View Full Version : 13 month old waking up screaming at odd hours during night screaming like he's being killed!

01-23-2007, 09:43 PM
Hi All,

HELP! My 13 month old was sleeping wonderfully throughout the whole night for many months. None of his sleeping routines have changed, he's not really teething now, and he doesn't have any kind of illness at the moment.

Recently, he started waking up at all different hours of the night at first, he makes noise, then cries a little, then it becomes full blown screamfest(like someone is torturing him) x(! My husband and I don't go in right away. We will usually wait at least 20-30 minutes, then my husband gets frustrated and wants to go in to make sure "he's o-kay". I think he needs to cry it out and get back to his uninterrupted 12-13 hours. I think he KNOWS that if he cries long enough and hard enough, someone will come in. When we do go in, he starts smiling :P ! He is changed and gets a small bottle, then goes back to sleep. When he wakes up, it is an hour or more later then his usual wake-up time, and his whole schedule is thrown off for the entire day. Does anyone have ANY suggestions? PLEASE HELP!!! Once he's up, I can't fall back to sleep, and I'm dragging by noon!;(

01-24-2007, 11:52 AM
It could be separation anxiety. They go through this several times at different age points as they really put together who they are in world and others' place in their world. Not what you want to hear, probably, but it really could be a true need. But, hopefully he will work through this developmental burst and get back on track soon. :)

We went through that at 18 months (as did many of the other 18 month olds on the birth club I was on). I have come to accept that good or bad sleep is all a phase.


01-24-2007, 02:21 PM
Thank you, Beth! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and answer my post!

Have a great day :-)


01-25-2007, 01:48 PM
I agree it could be separation anxiety. Have you also considered night terrors? Although by your description of how he is when you go in there, it doesn't sound like it. I hope it gets better.

02-04-2007, 12:13 AM
Wow. We're having the same problems. DS just turned 1 and this week he's been different. Kind of needy during the day (which I love cuz we get to cuddle more) and waking at wierd times during the night. He could be getting a tooth or two. And of course, there is the 1 yr old shots he just recieved. And, Thank God, we've missed whatever is "going around" but maybe he's fighting a cold/virus. I didn't think about the separation anxiety... I don't want to get in the habit of rocking him to sleep because he was an excellent sleeper without that for so long. But sometimes it does seem like a cuddle makes him feel better - instantly! Where do you draw the line and let him cry it out... I don't know. DH and I are really struggling with this right now.

02-06-2007, 02:56 PM
this happened with my son too shortly after a year. I am hoping its over, it lasted a few weeks. I could not tell if it was teething or separation anxiety

02-08-2007, 06:19 PM
Yes, this started happening with dd around 13-14 months. Every couple of weeks or so she would suddenly wake up crying loud enough to wake the dead. It's not night terrors, because when we went in she was standing in her crib waiting for us. I think she is having nightmares. It's only happened 4 times total, but this is what we've tried. We pick her up and sit with her for a little until she calms down. Then we lay her back in the crib, pat her down, and sit by the crib. Dh also tried playing her little music toy, which has a soothing effect. For a while we tried laying down on the floor with her, but that doesn't work for me. As soon as she calms down she wants to play, or gets restless. The crib works best, and we just sit there next to it until she starts getting drowsy. Then we sneak out. If it happens early enough, she will go back to sleep, then wake somewhat close to her regular time. However, this week it happened at 5am, and she refused to go back to sleep. Luckily Dh gets up at 5:30, so he just let her hang out with him until he had to go to work. It did throw off her routine, but I think that's just par for the course. Luckily it doesn't happen all the time. BTW, when it does happen, we usually go in right away because it sounds so alarming, not like her usual "oh accidentally woke up now I'm pissed" cry. She can put herself back to sleep for those instances.

02-08-2007, 08:05 PM
My sister's 2 year old, who is very verbal, was scared of a Baby Einstein segment with bees. That night, he had a nightmare and woke up upset. He was able to say "bees in my room", so my sister "caught" them and put them in the garage :) Vivid proof to me that babies do have nightmares/fears and this can be a cause for waking. Incidentally, the next day when they went out to the garage to go somewhere he said "bees?" b/c he remembered they were in the garage!

02-08-2007, 08:39 PM
I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing similar crying! Andrew has gotten much better. The last week 1/2 he hasn't woken up at all (I hope I'm not jinxing it!!) I think what I'm goint to do if he starts doing this again is to let him cry for about 10 minutes or so, then go in and hold him until he gets drowsy. Perhaps even offer him a small bottle.

Let me know how your son is doing, and I'll let you know if it happens again and how it worked out with my idea.

Thanks so much!

Marilyn :)