8Mo Old Wakes with Nightmare-like Episodes

Updated on January 21, 2014
A.W. asks from Auburn, CA
6 answers

Hello! Our 8 mo old has been waking in the morning very early for a few months now, around 430/5:00. He starts screaming with his eyes shut and is almost inconsolable. My husband has eventually put him on the changing table with the light on to wake him. He also starts passing a lot of gas at that time-- he also has done that on mornings when waking normally.

Have any of you had something similar with your babies? Suggestions? I've watched what I eat, and and tried to adjust sleeping patterns to get him to sleep longer but nothing works. He also still has reflux, and has been on Prevacid & Reglan for that. He still sleeps on a wedge. He hasn't been a good napper, either. He will take 3- 30min naps but only while nursing. If I let him cry for a bit (to get to sleep) he will vomit. He has a great disposition otherwise! Not seeming tired. (We've normally followed the Healthy Sleep Habits book for our kids.)

His screams are so piercing it wakes our other kids (6, 4, and 2yrs) and the 2yr old wont go back to sleep!

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So What Happened?

Thank you for the responses! I have tried most everything suggested, but I think I will increase his reglan and add a little mylanta before bed for gas. I've tried no dairy-- he actually seemed better when I added dairy back, which was odd. As for naps I can't use a swing as he is a chunk (already 24 lbs), and the swing won't move. Naps are just hard and it's been difficult to train him compared with my other 3. My first had reflux as well, but he was over it and taking two long naps, flat at 6 mos. this baby also has an immature gag reflex, (equal to a 2 mo old right now), so he won't take solids. Thanks and we will do our best!!

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

He may just be overtired. Also, it's a really hard wonder period leading up to 10 months. My daughter did a lot of middle of the night screaming. Separation anxiety also develops now.

He needs more sleep consolidated sleep. He should be doing two 1-2 hour naps. Time to drop that third and try to consolidate.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

Poor baby. Sounds like he is feeling quite a bit of gas pain, and he can't make sense of it.

Maybe look up some massage techniques for gassy babies. My DD had reflux as well, and would wake up screaming. I used to make sure to give her gas drops before bed, and our bedtime routine included a post-bath abdominal massage (I found online, and was "for" gassy babies...) that usually worked a few good farts out. It helped out a LOT. Also, I couldn't eat much dairy for about a year, or she would have issues. (I know you said you watch what you eat, but I'm not sure if you have drastically cut dairy... Also, it takes about 2 weeks for the dairy to work out of your system enough to see if it makes a difference...)

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answers from Stationed Overseas on

I'm thinking night terrors. This happens for my kids when they are overtired or the routine is our of wack. Both my kids had reflux, my second was the worst and it never went away until we took him to a chiropractor. I initially didn't take him for the reflux but for some other physical back and hip issues he was born with. The chiro not only fixed his physical issues but also made his reflux go away. From projectile across the room reflux at 12mo to completely gone two weeks later. You would need to find one that specializes in pediatrics. I found mine at my La Leche meeting. You might also look up the side effects from the medication and see if any of those might be an issue.



answers from Dallas on

What formula is he on or are you breast feeding? If breast feeding cut out all dairy and dairy protein. If formula, use Ready to feed Alimentum formal. It could be his digestive issues. No dairy solid foods for him either.



answers from Portland on

I feel for you. It might be night terrors, have you looked into that yet? The thing that gave me the idea is that you need a light to wake him up, and he doesn't just wake up from it when he is moved. We had a lot of luck with keeping the room cold (like about 60) and keeping a noise maker on, we use a fan.

We dealt with acid reflux and night terrors with our little one. If he is under 25 pounds, then I would get a Graco Sweetpeace Soother for him. It is a swing that has the correct angle like the wedge, but since it swings, it will help get the gas out as well.

You can also use a liquid anti-gas/antacid like Maalox, or Mylanta, I get confused which one is which, but it is white and chalky. Use 1ml at a time and just squirt it in his mouth. I have used up to 5 ml at a time and you can give it every hour or two.

Finally, have you tried a dairy free and soy free diet? My kiddos were so bad, that I could eat either one while I was pregnant, and the trace amounts in food in the hospital were too much, so I had to switch for Alimentum for both of my kids. Sometimes, breast milk is just too much for them from what you eat. I didn't realize it was what I was eating that made them so sick for a long time because it was such a small amount in things.

I hope this helps. I also agree that he needs to sleep longer, he should have 2 long naps a day at least! but a tired baby will sleep less than he should because he is overtired. We also dealt with this, and when we finally got him to sleep more he felt better and slept better at night.

Good luck, I wish I could help hold and rock him so that you could have a break. There is another place on Facebook called the Fussy Baby Site, and I would look there. I didn't find it until my 2nd one, but since he was worse than the first, it was still helpful. Those moms and dads have so been there and done that!

Oh, one more thing, I if you can, feed less more often. This will help with the acid reflux. We had to feed 1-2 oz every 1.5 hours instead of 4 every 3 or more. I think at 8 months we were up to 4 oz every 1.5 hours because our guy is a moose, so I am not sure what you guy needs. A bottle does help control this. You can't let them eat til satisfied, because by that time he will have eaten too much to make his tummy feel better, and then it hurts again. :(



answers from Honolulu on

If he has gas issues, give him Mylicon Infant Gas Drops.
Your baby is still young.
My daughter had bad gas problems/pains and the Mylicoon helped.
She'd wake screaming too etc.

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