Why Does My Baby Scream In Their Sleep & How Can I Help Them
As a new parent, there's nothing nicer than a child — particularly _ a newborn sleeping through the nigh. Unfortunately, a quiet night is not always a guarantee. In the first few months especially, nights are filled with whimpers, tears, and even screams. If you're wondering why your baby scream in his sleep, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone.
According to Baby Sleep Site, partial wakings are a common reason your baby may scream at night. (They are also totally normal, for what it's worth.) Partial wakings tend to happen one to four hours after bedtime when, according to Baby Sleep Site, part of the mind is trying to wake up while they other part is trying to sleep. This can result in a number of reactions, depending on intensity and age, including fussing, crying, screaming, and even sleep walking or talking.
Another other reason your baby may cry out in the night is from an infamous night terror, according to the aforementioned Baby Sleep Site article. Night terrors are much more sudden "confusional event: and, again, depending on age, may cause your baby to yell, cry, sit up and scream, get hot, or even say things like "No!" or "Stop!" in their sleep. A night terror can last from one to five minutes, and your little one probably won't even remember it. Although most night terrors don't start occurring until kids are a little older, it is possible your older baby or toddler-aged little one experiences night terrors.
Luckily, according to Parents, it's pretty normal to hear screams from your baby at night. As long as there aren't any health concerns on your end, there's no reason to be alarmed. Most babies are still normalizing body functions, and that can often mean sleep cycles and internal clocks aren't perfect just yet.
What may be the most confusing, however, is knowing how to soothe your baby when they scream out in the middle of the night but aren't necessarily waking up. Your natural response is to wake and comfort them, but according to Healthline it's actually better to wait and watch. Even if your baby is making noises while they're sleeping, waking may actually prevent them from learning to stay asleep during confusional events. You want the part of the mind fighting for sleep to win over the part that's trying to wake up within the first two sleep cycles (one to four hours). Instead, Healthline suggested you pay attention to the cry. If it's because they're hungry or need to be changed, they probably aren't going back to sleep, in which case action is necessary.
Remember, confusional events and nighttime terrors are 100 percent normal for little ones. The only time you may need to be concerned is if you think it's affecting your baby during the day. In which case, a quick follow up with your doctor can generally pinpoint what else may be going on.