17 answers

7 Month Old All of a Sudden Waking at Night Screaming.......... HELP!!!!!

I need some help!!!! Our 7 month old has been sleeping through the night since about 5 months. No night wakings for feedings or anything and we were all well rested and very happy. Now for the last two weeks, he has started to wake up just screaming! The first time he did ut I thought "well there must be something really wrong", and I rushed to him. He was a little wet but other than that he was ok. I tried putting a pacifier in his mouth but he just continued to cry. I then got a 3oz bottle for him and it calmed him down enough to get back to sleep on his own. The problem is, I don't want to create a bad habit of waking to just eat a small amount, which to me really says he's not even hungry. Also, he is on stage 2 moving on to stage 3 foods, plus some real food here and there. I feed him dinner around 5:30 and he is in bed absolutly no later then 8:00p, and up in the morning at 7a. So the question is, has anyone else had this problem, and if so how did you remedy it. I have no problem letting him "cry it out" if that's what it is, but I would like some advice on if he is hungry, and is this just something we are going to have to deal with and work through, until he starts sleeping through the night again? Thanks for any help anyone can give me!!!

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WOW!!! What a response! I am so thankful for all of you taking the time to answer my questions. What I have decided is that, yes it is part teething, part being a little hungry and part seperation anxiety. So what I have started to do is.... I will give him dinner around 5:30p, then before we start our nightly routine around 7p I offer him a bottle and he will usually take about 2-3oz. I have been giving him infant Tylenol on the nights that he has seemed to be more irritable during the day, but not every night. I have not tried the Hylands teething tablets but have them on hand. For the seperation anxiety, this has been tough to decide. Initially I was running to his room after every whimper or wine and realized that I actually may be disturbing his sleep pattern. So, I have stopped going in for the small whimpers and wines, if it is an all out scream, I will go in and first check his diaper, then if that is not the issue I put his passie in his mouth, tell him it's ok and then rub his back till he is quiet and still. He will then sometimes start crying again after I say goodnight and walk out of the room. At that point I let him "cry it out". It worked for us the first time we did sleep training so I know that it will work again. And to ease those moms who are thinking that it is unfair and cruel to him, he truly only cries for about two to three minutes if left alone. If I go back in to his room the crying will continue. So in our situation it does more harm then good to continue going in to his room. Again Ladies, thankyou for all the advice and response. I will keep you posted!

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I think teething or a little seperation anxiety. my daughter did that some times and it seem to be for one of those reason. Try to hold and cuddle for a little and put him back down before trying tylenol or bottle. That is what I do some times that works and others i have to give a small bottle to soothe her.

He's probably teething. See if his gums are swollen, if they are, try giving tylenol or orajel before bed.

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We experienced something very similar with our daughter and I was distraught-- here's what I found out when we went through it (if it's the same thing) There are several different names for it, but most commonly, it's referred to as night terrors. Typically there is no rhyme or reason as to why they occur and for us, they stopped after about 2 months (and they did not occur every day, but frequently enough that it really bothered me). I found it best to hold, cuddle, soothe but a lot of times she would not even be awake/aware. Once she cried out whatever she was fighting in her sleep, she'd drift back off peacefully. When I asked her pediatrician and other mom's boards about it, I was told it was normal... hope that helps.

A., he may be hungry. 5PM as the last dinner may be too early for a 7 month old and then go to bed and stay in bed til the next morning. My boys never did that. My third one is 11 months and I feed him his last dinner about 8pm and goes to bed shortly after eating and wakes up about 7AM. My third one eats breakfast in the morning about 8AM, naps about 10 or 10:30AM, eats again about 12PM or 1PM and then naps again about 3PM and eats about 4PM or 5PM a light one and then a heavier dinner for the night about 8PM. You haveto feed him a heavier dinner at night and the later you feed him and go to bed, the later he MAY sleep in the morning. Every child is different in terms of how much they need to sleep and eat. Perhaps he's teething that is painful. I gave Teething Tablets to my boys for teething because it's natural and they do wonders. If he falls asleep after giving Teething Tablets it's only because the pain has been relieved.
If you have any mroe questions feel free to ask us and we will help you in any way we can based on our experiences. I'll pray for Jesus's Wisdom to give to you to help you and guide you to raising your child if you ask Him.

Well my 8 month old wakes us every hour screaming so I'm taking her to the doctor for an ear infection check. She hasn't ever slept through the night (lucky you!) but it's getting a little out of hand now. If the doctor says nothing is wrong, we're going to do some serious sleep training this weekend.
I heard that they could be hungry every 8 hours though at this age so maybe yours is just going through a growth spurt and the feeding thing might me just what he needs until he's a few months older.

It could be teething or a growth spurt. Or even an ear infection-- has he seen the pediatrican lately? Besides waking up and screaming, is he pulling on his ears, chewing on his hands, drooling alot?

My 6 mos daughter has been waking up inconsistently the past few weeks (sometimes 12am, other times 2am, some nights not at all) even though she sleeps through the night 8pm until 7am. I know she is teething. I give her infant tylenol and the Hylands teething gel as needed.

I also have the Fisherprice Rainforest crib toy and after I check her and feed her in the middle of the night, I put that on and she's asleep within minutes. I swear by the crib toys-- it gives a distraction & a visual cue for sleeping.

Could be teething. Or an ear infection. Or could be a growth spurt and he's hungry.

