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Toddler Crying in His Sleep

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

My little guy is nearly 21 months. He started sleeping in a crib after we co-slept for the first nine months. He's always had a hard time sleeping and he's always been a noisy sleeper.

The most recent problem is that he is screaming in his sleep. He lets out super loud devastating screams that will cause my husband or I to go running into his room only to find him fast asleep. It's really frustrating because I can't always tell if he's crying in his sleep or if he really needs attention.


My kiddo had a traumatic birth, including surgery just a few days after being born and he cried nearly constantly the first three months of life. He has always been vocal.


Does anyone know why he might be sleep crying? Has anybody else experienced this? They don't seem to be night terrors quite yet.


Thank you.

post #2 of 3

Sorry, no suggestions (except that your post made me think of night terrors), I just wanted to wish you good luck because that sounds really hard to deal with.  My DD (14 months) sometimes cries in her sleep but it's more a whimpering noise, and in her case it's because she has gas.  She's sensitive to foods and if she eats something that disagrees with her she'll have a lot of gas and whine or whimper in her sleep.   She also is a terrible sleeper--probably related.


It could be something similar for your little one except that my DD usually wakes up after a couple minutes of whimpering.  If your little one goes back to sleep and is sleeping peacefully, I doubt it's any sort of physical discomfort.


Good luck!  I always feel terrible when DD cries in her sleep, so I can just imagine how hard it is for you.

post #3 of 3

Sorry your little guy is waking up. I think it is around 18mos they can start having night terrors. Something about their imagination working and working in their sleep. Did he ever use a noise machine or dim nightlight? DD (19mos) wakes up occasionally screaming "no!No!" and I don't know why. I will go in take her out, change her diaper, I tired rocking her like we used to but she just cries for her 'cribby' so I tuck her back in and dn't hear a peep out of her. Maybe they just get scared not knowing where we are? Since you guys co-slept for so long maybe he misses your scent? Have you tried you sleeping with a blankie then having him use that at night? 

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