Screaming tantrums at 2 am... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 10-26-2011, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 25 mos.  Beginning of Sept we night-weaned, and end of September, we moved him to his own bed.  At first he seemed to do fine with those changes, and was sleeping an 8 hour stretch before waking for a feeding (around 4/5 am).  And then suddenly it stopped and now he's waking between 12 and 2 am every night for the first time (waking at least twice/night).  Every night, this waking is turning into a full blown temper tantrum.  When he wakes up, I go into his room, lay down next to his floor mattress, and try to soothe him back to sleep, but he is having none of it.  These night wakings turn into screaming, kicking, thrashing tantrums (comparable to the tantrums he has during the day when I tell him "no" or I don't give him what he wants, not a legitimate pain cry).  I ask him to use his words, to tell mommy what's wrong, what's the matter, why is he screaming, what does he need, what does he want, etc... I've even resorted to pinning his legs to the bed so he can't kick and ordering him to stop screaming (which predictably had no positive effect).  But I'm not getting a response to my questions (even during the day he's mostly non-verbal during tantrums or episodes when he's upset).  If he wants milk, he usually has enough presence to spit out "milk", but he's not doing that at this waking.  I'm at my wits end.  This tantrum can last upwards of an hour (he'll scream for a few minutes, drift off for a few, start screaming again, drift, scream, etc.).  I am so beyond done with this behavior, but I have no idea how to stop it.  And at this point it's keeping DH awake (at the other end of the house), and he's pushing for CIO. 

 

After this first waking, he'll usually fall asleep for a few hours, then wake again around 4.  If I'm lucky, I've managed to sneak away, pee and move to the couch (sleeping on the hardwood is killing my hips).  When he wakes at 4, the whole thing may or may not start all over again (last night we had a total repeat).  This time he'll come out of his room to the couch where I am (screaming the whole time), snuggle up with me, take his bottle, eat what he wants, and then start the tantruming again. 

 

This is obviously not sustainable.  I'm not getting sleep, DH isn't getting sleep, even DS isn't getting a whole lot of sleep.  At 4 am, it's all I can do not to hurt him when he starts screaming in my ear once again when I thought he was finally asleep.  I don't like that feeling at all, but without sleep, I have little control over my emotional state.  This has been going on for over a week now (the tantrums - the early waking has been going on several weeks), and I'm just done. 

 

Anyone else BTDT?  Have some brilliant suggestions of things to try?  Please?


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#2 of 10 Old 10-27-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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This sounds a lot like night terrors. My ds has gotten them since he was 18 months old. It scared the heck out of us the first time. He acted like he was concious, but he really wasn't. If you asked him questions, he would even sort of answer. This usually occured when there was any upheavle, illness, stress, change in diet, anything that was a stressor. There wasn't a whole lot we could do about it, besides try to keep the sleep low and we found that a bath with some epsom salts in it before bed seemed to lessen the chances of the terrors if he was stressed or overtired.

I hope you figure something out!

 
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#3 of 10 Old 10-27-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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Ooohh.  I second the night terror comment.  The first time my LO had one, I thought he was throwing a tantrum, it sounded very similar to his daytime tantrums.

 

When I went into his room, he didn't respond the way he normally does.  He thrashed, and screamed, and kicked and criiiieeeeeed.  There's nothing you can do when it happens, but I chose to hold my LO through it.  He eventually actually woke up after about 15-20 minutes and his cries changed, they sounded more like he was in panic mode and it took us about 15 minutes to calm him back to sleep.

 

There are lots of resources for night terrors on the internet.  Sadly, there's nothing that can be done other than waking them up, which isn't a very realistic thing.  Could also evaluate his day to see if there are any stressers.

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#4 of 10 Old 07-06-2013, 10:51 AM
 
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Is it possible for a 17 month old girl to be having night terrors? This is almost exactly my situation, dd waking at about 2 and having a full on tantrum. And funny you mention Epsom salts, after a couple of nights of these horrible tantrums, I have her a good long Epsom salt soak before bed, but no luck. This is terrible, I'm so tried, everyone in the house is tired, and my ears are still ringing.

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#5 of 10 Old 07-06-2013, 11:01 AM
 
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Night terrors and man were they tough.  Only one of my girls had them.  The youngest one would scream for hours and there was nothing you could do.

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#6 of 10 Old 07-06-2013, 11:04 AM
 
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Hmm, after reading I'm leaning towards that it's *not* night terrors as she will often be signing for milk during the tantrum.  I guess it's a good old fashion tantrum for not getting what she wants. irked.gif


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#7 of 10 Old 07-06-2013, 06:30 PM
 
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LOL!  I didn't even realize I'd already responded to the thread.  Nevermind!


 
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#8 of 10 Old 07-06-2013, 08:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Night terrors and man were they tough.  Only one of my girls had them.  The youngest one would scream for hours and there was nothing you could do.

 

Oh my, I really hope it isn't... DD has been sleeping either in the bed with us or on her bed on the floor. Our bed is small, hence the need for her own bed.  I'm going to try keeping her in the bed tonight, and hope that when she wakes at her witching hour, she is easier to settle than last night.


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#9 of 10 Old 07-06-2013, 08:52 PM
 
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My DD has done something similar to the OP's story, and ALSO has frequent night terrors, or something of that ilk.  For us, they were definitely not the same thing, and if I remember correctly, my daughter was diagnosed with an ear infection after several weeks of having all-out tantrums in the middle of the night.  The night terrors, for us, happen earlier in her sleep, usually after about 2 hours.  They subside the fastest if I don't try to mess with her, ask her questions, demand anything of her.  I just try to provide a reassuring presence, and at some point she looks at me, stops crying, lies down, and goes right back to sleep - after screaming an flailing for 25 minutes!  It's weird. 

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#10 of 10 Old 07-07-2013, 08:07 AM
 
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I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that we don't experience real night terrors over here! I had a feeling that the late night tantrums stemmed from DD actually waking hungry, so I made sure that she ate a good amount of solids before bed, and then put her to sleep in our bed. She slept for 6 hours, for the first time in a long time. When she woke, I half-heartedly tried to get her back to sleep so we would go the full 7 hours that Dr Jay Gordon's night weaning method calls for, but she did make it 6 hours and you pick your battles right??


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