11 answers

5 Month Old Screaming at Night

Hey Ladies,

Hoping some one can help me. My son has started screaming at night for the past three nights. It generally is starting around 9PM. He cries and screams so heard that he loses his breath and makes himself vomit.

He seems fine as long as I am rocking him and holding him. He goes to sleep in my arms, but when I go to lay him down, he is back awake screaming again. He seems like he is in a lot of pain. But as long as I am holding him or during the day he is fine. During the day he is giggling and smiling and eating well.

He is usually a little fussy at night, but not like this. Last night and the night before it was after midnight before I got him to sleep. I gave him a dose of Tylenol both nights and he finally fell asleep about 20 mins after the dose. I have a doctors appt for today, but I'm just wondering if anybody else has experienced this. Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, I took him to the doctor yesterday. I am simply amazed at how much some doctors just seem to not care about their jobs at all. The doctor was in there 2 mins TOPS, but said it was not an ear infection and that his gums are not swollen. As he was walking out of the room he tells me he is "probably just fighting sleep". Anyway, Caleb went to sleep last night at 7:30PM and did not get up until 7 this morning (except for two 5 minute nursing sessions). He has never had problems with acid relfux or spitting up, and what little formula he does get doesn't seem to bother him any. So I guess I'm still at a loss as to what is going on with my little buddy. He is still very clingy though...he has been sleeping with me for the last 2 nights. Not that I mind cuddling with him though! ;-)

Featured Answers

How did the doctor's appointment go? Did he have an ear infection? That's what my first guess was. I hope it gets better for you. I know it can be very hard and frustrating. Hang in there, they grow up before you know it.

More Answers

it sounds like he might be teething, since when you give him some tylenol he feels better. his gums dont need to be swollen for him to be teething. my ds was doing what you are describing around 9 mos, and then a few days later a tooth popped out, and his gums never looked swollen. when he is cutting a new tooth, he wakes up a few times a night.

Hey C.,

I think a lot of the time, mom's (including myself) think ear infection or teething when babies wake up at night screaming. It is important to visit your doctor to rule out ear infections, and is fine to give your baby tylenol or teething gel when you suspect teething. The fact that he is easily soothed and is fine during the day, makes me wonder if it is a separation issue. My pediatrician says that babies wake up, just as we do sometimes in the night. We have the security and coping to go back to sleep, where as our babies cry out for us. They train us to come to them, and by doing that we don't give them the ability to self soothe and fall back asleep. I have friends with 1 and 2 year olds still getting up at night and frequently putting their babies back to sleep. When my son was teething, I gave him Tylenol before bed for pain and when he woke up during the night. Otherwise, I would go check on him, but not hold or nurse him, just show him that I was there for him and then I would go back to bed. After a few nights of not giving in to holding or nursing him, he woke up less. It only took a three nights for him to start sleeping through the night, which is typical says my pediatrician. This was the best advise I ever got, because my baby has learned healthy sleep habits as a result and sleeps from 8pm-8am. Good Luck!

How did the doctor's appointment go? Did he have an ear infection? That's what my first guess was. I hope it gets better for you. I know it can be very hard and frustrating. Hang in there, they grow up before you know it.

My son had a simular problem when he was 2 months (he is now 8 1/2 months). I talked with his Dr. and she said it sounded like acid reflux. We started him on a acid reducer rx and he has been much better. Also try Enfamil Gentelease or A.R. with your Dr.s approval. Its easyer for them to digest and helps reduce acid reflux. He seem to cry more at night because when you lay him down the stomach acid is coming back up his throat. But ask your Doc.

Hi C.,

It sounds like it could possibly be either gas or acid reflux. It could also be a combination of the two. My son went through that, they put him on medication and it helped a lot. I hope you get some answers at your doctor visit.

Good luck!!

Hi C.! I have raised four children and am helping to raise three grandchildren. That does not mean I have all the answers, but I can make a few suggestions. My first inclination is that your 5 month old may have an ear infection which hurts when he is laid down because of the pressure on his ears. Strong gas pains will so this, also. You might also invest in a little softer mattress if you think that might be the cause. The bottom line is to get the baby to a doctor and make sure that there are no physical problems, then you may have to consider that he may have a touch of colic that kicks in at night. If so, you may have to endure this for a while until his body can get adjusted. Hope this helps. Take care and God bless your family. M.

Hi C.,
It could be teething. My son did the exact same thing around this age when those first teeth started poking through. He was fine all day, and then at night, when he was calm and still, the pain started to get to him. I think those first few teeth are the worst on them, and then the progressively get better with subsequent teeth. This will pass, so hang in there! I think that if it were gas or anything tummy-related, Tylenol would do very little to help. Take it from this mom who survived 4 mos of colic misery!

Sounds like teething. It could be that he just wants to be held for comfort because he's feeling a little bit of pain. I know how hard it is to "not know" and feel helpless...hang in there. Whatever it is will pass!

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