Toddler Screaming

For over a month now my daughter has woken from her naps screaming. It’s not immediate, but about five to ten minutes after getting her out of her cot she will just start screaming – it’s a bit like she’s in pain, but resembles a tantrum very closely. She’ll arch her back, start dry-reaching, throw anything she can get her hands on and generally rithe around like she’s in agony. Her screaming continues the whole time at an ear-piercing level. It can last anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes and the more I try to intervene by hugging or trying to distract her the longer it seems to last. The screaming will cease almost as quickly as it began. One minutes she’s out of control the next she’s giving me a cow to play with saying ‘moo, moo.’


As you can imagine it’s extremely distressing for us both. All I can do is wait it out, especially when anything else I try just makes it last longer. The worst part is that I can’t figure out why she’s doing it or what I can do to stop it. It doesn’t seem related to anything I can put my finger on. Just sometimes when she wakes she’ll do this and other times she’ll wake up perfectly happy.

I’ve tried to link it to all kinds of things: Dad not being home; what she’s eaten; being hungry or thirsty; being too hot; getting her up too soon; being overtired; having a short nap or overnight sleep; having a long nap or overnight sleep. None of these things seem to be the cause. The one and only thing I can think of that it could be related to is teething.

It still doesn’t explain how it happens only when she wakes up. If it was teething, wouldn’t she struggle to sleep at all? Is she in pain or is it a tantrum. This one’s truly got me stumped.

Leave a Comment