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Crying/Hysterical After Naps
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Crying/Hysterical After Naps
lately my 13 month old baby wakes up crying from her regular
afternoon nap almost every day. sometimes she is inconsolable
for 15-30 minutes or more. i don't think it's due to hunger or
lack of sleep (she eats at 12/12:30 and is crying by 3:30 and
sleeps 30-45 minutes in the morning and at least an hour of the
afternoon nap, sometimes 1.5 hrs). any idea what could be going
Your child may be getting too much sleep. After 1 year alot of children
one nap. You may want to skip the morning nap, keep your child up and then move
their afternoon nap up an hour. See if that helps.
mom of many
Your child is possibly still tired. My son awoke naturally in 45
min. cycles (pretty common) and I had to let him get himself back
to sleep on his own in his crib. He'd flip around for a while,
babble quietly, and go back to sleep. This was around 10 months,
however, so give it a try, hopefully your daughter can put
herself back to sleep. Make sure she has her blanky and animals,
etc...Make sure she gets to sleep a little earlier, too.
I would encourage you to make sure that your child gets a good lunch when she is
still awake say between 11 and 11:30 or so. Make sure she eats well and gets
plenty to drink. After she wakes up have snack ready because she may be hungry
and if she is too tired or too hungry it may be hard for her to calm down first.
that is not so much the issue it could be the diaper needs to be changed right
the nap. It could be that she just wants to be held close for a few minutes to
wake up. Since she is going into the longer afternoon nap I would strongly advise
that she get a good lunch and before she gets too tired to eat.
Nanny in the know
Our son used to do this - Every day he would wake up after nap
screaming hysterically and crying.
We figured out that he was hungry/thirsty. We finally decided to
have a sippy cup ready for him RIGHT away - often it was a
challenge to get him to start drinking, because he was too busy
screaming, but as soon as we could get it into his mouth, and get
him to start drinking, he calmed right down
The good news is that he did grow out of it - eventually
For the past few weeks, my 17 month old daughter has been crying
really hard for at least 30 minutes after she wakes up from her
nap, or in the morning after a good night's sleep. At naptime,
it doesn't seem to matter whether she's slept a short time or a
good long nap, she's still super upset, won't eat anything and
just wants to be held. As far as I can tell, she's not sick,
although the teething thing is always a factor. I'm mostly
looking for things that have worked for you or stories about your
experiences. Am I just going to have to wait this one out as she
grows out of it (like so many other things)?
My son is about the same age, and this has happened to us a few times in
the last month or so. It sometimes helps to offer him a popsicle. I
tried this once on the theory that it was teething, and it's the only
thing that's really ever worked. Part of it is the cold, but I think
the novelty of it confuses him enough to break the crying cycle. He
still wants to be held while he's chewing on it, but at least it stops
him from wailing.
Is this a sudden, very unusual thing (i.e. did she never do this
With my son, this was always a symptom -- often the only symptom -- that
he had an ear infection. It go so that if he cried for more than a few
minutes after waking up from nap, I immediately made an appointment with
his pediatrician. I was only wrong once in more than a dozen times
It might mean she isn't getting enough rest from her nap. You could try
putting her down for a nap when she is less tired. See Healthy Sleep,
For the past 6 months, my 13-month old son has been a crabby mess
after his second nap. He's whiny/cries, eye-rubs and clings for a
good 1/2 hour after waking up. The few times I've rocked him in a
rocking chair after he woke up he has fallen asleep on me. The
obvious conclusion is that he needs more sleep during that nap.
But he seems to get a lot of sleep overall; he sleeps 10.5 - 11
hours at night, one hour to the minute in the morning and
afternoon. It seems that most kids take longer naps in the
afternoon (especially at this age).
Should I have him ''cry it out'' after the nap to see if he
eventually goes back to sleep? (We already did for night and naps
6 months ago, so he theoretically knows how to soothe himself
back to sleep. But maybe he needs a refresher?) Or could it just
be the case that he needs a long time to ease himself awake? (I
know I do.) Should I just work on ways to help him cope with
waking up (how??), or should I try to get him to sleep longer
My son started the same thing around 12 months of age. He would wake up crabby and extremely clingy after his second nap. Of course he needed more sleep in the afternoon as he was only taking a 30 to 40 minute nap. I started putting him down earlier for his second nap, at 12:45pm or 1 instead of 1:45pm and it worked like a charm. He instantly started sleeping for 1.5 to 2 hours and woke up refreshed and playful. I was putting him down later to try to stretch out his good mood until bedtime but it backfired. His internal clock is to take the second nap around 1pm - 3pm. Occasionally he wakes up after 30 to 40 minutes and I let him cry for a little bit to see what he will do and more often than not he will go back to sleep for another 45 minutes! A friend of mine who had a similar issue had to shorten her child's first nap to 30 minutes to get a nice long afternoon nap. That was going to be my next plan of action if the earlier second nap didnt work. I really hope !
this helps because there is nothin
maybe he's ready to transition to one long nap, which will be more restorative than two naps even though the actual sleep time is the same. Try keeping him up in the morning and see if he sleeps longer. It will probably make your life easier too!
