Emily - posted on 03/30/2013
You could almost compare it to sleep walking..
I have twin 3.5 yr olds that have had them. One, Gracie had them every night for a month straight! I know it can be one of the most horrifying experiences you might face as a parent.. You feel helpless, you can see that even though he/she may be crying for you, YOU going in there to try and pick them up literally scares them! You realize they don't even know who you are! And you just cant wake them up or snap them out of it! and a lot of the times they can get very physical!! How horrifying!!
Here's the thing.. You WILL NOT wake them up! Infact you should not even try it can make it so much worse and prolong it! It can actually add you into their night terror and make you a bad guy in it.. Do not try and talk to them or turn on the light! Sme parents have had success with just leaving them alone and letting them cry it out and let it run its course.. But that didnt work for us with Gracie. she would get up and if she wasn't in a crib at that time shed walk out of her room and god only knows from there.. So we, I mean me..lol my husband wasn't as patient or soothing as I was..lol I would take her thrashing and screaming and hitting and kicking me and bring her into our room, turn on the tv-not the over head light(you want a low height just enough for them to see where they are and don't get scared when they come out of it finally..) I'd sit on the bed with her laying between my legs facing the tv-not me. I'd turn the TV onto that baby channel..not sure if you have it but at that hour it was a very soothing and slow paced show where it was very calming to her.. And not speak a work or hold her tight.. Nothing that would get her focus on me or distract her.. You want her to put her focus on to something claiming.. You could even try like a music channel if you have it but I'd only use like classical or something like that..I know one mom said she used to softly and quietly sing "their song" to her son that only he knew and knew that was for him.. I would softly and quiet shush her..very quietly and not make it repetitive but a constant shushshshshshshshshshsh so it was constant and not to distract but to sooth.. She would then not too much longer stop the cries and the look of fear would just instantly disappear! Then I'd know it was over! You will still want to shush them for a bit after to bring down their heart rate a bit following but just remember, they don't remember any of it!! Really!! They will be a bit confused once they wake up as to why they are with you and how they got there but be happy they are!:)
Trust me, I spent many nights crying and scared that this was torturing my baby and I couldn't believe that this couldn't have any future psychological affects on her but really, it hasn't! I know now that I had these as a kid myself..I kind on knew it but of course I couldn't really remember them..lol But I don't think I've had any issues from it.. And if anything I might leap to think that it's maybe even brought my daughter and I a little closer from it..if that's even possible!?lol
But don't worry! It will get better and I know who terrifying they can be! My daughter would get very violent and physical in it and I'd be so scared to death that she was going to throw herself off of our bed or hit or kick so hard-not even feeling the pain of it-literally that we'd end up having to taker her to the ER! She'd look right at me and SCREAM BLOODY MURDER AT ME so nasty like that it would scare me!! And in the same breath be calling for me to save her! They will or recognize you or your voice so again, don't talk to them, don't try and hold them or hold them down, don't touch them or turn on the light... It WILL only make it worse and prolong it! And if you do after a bit..you can actually cause it to start all over again!lol my husband used to get so frustrated with it and me that he'd try and talk to her or touch her and GREAT!! Here we go all over again! And have to start this process all again!lol
But good luck momma's!! Your are an amazing mom and don't forget that! TRUST your instincts!! No one knows your child better than you do!! :))
Shannon - posted on 03/12/2010
My daughter wakes and cries and cries, but she isn't awake. These are true night terrors,and the doctor said to just let her cry, hold her, but don't wake her. And just make sure she has a loving, safe enviorment, no violent or scary tv shows, and they should get better. I wanted to say "duh" but didn't. But when I stopped freaking out, she stopped having them as often. Now it's only maybe once a week or once every couple weeks and they don't last as long anymore either.
Kristina - posted on 03/10/2010
My daughter screams in her sleep about once or twice a week. By the time I get to her, though, she's usually on her way back to sleeping peacefully. I'm convinced her night terrors are harder on me than on her! There's no treatment, but they'll go away on their own in time. Fortunately, unlike nightmares, kids don't remember them, so there's no rocking a frightened toddler for 45 minutes trying to get her to go back to sleep...
Also, while it's not helpful, and often not even possible, to wake a child from a night terror, it's also not a life-or-death, set-in-stone rule that you shouldn't wake them. If your kid is in danger of injuring himself from thrashing around, don't be afraid that picking him up is going to wake him and cause some irreparable psychological harm. Sleep just doesn't work that way.
