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4 yr old waking up crying
Anyone experienced this?


23 replies to this topic

#1 Jjbeanz

Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:08 PM

My 4 year old dd wakes up most nights crying and moaning. Usually it's a few hours after she has fallen asleep. She won't respond to me when I try to wake her to ask her why she is crying. Has anyone else experienced this with their lo around this age? She is so loud and it sounds terrible sad.gif

#2 veematt1976

Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:20 PM

My 3 and a half year old wakes up spme nights crying. He doesn't talk, won't take nurofen. Sometimes he cries 'it hurts, it hurts' but wouldn't say what hurts! One night I managed to distract by putting Dora on, once he calmed down a bit  I managed to work out that it was his leg. It doesn't happen as often anymore, usually only if he's had a big day running around. I thought maybe it was leg cramps. Sorry not so helpful I guess but I can sympathise! It's horrible knowing that they are hurt but not knowing what to do to make it better, especially in the early hours of the morning!

#3 Beltie

Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:24 PM

Try reading some old threads or googling about night terrors (not nightmares, they are different) and see if they sound familiar.

#4 winkywonkeydonkey

Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:25 PM

sounds like it could be night terrors .

#5 MrsK1

Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:26 PM

Yep my 3.5 yr old does the same thing. Usually occurs if she has had a big day and is really tired. I think she wakes with "pins and needles" in her legs, because on the odd occasion she is able to stop crying long enough to speak she complains of sore legs. Now if I go in, lye down, give her a cuddle and rub her legs she settles quickly. She has no recollection of it in the morning and in the past has become so upset that she vomits. Nothing I said or did would wake her. Good luck!

#6 Jjbeanz

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:01 PM

thank you I'll do some googling original.gif

#7 wallofdodo

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:05 PM

Yep I would say night terror or sore legs. We get both here. Not too often though, I find the night terrors happen more often when it is hot.

#8 Suz01

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:09 PM

My 2 yo is waking crying as well, its been every night for the last week. No advice but I'll watch this thread...

#9 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:11 PM

Yep, another vote here for night terrors....DS used to get them, he hasn't had one for a while now. Agree with a pp who said tends to happen when he's hot. Also overtired or coming down with a mild illness. It's almost like a tantrum, he won't be consoled....sometimes giving him a drink of water can help. We would generally just watch at the door and make sure he didn't hurt himself - sounds cruel I know but when we tried to help him it made him worse. He has no memory of them happening the next morning.

#10 Jjbeanz

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

Yes it's like a tantrum, good way to put it.

#11 Cath42

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:24 PM

I agree, it sounds like night terrors. I have 4 kids and had no experience of night terrors at all until my youngest suddenly started having them soon after he turned 2. Apparently it's more likely to happen if kids are overtired before they go to bed, and that would make sense in my case as my youngest does tend to get overtired trying to keep up with the older kids. He also sometimes doesn't have an afternoon nap, and those tend to be the nights that night terrors are more likely to happen. He seems to have no memory of them the next day. My GP has said that kids tend to grow out of them by about 5.

#12 Suz01

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

So its OK to leave them, I worry she's actually awake and I'm being cruel?

#13 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:32 PM

Well, like I said with our DS, we stay in the room, talking to him, trying to hug him etc seems to make it worse..sometimes we offer him a drink of water and that does seem to calm him down, he doesn't get out of bed with them but sometimes he is sitting up, he's not properly awake though, you can tell. I kind of stay at the door and wait it out, tell him "he's ok" ....he usually rolls over on to his tummy in a huff then goes back to normal sleep. As I said, he never remembers the next day. It's very strange, and quite frightening (for the parent)...

#14 Cath42

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:33 PM

I've found with my son that it's almost as though he's having a tantrum and doesn't know I'm there. I can't leave him in his cot because he shares a room with his 3-year-old brother, who will wake up if the noise goes on for too long. So I just pick my 2-year-old up and hold him while I walk around the house, and after a while he wakes up enough to snap himself out of it and go back to sleep (if that makes sense). But a friend of mine has a 4-year-old daughter who has night terrors, and says that she just leaves her in bed and stands next to the bed to make sure she doesn't fall off the bed and hurt herself. Eventually, her daughter just goes back to sleep and has no recollection of anything in the morning!

#15 Kay1

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:36 PM

We have seen a specialist for night terrors for my 7 year old.

Basically there is nothing you can do to stop them. There is one method you can try to improve them. You wake the child fifteen minutes before they normally wake, rouse them and then settle them back to sleep. This didn't work for us.

Generally the less you intervene the better. Try to think of the child as being asleep. The way the specialist explained to me is that there is a small, primitive part of the brain that is awake and making the child act distressed. Touching or holding the child increase their adrenalin and worsen the terror. The night terror does not interrupt the child's sleep (weird as that seems) and they will not remember it in the morning. They can go on for ages or be intermittent. My son had them on and off for a few years and then every single night for about a year. He seems to finally be outgrowing them now. We would just go into his room and watch him to make sure he didn't hurt himself. They always lasted exactly 5 minutes.

They are awful but pretty harmless. There is a medication that can be used in severe cases but the side effects are horrible and we elected not to try it.

#16 redglittershoes

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:38 PM

Sounds just like night terrors to mee too. My DD has had them for years, she is 'zoned out' when she is having them, and doesn't respond or seems terrified. The one thing I have tried that seemed to work with them from googling was to track when after they fall asleep they happen. You then wake the child up just before they would normally have them. She has had them for periods quite a few times and this is how we keep them under control. Good luck!


#17 Suz01

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:39 PM

Can they occur more than once during the night?

#18 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:41 PM

Not in my experience. With our son it would happen once in a night, in the first half of the night...so two hours or so from when he first went to bed. He has nightmares but they are different, he will call out and we will come into his room he is distressed but awake, and can be consoled.

#19 Suz01

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:55 PM

Is it better to have your child sleep with a soft night light or in the dark?

#20 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:03 PM

Our son has a night light....always has.....I don't know if it has had any impact one way or the other on the night terrors... shrug.gif

#21 Cath42

Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

My experience is similar to Lucretia Borgia's, in that it tends to happen about 2 hours after my son has gone to sleep. He has a night light, but I don't know if it makes any difference. It does make it easier for me to see what's what when the night terrors hit, though.

*edited to add: it only seems to happen once on the nights it happens. Haven't had it happen twice yet. I can only imagine how awful that is.

Edited by Cath42, 11 November 2012 - 09:14 PM.


#22 Cath42

Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:18 PM

Oh, you wouldn't believe it!! My 2-year-old's been asleep for 3 hours and here we go! He didn't have his afternoon nap today (refused to). AAARRRGGHHH!

#23 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:19 PM

Oh no! Good luck, they are distressing things....hope it's all ok....

#24 Cath42

Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:45 PM

Sorted, and back to sleep. They are awful, aren't they?  sad.gif



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