My 3-year-old wakes up in the middle of the night throwing tantrums: Advice?

Hello, I am having a really hard time, and I hope you can help. My almost-three-year-old son has started waking up in the middle of the night to throw a tantrum! An example is, he wakes up at 3 am and asks for milk, I get him milk, but he will continue to scream that he wants milk, the more I engage him, the more he screams. Honestly, I just lay next to him until it ends ( usually 10 to 15min). He used to sleep through the night, but then his little sister arrived, and it has been a year with no sleep. I feel like a horrible mom because I am completely lost on what to do! I know this sounds silly compared to the other problems on the site, but any advice would be very welcome.


My daughter did this when she was having growing pains, but she never told me she was in pain. She grew 3 inches in 6 months. Also, my son did it having night terrors (if he didn’t nap during the day). He wasn’t awake although it seemed like he was.

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They do make melatonin for kids now ages 3 and up considerate to get his sleep patterns back to normal


It’s a phase, he will grow out of it.

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I was going to say, this sounds a bit more like night terrors than just a tantrum. I suggest talking with your pediatrician (and a little bit of Google) for help and ideas. Good luck momma.


Probably having bad dreams! My 4 yr old does the same thing, has been for about a year. When she would start screaming I would try to talk to her and she would just block me out and continue. Only advice I got is to just snuggle your babe.

This sounds more like night terrors. My son went through them and the best thing you can do is just leave them be. My son didn’t even remember having them the next morning


Night terrors. They talk in their sleep, they’re confused, they’re frightened. Just hold him and rock him


I agree with the night terrors. They dont know what they are doing or saying.

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Just hold him and cuddle till he falls asleep again. The only thing to help him get through this is security that you’ll always be there for him. He will grow out of ir.

This happened with my son, it went on for a few months. He’d wake up randomly throughout the night screaming and crying about something and even if you gave him that something he could not stop. We talked to a pediatrician and a child psychologist, it was night terrors/ sleep walking. He wasn’t fully awake and even though it felt like he was hearing me he really wasn’t. When these episodes would happen I’d just lay next to him and wait until he’d let me comfort him and then rock him back to sleep.


Honestly my son does the same. Hes almost 4 he has night terrors and sleep walks I found him one night eating cookies outta the fridge in his sleep like he was out cold diff have to watch really close with sleep walking

My 7 year old has slept walk since walking age. She isnt awake, but she looks like it. She talks about weird random stuff (anywhere from going yo the donut shop for a chocolate donut to someone is in her room trying to hurt her) the more i engage her instead of just helping her to bed the worse she gets and the harder to get back in bed. If all else fails, sleep with him until a doctor visit. Its worse for us on stressful days. I have sleep paralysis so id rather deal with my daughter sleep walking than her deal with my sleep paralysis. High stress days set both of us off easliy and the mind is vulnerable when youre sleeping, you have no control at all.

These are night terrors. He’ll grow out of them

Definitely sounds like night terrors. He may seem to be awake but definitely is not. Stress can cause these and it sounds like with a new baby, that could be his issue. It’s difficult momma, I deal with the same thing with my 3-year-old daughter (we just moved), but they will eventually grow out of it. Not a lot you can do unfortunately.

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All 4 of my kids did this… one would sit on the bottom step crying she wanted to eat roller skates and i won’t let her… sometimes it was harder then others hang in there it’ll be over before you know it


My son had night terrors at that age and I started waking him up to go potty before I went to bed myself around 11. After he started emptying his bladder the fits during the night stopped :woman_shrugging: he would wake up throwing a fit and cry and whine and be inconsolable, but when he started peeing and going back to sleep it just quit immediately

It sounds like night terrors to me. My son had them for a long time and then it turned into sleepwalking. Its rough hang in there. My son outgrew it in about 18 months. Do you have a support system to help you so maybe you could catch a nap during the day or get a break so you can rest a bit? It definitely makes things easier.

This is happenenning with my almost 2 year old when her brother arrived. Its been going on for almost 3 months now :sweat:

Does he seem awake? My daughter sleep walks, and sometimes to the point where she will respond to me, and ask for stuff. But she is completely asleep and if I try to interact she will cry. What i do now is I just lead her to her bed, and sit with her until she is back asleep. He may be sleep talking, and is confused when you give him what he wants. I would try next time to say “okay buddy let’s lay down first” and then sit with him and see if he will go back to sleep

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