These sudden waking ups and jumping or crying during his sleep are called night terrors. And usually babies eventually out grow them. You can help him though, by doing some or any of the following:
– Try not to force him to wake when he’s having one of these. Sometimes babies cry while still sleeping. When you give your baby sometime before waking him up, you might notice that he would go right back to sleep without completely waking up.
– Try to stay calm yourself. Staying calm helps you handle the situation better and only then can you be consistent with your method of getting your baby to go back to sleep every time he wakes up. And when you are calm, it helps your baby get calmer faster.
– Minimize your babies stress and try getting him to bed before he is over-tired. When babies go to sleep over-tired, it is sometimes more difficult for them to stay asleep longer. A good consistent sleeping and feeding daily schedule and an early bedtime would reduce the chances of over-tiredness for your child.
– Adopt a comforting bedtime routine. Babies thrive well on routines. Knowing when to expect at various times, makes it easier for them to accept and do things. Bedtime routines should be soothing and not be too long 15 – 30 minutes is sufficient and 10 to 15 minutes for nap time.
– Be aware of fevers, tonsils, cold or allergies (that can make it harder for him to breathe): If your child is having difficulty breathing, he would most likely have interrupted sleep which may appear as night terrors. See your pediatrician if you notice or suspect any health issues.
– Reduce or eliminate TV as much as possible even for a few days to see if it is contributing to your child’s night wakings. Some TV programs even cartoons can cause some babies to have sleep interrupting dreams or nightmares.