How do I deal with this?

United States
December 5, 2006 8:28am CST
My 19 month old has recently started to get up two or three times during the night just screaming at the top of her lungs. I go to her and hug her and give her a drink, I lay her down and tell her I love her and good night. I do everything I know to do, but still she just screams. She screamed last night for TWO HOURS before she gave up and sat down, and just screamed some more while sitting there. Finally, since Donnie had to work this morning, I got her up and put her in bed with me because I was ready to rip my hair out. I was crying and upset, because I feel inadequate as a mother when I get that way, when I cannot make her crying or screaming stop, and when I get that frustrated with her. I understand she is a baby, but I don't know how to deal with it! Usually, Im good at these things! Usually I can handle these issues. Usually Im patient with her! But on these kind of nights, I just lose my patience. What do I do???!!!
25 people like this
190 responses
@birthlady (5613)
• United States
5 Dec 06
Many kids go through a developmental phase around your daughter's age, where they have "seperation anxiety" and "night terrors". So they scream! Try keeping a soft night light in her room, play soothing classical music, leave her door open, and don't let her "cry it out". Letting her scream only teaches her that her emotional and or physical needs are ignored until she throws a tizzy. Eventually, she'll just cut to the tizzy, if you know what I mean. But if you go to her right away, and comfort her, she will learn you will always be there for her, and when she's a teen, she'll still know she can always come to you, no matter what. Also, try getting one of those old fashioned wind up clocks that ticks! Place the clock where she can hear the ticking, it will remind her of your heartbeat. Worked for my kids!
7 Dec 06
I agree with this post! Please don't leave her to scream. I kept a very comfortable relaxer chair in my daughters' room, so that I could say 'there, there darling, Mummy's here' whilst dozing! One of my daughters slept peacefullly through the night from eight weeks, and the other screamed in the middle of the night most nights until she was two. Have faith - she will grow out of it!
• United States
5 Dec 06
Could she possibly be having night terrors? Or mayby teething? Does this only happen at night? I know that with my son he usually starts acting this way if he's teething or has had a bad dream? I know how you feel, there have been plenty of nights where I just want to bang my head against the wall and I feel like a horrible parent because I can't help comfort my child.
• United States
5 Dec 06
my son when he was younger he did the same thing never slept all night, and come to find out that he was having bad dreams and he was afraid of the dark. so i prayed over him at night and i got him a nite light for his room.
3 people like this
@amber81 (288)
• United States
5 Dec 06
I read some of your alls comments before i was going to leave my own but i do belive that they might be Nightmares shes having. I know my neice had nightmares when she was young. Take her to the doctors and see what they have to say!
2 people like this
• India
6 Dec 06
I know how you feel, there have been plenty of nights where I just want to bang my head against the wall and I feel like a horrible parent because I can't help comfort my child.
1 person likes this
@MissK1 (214)
• Portugal
5 Dec 06
First of all, I think that losing your patience in that situation doesn't mean you're an inadequate mother at all. It's just due to being tired because that situation goes on every night. My kid never done anything like that. He just woke up once in a while crying because maybe he had some nightmares. The only advise I can think of is for you to try to discover if there's some doll (or any kind of toy) or something that she sees on tv during the day, that scares her and makes her wake up during the night. I remember one night, my kid woke up every hour screaming and crying because he had repeated nightmares, and I always tried to calm him down. When we woke up (again) around 5am, he was crying and saying that monsters were coming to get him. I said to him "Don't worry baby, cause mommy is here and I'm going to send them away, you'll see". He fell asleep again and slept peacefully for the rest of the night. So, and despite she still a baby, you should try to understand what's distressing her. And don't you ever think that you're an inadequate mom again, ok? Because you're not :) PS: Sorry, this post is a "little" bit longer than I expected. Have a nice day!
5 people like this
@srhelmer (6680)
• Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
5 Dec 06
Part of being a parent is accepting the fact you'll go through nights like that. I would suggest taking her to the doctor though since she might have an ear infection or something.
4 people like this
@msqtech (15226)
• United States
5 Dec 06
virtue of patience
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Dec 06
or maybe she is having nitemare or something like that i think you should take her to get evaluated to make sure that she is okay, because there's no telling what the problem may be. seek help please!
