Posted by: KC | 2009/01/30


Night Screaming???

Hi Dr
I really don' t know what is happening to my little boy. He is almost 15 months and has for the last five nights woken in the early hours of the morning screaming. He sleeps in his own room and as soon as he cries I go to him and pick him up but he pushes me away and does not want to be held. I put him back in the cot and he screams, i take him to my husband and he screams, put him in our bed etc He is just inconsoloble. Eventually we resort to switching on all the lights and distracting him with toys just to get him to calm down so that I can try and see what is wrong. Once he settles, it takes over an hour for him to get back to sleep and he wants to be held. He is always a really good sleeper and when he gets sick or has a tooth he might have a few bad nights but he is easy to settle and when he wakes up when he is sick I let him sleep in our bed for comfort because he has never formed a habit out of it and is quite happy in his cot. I just feel when he is sick or uncomfortable he needs the extra attention. But the last few night are different, if I put him in the bed with us he screams and kicks his legs and is uncontollable.
I don' t think it is teething, I have never heard this cry before.
The other day he managed to throw some sand in his ear which I have been trying to clean out but I am scared to push ear buds in too deep. That same ear now has alot of wax which I am cleaning out and I am wondering if he has some sort of infection although he is fine all day and not pulling his ear. No temp. He also goes to sleep well and sleeps well up until early hours.
I have started working part time and on the days I work he is with granny. The last two weeks I have been working more days that I usually do due to a deadline and I was wondering if the screaming at night is some sort of separation anxiety?
What is worrying me is that I don' t know how to calm him down and when he gets himself into a state how should I deal with it?
If you think it may separation anxiety, what is the best way to handle it. I really worry about things like this affecting him. He is such a happy little boy but I have noticed the last few days he is very shy of strangers and different environments and tends to be quite clingy?
Thanks in advance for your advise!

Expert's Reply



It seems that your son is having a very common problem called night terrors. When he wakes up crying just go to him, cuddle him for a short while, kiss him goodnight again and then put him back in his bed and leave the room. Use a night light in his room. He must not be brought to your bed because that will start up another problem. This is a passing phase and he will grow out of this problem.

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