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Baby Wakes Up Screaming

Crying is the baby’s way of communicating with its parents. The baby “tells” about his needs, emotions, or desires through a cry. Hunger, pain, fear, discomfort – the child cries for a reason. The child gives a signal with a cry when something bothers him. For example, a wet diaper or uncomfortable clothing.

Many parents are faced with a situation where the baby falls asleep and then wakes up crying. It should not be ignored. Take the baby in your arms, check the diaper, and rock him to sleep. Simple actions show that mom is nearby. The child feels protected and quickly calms down.

15 Reasons Why Baby Wakes Up Screaming

The sleep of babies has certain characteristics and lasts in cycles. The baby may wake up and cry between cycles. The reasons why a baby wakes up screaming are very different. This situation causes anxiety and anxiety among inexperienced parents.

Crying is a way to “tell” about his needs. Speech in which the baby “communicates” with the parents. Time will pass and the mother will learn to quickly recognize the crying of the child and understand what haunts him. Consider the main reasons why the baby wakes up screaming.

1. Hunger

Hunger is a very common cause of crying in babies. A well-fed child can sleep long and soundly. The crying that indicates hunger is specific: at first the baby whimpers, then cries loudly, looking for a breast or a bottle, and smacks his lips.

A breastfed baby may sleep restlessly and wake up frequently. The baby does not eat up and after a short period feels hungry again. Feed on demand immediately applies to the breast if the baby cries. It is useless to accustom a baby to breastfeeding only at a certain time.

2. Wet diaper

Crying of a child signaling an overflowing diaper, plaintive, the baby groans and spins. A wet diaper tingles the skin, becomes cold, and causes discomfort.

The child wakes up, cries, and requires a comfortable environment. The Baby’s skin is very sensitive. Contact with moisture can cause various irritations and redness.

The baby can pee 18-20 times a day in the first months of life. The best option is to change the diaper every 2-3 hours. Use quality diapers that retain moisture and don’t leak. The baby will quickly calm down and fall asleep again if you put a dry diaper on him.

3. Emotional overload

Every day the baby learns something new. A new experience, emotions do not allow the baby to sleep normally. This overloads the nervous system and affects the quality of sleep if the child likes active games and is very emotional.

It is important to put the baby to bed at the same time. Putting the baby to bed at a random time will be very difficult and he may wake up screaming after a while.

Take care of proper preparation for sleep: replace active games with reading, assembling puzzles, and constructor. Come up with evening rituals that will help him tune in to a calm regimen.

4. Flatulence with pain

More than 50% of babies suffer from colic in the first three months of life. The intestines are not yet adapted to digest food. Gases can accumulate in it and create mechanical pressure. They cause pain and discomfort.

Attacks of pain can be even during sleep. The child may whimper, wake up with a sharp cry, change the position of the body, squirm, and tuck the legs to the tummy. There is no universal remedy for colic, the problem is complex. The pediatrician may prescribe drugs that improve digestion and promote the passage of gases. Massage and the use of a gas tube are effective.

5. Teething

Often parents complain that the child sleeps worse during teething. It is easier for the baby to be distracted and calm down during the day. Discomfort is felt more strongly at night.

Babies who sleep peacefully through the night may wake up more often during this period. The baby may toss and turn for hours and find it difficult to fall asleep. The total sleep time is significantly reduced. All of this affects the order of the day, the mood, and the well-being of the child.

The baby may wake up at night with strong crying. Try to follow the usual daily routine and habitual rituals during teething. Take time to calm the child down before bed. Keep track of the baby’s daily sleep.

6. Inappropriate room temperature

The system of thermoregulation of the body in newborns has not yet been fully formed. Babies are sensitive to temperature changes. The child may wake up crying if the room is cold or hot. The child actively waves his arms, cries piercingly, and screams if he is cold. The face fills with a blush and the baby rolls over if he is hot.

If the baby is clean, dry, and not hungry, but wakes up with a lot of crying, check if he is comfortable. Need to touch the back of the head or back of the child. You wrapped the child very much if the back is wet and hot.

The mucous membrane in the nose may dry out and it will be difficult for the baby to breathe due to too dry air in the room. The optimum temperature in the children’s room is 18-20 degrees and the humidity is 60 – 70%.

7. Sleep associations

Certain associations are created if every day the baby falls asleep in his arms during feeding or after rocking. The child wakes up between sleep cycles and sees that there are no familiar conditions. The kid demands the return of the same conditions with loud crying.

You can start teaching the baby to fall asleep on their own after four months. Separate food and sleep after a year: evening feeding then quiet games. The sleep of the child will be stronger thanks to this.

8. Pain

Sleep is shallow and interrupted if the child is sick. He may wake up and cry a lot, there may be grimaces on his face and increased muscle tone.

Sore throat, fever, stuffy nose, cough, abdominal pain – all this worsens the baby’s sleep. It is very important to identify the cause of the pain, relieve the symptoms and contact the pediatrician as soon as possible. Do not self-medicate. This may aggravate the condition of the child.

9. Physical discomfort

One of the most common reasons why babies wake up crying at night. The reasons may be different: vaccination or poor-quality clothing, an uncomfortable mattress, a prickly blanket.

Check for possible causes of discomfort if you see something bothering the child. Choose comfortable clothes made from natural materials for sleep that allows the skin to “breathe”.

10. Sleep regression

The child’s sleep patterns are changing. He wakes up at night and finds it difficult to go back to sleep. Night awakening may be accompanied by crying.