We had a similar problem with my now 22 months old son, when he was around 14-15 months old. He would nap from 10 am to 11 am, and then a second time- around 3pm, when he would sometimes wake up miserable and tired. Our solution was to switch him to one- nap-a-day schedule. It didn't happen quickly. He would start being cranky at the usual time of his nap - 10am and continue until we put him to bed- around 12:30 pm. Hovewer, then he would sleep for 3-4 hours, which not only made him significantly more rested and happy than before, but also allowed me to get things done around the house. Hope, it helps and Good luck!
well, allot of children wake up ''crabby'' i think it's ok. havent you ever just woken up on the wrong side of the bed? try being really positive when he wakes up or try picking him up and sitting quietly with him and cuddling him. this helps our 27 month old. she gets crabby too. mostly for no reason i can tell. sometimes she gets allot of sleep and some times not enough. i think shes ''moody'' which as soon as i accepted the crabbyness didn't seem too bad. good luck.
I know that when my 18 month old wakes up crabby, it's because she needs more sleep. With mine, though, it is an occasional thing. If I were in your shoes, I would probably try letting him cry to see if he would fall asleep again. It wouldn't have to be for very long. If he hasn't fallen back asleep in 5 minutes, he's probably not going to.
Before you invest too much energy in fixing his naps, though, keep in mind his age. 13 months is right around the time that a lot of babies start to give up their morning nap. Once you start that phase, everything is going to be a bit topsy-turvy for a while until he settles into a new pattern, and you figure it out.
It might be that as he gives up his morning nap, the afternoon nap will straighten itself out (either that, or the problem will continue and it will be that much more urgent that you fix it).
My 2 year old child has his share of tantrums but the other day
he woke up from his nap and was so upset/frightened/mad nothing
could calm him down. If i picked him up he started kicking and
screaming...same thing if i put him on the floor. I finally
left him on the floor UNTIL he started scratching his face and
his eyes. He scratched himself so hard that he drew blood. I
got really scared and tried to pin him down which was also
awful. Has anyone else experienced this? A friend of mine said
he may be having a 'night terror' during the day as he woke up
and didn't really know I was there and started flailing around
and nothing could calm him down...does this sound familiar? I'm
beginning to wonder if he is normal!!!
A few years ago I worked as a nanny for a two year old child
who would wake up in the middle of the night screaming and
clawing at himself because his feet fell asleep and he couldnt
wake up all the way to tell us what was going on. We would hold
him with one arm wrapped tightly around his hips and use the
other hand to lightly slap and rub the bottoms of his feet.
After a few minutes (of him screaming and arching out of my
arms, even clawing his and my face- which could only be
prevented by tucking his arms between our bodies) the blood
would begin to circulate back into his feet and he would fall
back to sleep. He would never remember the episode in the
morning and it happened as often as two or so times a week
until he was almost 4. Wish I could give you a ''current sleep
status'' but I lost touch with the family.
I just thought I'd share that in case your kid is kicking
becasue his feet are asleep and he is in pain but isnt awake
enough to tell you.
Lots of toddlers do this to some degree. When it's minor, I
let it ride. When he's hurting himself, I restrain him as
lovingly as I can. Better he rail against me than himself.
Put on earplugs to spare your sanity, grab a big blanket to
protect yourself and him, wrap him up and hold him firmly
until he finishes his cry, talking to him when you feel it's
helpful. He will finish it.
My daughter has always been a great sleeper. At 20 months, she
sleeps 10-12 hours a night and 2-3 hours every afternoon, at
pretty much same time every day (give or take 30 minutes). The
problem is that lately she has been waking up from her naps
screaming and crying. She is normally a good communicator and
can express her needs quite well, but I cannot figure out what
is wrong. Nothing seems to make her happy! The only thing that
does seem to work is Sesame Street, but that doesn't feel right
to me. I am sure there is another solution! If you've been
through this or have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank
My 2 year old has also gone through a phase of going straight
into a tantrum after nap (and on occassion when waking up in the
morning). It felt so chemical. After talking with our
pediatrician we figured out that her blood sugar was low. We
make extra effort to make sure she has had lots of protein
(milk, beans, meat etc.) before going to sleep/nap. When she
wakes up, I'm there with a cracker. It has improved things
quite a bit. No telling if this is what's going on with your
kid. Maybe worth a try.
