Toddler Waking up screaming?

Barbara - posted on 08/14/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 25 month old has NEVER slept through the night, as a rule. He has quite a few times, but most nights he wakes up screaming like he is scared at about one or two in the morning. Some nights he does this repeatedly and some nights it is only one time. He has never slept with me except for one or two times when he was very sick and I needed to be able to watch him closely. He was in a bassinet next to me until he was about 6 weeks old, went to the baby bed right outside my room after that, to a baby bed in his own room at about 9 months, to a toddler bed at about 14 months (he is very big for his age). At 24 months I put him in a twin bed because I thought the toddler bed might be uncomfortable and waking him up. He loves the twin bed, but he still wakes up screaming for my husband or myself and usually is pointing back toward his bed yelling "bee". We haven't yet figured out what that means when he says it, but sometimes he says it in the daytime and we have figured out it means something he is scared of. We all need a good night's rest for a change, including him. Any ideas?

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Cmoline32 - posted on 08/15/2013

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I don't know if this is what you are dealing with, but my daughter started having night terrors around the time she turned 2. They are not like nightmares. In this case the child appears to be awake, but is not. She cries uncontrollably and nothing will calm her down, in fact talking or touching her actually makes it worse. I finally figured out that pulling her blanket completely away from her and giving her a chance to call down helped tremendously and she would usually go back to sleep.

If that doesn't sound like your son, maybe he is just having bad dreams. Things that might help him sleep: night light, soft music, a fan, a stuffed animal or blanket that you tell him will protect him while he sleeps, a "magic spray" bottle that you/he can spray to keep the scary things "bee" away, etc.

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Desiree - posted on 01/28/2014

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My son is having the same exact issue!
He just wakes up screaming or crying but infact he isn't really awake, hes like sleep crying

Brittany - posted on 08/15/2013

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I know exactly how you're feeling! I am going through the same thing with my 4 year old. He was always a great sleeper though. Now, all of a sudden, he's terrified to go to sleep in his own room. It has been taking me anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and half to get him settled in his room. It's upsetting because I DO NOT like raising my voice and getting stern with him, ESPECIALLY before bed because then he goes to sleep knowing I'm upset with him but it's also frustrating because I've tried everything! Just recently we've made some changes that SEEM to be working.We've had a TV in his room for a while (yes, I know... NOT a good idea) so I just recently took it out and replaced it with a cd player. I turn on baby Einstein lullaby music VERY softly. I let him know it's bedtime before we even get in the bathtub...so he knows it's coming. I give him and his brother a bath, let them play with their bath toys for a few minutes, then we go put jammies on, brush our teeth, and pick out two books. We then go into his brother's room, read one of the books, say our prayers, then go into HIS room, I sit on the edge of the bed... read the other book. I then turn out the lights, but leave a nightlight on and his dream light (really great investment!-projects stars on ceiling when it's dark in the room) then tell him to close his eyes and I tickle his back... but let him know I'm only doing it for 5 minutes... then kiss him, tell him I love him and leave the room. I'd say about 90% of the time, he goes to sleep once I leave. I don't know... I may not be the perfect person to respond to your question since obviously I've struggled with the same thing but I think sometimes all they crave is a little extra TLC. Maybe read him one more book, if something is scaring him, go to whatever is freaking him out and reassure him that it's not scary, night lights are always a good idea, soft music or white noise, maybe just a couple minutes of cuddling? That's all I got... hope it helps!!! Good luck!

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