Nightmares at This Age?

Updated on July 28, 2007
H.R. asks from Austin, TX
6 answers

I have an 8 month old she started sleeping through the night at two months. She has NEVER woken up at night, ever, that is until this week. The past two nights she has woken up crying. She clearly sounds upset and i have to pick her up and snuggle with her for about an hour until she will lay back down in her crib. (she calms down immediately when i pick her up) The reason why i'm a little worried is that through most of my childhood (i don't know how early it began) i had terrible nightmares, i still have quite a few today but not nearly as horrifying as when i was a child. Could she be having them this early? I don't even know what could cause them if so, she just hangs out with me all day. My other thought is teething possibly, she still has yet to get her first tooth. I was just wandering if anyone else had expirienced something like this with an 8/9 month old. Thanks ladies! It's so nice to be able to have a place to share advice and expirience!

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answers from Dallas on

I have 4 children and they have all had different sleep patterns. I know it can be so frustrating when they start waking and you don't know why. I found sleeping through the night to be more of a 3 year old skill, than a baby milestone. You see, in my house, I have found that babies - toddlers wake up for absolutely anything going on in their environment. If your daughter is going through or about to go through a developmental milestone (pulling up, crawling, walking, etc.), the excitement/tension can wake her up. Bad dreams, definitely. But, this does seem young. Unless she has a highly sensitive temperament. My own children always woke up screaming when they were even a little bit constipated. A little mineral oil in juice before bed for a couple of nights works wonders for that and it's not addictive or harmful. Just don't use too much or she'll be pooping oil and that just looks gross. :) Good luck! Most of us mommies are wondering around in the middle of the night, too.



answers from Dallas on

My son did the same thing when he was teething... so I'm going to second the other mom and say that's probably what it is. If you aren't opposed to Tylenol.. then maybe try some of that before bed. It really helped my little guy to sleep through the night during the major teething sessions.

Good Luck!




answers from Dallas on

Hey H.. My jalen is almost eleven months and he did exactly the same thing. He was sleeping thru the night by two months and around 8 to 9 months he started waking up crying. I am a working mother and stayed up with him rocking him for an hour or two just to lay him down for his head to hit the pillow and be right back up. So, I started putting him in bed with me, which he immediately goes to sleep. It has been almost three months now and he starts off sleeping in his crib but he is in bed with me by 5 every night. I hope he will learn to sleep in his own bed again.
There are some possible causes for this. I had a private sitter who only kept my son and her kids. She had to unexpectedly have surgery on her bladder and could not lift anything over 10 pounds for 3 months. SO, I had to take him to her mothers. Then, she left for two weeks to Houston, so I had to take him to my parents for the last two weeks of school. (I am a teacher.) I hear that babies start to get separation anxiety around 8 or 9 months and get very clingy. My did anyway. He is very shy now. He was also teething and I believe he had an ear infection. He also wears orthopedic shoes and they are very uncomfortable, so it could have been that. In either case, he is still waking every night and does not sleep til the morning unless he is in bed with me, which is fine. SO if you don't mind her in bed with you, you could do that or train her to go back to bed first then if it doesn't work and you are exhausted, get some sleep and put her inbed with you.
About the nightmares:
YOu might want to do some research on the internet if babies brains are developed enough to dream bad dreams and remember them upon waking. I never thought of this as a cause for Jalen's wakng, but I certainly hope not. THere is probably a lot of reseach out there on babies and dreaming. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Hi H., At 8 months your baby may be have issues with "object permanance". This means that they are trying to figure out that when you leave the room, you will come back. When she wakes, by all means comfort her, but if you keep taking her out and staying with her for an hour, you may regret it. After all, who wants to be alone, when you can be with Mommy! This too shall pass. HTH,




answers from Dallas on

I think you are on target with the teething mom; especially since she's not cut any so far.


answers from Dallas on

Children very often start to wake at night at this age. It comes with the territory when they start to hit certain developmental milestones.

Often, they are learning so much during the day, they awake when they didn't before and become frustrated because they are wanting to practice what they have learned.

Also, the teething can be a big part of it as well.

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