2.5 year old waking up at night in a tantrum? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 11-18-2008, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's not night terrors, although she's had those in the past. This is different. Both my girls (twins) go to sleep in their own sibling bed with me lying between them. Occasionally Lilly will sleep through, but generally anywhere between midnight and 6am, they will migrate to our bed. Katie is almost always the first to arrive, and has only slept through a handful of times in her life.

Last night, and several other nights, she was sleeping peacefully between us in bed, and then just woke up and sat up, screaming and crying that she wanted to go out somewhere, she wanted to go downstairs, she wanted to get out get out get out. Last night it only lasted a few minutes, and then she calmed down, accepted a binky, and went back to sleep until morning. But other times it's been much worse - once she had me sitting on the floor in the hallway while she banged on the baby gate at the top of the stairs, telling me "I want you to press the button and open the gate and I will go down the stairs and you will turn on the TV and I will watch it." good plan, Katie!

I thought it was connected to being overtired and overstimulated, but yesterday she had a good 90-minute+ nap (VERY rare for her - she woke up after 45 and asked me to sleep with her, so I did and she went back to sleep) and we had a peaceful day at home, so that isn't it!

Any ideas what might be going on, or what I can do? I'd say this happens a couple of times a week, to some degree, for at least a couple of months. She's never been a big sleeper, but this is a whole new wrinkle.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#2 of 14 Old 11-18-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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This might be a developmental thing, because my 2.5 year old has been doing the same for a couple of months...he'll wake up SCREAMING and completely inconsolable from a deep sleep.

I think it's night terrors...which I've heard (here) can can be caused by overheating. I let him sleep in either just a didy or didy and pajama pants, with no cover (he just kicks it off anyway ). Seems to work okay.

Relevant topic as last night was the worst episode of this yet (forgot not to cover him)...worse still, he wanted to nurse constantly and my nipples were hurting so bad I had to cut him off. Needless to say, he didn't like that too much...and it was 45 solid minutes of horrible tantruming that probably woke the whole apartment complex (that kid can scream!).

Not a fun time for any of us. The thing with my son is when he's that upset, he can't accept comforting of any kind. No touching or talking. No food or drink or play offers. Nothing. What I always end up doing after trying everything I can think of is to just lay him down and lay down either next to him or nearby. Eventually, he poops out and goes back to sleep.

For us, nothing else works.

Good thing I had some money left over for Starbucks this morning! :yawning:


Edited to add : Sorry if this wasn't much help...I'm as mystified as you are. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone!
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#3 of 14 Old 11-18-2008, 01:40 PM
 
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My kids woke up screaming with unreasonable demands when they had to pee. Actually, 2 of them still do at 8 and 6 years old =)

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#4 of 14 Old 11-18-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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Those are impressive verbal skills for the middle of the night for such a small child!

OK, that's not what you wanted to hear... My son is just two and sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night yelling. Maybe it's a developmental thing. My son goes from dead asleep to "Mama out bed! Play choo choos! Toast!" in no time at all. He is wide awake and becomes even more upset when I say no, it's the middle of the night, we play and have toast in the morning. But he does go back to sleep if one of us sits/lays next to him and rubs his back.

Sorry I don't have any better advice.

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#5 of 14 Old 11-18-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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Sleep disturbances (nightmares, sleep terrors and sleep walking) are all related. Our paed said that waking in a tantrum is part of that spectrum (confusional arousal), and you handle it the same way you handle any parasomnia - try for good rest, early bedtime, no stress and they should outgrow it.

What kills me is that you can hear it starting and there's nothing you can do to stop it, just lie there and realise that instead of sleeping for the next two hours you'll be listening to the screaming. Not fun. I've even stopped felling sorry for the neighbours.
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#6 of 14 Old 11-19-2008, 02:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyMamaToBe View Post
Those are impressive verbal skills for the middle of the night for such a small child!

