My 11 Month Old Wakes Up Screaming – What Can It Be?
My daughter just turned 11 months. Lately she has been waking up in the middle of night SCREAMING. Even when I pick her up, she is still screaming. She has screamed so loud and hard that I have considered taking her to the hospital. She already takes pepcid, mylanta and motrin before bed, and she has been waking up for 6 months or so.
She has slept through the night without making a peep on many occasions, but wakes up more often than not. Since she has been doing this for so many months, we have tried to sleep train her and let her cry it out, which has worked, but then a few nights later or so, she is back to screaming. I wouldn’t be so bothered by it if she just woke up and went back to sleep, but she even cries in my arms or in my bed. I’ve seen her fall asleep on me and wake up screaming.
She has a bedtime routine, and goes to sleep in her crib on her own, awake, each night. She also goes to sleep on her own for naps. I have taken her to the doctor about 8 times, convinced she had an ear infection after these types of nights and she never has anything wrong with her. She is already on a special formula (alimentum) although at 10 months she was switched to a sensitive similac formula to try to get her ready for milk. I would normally think it was a change in formula that is affecting her, but she acted this way on alimentum as well.
I truly believe there is something bothering her and I nor the doctors can figure it out. Any thoughts?
Baby Help Line:
Possible Reasons For Crying At Night When 1 Year Old
You seem to be having a tough time! Two possible reasons that come to my mind are acid reflux and night terrors or nightmares.
Has your daughter been checked for reflux? That could be a reason why she wakes up crying, i.e. if stomach acids are giving her heartburn. Usually babies tend to grow out of reflux at around 1 year old, but not all do. Try elevating the crib some 30 degrees to see it it helps. If it does, you should definitely discuss this possibility with a doctor.
While night terror usually occurs for babies older than 1 year, may be that could be something your daughter has. If your baby seems to still be asleep or at least doesn’t recognize you and is very hard to console, it could be night terror. One of our kids had that for a couple of months at around 1,5 years old. It is quite scary, but the child is not awake and doesn’t remember the episode in the morning.
If you think it might be night terror, don’t try to wake her up. Just be there for her, talk to her gently, snuggle her and wait for the terror to pass. If it comes on very regular times at night, you can try waking her up about 15 minutes before every night for a week to break the “habit”. This might make the terror go away.
If your baby does wake and responds to you while screaming, she might be having nightmares rather than night terrors. Nightmares happen to all children (and adults). Try minimizing any TV (even if it is just the TV being on while she is playing next to it) in the evening and a calm, cosy evening time to see if it helps.
A third possible reason could be some food allergy, if your baby seems to have tummy pain and is very gassy.
Those were a few ideas. But I’m not a doctor and as a MOM I think you’re doing the right thing by not giving up. Talk to another doctor for a second opinion! Also read here about another baby that screams at night.
I wish you good luck!
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