14 answers

2 Year Old Waking During the Night

Good Morning,

I have a 2year old daughter who has always slept well through the night(7pm-7am). Recently, wiith inthe last 4 months she has been waking up at 11:00ish every night completely unconsoleable. She whill cry and scream and kick and callfor me but she won't let me touch her. She is clearly very drowsy but she will respond to me answer questions. This can go on for an hour or so. We origanally thought she was having night terror and while we haven't rulled it out it is our understanding that with night terrors the child would be not be reponsive. If I iturn on Noggin she will calm down and go back to bed. We are just concerned that it might be something more serious. Has anyone else experienced this. She is extremely bright ans aware so some of it may be manipulation to get into our bed. She has been in her own room since she was 6 weeks old..

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Mary V,

Thanks so much for that confirmation. She has been through quite a bit in the past 9 months. We moved from our house because we were building a new house and in the interim we moved into our condo. Her father was away for 3 weeks out of the country now we have moved into our new house. To top it all off she started school in January and then changed to a fantastic Montessori last week. She just wants things to settle down.

Thanks Much-

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I have three daughters, ages 9,7 and 4. My two oldest daughters both suffered from night terrors by varying degrees. My oldest would whine and cry but not be responsive to my voice. I would sit by her and talk soothingly until she settled down. My middle child had night terrors almost exactly like what you are describing. She also talks in her sleep regularly. She would scream, thrash, cry, moan and sound like something horrible was happening to her. I would try to hold her but it just made it worse. Finally I started to just sit beside her and talk to her or sing until she calmed down. It seemed to be more stressful for me than it was for her. The longer it went on, the more she expected me to move her to my bed. She had to learn that I was there for her but that these terrors weren't a reason for her to sleep with me. My 7 yr olds night terrors started when I started working a different shift and she had to start day care. She no longer has any night terrors.

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It could be an age thing we went through the same thing with our 2yr old daughter she's a great sleeper but once in a while we would go through a week or two of her waking up crying so, we would lay next to her tell her mommy and daddy are here and she would go back to sleep. I also know that when we moved she did it more often and again when my husband worked some late hours and she did see him as much. If there has been any change in her life that could also be causing it.

I am sure it's just a phase and before you know she will be sleeping like she was.

1 mom found this helpful

when you sleep your mind acts like a computer when it defrags and with everything going on in your family life it is no wonder she is having problems. nothing to be alarmed about. because she goes to sleep afterwards and doesn't seem to remember it the next day I am sure the only people she is bothering is her mommy and daddy

Is she taking prescription meds, like asthma inhalers? If yes, maybe try a natural alternative. If no, maybe she just needs a bit more of Mom when you get home, a few focused minutes reading or playing.

N., I would still guess from your description that it's a night terror. My son's starting when he was 23 months old. They frequently occur an hour or two after the child has fallen asleep. My son would kick, scream, hit his head on the floor/wall, etc. I doubt it's any manipulation. Greatest contributing factor is apparently insufficently sleep or a change that has caused a child to sleep less. In our case, it was originally when we took away my son's pacifier at night (he had excema near his mouth). It was also happening at naptime frequently for us. Try to get your daughter to sleep a little earlier, make sure she's taking naps (my son gave up regular naps when he 2 or so, but sometimes I still force a nap when he clearly needs one). He'd go months without a night terror but still occasionally has one. Good luck.
S.

I have three daughters, ages 9,7 and 4. My two oldest daughters both suffered from night terrors by varying degrees. My oldest would whine and cry but not be responsive to my voice. I would sit by her and talk soothingly until she settled down. My middle child had night terrors almost exactly like what you are describing. She also talks in her sleep regularly. She would scream, thrash, cry, moan and sound like something horrible was happening to her. I would try to hold her but it just made it worse. Finally I started to just sit beside her and talk to her or sing until she calmed down. It seemed to be more stressful for me than it was for her. The longer it went on, the more she expected me to move her to my bed. She had to learn that I was there for her but that these terrors weren't a reason for her to sleep with me. My 7 yr olds night terrors started when I started working a different shift and she had to start day care. She no longer has any night terrors.

My two year old who is almost three did the same thing. She was an awesome sleeper until she turned two. Up until that time she didn't want to sleep near us or to be rocked to sleep she just wanted to sleep in her bed. It will pass. I just had to go in and console her. It lasted on and off for a couple of months. My first child did the same thing, except she would scream a terrible scream if i left the room. But that two only last a few weeks. I think for some reason around that age they go through some kind of sleeping stage. I think your daughter is perfectly normal and this stage will pass shortly.

Sometimes around the age of two a child becomes more clingy to thier parents and end up feeling more separation anxiety. Has there been a lot of stress lately? My own daughter went through this around this age as well. She was always sleeping next to me since she was a baby. For the first couple months she slepped soundly on her own but then she would wake up the same way. It takes time and reassurance but I wouldn't be to concerned yet. The two's are a little hard at first lots of new changes and they are most certainly more aware of what is happening.

Nicole,
Your daughter may be trying to get more of your attention. Since you have gone back to work, she doesn't see you as much. You might want to do some mommy/daughter time. Take her to a fun place where you and she can spend quality time together.
J.

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