OK, that's not what you wanted to hear... My son is just two and sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night yelling. Maybe it's a developmental thing. My son goes from dead asleep to "Mama out bed! Play choo choos! Toast!" in no time at all. He is wide awake and becomes even more upset when I say no, it's the middle of the night, we play and have toast in the morning. But he does go back to sleep if one of us sits/lays next to him and rubs his back.

Sorry I don't have any better advice.
LOL, yes, she's almost as chatty at night as she is during the day. Almost. It does sound like it could be a developmental thing, and it is comforting to hear other kids are doing it too. She usually pushes us away if we touch her, and then at some magic moment she becomes ever-so-slightly calmer, takes a binky, and passes right back out. And I sit and wonder WTF just happened.

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Originally Posted by JessicaTX View Post
My kids woke up screaming with unreasonable demands when they had to pee. Actually, 2 of them still do at 8 and 6 years old =)
That's an interesting idea. I've heard that sort of thing about little babies and night wakings before. I suppose since she's hysterical when she wakes, I just sort of have to hope she works it out, since I don't think she's going to take well to the "wanna potty?" suggestion at that point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjuniverse View Post
This might be a developmental thing, because my 2.5 year old has been doing the same for a couple of months...he'll wake up SCREAMING and completely inconsolable from a deep sleep.

I think it's night terrors...which I've heard (here) can can be caused by overheating. I let him sleep in either just a didy or didy and pajama pants, with no cover (he just kicks it off anyway ). Seems to work okay.

Relevant topic as last night was the worst episode of this yet (forgot not to cover him)...worse still, he wanted to nurse constantly and my nipples were hurting so bad I had to cut him off. Needless to say, he didn't like that too much...and it was 45 solid minutes of horrible tantruming that probably woke the whole apartment complex (that kid can scream!).

Not a fun time for any of us. The thing with my son is when he's that upset, he can't accept comforting of any kind. No touching or talking. No food or drink or play offers. Nothing. What I always end up doing after trying everything I can think of is to just lay him down and lay down either next to him or nearby. Eventually, he poops out and goes back to sleep.

For us, nothing else works.

Good thing I had some money left over for Starbucks this morning! :yawning:


Edited to add : Sorry if this wasn't much help...I'm as mystified as you are. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone!
It definitely helps to know I'm not alone! I don't think being too warm is the problem here. It's pretty much happened in all weather, with air conditioner, without, and with various jammies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
Sleep disturbances (nightmares, sleep terrors and sleep walking) are all related. Our paed said that waking in a tantrum is part of that spectrum (confusional arousal), and you handle it the same way you handle any parasomnia - try for good rest, early bedtime, no stress and they should outgrow it.

What kills me is that you can hear it starting and there's nothing you can do to stop it, just lie there and realise that instead of sleeping for the next two hours you'll be listening to the screaming. Not fun. I've even stopped felling sorry for the neighbours.
It does seem like it's all related. She was a sleep giggler as a baby, and is a sleep-talker now (actually was just babbling lyhing down and was sitting up in bed babbling but asleep 2 minutes ago). I hope it doesn't progress to sleep-walking, too. Although at least maybe that'd be quiet.

I guess all I can keep doing is trying to give her nice days and easy nights. And hope she someday does the same for me.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#7 of 14 Old 11-19-2008, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I am putting more credence in the "yelling because she has to pee" theory. Twice this evening (when she was very tired and cranky) Katie threw a total hissy fit because she peed in her diaper and wanted it changed immediately. This is from a kid who would sit around in a full overnight diaper all morning if I didn't chase her down with a new one.

But right before we went up to bed, she lost it, screaming "I peed! I peed! I don't like the pee! Change my diaper!" So I did, and jammied her in the process. Then as we were all lying in their bed, she started crying again that she peed in her diaper and doesn't like it and I had to change it again. So I did, and she went to sleep shortly afterwards.

OK, great. Maybe it's the pee that is disturbing her sleep. Now what do I do??

