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Old 05-05-2012, 08:07 PM   #1
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3yo screaming bloody murder after nap?

We had a yard sale today, so DS was outside with us playing and having fun. Around 3 we closed up shop and came inside. At about 3:30pm he passed out on the couch and slept until about 5:30pm. Then he woke up crying. Like body shaking sobs. I held him and asked him if anything hurt, and he said no, but he continued to cry...and cry...and cry...

If we try to talk to him he screams like you're pulling out his fingernails. He'll calm down for a second and then he goes right back into it.

I finally had to take him upstairs and put him in his crib. He's still crying.

I changed his diaper (which he fought me tooth and nail on), looked him over for bites, and he is insisting that nothing hurts. He says he 'having emotions', but he can't tell me why.

He seems to be slowing down a bit since I put him upstairs, but he's STILL crying. I don't know what to do! Nothing I do comforts him, and he's screaming so hard at times that I'm afraid he's either going to hurt his throat, break a blood vessel in his eye, or the neighbors are going to call the cops

Has this happened to anyone else?

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Old 05-05-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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Re: 3yo screaming bloody murder after nap?

Mine wakes up screaming/crying sometimes. Unfortunately, when it happens, it's usually when we have to go somewhere, so I try to give her time to calm down, but there's not much time available before I have to basically force her into clothes/socks/whatever might be necessary and then shove her in the car kicking and screaming.

However, I will say, that once we start driving, she calms down really quickly. I still have yet to figure out what will indicate waking up crying vs waking up happy, except that most times she wakes up crying, it's when I have had to wake her up.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:16 PM   #3
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My son (who's also 3) went through a total night terrors phase. It totally freaked me out and I had no idea what to do, he'd flail all his limbs violently if I tried to hold him. I eventually learned (after a lot of trial and error) that I had to kind of tackle him into a hug and just hold him tight even though he fought and then he'd calm down. It wasn't the exact same as what your talking about, but I had that same sense of confusion and hopelessness over it.
I'd guess your DS is maybe just freaked out because he woke up in a weird place (assuming he doesn't often curl up on the couch for a nap).
I don't really have a suggestion for you, but wanted to just say I've dealt with some weird sleep stuff too, which he's now outgrown, and your not alone.
I hope he calms down okay soon.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady
Mine wakes up screaming/crying sometimes. Unfortunately, when it happens, it's usually when we have to go somewhere, so I try to give her time to calm down, but there's not much time available before I have to basically force her into clothes/socks/whatever might be necessary and then shove her in the car kicking and screaming.

However, I will say, that once we start driving, she calms down really quickly. I still have yet to figure out what will indicate waking up crying vs waking up happy, except that most times she wakes up crying, it's when I have had to wake her up.
This, at 19 months.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:07 PM   #5
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DFS wakes up like that 4-5 times a week. Uber frustrating! He is not consolable and can't vocalize why (he is very verbal now, so this is weird). Hopefully he outgrows it eventually. He's 3 but has done it since he was tiny.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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Re: 3yo screaming bloody murder after nap?

Could it be scary dreams that he can't really remember or put into words?
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:41 PM   #7
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Re: 3yo screaming bloody murder after nap?

DD did this if she napped for more than 2 hours. She was able to verbalize at about 4 that her "brain" was hurting. Headaches are really hard for kids to describe, so "emotions" may be it.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:46 PM   #8
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Re: 3yo screaming bloody murder after nap?

my dd has done this before. She'll wake up from a dream and just cry and cry so much and can't tell me why. One time when it happened I just held her and gave her time. Maybe a few hours later I asked her what happened and she said "I dreamed you threw all my toys away"....I felt horrible! I've never done that before nor claimed to do that but she was so upset by it she literally was shaking and couldn't speak...my guess is that he had a bad dream
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:51 AM   #9
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Re: 3yo screaming bloody murder after nap?

My guess would be night terrors, my DD (now 4.5) has had them since she was tiny. She has done exactly what you're describing. Here's a link that explains it better (it's Wikipedia, so not 100% accurate, but gives a general idea and has been true with my experience):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_terror
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:59 AM   #10
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Re: 3yo screaming bloody murder after nap?

What got me was that he cried for almost 2 hours. It was like he came unhinged. It scared me. He finally calmed down upstairs in his crib and when I went to get him he was totally fine. All smiles and ready to play. I don't know.

He's 'woken up hard' from naps before, but never anything like that. And he has never woken up like that at night either.
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