

• Repetitive forward head nodding or bobbing

• Bowing from the waist when sitting

• Drawing up of knees when lying down

• Extending/stiffening the neck, trunk, arms and legs

• Crossing arms across body as if self-hugging

• Thrusting arms to the side, elbows bent

Infants may cry and show irritability during or after a flurry of spasms.

Spasms are easily missed, especially if they occur singly or in small or infrequent clusters. Other potential symptoms that parents might notice are a loss of muscle tone, loss of head control or reaching ability, loss of eye contact, inattention to sounds, lack of responsiveness, poor smiling, or decrease in alertness.

**A pediatrician is not the appropriate doctor to assess a young child for infantile spasms or similar conditions. When there are unanswered questions, doctors should recommend patients see a specialist.

Wishing you all the best,


Tracey Alderson, Administrator, Epilepsy Awareness 2009

Julia - posted on 11/23/2009




my first son used to do that from the day he was born, at first it was just crying but became screams, he would also push out all 4 limbs at once. i know he did the latter part while i was pregnent yet but as for the screams i figure they were just dreams cuz he stoped when he got older

Delany - posted on 11/23/2009




When my 18 year old was born he cried and never really stopped unless he was sleeping. I would change him, feed him, burp him, walk him and nothing seemed to help. I wouldn't really worry about it too much but if you are concerned and it keeps happening then take the baby to the doctor " Just in Case".


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Jessica - posted on 11/26/2009




my son does the same thing and he's 4 months old, i asked my doctor yesterday about this and she said he is too young for night terrors yet, and said he's probably judst a restless sleeper and not to worry he will probably grow out of it. if it bothers you too much and shes in your room just move her into her own room thats what i did.

User - posted on 11/25/2009




my son has night terrors once in a while still. You can try to put a wedge under her mattress and see if that helps in case it's reflux. If it isn't waking her then I wouldn't worry about it. All you can do is comfort her but try not to wake her.

Natasha - posted on 11/24/2009




sounds like night terrors. mine had the same problem...i just made sure she knew she was safe before i put her down to bed.

Kelly - posted on 11/24/2009




does she have colic? i went through a period where my daughter did this which really concerned me it turned out she has colic n i gave her colief drops which did the trick. babys do have dreams though. its best to get some advice from your health visitor

Tara - posted on 11/23/2009




It might be a gas bubble or a bad dream. Both my girls have done this - with my youngest it is mostly gas right now, but when my older daughter was past the gas stages she still did it occasionally.

Renae - posted on 11/23/2009




I'm sure its totally normal, not overly common that it happens so frequently but normal. It could be a number of things. The general concensus is that 2mo old's don't dream, but really who knows? It could be she startles herself like someone already said, or it could be a bit of reflux or tummy ache. The episodes should decrease between 3 and 6 months. Though I believe its always a good idea to see a doctor just in case.

Laurie - posted on 11/23/2009




This is normal. One of my twins does this and we would have to try and wake him or he wouldn't stop. He is now 6 /12 and still does it once in awhile. It's scary when it's happening though because it's like he screaming and crying and when we talk to him it's like he's not there like he's still sleeping but sitting up.

Emily - posted on 11/23/2009




I don't know if it's the same thing but my 9 month old has always done that. I think she does it either out of habit because she used to be hungry the moment she woke up or to make sure I am there with her.

Brandi - posted on 11/23/2009




2 mo. old have very sensitive startle reflexes. It is normal for very young infants to wake (of course when this happens they cry) then go straight back to sleep. She probably isn't dreaming.

Cristina - posted on 11/23/2009





That happens sometimes with babies, my son did it a couple of times and freaked me up, I really don't know if tiny babies have bad dreams or not, but my son did go through that, what worked for me was wrapping him in his blanket really tight so he could feel really snugged and it stopped, try it and if it keeps on, go to your doctor and ask, no question is ever too silly to ask, it is for your piece of mind most of all. good luck.

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