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#8 of 14 Old 12-15-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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I am bumping this thread because we had this experience last night with our 2 year old.

She went from asleep to screams in 10 seconds.

She wanted her daddy and I near her, but not to touch her... then she wanted to be held.. and then pushed us away.
She asked for milk, then threw the bottle at my husband's mouth (literally) hitting him in the teeth.
She then got out of bed and grabbed my husband's hand and said "daddy come on, living room please" and in between her sobs and screams led my husband to the living room where he just held her from 3 am to 7:30 am and she slept fitfully. She has had night terros before but never like this. She wanted everything, but nothing at the same time. My husband (the saint) got up with her and comforted her but there wasnt much either of us could do.

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#9 of 14 Old 12-15-2008, 07:33 PM
 
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Hi. I'm new here, but I thought I would mention a couple of things - from my own experiences. 1st - at about 16 mos old, (she's now 7) my oldest DD was diagnosed with Parasomnias (aka night terrors. Night terrors are actually one of the parasmonias, along with sleep walking, bed-wetting etc) - her "episodes" ranged from nasty tantrums to seizures. It is possible it's a parasomnia. They are a lot more common than once thought.

My youngest DD showed some signs - she actually bit my husband so badly it took a chunk out of his chest, but had no idea she'd done it! Thankfully, she has grown out of it. It's amazing how once they calm down it's like a fog lifts or a switch comes on and they're confused.

I also wanted to note that "I don't like the pee" comment makes me wonder if she has a UTI? UTI's are really painful, and little ones really don't know how to explain the pain...expecially if it's not quite the area we ask about!

To get through our tought nights, we taught our daughter to communicate the best she could. We never let her go to bed upset and we tried to keep all stressful situations to a minimum. We wouldn't discuss "adult matters" even near her, in case she was taking in our stresses, too.
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#10 of 14 Old 12-15-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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My DS does this as well. He usually needs to pee. He just turned two, and is 90% + done with potty learning. He usually will calm down, get a drink or go potty. It seems to happen most when he is uncomfortable- thirsty, needs to pee, or hot/cold.

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#11 of 14 Old 12-17-2008, 02:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Funny that this got bumped this week. She's sick right now and has been having horrible tantrums just like before - it had calmed down for a week or so. Last night twice she was screaming to go downstairs, etc. She had a fever so it's probably related. I don't think she has a UTI or anything because most of the time she's perfectly happy to pee in her diaper and think nothing of it.

But man, this kid is wearing me out. The other night somehow she dislodged her diaper, peed all over the place, and of course woke up crying for a change. She then came to my bed, and in the morning woke up and drank a sippy of milk, had a coughing fit, and barfed all over everything--including me.

I'm hoping things calm down as she improves healthwise. And as far as the pee situation, we're going away for Christmas in a week, and there will be airplanes and upheaval, so I don't want to try the potty "for real" until after that. But when we return, I think we'll give it a go and see if it helps.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#12 of 14 Old 12-17-2008, 12:03 PM
 
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oh ma ma... i am sorry.

earth.gif trottin', pole dancing, Norway and Sweden lovin' , hippie.gif,WOHM Kiddos born waterbirth.jpg 12/11/06 and 08/09/08 
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#13 of 14 Old 12-18-2008, 04:03 AM
 
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I have a 2 year old as well and he does this as well one week he woke up screaming every night about 4 hours after going to bed he would scream for 2-40 min and finally calm down enough to gather him up and hold him till he went back to sleep.

During the last month it has only happened a couple of times once this week but he was back to sleep within 15 min and I was ever so greatfull
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#14 of 14 Old 12-18-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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I wanted to mention that it happens more often when he is teething, than not. Right now I think the 2 1/2 year molars are working on getting near the surface.

Momma to G 12/06 A 2/09, AND ANNOUNCING... Welcome big boy! A 5/10/10 9 lbs 10 oz! We and had our 3rd UP/UC!
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