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Dr Aarti

Dr Aarti Bakshi40 Answers  |Ask -

Child and Parenting Counsellor - Answered on Feb 04, 2023

Asked on - Feb 04, 2023Hindi

Hi Dr Aarti. For past past three months we've noticed our 2 year old son has developed a habit of screaming (glass shattering magnitude) in the middle of the night. The bouts last from a few mins to 45 mins and it gets incredibly difficult to pacify him. We have noticed most of the time it is correlated to TV Time alloted to him in the evening so we've stopped that practice altogether but sometimes the screaming can occur despite that. We also thought it was a response to bad dreams triggered by a general feeling of abandonment cause we both work and one parent has to go to work twice a week. He usually does use it as a technique now and then during the day to blackmail us to give into his demands but we've stopped giving in. He is incredibly social, talkative and quick to pick up knowledge however doesn't get the opportunity to interact much with other children (cause our work timings collide with his play time) so we are thinking of enrolling him in a pre nursery school so that he gets that time and space to express himself with other children. We are hoping this would also have a positive impact on his sleep pattern. Do you think the screaming is a normal phase and he'll grow out of it or do you think it's part of a deeper problem and needs to be addressed with a child psychologist in person? Would appreciate any inputs
Ans: Hi Gautam,
Seperation anxiety strikes at night too. Scare of darkness plays havoc with the thinking. When your toddler wakes to find they're all alone, they may react by crying or screaming uncontrollably. I can empathise with your disruptive sleep, this is a phase your child will grow out of with time.
A few suggestions:
1. Monitor (cctv/baby monitors/hidden) too the time that you are not with the child and find out details when child is spending time during the day without parents. Who's incharge of hima and his activities? A clear picture of scares, build up of seperation anxiety could help you with the trigger.
2. Boundaries matter: It is commendable that you have found about the temper tantrum bargains and have held yourself from giving in. Do continue that and behavior boundaries will fit in.
3. Peer support: Enrolling for play school is lovely. He will build friendships and be physically tired to sleep through the night.
Hug him tons, cuddle him, read bedtie stories, create memories of running after him, dancing on music whatever the hours you are together. Do let me know the progress!
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