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Toddler hysterical all night

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My daughter is 2.5 and has been sleeping alone in her toddler bed for almost year now with few problems. Occasionally she would wake up and we'd go in to put her back down. Now she is absolutely hysterical almost all night, and all nap time. Weirdly enough, she will lay down and go to sleep no problem, usually for about 20 minutes. Then the screaming starts. We will go in and put her back down, give her a sip of water, or whatever normally works. But she'll start back up about 30 seconds later. And I'm not talking a little whimpering, she will straight up shriek for hours at a time. It isn't night terrors (she has had them before) and she will talk to us and agree that if we get her an extra stuffed animal, or blanket, that she will go back to sleep. But 30 seconds later it is a total meltdown again. 


I feel like we have tried EVERYTHING - singing her songs, not talking when we go back in to put her down, getting rid of "snakes" and "monsters", but every time we meet one of her needs/desires it does not satisfy her. So I have left her to cry for small chunks of time and she just gets worse and worse until she starts to hyperventilate. She is sleepy, she isn't sick or hurt. I'm not willing to go back to co-sleeping - I will lay down with he for a few minutes, or if she is having a particularly bad night she can come into bed with us, but this has been EVERY single nap time and night for at least a week now. Its getting ubearable. 


Any suggestions we might not have tried? Any idea why she is having so many uncontrollable freak-outs, when nothing is wrong? We need to get some sleep up in here. 

post #2 of 6

Are you double, triple sure there's no physical cause?  Because the sudden-ness of it, and the extremity, really would make me suspicious.  It really might be worth a quick ear check, at least, because sometimes ear infections can have no other obvious symptoms. 

post #3 of 6
Ditto on the ear check.
post #4 of 6

I can think of a couple of things to check in addition to the earache possibility.  

1)  This is the age my kids had their imaginations really wake up.  Sometimes our imaginations feed our fears and it took a lot of trial and error to figure out what each child could do to calm down and self-sooth after a bad dream or scary thought.  

2)  Pinworms - it was several months of waking and screaming and being very scared while sleeping to realize that our youngest had pinworms.  You cannot see them in stools and they are hard to catch "in person", so doing the sticky tape or paddle to pick up eggs and get them checked is the way to ID them.  We finally got a positive ID when our doctor said to collect samples 3 mornings in a row.  Only 1 showed the eggs.  After treatment it took about 3 days and then we had a peacefully-sleeping child again.


I hope you find a way to have restful nights soon!

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

We did take her in to the doctor just in case it was an ear infection, but that doesn't seem to be the issue. She is pretty verbal, and she doesn't say that anything hurts her or that she feels sick when we ask her. Thanks for the other suggestions though - she did sleep through the night again the other day, but isn't doing it consistently yet. 

post #6 of 6

Does she have all her 2yr molars in? DD is 25mos and has had a very rough few weeks with no sleep and tantrums as her teeth break through.  She just went into a toddler bed at 24mos and has also potty trained but it went from great sleeping in the bed to all hell broke loose.  We've had 3 major meltdowns this morning already, over nothing at all, and it's only 10:30am!

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