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Pediatrics/15 month old waking & screaming


I'm writing to you because we called our Doctor (and I know I can insist he be seen, which were close to doing) and they said this is most likely gas.. Our son has been waking up (for probably the past 5/6 nights) anytime between 12-4 am screaming. He does sometimes pass gas during all of this, but would gas affect him every night this badly??  We cosleep with him so I wouldn't think it's him wanting us. We change him, offer a bottle, console him everyway we can think of and nothing matters, he will just scream and scream for probably 15 minutes - an hour.  My boyfriend got up with him and walked him and that's what calmed him tonight.  I feel like a terrible parent while I lay here listening to him cry and not knowing what is bothering him. He is absolutely fine all day, maybe a little more tired which is understandable, but hasn't ever screamed like he does at night.  The doctor recommended we dry gas drops, we have him some gripe water about 30 minutes before bed but it did not help him tonight.  I know he could be teething also.  It just worries me that it could be something more that we are over looking?  I read all these terrible stories of babies/kids with cancer and its so scary.  My boyfriend tells me I'm crazy & that if it were something like that it wouldn't just be at night.  I guess I'm just looking for another opinion? Should I insist he be seen? Call our doctors office back again?

Hi, Abby,

If he previously slept well, then this is probably some type of mild illness, or teething and I agree with your boyfriend that if he is fine in the daytime, he probably has nothing serious. Please have a good exam done by your doctor, as well as a good history, so you can be reassured nothing bad is going on.  If this is the case, then sometimes even a brief, self-limited viral illness can do this.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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