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3 year old Night crying
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3 year old Night crying

My son will start crying in the middle of the night and call for me.  He is still sleeping and does not want to wake up.  He screams and cries.  I try to set him up but he pushes me away and kicks.  If I tell him I am going back to bed he cries loader and wants me near him.  If I carry him downstairs and turn on the lights and wake him up he comes out of it.  My husband can come in and use his deep voice and talk loadly and pick him up and it wakes him up.  I can lay him back in bed and he sleep good.  Sometimes he will do it again 2 to 4 times more in one niht.  Some nights its not at all. Sometimes its more if he sleep at grandma's or the day following something tough at home. He has done this since he was little.  I thought he would grow out of it.  He will be 4 in May. He can also get in this type of mood everyone once in a while like a power struggle.  Almost like he is not the same child.  He starts to cry and it's not him?  It's hard to explain.

What can this be?  Should I see a specialist?  I asked his doctor at his 2 and 3 year check up and he said it might be night terrors and it should go away.  Gave no other help.

This is hard on me and him.  I hate to see him this way.  He is otherwise in perfect health, likes to play and smart.  Does go to speech class for 7 sounds he cannot say.
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242606_tn?1243786248
Such confusional arousals (sometimes called night terrors) are not unusual in young children. Your son, as you can see, is not fully awake during these episodes, which occur in the transitional phase between REM and non-REM sleep cycles. The recommended strategy is to quietly guide your child back to sleep; do not wake him up - there is no need to do this. It is normal for people to experience slight arousal between stages of sleep, but usually the person quickly falls back into complete sleep. This will happen eventually with your son as well. There is no indication that he needs specialized intervention, but you will want to touch bases again with his pediatrician.
5 Comments
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154929_tn?1196191338
Sounds exactly like night terrors--my girlfriends son has these like 5 time a month--the only thing she can do is make sure that he does not fall out of bed--but you have to let them continue and they wake up or go back to sleep by themselves.--For her she noticed if he hasn't had a nap in like two weeks it will set him off or if he has to much dairy in his diet that week--since he has problems with dairy.  I don't think there is much you can do other than keep to a schedule and see if he is more prone to have these when certain things happen and try and avoid them.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the info.  He is not alergic (allergic) to anything that we know.  I might ask that at his next check up in May.  He does this a few times a week - vary random.  More often when he is sick.  He had a little stomach flu this past week and he would cry like this 3 or 4 times in one night - for almost 5 nights straight.

He once said he dreamed on monster?  bad dreams he tells me?  Other times he doesn't know why he cried.  Other times he just wanted his mom.  

We have tried night-light, no light, special animal, blanket, blinds to shut out light, open blinds to let light in, no drinks or snack before bed, not watching or reading scary books.  I am sure I've tried others but don't remember.  

Now that he is potty trained I've noticed that he sleeps in such a deep sleep that he wears a pull-up to bed.  He almost always wakes with a wet pull-up.  Lately, we he wake to cry.  I take him into the bathroom thinking he needs to go to the bathroom but can't wake up.  He usually goes but he fights it at first.

Any other ideas that I should check on or ask?
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154929_tn?1196191338
I don't know of anything else.  Maybe google night terrors and see if you can find anything you didn't already know.
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Avatar_m_tn
My son used to do the same thing.  I researched night terrors and it really seemed to fit.  What REALLY convinced me was that he didn't ever seem to remember waking up at all.  I would always ask him if he wanted to talk about it, but he just didn't remember.  (Which is a sign/symptom of night terrors)  He had them from the time he was about a year, until he was over 4.  I was also expecting him to grow out of it alot sooner than he did, so that's when I started researching.  

Also, we got him a few dream catchers.  We don't necessarily believe in things like that, but they really seemed to work.  Maybe he believed in them enough that it just worked?  Or maybe he just grew out of them around the same time.  I don't know.  It did make us, as parents, feel better though.  Like we actually did something. lol  I guess it would be the same as giving a child a teddy bear or something to keep them "safe".   Kids really believe in that kind of stuff.  
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