11 answers

21 Month Old That Just Started Waking up at Night

My baby has always been a good sleeper, at least since he was 2 months old and when he isn't sick. For about 10 days now, he has been waking up around 3:30am crying for him Mommy or Daddy. I am guessing he is having nightmares. Daddy will usually get him, take him to the couch and fall asleep together for about an hour (because Daddy can sleep through anythign and Mommy is a very light sleeper!) I hate to hear him upset at night however I am concerned this is becoming a habit. Last night I tried to console him by patting his back and that did not work. I then let him cry it out which took over an hour... and just broke my heart.

Any advice on how to handle this new problem?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

He may have molars coming in also that are bothering him. My 28 month old s getting his final two molars in right now and has been a bit extra cranky and will wake up more often. He has always been a light sleeper though. Good luck.

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My daughter is 20 months and was doing the same thing. It started when she was sick so we would put her in bed with us...big mistake. It became a habit so we had to go back to the cry it out method for a few nights. It sounds like he is enjoying the time with dad and it's becoming a habit now.

My son started having night terrors about this time when he was little. He would scream and wouldn't even recognize me at first when I would pick him up and he would panic. All you can do is hold him and walk with him or hold him sitting until he gets through it enough to feel safe enough to crash back out. This should be pretty temporary, maybe a few weeks (months?) and has something to do with neurological development (their becoming more aware of their not being the center of the world and it apparently is a hard adjustment psychologically sometimes. Just ride it out as best you can.

Hi J.,

Little ones waking up crying is hard. It could be nightmares. Have you had him checked for an ear infection? When my little girl woke up crying it was usually an ear infection. She never had fever and was not a big eater on a good day so it was hard to tell sometimes. Also, my oldest child would wake up crying. She had night terrors. She would sit up in bed and cry with a wide eyed glare. We could not console her. She was still asleep. We helped her lay down and told her it was just a dream and rubbed her back until she went to sleep.

Hope this helps.

Try putting an article of clothing close to him, he will smell your sent and assume you are there with him.

My now 3yr old did that too. She was a perfect sleeper at birth, then at about 16 months old, woke up and cried. We would just get her back to sleep (which was pretty easy) then she was fine. She didn't stop doing this until almost 3 yrs old. Sorry to say that--I hope yours doesn't do this that long. I do think it's normal for some kids and they go through little phases. Good Luck!!

Have you checked to see if he might be teething? Try giving a little Tylenol or teething tablets before bedtime. He might be gettin his two year molars early.

Mine is the same age and has also started doing this recently. His dad will also go in there and calm him down. They are at a phase of change and excitement, sleeping often becomes disrupted during times of developmental milestones. It will pass.

I am having the same problem. My sweet baby boy is 20 months and waking up around 3:00am every night. Last night he was in the corner of his crib sitting up just screaming like he was frightened. I am looking for a solution too!

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