OR, it could be separation anxiety. It starts around 7 months. He's finally understanding that you aren't there when he wakes and he may just be freaking out that he is alone. Try leaving the shirt you wore that day in the crib with him. If he can smell you it may be enough to keep him from breaking into an all out crying fit.

Hi A. -
All 3 of my kids did this when they were teething...our 3rd (15 months) has had the hardest time teething...She nursed a lot at night through those stages...maybe it's just teeth coming through.

If he's uncomfortable, I know that I would not let him cry it out...he needs you for comfort.

Best wishes to you both!!
And yes, there is nothing like the mommy-little boy bond!!!


He's probably teething. See if his gums are swollen, if they are, try giving tylenol or orajel before bed.

It sounds like night terrors. He may look awake, but he actually isn't, at least not when it starts. But he may wake himself once he starts screaming depending on how deep he sleeps. Usually at this age they aren't old enough for nightmares. And it really is just a stage. Give it another week or so and it should stop on it's own.

he could be starting to teethe. My daughter is 7 months already has 2 teeth. She only seemed to scream at night. She would sleep for 3 or 4 hours straight and then wake up screaming. Then be up for the rest of the night. I would give her some tylenol and rub something on her gums. Check to see if you feel anything on the top or bottom front gums. Maybe he is starting.

It sounds like teething to me. My daughter want through the same thing. I used Hylands Teething Tablets and them made a big difference. I gave them to her about 30 minutes before bed and she slept all night with no problems. She is having the same problem now at 14 months old. she is getting her molars and the tablets are working great!!!

Ive had a similar problem...I will have my daughter sleeping through the night for months and then all of a sudden she wakes screaming really badly and whereas before we let her cry it out, this time i rush to her side because i know something must be bothering her. For us...we think it is teething. We started giving her Tylenol before bed (even though i hate doing that) and that seems to help alot. It is hard because she is inconsolable...throwing herself around screaming. I think they are half asleep and really frustrated and dont even realize what they are doing. It is really hard to deal with and you feel really bad, but you are not alone. The only thing you can do is be there for him but if it becomes a pattern you need to let him cry it out again. I know its hard, but he shouldnt need to eat in the middle of the night...i think its just a comfort thing.

You have received great advice. It could be any one of the things mentioned by everyone here. Here's what I can add:

The same thing happened with my son around that age, he woke up screaming like never before. I was sure something was wrong. Eventually we figured out he was hungry. We just never thought that was it because he hadn't been waking at night since he was 11 weeks old. After that went on for 3-4 nights of night feedings we learned that his last bottle before bed had to be 2 oz bigger than his daytime bottles, and we added cereal. That night and every night after he slept through with no problem.

If your son is teething - I highly recommend Hyland's teething tablets, but don't by the Lil' Remedies brand teething tablets because they don't dissolve.

Whenever my son had an ear infection he would cry whenever he laid down (bed, changing table, etc) because the pressure in the ear changes when you lie down and it is more painful. Pay attention, if he is even whimpering more than normal during diaper changes, or whining when lying on the floor playing, it could be that. My son always ran a slight fever with the ear infection, but not too bad.

Good luck

I think teething or a little seperation anxiety. my daughter did that some times and it seem to be for one of those reason. Try to hold and cuddle for a little and put him back down before trying tylenol or bottle. That is what I do some times that works and others i have to give a small bottle to soothe her.

Have you tried a small snack about an hour before bedtime? That way, if it is a growth spirt he is still getting what he may need. And it might be easier on you to let him cry it out if you know he did go to bed with food in his belly.

My little girl did the same thing a round 13 months. I think it was a stage she wnet through. I would check on her, once and then tell her it was still sleeping time. Then I would have to let her cry it out. The first night of it, she cried for 90 mins. The second night was shorter.

Good luck! I hope you get to sleep again soon!

Sounds like reflux, try infants mylicon when he wakes, and after he has a feeding, every time. If it gets worse try to elevate him by putting a folded blanket UNDER his mattress. If it helps then talk to the doc. the reflux meds are wonderful, temporarily used (we used it for about a year) and we went from sleepless constant propping up, spitting up waking screaming, to long, restful blocks of sleep.

I also have a 7 m/o who is doing the same thing. I have discovered it is because he has some teeth breaking through his gums. Could your little guy be getting some teeth?

Hi, My name is Jen and I have a 7 month old that just recently went through the same thing. He was sleeping through the night from 3 months on until a few weeks ago. He would wake up screaming like something was wrong 1 -4 times throughout the night. He would nurse frantically, spit half it up, and then fall back asleep happily. I believe he was hungry but not that hungry.I just went with the flow and got up and nursed him if he seemed hysterically hungry or if he was fussy I would not pick him up but would make a shushing sound, put on his lullaby music and say "night, night". Then I would keep an eye on him until I knew he was close to falling back to sleep.I just let him know, by not talking to him and keeping the lights off, that it is time to sleep.I would not let him "cry it out". I don't believe that is how you solve a this problem.
He then within these few weeks cut two bottom teeth and also grew into 12 month clothing. He has now, on his own, began sleeping through the night again. He has been sleeping from 7:30 - 7am. We got through it.
Just go with the flow, it stinks with losing sleep, but he will get back into a full night of sleep.
I hope this helps, or at least reassures you.
Good luck - Jen

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