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Hysterical night waking in 8mo...what could this be?

14 replies to this topic

#1 misse10

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:16 PM

My DS has never been a great sleeper, but with lots of persistance I have him down to one night feed (somewhere between 9.30-11.30pm) after his 7pm bedtime and on a good night he will just wake that one time and then sleep through to 7-ish.

The trouble is that SOME nights he wakes after just 1.5hrs sleep and is inconsolable.  My husband tries to calm him and he gets hysterical until I come to take him...and then he is quiet for a few minutes but if I try to put him down it's 10/10 hysteria again. After 30-60 mins of trying to calm, put down etc I often have to give him a BF to get him back to sleep.

Some nights he also ways at 1 & 4am, but that is more rare and he's better and self soothing then.

He is fed to sleep at night (not intentional, but he always either falls asleep or if i try to feed earlier, he doesn't think its really bedtime so he doesn't feed properly) but not at all during the day, when he is quite happy to be put to bed awake and just goes to sleep...so I know he knows how to self soothe.

I'm just really confused about this early evening waking. I don't think he can be hungry just 2 hours after his last feed (he is BF 4 hourly in the day + 3 big solid meals). I thought maybe he was over-tired (awake 4 hours before bed), but it sometimes happens when he's only been awake 2.5 hrs before bed.

Nightmares?  Separation anxiety? Just not a good sleeper?!?
Any suggestions anyone?

#2 EsmeLennox

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:18 PM

Night terrors would be my thought, although 8 months seems not the young side.

Night terrors

One of mine went through this and it was very much as you describe, but probably started around the 12 month mark.

#3 Mel_F

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:12 PM

Could it be gas or wind pains? My 20m/o still gets gas pains if she's had onions or broccoli. Only thing I've found that works is tummy calm and then she sleeps better (although she is still a shocking sleeper!)

#4 Kay1

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

I thought night terrors too but if he calms for you then probably not. Can't remember when they start having nightmares...? unsure.gif

#5 icekool

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:21 PM

Keep a diary of what he eats as well as what you eat and see if there is a correlation.
My second guess is teething.

#6 Dionysus

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:29 PM

DD did this at about the same age - we put it down to night terrors.  It only last a few months and then it became much less frequent.

It was this time of the year, too, so I thought it might be to do with the weather somehow.  

I wasn't still b/feeding, but I would unbutton my top and take her top off and the skin on skin seemed to calm her down fairly well

good luck

#7 Threelittleducks

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

DS was recently diagnosed as having night terrors. One of the features is that they will not be calmed, comforted or soothed. DS last for 15 to 20 minutes and escalate if we touch him or try to soothe him. They're terrifying and all we can do is sit beside him and ensure he does not injure himself when he thrashes around.  He has no recollection of them when he wakes and is the happiest boy around minutes later when fully awake post a terror. DS has even had night terrors during his afternoon nap.

We took a video of what he was doing and it helped the Doctor gives us a proper diagnosis.

Perhaps a sleep regression? I would also look at the Wonder Weeks for an idea. And even get a once over from the GP to rule out something like an ear or throat infection.

Best wishes.

#8 sakura73

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:45 PM

My DS had night terrors at that age. The books say it doesn't happen that young, but it does.

I used to pick him up, hold him as much as possible, offer him the breast to comfort him. I know you are meant to leave them in the cot but he would hold his arms up to me so I couldn't not respond. Sometimes just patting him worked. Sometimes picking him made it worse because he woke with a start, so I learned to pick him up really gently. I worried about using the breast as a soother, but it was only for a stage and I was glad to have that option really, nothing really worked.

It was a torrid time but it did not last long - perhaps a month. I wish you good luck. The cries are so awful but he never seemed to remember anything in the morning.

Edited by sakura73, 21 January 2013 - 08:48 PM.

#9 mandala

Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:10 PM

I would guess teething rather than night terrors.  Usually you can't comfort someone with night terrors at all.

I know that DS  would wake up screaming when teething and would want to BF even though not hungry. He'd just suck to soothe his gums rather than swallowing because he was hungry. Eventually, we learned that for DS it was worth giving him Panadol if he woke screaming in the night, because it was almost always teething pain.

#10 nicknick

Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:21 PM

My DD who is a similar age recently did that, for a little over a week - it was horrible. In the end I think it might have been a combination of teething and her being more aware that she is on her own. I think do what ever you need to comfort her, I have a rocking chair in her room so just calmed her down/fed if she would take it and the odd night when it was clearly pain related gave a little Nurophen. She has stopped the last few weeks so hopefully your DS is the same and it will pass.

#11 dirtgirl

Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

It doesn't sound like night terrors to me. My daughter has night terrors (she's 6 now, and started getting them at about 2 yo), and there is no consolation for a night terror. When she has a night terror she just cries and screams hysterically...her eyes are open, but she sees right through me. No amount of hugging or talking or anything can console her, and eventually she stops, lies down and sleeps like it never happened.  

As PPs have suggested, it sounds to me like he might be teething.  That might explain his desire for a feed as comfort for the pain.

#12 misse10

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:49 AM

thanks guys - it seems to have stopped again and we're having some good sleeps this week, so maybe it was just heat/teething/random stuff. i'll keep the suggestions in mind if it starts again!

#13 Jess1308

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

His teeth could be maneuvering themselves, which would wake him. They may not be breaking through but just moving. The other possibility is a progression in development, so his little brain is doing overtime. There is not necessarily something wrong, or a solution, you may just have to give him extra TLC and ride it out.

#14 faithy

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:18 PM

My LO will be 8mths in a couple of weeks, and according to the Wonder Weeks, in her next mental leap (between 33-38weeks) it's not uncommon for nightmares to happen.

With reference to nightmares they say: " babies dream, so they also have nightmares. During this leap you will notice she may suddenly wake up screaming, or make crying sounds while she's asleep. These are signs of nightmares"    

Not sure if that helped, but maybe confirmed what you were thinking? As others suggested, could maybe also be teething.

All the best and hope LO doesn't have anymore nightmares/teething eases soon.

#15 faithy

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:20 PM

Double post

Edited by faithy, 29 January 2013 - 07:21 PM.

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