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Young Children who Wake up Crying

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My sister and I are both dealing with this issue. I have a 2.5 year old nursling who always seem so upset whenever she wakes up. Whether it is a nap, middle of the night, or morning, if I am not there to nurse her right away, she is crying.

My niece will be 4 in a January, also nursing, and does the same thing. She just gets hysterical and cries and cries until she finds mom and can nurse again. My sister also has a 19 month old nursling who wakes up happy the vast majority of the time, which just makes the almost 4 year old seem that much more "abnormal" and frustrating.

I know that all kids are different. But at what point do you think this behavior might indicate a problem?

Any thoughts, experiences, and advice is appreciated.
post #2 of 18
I think it might be a nursing thing. My daughter who is 4.5 only wakes up crying if she is in the car - and I think that is just because she is disoriented and not sure of where she is.
My SIL's kiddos are both nurselings and both did this (it was really annoying when both were nursing and would wake each other up crying for the breast). Once they weaned though - it wasn't a problem anymore
post #3 of 18
Mine does this too. I tell her "It's okay, you're still asleep, come lay down next to Mommy" I think it is because she's disoriented. Usually she'll calm down and lay down and go back to sleep or I'll nurse her for a minute and then she'll sleep. Sometimes, only when she's gotten really good sleep, she will wake up with smiles.
post #4 of 18
My ds used to do this too, I think a big part of it was blood sugar. He'd wake up and be miserable and as soon as I got some nourishment into him he started perking up.
post #5 of 18
The blood sugar thing makes sense. I don't think its a nursing thing, but my evidence is very anecdotal: my now-3.5-yr old was breastfed till she was 2 or so, and never woke up crying. My 18 month old weaned early and always woke up frantic and crying - breastfed or not. Its been a personality thing in this house, which also could depend on how an individual responds to that awful waking-up-hungry feeling or ever just franticness of wondering where people are. We cosleep with the 18 month old, and she does it even when we are right there and I just have to say "here i am, there there" and pat her back and she calms down.

It's quite fascinating sometimes - having this 2nd baby really woke me up to that "even if you treat them the same, all babies are different" cliche.
post #6 of 18
Ugh. I'm in the same boat. My dd is almost 3.5 and still wakes up freaking out. She weaned at 26 months, so it's not related to the nursing for us. She has always been very high needs in all areas of her personalitty, so I just saw this as one more. It can be so difficult to deal with, especially with the new babe sleeping with us as well.
post #7 of 18
My son always woke up smiling and happy whereas my daughter does more of what you're describing. It's gotten much better now, she wakes up crying fairly infrequently. BUT....the first few months of her life (like 15 months) she pretty consistently woke up crying or upset. Kids are SO different, and I do think much, if not all, of this is temperamental.
post #8 of 18
Have you ever considered getting a constitutional homeopathic remedy? It did WONDERS with my 3 yr old (when she was 2) and sleep issues.
post #9 of 18
My 4.5 year old always cries when she wakes up and she isn't nursing. My 2 year old rarely cries when he wakes up and he nurses at night.

She rarely wakes now, and I'm not concerned.
post #10 of 18
Interesting discussion! My DS who will be 3 in Nov wakes up crying on any week day when we are home together, but if it is the weekend adn DH is home, or if Nana and Papa are in town visiting, he wakes up happy. Food for thought!
post #11 of 18
My oldest always woke up crying. I think it tapered off when she was around 4 (also the time she started sleeping through the night. I have bad sleepers).

For her, it just seems to be an extension of her mood/personality. She was a quiet baby, a moody toddler, and now she's a moody 11 year old. Waking up crying just seemed to suit her *shrugs*

We never really found anything that helped.
post #12 of 18
Aghhh! I was hoping someone would have a solution!

My 2 year old wakes up and cries about half the time. A few months ago it was closer to 80%. As a baby she was quiet at night because she was always latched on. She's getting better about soothing herself and going back to sleep as we actively but gently nightwean.
post #13 of 18
My oldest went through a phase between 18-30 months (ish) where she did that, after always waking up happy. Now she's back to waking up happy again. And my youngest is waking up crying all the time now -- he's 27 months.
post #14 of 18
I try to reassure DD when this happens....just saying "Ima's here....its okay".
post #15 of 18
My son has just started this ... with him, though, it pretty much just seems like he's cranky until he fully wakes up. I wouldn't say it necessarily indicates any sort of problem.
post #16 of 18
Mine have always done this a significant amount of the time. Even my almost 5 year old. They want to be held. If I'm in the bed with them they don't cry when they wake up, they just wake me up.
post #17 of 18
my 13 mo does this most of the time, too
post #18 of 18
My 2 yo DD does this occasionally. Mostly, if I put her down for a nap, but it's Papa who goes to get her when she wakes, she freaks out. Or if she's woken/awakens too early and really just needs more sleep.

She's always been a poor sleeper, though, and transitions are very hard for her. Sometimes I think transitioning from sleeping to waking is just as hard for her as transitioning from awake to sleeping. Usually it's going to sleep she fights, but sometimes she has to fight the waking, too.
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