Jump to content

Tantrum or terror?
how do you tell the difference?


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 sakura73

Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:56 PM

I have posted in the sleep forum but was hoping for some advice here too!

DS (14 months), who was previously a good self-settler, has started absolutely screaming when he is put into his cot. To me it sounds like a scream of terror, and it doesn't pass whether he is left alone with me coming in every 2 minutes to soothe or whether I sit next to him and pat. Only being picked up works, and he'll scream again the minute he is put down. Tonight I held him from 8pm to 10pm before he was finally deeply enough asleep not to notice being put into the cot (yes I know that is creating bad habits but one does what one must!)

Like I said, it sounds like terror to me. But DP thinks it is 'just a tantrum' and that I should not reward the behaviour by picking him up.

I feel like 14 months is too young for a tantrum. And to be honest I would probably pick him up anyway because the sound of his screaming makes me feel so ill.

But - how do you tell whether your child is scared or just cross? Does it alter how you respond when they are screaming for you?

#2 poss71

Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:04 PM

OP, I asked in your other thread just now and I'll ask again here: what could he possibly be terrified of?

Logically, it's highly unlikely that he's even remotely terrified.

Doesnt necessarily mean the only alternative is he's having a tantrum though.

Somewhere in the middle, is much more likely.

#3 sakura73

Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:08 PM

Thank you for your replies! I don't know what he could be terrified of (nothing bad has happened in the cot in the last couple of weeks, there is been no big change to his schedule) and I know it sounds a bit over-dramatic to use the term, but both his nanny and I feel like that is what the cry suggests.

But even if it is something less than 'terror' it is fear - seemingly fear of being in the cot.

#4 squirt081

Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:13 PM

A terror cry is very different from a tantrum cry.. When DD (3yrs) is scared of something and screams/crys it is a blood chilling screaming cry, DS is 21mths and has just started tantrums but hasn't had a  terror cry yet. Maybe your DS is having nightmares and going to bed is scary.

Yes I respond differently to terror then what I do with tantrums. With terror I cuddle tight and tell her it's ok, I will protect her, keep her safe and that nothing is going to hurt her.  I do it really softly, gently and I recognise she is scared. I stay with her until she has calmed down and the fear has gone. With a tantrum I tell her what she is feeling, that it's normal and will pass. I also tell her to take a deep breath in and out, another one is think of pretty flowers and butterflies.

OP I would trust your feelings esp if you are the main carer, Oh and 14mths isn't to young for tantrums

#5 poss71

Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:14 PM

Trust that you are there to protect him and a cuddle from mum can fix almost anything. If you believe there's nothing to be scared of, then he will come to recognise it too (if that's the reason for the cries).

In any case, keep up the cuddles but don't feed this with fear/concern. You can be sympathetic yet still quite matter of fact about it being bed time. (this, coming from someone who used to sing a silly OTT 'happy bedtime song' carrying DD1 down the hall as she screamed her difference of opinion about bedtime lol)

Unless of course, it appears he is in pain or discomfort, in which case I would offer Panadol/nurofen as appropriate and if he fell asleep without further fuss, a trip to the GP first thing in the morning would be in order.

EFS: neurogenic instead of nurofen, iPad, really?

Edited by poss71, 01 November 2012 - 10:16 PM.


#6 Lazycow

Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:32 PM

My 19mth old done a similar thing at around 16-17 months. She would wake up screaming, sometimes a cuddle would be enough to settle her, but other times even holding her was impossible, she would scream, stiffen up then start lashing out, whilst screaming (she actually punched me in the face one night) ohmy.gif. Anyway I thought maybe she was having nightmares and waking up scared, which resulted in the next few bedtimes  being a nightmare. I spoke to the MCHN and she told me it was unlikely to be nightmares or being frightened because she was too young to understand the notion of  being scared.