My 27 month old daughter takes a 2 hr afternoon nap. She wakes
up from this nap, calls for me, and as soon as she sees me
starts a hysterical 30-60 minute tirade. She screams for a drink
and as soon as I give it to her throws it down, asks for TV but
screams that I should turn it off and immediately after it is
off, she wants it on. This can go on for a good 20 repeats. It
invovles everything from wanting hugs, to food, to TV, whatever
and then being hysterial at getting them. I dont just mean
grumpy, I mean hysterical, pounding the floor, throwing
things... It has started scaring me. And then it stops kind of
by itself sometimes it is when I try to engage her; other times
it is because I ignore her; at times it is because I put on
music;yet other times it is because I make it mellow. I ask her
afterwards why she was sad and she doesnt know or doesnt know
how to communicate it at her age. She sleeps10-12 hours at night
with maybe one waking in which we go in and pat her or sit with
her. In the morning she is in a great mood. We thought maybe it
was low blood sugar because once she settles down and has a
snack, she is fine (though that can just be because she has
settled down BEFORE having the snack). The only thing that the
books I have consulted even come close to suggesting is night
terror. It is that kind of not knowing what she wants, not
wanting to be held or comforted, being angry at getting what she
asks for ... Does anyone have experience with this? I should
mention that two months ago I weaned her and nursing was the way
she 'woke up'. I tried to replace it with snuggling, warm milk,
books... to no avail. I guess I thought she would be grumpy for
a while but it
is getting worse not better. (this all could be coincidence)
Should we rush her out to see a specialist? an MD? If she were
sick would she not be sick the rest of the time? Am I
overreacting? Thanks for any input.
a concerned mom
This has happened with all my kids (4). Unless I held them the
entire nap (I usually do this til about 18mo) it happens. I try
to diffuse the situation with juice (low blood sugar), reading
them a book while I hold them or (last resort) a video.
I jsut re-read your post. Does this happen if she wakes up and
you're out and about? What if she slept in the car (nap) and
woke at a playground? What if you held her for her nap? What if
you slept with her during her nap? Have you tried nursing her
during the tirade (cringes at the thought of a chomp, but my 3yo
has never chomped during a tantrum)?
If none of the above work, I'd simply ''be there'' - let her know
you're available to her and give her words for her feelings. Let
her know you support her and that it must be overwhelming being
so out of control and try to give her the words she needs.
This must be so hard for you too. (((hugs))))
My son did EXACTLY the same thing. I imposed a rule that after three "NO!
YES! NO!" repetitions (the conflict-o-change-o man, as his sister dubbed it)
I gave up and told him I wouldn't talk to him until he could calm down.
Letting it go on after three reversals seemed to just make it worse. Can
you put her in a place where she can't hurt herself or anything else, and
let her be? For me, TV and a snack were the usual solutions. After a while,
though, I got so sick of the post-nap freak-out scene that I stopped the
nap. I think what is going on is that they are still so tired after a late
p.m. nap, sort of ready to go to bed for the night but not quite yet, that
they become unable to deal with themselves. Skipping the nap and moving the
bedtime much earlier seems to work a lot better. Good luck - it's hideous,
My son used to sporadically wake up cranky and would cry inconsolably
for up to 20 minutes. We finally figured it out that it was reflux. Now he
takes prescription Tagamet 3xs a day and is much better. In hindsight,
there were symptoms all along such as spitting up a lot as an infant,
easy gag reflex, gulping and burping. We didn't take him to the doctor
until it was really bad and he was waking up in the middle of the night -
coughing and gagging until he threw up. I believe that the reason he
cried when waking up was because laying down exaserberated the
My 31-month-old daughter has always been a good sleeper, but
since becoming potty trained wakes up very grumpy -- although
not hysterical. She seems mad that a full bladder has woken her
up and either calms down or goes back to sleep after going to
the bathroom. Maybe your daughter is waking up with gas or is
hungry -- both of which could have been been alliviated by
nursing. Maybe try giving her a snack or milk before her nap,
or giving her gas drops or getting her to go to the bathroom
soon after she wakes up.
How long does your child sleep?
I've experienced that my daughter sleeps 2 hours in the
afternoon. If she wakes up after about 1 hour she is hysterical
and unconsolable unless I lay down with her and she slowly goes
back to sleep. This realization came with her transition from
two one hour naps per day to the one two hour nap. For awhile I
figured that because she was up that she was done with her first
nap so I just got her up and she went crazy. It took a few of
these sessions to realize that if I just layed with her she fell
back asleep....Perhaps your child is just still tired?
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