My seven month old has earth shattering, heartbreaking screaming episodes a few nights a week. He wakes up utterly inconsolable and it takes about 15 or so minutes to calm him. Could he be experiencing night terrors so young? If so, I do not like the suggestion to not comfort him and just let him cry. Is that really the only way?
Accepted Answermegganhartman May 06, 6:41 AMHi
Yes - you are correct that the night screams are very off putting and scary for the parents. It is hard to know what can cause these. As a Pediatric Sleep Consultant, I do hear of this from time to time. In general night terrors don't start until 2.5/3. They happen within the first part of the night and the child may or may not come to awake states. It is like they are possessed o in an altered state of consciousness. Nightmares on the other hand typically happen anytime during the night. We see a spike in them around 2.5years old that coincides with the development of the imagination. With babies we can see something called mini-mares. They last about 30 secs and can cause them to scream out in the night.
What we recommend is to go to them and console them. If they are sleeping solitary, then keep the consoling in their room. It helps them learn that their room is safe. Even if is a night terror, which I haven't seen any cases this young, I would still recommend going to them to keep them safe. With night terror, because they are not alert, it can be a safety issue to pick them up. But we do recommend being with them, making sure they are safe. If the problem persists, then I would recommend talking to your Dr about it.
Accepted Answerjl.campbell May 07, 5:24 AMWe went through this similar scenario when our little one was cutting his teeth. He seemed fine during the day but once he was in bed, he would wake up screaming. It lasted a week or two for us. Lots of nursing and rocking seemed to help for us!
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