This carried on a few more nights, and about 10 days after it started I noticed her back teeth had started to come through, and this was what was most likely to be waking her up and in turn she perhaps associated bedtime with teething pain. So before bed she would have a dose of Nurofen and after 4 nights she started sleeping better and once her teeth came through, touch wood things have gone back to normal. original.gif

Hope this helps.

#7 treefalls

Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:49 PM

Hi OP

My son is 2y8m and has only just recently experienced night terrors. It is definitely quite different from his usual screaming and carrying on that happens quite a lot!! He has been a terrible sleeper at times and, although I don't know your child, I can say that sometimes screaming is a think they 'discover' and play with... just like any other fascinating thing. I think a lot of kids go through a phase of experimenting with the sound of it and the power of it, not to mention the spectacular reaction it produces!

For us, waking up crying/screaming is something he tends to do when he's really tired and loses grip on himself... so I think the context of sleep/tiredness can really turn this into a pretty tiresome habit. But as the parent of a couple of screamers, I can definitely assure you that screaming can be something that a kid does for pretty much no reason and there may not be much you can do about it if that's the case except concentrate really hard on making sure they get plenty of sleep and don't work themselves up into too much of a state.

I wouldn't think it would be to do with the pain of teething, but probably the sleep disturbance from teething that would play into the issue.. so you could  definitely try Neurofen if you're open to it, just in case it helps.

Good luck!


#8 Froger

Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:09 PM

You're his mum, I think you would know. If he sounds terrified he probably is.

14 months is very little to be sleeping by himself, maybe he can sleep with you on the lounge or something until you go to bed, then take him with you to your bed when you go? For what it's worth, in my non-expert opinion, I don't think anything "bad" has to happen to a tiny child to make them terrified of going to bed alone and screaming until their mum comes in to hold them. 14 months is still so little, it's completely natural to want to be held and cuddled by your mum instead of being by yourself in the dark.



#9 BearBait

Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:21 PM

DD 2.5yo doesn't seem to have any problems with her cot, The Dark etc. However, she has discovered that howling like a banshee or yelling 'PeePee in the cot' tends to bring us running. All she wants is cuddles & playtime.

#10 poss71

Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:31 PM

QUOTE (BearBait @ 02/11/2012, 12:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
DD 2.5yo doesn't seem to have any problems with her cot, The Dark etc. However, she has discovered that howling like a banshee or yelling 'PeePee in the cot' tends to bring us running. All she wants is cuddles & playtime.

roll2.gif

Also, 'mummy, I need a bucket for my vomit' - courtesy of Miss 3.5, who was NOT even close to vomiting, merely hanging face down half off her bed inspecting the underside and not yet ready for sleep (in her opinion).

#11 littlecat

Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:17 PM

We went through this a couple of months ago. She would cry and scream when it came to bedtime and even if we settled her with cuddles etc as soon as we went to leave the room she would lose it again. It was really tough but one night we just walked out of her room, shut the door and let her cry. It really only lasted for about 5 mins or so and after that she didn't do it again.
It could just be a phase? That's what I put it down to  original.gif

#12 sakura73

Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:52 PM

Thanks all for your experiences and suggestions. I did try leaving him to it today but after 20 minutes he had become utterly hysterical and I gave up. He thus missed his afternoon sleep and fell asleep much faster tonight (but in my arms; I wasn't up for any more screaming).

I am sure it is a phase, and I don't begrudge him the time it takes cuddling him to sleep. I just wish I could help him find his way back to self-settling, because he used to love his cot so much.

#13 treefalls

Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:44 PM

QUOTE (sakura73 @ 02/11/2012, 10:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am sure it is a phase, and I don't begrudge him the time it takes cuddling him to sleep. I just wish I could help him find his way back to self-settling, because he used to love his cot so much.

He will again Sakura. You sound like a very patient and loving mummy... all of these phases gradually morph into the next thing and sometimes disappear altogether. It's great if you can soak up the cuddles while there are still plenty to be had!