3 people like this
@sjanjh (23)
• United States
5 Dec 06
Yes she could be getting sick. But there could be a number of other things going on with her. Does she watch cartoons that has a different ending. I know with my twins if they watch woder pets and they save a pet they can dream about that and wake up saying they didnt get to the pet in time. Or has she over heard you and her dad having a disagreement or maybe someone else the babysiter the neighbors. Is this the first time for Santa really. Mine are 2 and they tell me all the time that santa eats people and i have to tell them that santa brings them toys that he isnt bad. So it depends on your daughter you need to watch her facial expressions around things see if she is afraid of things or scared. I know mine have to have a T.V. on at night or they wont sleep. But also take her to the dr and have her checked make sure she isnt coming down with something
@gabs8513 (48816)
• United Kingdom
5 Dec 06
This is not easy to deal with I know so do not beat yourself up about it What you need to do and it will be hard is to leave her screaming when she goes quiet make sure you check on her if she starts screaming again then leave her to it but everytime she goes quiet check her she will eventually realise that she is not winning The other Thing I used to do is give my Daughter a drink of warm Milk in a bottle but make sure the Whole on the teat is not to big so she can't choke Buy one of those little Nightlights that you plug in as she might not like the Dark and leave her door open I hope this works and helps you It is going to be hard work and sleepless nights for you but eventually it will get better so try and sleep during the Day when she does
4 people like this
@medooley (1875)
• United States
5 Dec 06
I agree with almost everything that you have said. It is tough to just let the kid scream, but it is my opinion that you don't want go in there everytime they cry. If you do so I think that you will be re-enforcing the child that if they cry mom/dad will come in. I agree wait until she has stopped. I disagree with the bottle. This can be very bad for the childs teeth, and they are are just teaching them that the need a bottle to calm down and go to sleep as opposed to learning how to do it them self. But what ever works for you....
4 people like this
• United States
5 Dec 06
I'm a big advocate of the let them cry theory. A child will sometimes wake up in the night and want think that it is time to get up and play. Is your child still in a crib? If you do check on her and when she sees you does her face light up as she reaches for you? If this is so I would say that she is fine, but might be frustrated that they are stuck in the crib when they would rather be playing. I don't think that giving a 19 month old a bottle is the answer either. There is no reason that a child at that age needs a bottle in the middle of the night and you might be getting yourself into something you really don't want to do. Everyone wakes up during the night, sometimes because they need to change position, sometimes from the urge to go to the bathrooms, sometimes from a strange noise ... whatever it is, children do this too. It is very important for their development that they learn to fall back to sleep without the help of mom and dad. So if she is acting fine in the day time (so you could rule out ear infections or other medical problems) ... I say that you would be best to let her cry.
• United States
5 Dec 06
I would also say that you're not an inadequate mother for losing your patience ... we all do it. I would say that when you do lose your patience that you might need a break. Even if this means just going outside where you can't hear her screams for a few minutes. Let her dad take a turn while you turn the shower on and take a breath.
4 people like this
@michele609 (1687)
• United States
5 Dec 06
My son use to be the same way, the say that it is called colic. Youshould put a warm compress on her stomach. Colic is cause by gas! Try that and see what happens and let me know!
4 people like this
• Lithuania
5 Dec 06
be patient
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Dec 06
My son is 18 months old and he is going though the atacthment stage this may be what yours is doing. When my son wakes up in the middle of the night I pick him p a rock him for about 5 minutes and tell him that mommy is still her and that I still love him. And I fix a cup of water and put him back in bed and tell him I will see you in the morning. Sometimes I may even turn on the tv this way he heres the noise and things that I am still awake.
4 people like this
• United States
5 Dec 06
most people will not agree with me on this, but it sounds as if she is having night terrors. those can be extremely traumatic to a child, and can go on for a long time. if it were my child, i would put her in bed with me. i know that people say you shouldnt do that, but she may just need to feel more secure right now, and being in bed with you will help her with that. im not saying let her sleep with you forever, but during this phase, it may be helpful. you may also want to try telling her a little story each night before putting her to bed. that may help steer her mind in a different direction while shes sleeping. when she does wake up screaming, i would hug her closely and just tell her that mommys here, nothing bad will happen. and when you get her to calm down, ask if she had a bad dream, or what happened. that will help you get to the root of the problem. children at that age go through separation anxiety in different ways. and you never know, it may be something she is experiencing throughout the day, that her subconscious brings to the surface at night. it can be very difficult when our children go through things that we cant seem to control, but as long as they know we are there for them, and will do whatever we can, they will take comfort in that.
