1. home
  2. toddler
  3. Expert Panel
  4. Toddler wakes up yelling in the AM
Avatar Madel...
Toddler wakes up yelling in the AM

I have a 21 month old son, a 9 month old son and am pregnant with our third baby, my question is about my 21 month old, who wakes up in the morning yelling and screaming. It is not scared or hurt yelling, just really grumpy. He stops when you give him a cuddle, but when you put him down he will yell until breakfast is made. I am very tired of waking up to him screaming like that, he gets out of bed on his own and will stand at my bedroom door yelling. He wakes up my 9 month old, and I am worried about him waking the next baby and disrupting his sleep habits. I am at a loss because I have tried comforting him, I have tried ignoring it, I have tried distracting him....I just don't know what else to do, and it can't be a good way for him to wake up...

Jane ...
Answer: You can't actually control or finely influence the mood he's in when he wakes up. Some kids are slow to "thaw" out after a deep sleep and some just need lots of emotional topping up from the start of their day. At 21 months he's still very young and his emotional and social development some way off being mature. Try not to see what he's like currently as a long term snapshot of his behaviour forever more. You're probably tired and would like a longer sleep in each day. Can your partner get up to the toddler on some days so you can have a lie in? Is it possible to close your door or even put a gate up in his doorway so he can't get out of his room so easily? At least that way you're not greeted with his mood the minute you open your eyes in the morning. You will probably find that as he gets older he is better able to entertain himself in his room if he wakes early. But at 21 months he does need supervision and can't be left to fend for himself for any length of time. Hopefully this is just a short term phase and with time, he's going to mature out of it. Some kids too are very loud and don't know how to mute the volume on their voice, despite constant parental encouragement. The other issue is that he's probably waking up really hungry and because of his low blood sugar he's not in the best mood. Try to make sure he's eating plenty for dinner the previous night and if he's still having bottles stop them. Milk during the night does influence day/evening meal intake and this could be playing a part if he's still drinking milk overnight. Best Jane
Answered: 11 Aug 2013