#14 L&E

Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:55 AM

14 months is very young, and I agree that your intuition as a mum is usually spot on.

Who is to know why the cot now "scares" him. Maybe he has come to realize you're not there and finds being alone scary. Maybe he finds going to sleep a bit difficult at the moment and this is his way of communicating. Maybe he is teething and just needs more comfort.

Please take solace in both of my children, who were cuddled to sleep (and usually slept in our bed) until well older than 14 months. Now a little lay and cuddle with the two year old and most nights he will happily fall asleep on his own after I leave the room. Habits and routines come and go with little ones, cuddling him to sleep may be what works for him right now and in a few weeks or months he will feel more secure with you leaving before he drifts off.

#15 DrFeral

Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:04 PM

I went through something similar with DD at the same age... Hers was a real terror/pain scream and she would fall back asleep in my arms but as soon as she touched the cot it was back to screaming again. After doing some looking at her diet we found the problem was dairy food (and I had been giving her custard after dinner... she was breastfed sand it all didn't really start until she ate a packet cake for her first birthday that made her sick (whey powder)).  No dairy ... no screaming at night.  It might be worth checking if you have introduced any foods which might be a problem... especially if it continues past a few weeks (as the sleep deprivation will drive you crazy!)

#16 Natttmumm

Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:15 PM

He sounds scared. Maybe let him play in there at awake time. Jump in there too to show him all is safe.

#17 kissy10

Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:28 PM

Sounds like night terrors to me, http://www.babycenter.com/0_night-terrors_142.bc




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

5 workplace lessons for new parents

Take heart in these principles that will transfer seamlessly from the workplace into your new life as a parent.

Review: The Volvo 2015 XC90 SUV has all the safety features your family needs

The new Volvo XC90 SUV's focus on keeping you safe does not come at the expense of comfort in the XC90.

Kim Kardashian reveals she may have hysterectomy

Kim Kardashian has revealed complications during pregnancy means she might have to have a hysterectomy after the birth of her second child.

Why late night snacks wreak havoc on weight loss

 Loath as you may be to admit it, chances are that at some point you have found yourself in the kitchen late at night, devouring food.

Toddler twins pretend to be asleep to fool mum

They say twins have a unique connection. If this cute clip is anything to go by, these toddler sisters like to use their special bond to try to fool their mother.

Dads who do their share have more sex: study

For women trying to encourage their partners to take more interest in fatherhood, it could be the ultimate incentive.

Think you might have IBS, coeliac disease or Crohn's? Here's what you need to know

Conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract are common in modern humans, and many are on the rise - including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and coeliac disease.

Couple poses for newborn shoot with adorable puppy

Tired of being asked about their baby-making plans, Australian couple Matt and Abby decided to give a creative answer.

Win a Mountain Buggy Swift

To celebrate Essential Baby reaching half a million Facebook fans, we have a Mountain Buggy Swift to giveaway to a lucky fan.

When your toddler disagrees

There comes a time when your child starts having different views to you. I didn't realise that time would come so soon.

The exercises you know you should be doing (but probably aren't)

I bet your to-do list today is long. But somewhere on that massive list, are you making time for your pelvic floor?

How did we have babies before apps came along?

Three months ago, my wife, Chrysta, and I were driving along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles when she let out a harrowing cry.

This baby really loves the family cat

Some babies get excited when mum or dad come to get them from their cot after a nap.

Woman gives birth after having her own mother's uterus transplanted

In a world first, a healthy baby has been born from the same womb that nurtured his own mother.

Home brand foods contain less salt than pricier rivals

Supermarket home brand foods, long derided as cheap and inferior, contain far lower levels of salt than pricier, branded rivals, new research shows.

Early exposure to peanuts recommended for allergy prevention

A paediatricians' group is recommending that infants at high risk of peanut allergies be given foods containing peanuts before they turn one.

