My cousin's parents are on a trip at the moment and they left my cousin with my aunt, since they have this people above 3 years old only rule when it comes to travelling, since someone under that age doesn’t really care where they are as long as they’re getting fed and good sleep.

However, everytime it's night time and everyone’s asleep, every 5 to 10 minutes, he starts breathing heavily and later on starts crying, yelling and moving around. I’ve been staying over here for 3 days now and he’s been doing it every single night and even before I arrived here. When it’s day time hes completely normal and happy. I don’t get it.

Is it like night terrors or nightmares that are for some reason occurring every night?

2 Answers 2


Oof, that sounds miserable. I am not a doctor, and this is not a forum for medical advice, yet that report sounds like it may be worth talking to a doctor, if it is disruptive to normal sleep.

There are myriad, innumerable causes for problematic sleep patterns in little ones, a lot of which involve situational/circumstantial stimuli around lights/screens, sounds, food, activity, etc., and others that require treatments and therapies. Best to communicate with a real human with expertise than randoms on the interwebs about this.

That said- having had one kid with what a doctor explained to us was "night terrors"- the manifestation we saw was different than what is described.

Rather than waking up with a normal cry every 5-10 minutes, night terrors for us looked more like an experience of ABSOLUTE TERROR in our little girl. A sudden onset with the most awful, terrified scream, where it seems like the poor kid is being tortured, or in so much pain, and is absolutely unconsolable, not even reachable. It is awful, awful to see.

But then after a few minutes of pure terribleness, it subsides and she falls asleep like nothing happened, and generally doesn't wake up again, and is unaffected in the morning. The parents, however, are scarred. :)

We understand there are different manifestations, but the key in them is the term "terror." It is a categorically different experience than even a pained/hurt cry- though as the doctor explained, as far as we know there is nothing "wrong".

Thankfully, the one girl who had these grew out of them, though interestingly as she got older she also occasionally exhibited sleepwalking, with her eyes open, during which experiences she was sometimes crying/whimpering as though scared.

When this would happen we developed some techniques to bring her "out" and then she was fine, had no memory of the experience, and was able to go happily back to sleep.

The one physical phenomenon that we observed as a correlative trigger was that she often had to go to the bathroom pretty urgently. I am a software guy and would think of these incidents as though part of her cognitive machinery was responding to that signal, but part of it was not as it should, hence the fear- like something was missing. Then all fine once she was fully awake.

In any event, good luck.


I am not a doctor, and you probably want to seek medical advice, but one possibility could be that the child has reflux. Sometimes the valve connecting the child's esophagus to the stomach is underdeveloped, and doesn't completely close. When the child is awake (vertical), there are no issues, but when they lie down, some of the stomach acid leaks into the esophagus, causing pain.

There are medications that can help with this (by reducing the acidity of the stomach), and children generally grow out of it eventually.

This is only one possibility, and there could be many other reasons why the child is crying, but this doesn't sound normal. I would suggest getting the child examined by a doctor.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .