Panic Mode: Newborn Wakes Up Screaming! Is She in Pain?

Screaming can be startling especially if it is in the middle of the night. In a moment, as a mom, you would feel like in panic worried what could have happened to your newborn. It would be much harder if she is sleeping in her own room. There could be a lot of causes why she screams. Could she be hurt? Dreaming? Or what?? One important thing that you should do is to learn all about your newborn's condition. Why does your newborn wakes up screaming?

More...

Why Do Newborns Wakes Up Screaming?

Of all the questions and worries in your mind, there must be answers to calm you down. Let us understand one by one the probable causes of why your newborn wakes up screaming. It helps to know so that you can plan on what to do next.

• Hungry Newborn

Of course, first cause must be craving for milk. Newborn tends to scream when they realize they are hungry. Screaming is their way to catch your attention especially in the middle of the night when everyone is in deep slumber.

• Wet Diaper

Being uncomfortable will irritate your newborn. Wet diapers especially if it stays longer on your baby would make their skin itchy and cold. How else would your newborn tell you to change her but scream?

• Sleep Association

Sleep association could be your newborn used to sleeping with you beside her, with the pacifier, air con on or simply on a rocking chair. If she wakes up realizing these are gone, she will go frantic and scream

• Sleep Cycles

We all have these cycles. Including newborns, we do have a time in those sleep cycles that we wake up and after a few seconds, go back to sleep. That is what happens when you hear your newborn screaming and found out she is asleep by the time you reach her room

​This often is associated with a short length of time grunting. No need to fret, this kind of crying is expected and completely normal.

​• Not yet done Sleeping

​It commonly happens that when newborn wakes up screaming, they are annoyed because they want to sleep more. A little soothing or rocking will bring her back to sleep and complete her hours of rest.

​• Newborn needs time to realize she is awake.

​Nothing is wrong with your newborn. She had a complete rest and not hungry. You can see that it is time for her to be awake. In this point, give her time to warm up. A transition from deep sleep to the excitement of waking up. A little soothing or giving her a toy will give her a nice start.

​• Medical Conditions

​You were sure your newborn slept fine at night but woke up frantically screaming. First, check if she got a fever. Mostly, an illness like infections always comes with fever. She may also be suffering from pain, straining or finds it hard to breathe. In this case, you need to bring her to the doctor. Here are common medical conditions that could be bothering your newborn.

​• In pain

Make sure your newborn’s crib is free from harmful objects like sharp toys, or pins. Keep the space free and comfortable for her to move. Do not put pillows, blankets, or other fabrics near; It might suffocate her. She might be screaming because she finds it hard to breathe. The location of the crib must be safe from falling objects

• Insect Bites

​Newborn milk is attractive to insects such as ants. A dirty crib or bed invites ants and other insects to thrive. Mosquitos are a common problem too. Insect bites especially ants who comes in groups is extremely painful. Check inside the newborn’s ears too. Insect bites can be fatal to your newborn, keep your place tidy.

What will you do to prevent your newborn from waking up screaming?

​Although most of the cause are natural, there are certain ways to prevent it from happening. You might want to dig on some of these tips to save a good night sleep for you and for your newborn.

In the long run, you will already be familiar with your newborn’s feeding cycle. You would know when she needs to be fed. To prevent her from waking up screaming because of hunger, feed her right on time.

It would be best to create a chart for her feeding schedule. It would help you and everyone a great deal on tracking down the amount and time gap.


Do you often forget to change your newborn’s nappy? Like the feeding schedule, this goes hand in hand with the frequency of diaper changing. Whatever and whenever you feed your newborn, it will somehow be released at a given point of time. Try incorporating your nappy schedule with the feeding schedule.


Be observant regarding your newborn’s physical condition. If you suspect that she is not feeling well, do not let her sleep alone. Try as much to resolve the problem before sleeping time.


Insect bites can be prevented. If not given attention, this could be the worst physical pain a newborn could get. Here is what you need to do:

  • Clean your whole place especially the area where your newborn always stays.
  • Baby-proof your house from insects. Prevent bugs from infesting your house. You can contact professionals on how to deal with bugs. Here is a video showing on how to treat your newborns from insect bites.

Tips that you need to remember

  • When you hear your newborn screams at night, try to wait for a few moments before running to the rescue. If it is just sleep cycles, she will go back to sleep after. If you reach her earlier, you could have disrupted her sleep. Leaving newborn alone when crying will make her learn how self-soothe which are very crucial for regular sleep
  • Newborns must be put to sleep in a regular time and let them fall back to sleep at their own will.
  • You invest on night time vision baby monitor. It is costly, but it would be worth it. You will have peace of mind in your room while watching your baby safe on the monitor.

Are you still worried when your newborn wakes up screaming? Other than accidents that can’t be prevented and illness that you can usually notice, screaming when she wakes up is completely normal.

You can leave her to cry it out and let her learn to control her own emotions but at the same time let her feel that you are just around to help. Do not feel guilt; You are doing your newborn a great favor.

How is the article? Was it a big help your search for answers? We hope that we have covered all your concerns about your newborn screaming upon waking up and may it give you relief of worrying. If you think this is helpful, please share and leave a comment!

Stacy Belk
 

My name is Stacy Belk, I am a nurse, midwife and mother of two children. I would like to share my experiences in taking care of children including activities to do together, recipes to cook, good products to buy and health protection to your family. Do a search now if you like, all you need is here.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments