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Odem, TX
A 22-year-old female asked:

My 5 month old son wakes from sleeping screaming and crying often as if he's had a bad dream. he stops after we calm him. is it nightmares, possibly?

2 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael H. T. Sia
Pediatrics 31 years experience
Possibly: Babies have shorter sleep cycles than us adults. Adult sleep cycles (going from light to deep sleep, & then back to light sleep) lasts an average of 90 minutes. Infants' sleep cycles are shorter, lasting 50 to 60 minutes, so they experience a "vulnerable period" for "nightwaking" around every hour or even less. This can manifest into your son's screaming/crying upon awakening.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
If your pediatrician: Says your son is healthy, growing well & developing typically, establish a consistent bedtime & routine. Read, rock, wipe out his mouth after the last feed, & put him in his own bed, drowsy but awake, without bottle or pacifier, to learn to self-calm to fall asleep & fall back to sleep when he night-wakes. See the aap's healthy child app for more tips to prevent "trained night crying" @ 6 mos.

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Last updated May 13, 2016

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