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Waking from Nap Screaming

My son wakes up from overnight sleep and morning nap beautifully. Peaceful and plays for a while in crib. But every afternoon nap, he wakes up screaming bloody murder. He doesn't even slowly wake up screaming, no he goes from being dead-asleep to full-blown screams. He is getting enough sleep (2-3hr afternoon nap). I've tried letting him cry it out for 20min, pacifier, even rocking in my arms. Nothing calms him. And its just the afternoon naps where this happens. What to do?

This is a unique problem that I have not encountered before. I do not have an easy answer or experience with this. Does he fall asleep on his own? Many children will wake up scared if they are rocked to sleep or fall asleep elsewhere and are transfered to their bed. It does not sound like night terrors as that is typically at night. I would try changing up the timing of his naps and feeding him prior to this nap. My guess is this is a stage that will pass.

If anyone has any suggestions I have posted this as a facebook discussion.

Follow up - posted 2 months later

He is much better now! Definitely some weird phase for sure.


Written March, 2011 with follow up May 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician






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