Nannies for hire, wherever you're flying

Ever dreaded the prospect of a long flight, dreaming about how wonderful it would be for a nanny to entertain the kids?

Is it okay to name your baby with a sense of humour?

My husband was sure that Danger was a good option for a boy. And as the pregnancy progressed, it actually started to sound really good.

So hot right now: double-barrelled baby names on the rise

It's one way to make your baby stand out from the pack – giving them not one, but two first names.

Second time around: is it really better the devil you know?

When I fell pregnant with my second child I was, naturally, very excited. Then it all started to come back to me - and I freaked.

Shopping with kids: breaking the pester-power cycle

You're out shopping with your little one and they're incessantly whining that they want a treat. It's easy to say no ... the first time, at least.

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The worst 20 minutes of my life

Thirty seconds was all it took to turn a shopping trip into my worst nightmare.

Top baby names for England and Wales in 2014

George has overtaken William in the official rankings of most popular British baby names - and Game of Thrones is still having an impact on parents.

Baseball or baby? Dad's tough choice

What's more important, a baby or a baseball? That's a question this dad seems to struggle with.

Childbirth choices: five star or free?

It's not often you hear the words labour and luxury in the same sentence but for some, a 5-star start to parenthood is exactly what they seek. And with a number of private hospitals now offering packages which include a post-birth stay at a sumptuous first class resort, many mums are choosing to recover in style.

'Where did your boobies go, Mummy?' and other soul-destroying comments from kids

Most women carry a smidge of baby weight after giving birth. If you're lucky enough to have an older child in the house, they can keep you on track with your weight loss goals.

Do you read me, baby?

Is it too soon to be reading to my two-month-old son? If not, what should I read?

Minimising sibling rivalry when you've got a baby

Sibling rivalry is an act of competition, but if your children feel involved and special, this type of jealousy will be minimised.

Will studying on maternity leave take you away from your most important job?

I remember when I was trying to decide if I could combine motherhood and furthering my university education.

Win a Pacapod this Father's Day

To celebrate dads and families, we are giving away a Picos Pack from Pacapod Australia filled with a few extra goodies ENTER NOW

Preschooler hit by car shortly after baby brother's death

A mother has had a frantic race to the hospital after her daughter was hit by a car, just four weeks after her infant son died.

Gay couple and Thai surrogate in custody tug-of-war

A six-month-old baby girl is trapped in the Thai capital in a bitter custody wrangle between her Thai surrogate mother and her biological father.

Couple denied IVF over parenting concerns

A mother of six has been denied access to IVF treatment in order to have another child over concerns about her parenting skills.

The book that promises to put your children to sleep

Exhausted parents from around the world are singing the praises of a "miracle" book which promises to put even the most restless child to sleep in just minutes.

5 things every parent who feels guilty needs to know

Parenthood can make you feel bad, but you're not alone.

Royals criticise 'dangerous' attempts to photograph Prince George

The British royal family criticized paparazzi on Friday for what it called their increasingly dangerous attempts to photograph young Prince George.

'No jab, no play' rule to cover Victorian kindergartens and childcare centres

"Anti-vaxxers" face not being able to send their children to childcare centres or kindergarten if they refuse to have them immunised.

15,000 birthing kits on their way to developing countries

Giving birth in a hospital surrounded by medical experts is tough enough, but some women deliver babies without a clean sheet to lie on.

Photo of premmie 'too graphic', fundraising site says

When their son Jacob was born at just 27 weeks, Christina and Jeff Hinks were thrown into an uncertain world.

The latest Bugaboo collections: cool chevron and runner prams

Bugaboo sure likes to keep things fresh, and with the Australian spring/summer season coming up, there are two new Bugaboo pram releases.

Making room for two in the bed

Mum's room or their own room? Cot or bassinets? Deciding where twins will sleep can be tricky.

 

FREE TICKET

See Hi-5 LIVE in Sydney!

Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.