I am very confused and concerned - My 13-monthld daughter wakes up between 1:30 am and 3:40 am screaming and crying in her crib. I have tried giving her a bottle of milk, cup of water, cuddling her, rocking her, covering her, and singing to her. At this point I'm worried. It started about two months ago and hasn't stopped or gotten any better. She takes two naps a day and she goes to sleep between 9:00 pm - 9:30 pm. Am I doing something wrong?

She has three meals a day with several snacks throughout the day, she wears a teething bracelet and necklace, she drinks a sippy cup and a half of water a day, she plays happily and is fine all day with minimal tantrums, we go for walks, watch movies, read books, cuddle and babble to one another. Am I doing something wrong?

I want the best for my little girl and I am confused as to what to do for her right now? Is it me or is it a stage of some sort? Is this normal or should I schedule an appointment with her pediatrician? I don't know what to do and I want to help her through this. It is stressing me out and making me get no sleep.

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    Where does your daughter sleep? Does she have her own room? Do you know how long it takes between her waking up and you getting there? (that is; do you have a radio set up between the rooms and do you wake easily?) I know my daughter also used to wake up every night and the only thing that helped was her mom going over until she fell asleep, but it could be caused by many things. (Most of which are just a phase and nothing to worry about)
    – Erik
    May 12, 2015 at 7:51
  • My son (11 months) is going through much the same right now. He is only comforted by the nursing. We actually had a breakthrough last night. Most likely, she is teething and the pain is waking her. May 12, 2015 at 13:38
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    See if your dr. office has a consultation line. Many times, in the US, pediatric offices will have a non-emergency, non-appointment line that you can call and ask recommendations from an on call nurse. It's probably nothing but they may be able to offer advice and keep you and your dr on the same page for care. Question: does she respond to you at night like she knows it's you? It's possible that she is having night-terrors (a kind of waking nightmare), in which there isn't much you can do but wait it out. May 12, 2015 at 19:40
  • Does your child snore at all or have upper respiratory issues? Apparently when someone has respiratory issues and it causes trouble with sleeping, nightmares happens. Because the brain constantly has to wake you up in order to make sure you are breathing properly, the mechanism that tells you that you are asleep goes haywire. Two of my granddaughters went through this. Their mother did a number of things to help them breathe better when they slept and there has been less nightmares since then. May 13, 2015 at 1:23
  • Were you able to resolve this? My 7mo son is doing the exact same thing. 12am and 3am wakes up fussy, I let him cry a little and then it escalates to screaming bloody murder and all I can do is wait bc nothing helps him. Generally he does this for 30-45 minutes each time.... Mar 4, 2017 at 7:18

3 Answers 3


I wonder if it's possible this is night terrors. She seems a little young for this to be starting, but the predictability of it gave me that idea. One of my children had one isolated experience of this, and what really struck me was that I couldn't establish any eye contact with him while it was going on. But he didn't remember it the next day, just as the children's health books describe.

Here's an explanation: "Night terrors occur during the transition from stage 3 non-REM sleep to stage 4 non-REM sleep." Different sources give different descriptions of how long after bedtime the night terror occurs. Anyway, here's a recommendation I found for what to do about it:

  • First, note how many minutes the night terror occurs from your child’s bedtime.

  • Then, awaken your child 15 minutes before the expected night terror, and keep her awake and out of bed for five minutes. You may want to take your child to the bathroom to see if she will urinate.

  • Continue this routine for a week.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/night-terrors

  • Sleep paralysis is another distinct possibility. Most people experience it at some point in their lives. Sleeping on the back, sleep deprivation, and stress can all exacerbate it. I’ve experienced it for as long as I can remember, and my parents just thought it was normal nightmares.
    – Jon Purdy
    May 21, 2015 at 22:17

Try giving her a quick snack. My 11 month old has started waking around the same time as your daughter. It dawned on me - he's probably hungry even though he has 3 meals a day plus snacks. He's doing a lot of growing right now, and might even be having a growth spurt. He seems to have calmed down tonight after having some puréed apple and a drink of water. Hope it helps you and your daughter.


She might be too hot. (Being too hot gives me nightmares!) Try adjusting her bedding.

This may sound weird, but have you tried taking off her nappy and encouraging her to pee on a potty? She might be waking because her bladder is full.

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