Elizabeth - posted on 03/09/2010
I have been told that you are not to wake them it is important that you just assure them that you are there with them and you will protect them and that you love them!! My son showed significant improvement when we started talking about the dream fairy and the endless possibility of good dreams he could have.re.riding bikes, climbing trees etc
Amber - posted on 03/09/2010
My daughter wakes up 1-3 times most nights crying or saying something in her sleep. If she is crying while not waking up, I usually, smooth her hair back, possibly kiss her if she's not thrashing & just try to sooth her with my touch. I notice she does it more if she gets out of her blankets & is cold moreso than other times. Not sure how to stop them though. Sorry & good luck!
Rebecca - posted on 03/07/2010
Night terrors usually happen around the same time of the night, and while in a very deep state of sleep (usually the second half of their sleep, but not always). The one thing that has been proven to work is to keep track of your child's night terrors and at what time they wake up. Then gently wake them an hour or so before the night terror usually occurs and help them go back to sleep. If they wake up again, continue keeping track and waking them *gently* just before they are going to occur. Hope this helps!
Tiffney - posted on 03/06/2010
a true night terror they are not awake even if their eyes are open. My daughter has them and has since she was 3 and she is now 9. I was told they normally stop by age 7; however, VeRonniccaa's has not stopped. Do NOT wake the child up from a night terror it is like a sleep walker it can scare them to death. You can try talking to the child and see if they talk back to tell you what is happening. Sometimes they will tell you and sometimes they will not. They do not truly know that you are there and will not remember anything the next day. All I can say is be there to try to calm the child sometimes it works and sometimes it does not pray with the child every night and include something to do with help him or her through the night. I will pray for you all that the child has a peaceful night. God please you all.
Waltraud Hartwich - posted on 03/05/2010
My daughter has been experiencing what you call night terrors on and off for a while now, especially in the last week. I don't think there's anything you can do beside hold them, indulge them when they want to see what's behind the door or see if it's dark outside etc...and if you are at the end of your strength, just let them cry for a while without feeling torn up about it.
With my daughter, I know that these nightmares are caused by her teething (the last 4 molars), and so I am positive it will be over soon (1 tooth is already out). Maybe yours is teething, too? Hope you'll find some sleep soon!!!
Shawnna - posted on 03/02/2010
My 3 year old had them and my 23month old has them.Thier pediatrician said they will outgrow them.My 3 year old no longer has them.The best thing i found is when they are in the middle of one just hold them and let them know you are there and that they are ok.JUst keep reassuring them they are ok.Sometimes even though thier eyes are open,they aren't awake,so just hold them til they relax and fall back to sleep.I suggest you don't get in the habit of putting them in bed with you,as thats what we did with our 3 year old and now he comes in our bed about three every morning.I hope this helps you
Renee Anderson - posted on 03/02/2010
My 4 year old went thru night terrors from like 6 months old till 2.5 and now my 22 month old is going thru them to. My son had them bad he would scream and fight and nothing i would do helped. It is very scary and stressful. But there is really nothing you can do just be there and make sure they are ok till they come out of it. Also something that i was told and i tried it and it worked. Is take a bible and put it under the pillow or mattress of where they sleep. I dont know how it works or i am not really religious either. But i did it and for the week it was there nothing so i took it away and that night he started them up so i put it back and nothing.Now i am battling sleep walking with my oldest. Good luck and hopefully he one of the few that grows out of them.
Lisa - posted on 03/01/2010
My 23 month old daughter is also having what I assume are Nightterrors. Her sister also went through exactly the same. She wakes up once or twice before midnight (not every night) crying and if you try to go near her she just pushes you away. Then if you go to leave she starts screaming even more. It's a no win situation. She usually comes out of it after about 30 mins and goes back to sleep. Last night she was asking me for breakfast so I got her some strawberries and took her out to see the moon. After that she settled down and went to sleep in my bed. Maybe she was hungry and that's what triggered it as she didn't eat much for dinner, so I'll try the tip of giving her something extra to eat before bed.
Cassidy - posted on 02/28/2010
My daughter suffers from night terrors and unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done about them. The worst possible thing you can do is to wake them up. If they truly are having night terrors and not just nightmares, they will not wake up from it. It will sound and look awful on your end, they scream at the top of their lungs and lash out and hit things, but they are in such a state of sleep when true night terrors occur, that they do not wake up and do not seem to remember them in the morning. Most often they go away or cease to be on their own or they can last a lifetime. My 34 year old sister still suffers from night terrors to this day. It terrifies us and the animals, but she doesn't remember a thing come morning!! Hope this helps a little bit.....
Melissa - posted on 02/26/2010
My son was waking around 4am and would scream until we finally gave in and started his day. We thought it was night terrors because we could not calm him. It turned out he needs to eat right before bed because he wakes up extremely hungry. Our doctor was very helpful figuring out what to do. If this hadn't worked we were going to check him for sleep apnea.
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