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My daughter will be 9 months old this week- she has NEVER slept through the night! She would sleep, get up have a bottle and sleep again, repeat. Now she gets up about 2-3 times a night screaming!! Not just fussy cries, screams like she is being hurt! Her doctor has no answer for us! We have tried orajel, tylenol, and Motrin for any teething pain that may be there, and nothing has stopped the screams! Any advice on what it could be or what to do?


Posted anonymously, 22nd January 2014


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  • Does she know how to self settle or is she dependent upon your interaction and the bottle to do it and screams until you intervene? Have you tried withdrawing the night bottles? If the calories are an issue slowly water down the bottle. Say 1/4 water 3/4 milk, then after a few days 1/3 to 2/3 then 1/2 1/2. Her body will work out that it needs the calories in the day and not depend upon the night bottles then you should be able to withdraw it. She will still complain for a few nights but stay strong don’t give in. If she sounds distressed just say time for sleep lay her down no eye contact and leave. A parenting service like Karitane or Tresillian may be able to help


  • If it’s really concerning you, check with the Dr. Checking for allergens may be the way to go if nothing else can be found.


  • there are some good comments here


  • maybe shes having nightmares, give her a teddy saying this take away all the scary things


  • go see advice from your health practitioner.. My son did this for years, i suspected he maybe lactose intolerant, and was just told i was a nervous mum… turns out three years later, he was both lactose and sucrose intolerant and finally we got some sleep. Most off the shelf formulas have lactose.

    Mum’s intuition is always right, ask for a allergen test also, who knows it could be the formula, or it could just be a growth, teething or even independent and needy demands of the child. At this age, i wouldnt take no from your health professional, seek help and i can only hope it is a settling issue.


  • Could be night terrors (like nightmares). It could also be wind or reflux. I would also see another doctor for a second opinion just to give you peace of mind (although not peace of a night) . I had one who would wake up of a night and did until he was about 4 but he wasn’t screaming, I hope you find some answers. I would try and stop the night feeds and just offer water for a while and see if that makes any difference. Give a little extra before bed.


  • Hi, we just had the same thing a few weeks ago, my son just 10 months now has always been so chilled and never heard him scream before. We thought it had to be more teeth and did the panadol, nurofen thing and there is still no sign of teeth. The really disturbed nights only lasted a few days and after about 2 weeks he went back to his usual patterns. I’m thinking it’s just a normal development stage because I remember my first son doing the same around that age too. I bet you see some new skills pop up in the next few weeks, my boy suddenly started cruising,climbing up on coffee tables and walking pushing things like the ottoman. He kept standing and sitting in his sleep, still asleep but standing and crying and I had to gently coax him back down to the mattress to sleep soundly again. Its distressing to hear them cry like that but my gut feeling with my kids is its perfectly normal and their brains are just going crazy working stuff out. Hope it all settles for you soon.


  • it could be something as simple as nightmares. Could be any number of things. I’ve found when their has been an issue with kids it’s best to that doctors see it first hand. So if she’s waking up screaming and you think she may be in pain you could take her to the emergency room. My parents did that with me. They’d take me to the doctor and they’d say it was just a virus or something. Turned out I had pneumonia. Just a thought.


  • As long as your doctor is sure there is nothing wrong, maybe it has just become a habit another opinion might be worth trying just in case. otherwise just go in quietly check the nappy is not soaking, then put her back down without any noise or fuss and put some music on, my daughter used to wake all the time and the less fuss you make of them the more likely they are t ogo back to sleep, eventually we had a “magic music box!” which used to send her to sleep !


  • My little boy used to scream all day and all night until we worked out he had silent reflux. It was a long process to work that out, but once we did, and found out what settled him down, he was like a different baby.
    Also my cousin’s daughter used to scream all the time, and they couldn’t work out what was wrong with her. Turned out the nerves in her front teeth were exposed, so every time she drank or even breathed she was in pain, poor little thing! They had her teeth removed surgically, and she was fine then. She is now 8 and her adult teeth are perfect. You never know what can happen. Just keep trying to find the reason. Good luck.


  • Maybe give her a blankie or a teddy to cuddle and if she is teething try Bonjela or Hylands teething tablets. Maybe if she is hungry try the save our sleep routine of Dinner at 5.20pm, milk at 6.30pm and bed at 7pm.


  • I would suggest getting a full work up by a paediatrician. GPS are hopeless with this kind of trivial thing.


  • Have you checked for ear infection?


  • is she hungry? maybe she needs some soft music in her room to calm her and make her feel safe


  • have you got a little night light. maybe she is getting scared of the dark and waking with a fright. poor lil bub. the comment on an intolerance is something that might be worth a look. get an allergy test.


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