It is often caused by growth spurts and learning new skills. The brain of a child is constantly developing, adapting to a new environment, and learning something new. Sleep regression often occurs after a child has learned something new, such as rolling over or sitting up. New skills cause stress for the baby and affect the quality of sleep.

The first sleep regression is the most difficult for parents. Sleep regression continues for two to four weeks.

11. Neurological problems

Frequent awakening and loud crying may indicate neurological problems – diseases of the peripheral nervous system or epilepsy. Some pathologies of the development of the nervous system can have serious consequences in the future.

At risk are premature babies born as a result of complicated births. Injuries can cause a concussion in a baby. Many neurological disorders can be corrected if you turn to a neurologist in time. It is better to consult a specialist in cases of sleep disorders.

12. Irritation and rash

A Baby’s skin is very delicate and sensitive, diaper rash can occur. The diaper is not breathable. It creates a greenhouse effect when it gets wet.

The risk of diaper rash is much greater if the baby constantly wears a diaper. Redness, swelling of the skin, and pain can cause discomfort. It can also make it difficult for an infant to sleep.

It is important to monitor the hygiene of the child, take air baths from time to time, and also use baby skincare products.

13. Noise

Many parents are convinced that the baby can be taught to sleep in a noisy room. It is not true.

Some children have very sensitive sleep and a little rustle causes sudden awakening and crying. Rocking a baby again is not easy. White noise will help to improve sleep for such babies.

14. A light source in the room

Any light source can cause a sudden nighttime awakening. It is better to turn off the intense light in the room where the baby sleeps. Do not use fluorescent lamps. Light of the cold spectrum negatively affects the synthesis of melatonin, which is called the sleep hormone. It is better to use lamps with soft warm light.

15. The psychological state of the mother

Babies feel the state of mind and mood of the mother. The smaller the child, the more sensitive he is. It affects the baby if the mother experiences fear, anxiety, and anxiety. He does not sleep well and wakes up at night crying.

The atmosphere in the family largely depends on the mood and well-being of the mother. Do not forget about your needs – sleep, good rest, hobbies. It is important to find time for pleasant little things that help restore strength and stay calm: naps with the baby, chatting with friends, reading books, a cup of favorite coffee, or a fragrant bath in the evening.

Does Sleep Training Work Here?

There is no single universal recipe that helps to quickly calm the baby and teach him to sleep without waking up. Monitor the mood and well-being of the baby, and adjust the daily routine based on this. Put to bed at the same time. This allows you to develop a certain regimen and the baby knows what to expect.

It is useful to introduce evening rituals – bathing, lullaby, calm games. Communicate actively with the baby during the day and be quiet and calm during nighttime feedings.

How To Handle Baby After it Wakes Up Screaming 

Every child is different and one method won’t work for everyone. It is impossible to ignore the screaming and crying in any case. Take the baby in your arms, and check the diaper and clothes. Keep the atmosphere as calm as possible and avoid bright lights. This will help to quickly return the baby to sleep.


Try feeding your baby if he is breastfeeding. The baby can eat very often in the first weeks, even 10-12 times a day. The interval between feedings increases over time. This is a win-win option that will quickly calm even a very capricious baby.

Breast milk is not only healthy food for the baby and a supply of nutrients but also a way to communicate with the mother. The child feels the mother’s warmth, the beating of the heart, and this calms him down. Breastfeeding is a great way to build an emotional bond between mom and baby.


The method is universal and time-tested. The child feels calm and safe in the arms of mom or dad and can fall asleep quickly. You can put the baby in the rocking cradle and shake it.


Calmly set the baby. Mom’s voice has a calming effect even if you don’t have the best vocal skills. The child has known him since pregnancy and he has a positive effect on his psycho-emotional state. The baby perceives the mother’s voice as something calm and safe and quickly calms down.

Light massage

Relaxing massage relieves muscle hypertonicity, improves blood circulation, eliminates negative emotions, and soothes the baby. Movements should be light and smooth. Stroke your child’s cheeks and face. Gently take his hands, gently spread them to the side, and cross them on the chest. Repeat the exercise several times.

Move to the tummy: it is necessary to make circular movements around the baby’s navel with the index and middle fingers. Perform movements in a clockwise direction. Exercise allows the child to relax. It is also effective during colic. Gently turn the baby over on its stomach and stroke the back with the back of your hand.


An old method that our grandmothers used. Today, manufacturers offer comfortable cocoons that give the baby a sense of peace, security, and warmth. You can use them from the first days of a baby’s life. The child does not wake himself up and sleeps better when his arms and legs are fixed. Neurologists say that the cocoon reminds the child of his mother’s tummy, he feels protected.

Free swaddling will come to the rescue if other ways to calm the baby do not help. It helps to feel secure and comfortable. The baby will quickly calm down and stop crying.

Can This Lead to Baby Development Issues?

“Do not pick up the baby when he is crying. Do not accustom him to hands – then will carry him in your arms all the time”.  This is the advice that mothers hear is common.

It is impossible to spoil a baby with care or love in the first months of life. He just doesn’t know how to manipulate. A mother’s warmth and attention are simply necessary for the child. They give positive emotions and become the foundation of a trusting relationship in the future.

Babies who are often left alone and allowed to cry can have a disorder that experts call “losing mother attachment.” A child in the future may grow up closed and not trust even the closest people. Don’t be afraid to show your love and care for the baby. He will grow up happy, healthy, and cheerful. There is never too much love!

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