Night terrors???????

  • One of my babies wake up in the middle of the night, multiple times, screaming her head off. And not just crying, but literally ear piercing, absolutely terrified shrieks. And the second I soeak to her, she smiles and calms right down. She's 4 months, not colicky, and this has only started recently and has become worse since her dad went on a trip. I'm scared for her and I don't think my pedi has any clue either. If anyone has any idea what's going on with my baby...PLEASE...share your info.

    *~*What are little girls made of? Sugar and Spice and everything nice!*~*

  • This does not sound like night terrors to me.  Our son had night terrors and you could not console him.  If you tried to, he would get angrier ... it's as if they are having a tantrum and there's nothing you can do to calm them down.  We would have to let him work it out because trying to comfort him only made them worse and last longer.  Night terrors are horrible.   This is just from my experience ... hope it helps.

  • I agree, this doesn't sound like night terrors. Night terrors are usually more severe and difficult to calm the child down. That usually happens with older children. It sounds to me like a very little person waking up in a dark place and being confused and scared, looking for reassurance. My two-year-old still does that!

  • It sounds like separation anxiety to me. There comes a point when they realize they are in their room all by themselves and they want to know where in the world  you are and if you are ever coming back. I think they panic a bit when they hit this stage. With night terrors, they continue even after you are in the room. They generally don't occur at this age either.

  • Thanks guys. Last night she didn't scream, but I have noticed that lately, if I'm not holding her sister or her, they both get extremely upset until their held, just like any other baby I'm guessing. I heard they were too young to suffer from separation anxiety though, that's why I didn't think of it. Any ideas of how to help them get through this?

    *~*What are little girls made of? Sugar and Spice and everything nice!*~*

  • That's good to hear. My advice would be just to give them as much love and reassurance they need right now. Every kid develops at their own rate, and just because your babies are only a few months old, doesn't necessarily mean that they are not experienceing some kind of separation anxiety.

    At this stage of development, they don't really know that when they don't see you anymore that you don't cease to exist. This understanding of object permanence doesn't come until later in their first year. Until then, the best thing you can do is show them examples that when things go away, they can come back. Peekaboo is a good way to do this.

  • Our daughter entered a "mommy-phase" and it reminds me of your situation. She would cry unless her mother was with her/holding her. We slowly worked to teach her that her mother isn't the only person who is there for her, and while she still prefers her mom, she will now accept my and others attention as a substitute for her mothers.

  • My baby (11 mos) has done the same thing for months, usually about an hour after going to sleep.  I just wait for it every night- it's just like clockwork.  I go and calm him, and then put him back to sleep.  He still wakes crying later on, but nowhere near the terrified screams of that first waking.  I have no idea what causes it either.  I've thought it might be a bad dream or just something that might happen when he switches to a deeper sleep cycle.  Whatever it is, he seems terrified.        When he was younger he woke screaming all night long (but not the terrified cries) and his pedi determined he had a dairy intolerance.  Cutting all dairy out of his diet helped that right away.  I don't know if that might be the case with your baby, but you might consider it.   If you figure out what causes the terrified screaming let me know, I've worried about that for months.