@fotychic (318)
• United States
5 Dec 06
Sometimes that just happens. Don't worry that you are a bod mother. If you care and are here asking for advice, then that is more than what a bod mother would do. Does your child maybe have gas? She may be teething, or maybe she has just become accustomed to waking up in the middle of the night, because she knows that you are going to come and hold her. Have you tried useing a binky? Or maybe you could give her a sippy of water? My son does this sometimes too, and these are some of the methods that I use to get him to calm down. She might be waking up hungry. You could try feeding her a little bit extra right before she goes to bed. You could also try turning the heat up a little bit. Extra heat (but not too much!) can help keep her calm, and restful. I hope that this helps! Let me know if it works for you!
3 people like this
• Saint Lucia
5 Dec 06
my suggestion would be to take her to the doctor. you should also try making her sleep next to you so she'll feel more safe and secure.
3 people like this
@tanujarneja (2834)
• India
5 Dec 06
well ou should take her to doctor to knwo the real cause of it, being pateint and all is fine but you should knwo why is she behaving in such a way...
2 people like this
@brettbum (304)
• United States
5 Dec 06
Agree with this recommendation. It could be teething, or ear infections or strep throat or a number of things. Try and rule those in or out, and with many of those things it may not be full blown, so you may need to take her back in a few days if it persists. Absent that we've experienced that with a couple of our children. With one of our daughters the only cure is to get her up and hold her, usually in the living room with the lights on, or rocking her in a chair. Unfortunately, us parents don't get much sleep. :)
@JBD189 (346)
• India
6 Dec 06
Why don't you find out what the problem is? Maybe she is uncomfortable. Crying for two hours is not good for you; but, it isn't good for the baby too. I think, you may need to check this out with the doctor.
2 people like this
@zhusan (19)
• China
6 Dec 06
everyone know it is very difficult to be a good father or mother,because it need enough patience,and much other thing. though it is very difficult ,you must do it,and do better, because you have the responsibility,you give her life,and should take good care of her, take her to the hospital.maybe there are some problem.
2 people like this
@micheller (1366)
• United States
5 Dec 06
maybe she is in pain. something might be hurting her. bring her in for a checkup. she can also be having nightmares. but screaming for 2 hours straight seems a little wierd. if i was you i would bring her to her doctor.
2 people like this
• India
6 Dec 06
this is a usual habbit with smal children....even my brothers little daughgter does the same activity at night ...nothing to worry about ...she willl improve over time////
1 person likes this
@ssgucluck (107)
• India
6 Dec 06
being a mother is a tough job!! well this is a very often situation which every mother faces at a certain phase in the life, u cannot force your child to keep quite, u may consult some doctor for it!!
• Romania
6 Dec 06
19 moths?! It seems pretty big for her to do like this...HMM.. have you thought about speaking to a doctor? I mean, it is not really normal to screm for 2 hours . Maybe she has some bad dreams or I don't know, ther are a lot of things happening to kids this age...
1 person likes this
@divir_vij (1593)
• India
6 Dec 06
keep your calm and try to face the situation bravely. Also see a psychiatrist
1 person likes this
• United Arab Emirates
6 Dec 06
i am a new member of mylot...and was quite happy to see all d discussions taking place here ....as i went thru these...felt ..lemme tell u my suggestion...its quite possible it cud be some medical reasons bcos of which the baby gets disturbed at nite and starts crying....and a doctor shuld be the rite person to advice u on tht....but at d same time there are chances it culd be nothing to deal wid tht.....cos i do believe in spiritual reasons.....which bothers little kids....as in this case...in such a scenario, prayers help...all u have to do is pray over the baby , before u go to bed at nite....and am quite sure and positive tht will definitely help....on further note..lemme tell u ..prayers heals a lot of things tht medicines cannot...so bot spiritual as well as medical reasons have a solutions in prayer...so please pray over the baby before u go to bed.....the almighty lord will keep teh baby safe in d shadow of his wings......and u'll be happy to see the baby smiling...
1 person likes this
• India
6 Dec 06
best thing to do is try to talk and consult some doctor
1 person likes this