Night terrors....

Kelly - posted on 02/03/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My 2 year old wakes up at least 2 to 3 nights a week, screaming, thrashing, crying.... I have figures out its night terrors.

Has anyone dealt with this? And does anyone have an advice on how to help him?

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Tanya - posted on 10/08/2010

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I have posted the below on a couple of other conversations, It is what I have experienced and the solution i found after years of searching for answers and solutions to help my daughter. I have just cut and pasted and I hope it helps.
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You - posted yesterday, 9:46 pm

I am a mother that has survived 'Night Terrors' my "middle" daughter is now 9 and had night terrors from approx 8-10months old until she was 6 nearly 7 years old and they were nightly, there were no breaks or nights off, it was every night between 11.10pm and 1.30am. Whilst on holidays we had security called on us because the prople in the room next to us thought we were abusing our daughter. They are awful, scary and hurtful. You feel totally helpless and useless because you cant ease their terror/fears. But hang in there, you do have options. I did a lot of research back when there wasn't much around.
I spent a lot (wasted) time and money on Doctors, Paesiatricians, Paediatricians who supposedly specialised in night terrors, herbal remedies, music, this and that all for nothing. I was told, she will grow out of it, try giving her this, try doing that. None of it worked, Phernergan - mild anthistamine/sedative they give children for allergies to help them relax or sleep had the adverse effect. I was litterally at my wits end and I know that it had a part to play in the break up of my first marriage. Sleep Deprevation will damage even the strongest of relationships over time. The night terrors will effect your childs behaviour, immune system, digestion and nervous systems you need to consider everything. Diet, intollerances, allergies, energy levels.
My first point of advice is make a diary or all food and fluids taken with what preservatives and sugars etc are in those foods, what activities and how their behaviour is. Do this for a 4 week period religiously, this will give you a true indication of when the changes start happening and you can always refer back to the diary when discussing the situation with your doctor/paediatrician/health carer etc.
Have a look at a book called 'Fed Up' by Sue Dengate. She has specialised in food intollerances and allergies there is a lot of merrit in the research she has done and the results she has found. There is a section or reference to 'Night Terrors' and this was part of my solution, I can not guarantee any of this will work for your child but it is worth a try and won't hurt them, even if you think it might be drastic. I have tried this method and perseveared and it worked in 7 days.

When my daughter was 6 as a last resort before giving her tranquilisers I took her to see a Natropath/Homeopath, I had never seen or spoken to one myself so I was a little sceptical to say the least, but I had not other options left. He took a blood analysis, iridology test general questions. He placed her on a strict 90 day food plan, where she had to irradicate all sugars and Yeast/wheat from her diet. My daughter was barely at minimum weight for her age anyway and I had real concerns for her weight and health on this food plan. It was the same food plan that is given for sufferers of 'Candiasis Albicans' or 'Systemic Candiasis' which is basically too much of the Thrush bacteria in the blood system. She had only ever had thrush as an infant at 6 weeks old that she got from her normal position coming through the birth canal. Anyway, it had been in her bood system for that long it caused problems in all the above areas I mentioned especially her digestive sytem and led to 'leaky gut'syndrome. I am telling you all this in so much detail because 'Night Terrors' are not straight forward or easily explained. Some children never grow out of them.
We had to be creative with her food, and make a lot of changes as Natural Sugars that are found in fruit and dairy (anything ending in 'ose' glucose, sucrose, lactose etc.etc) was out completely as it takes the full 90days to kill the organisms and its spores in the blood system. It was hard work, but we did it.
My daughters firs night of sound sleep occurred 7 nights later, my second husband and I didn't sleep at all as we were still expecting her to wake and go through the now normal routine, but she didn't. Almost immediately her personality changed, she was happier, no more massive mood swings, no more always being tired and grumpy. She is a different kid and such an absolute pleasure.
We maintain a 'Detox' for 1 week every 3-6 months depending on how she is feeling and behaving. We maintain the vitamins, probiotics and limit the sugars and yeast/intake. This worked for us and I hope if you can give it a try it will work for you. Good Luck.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Rachel - posted on 02/03/2009

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My son went through this when he was 2. It lasted about 6 months.When it first started, we tried everything to get it to stop, with no success. It actually made it worse. After we just let him go through the screaming, they got less and less and finally he didn't have them anymore. It is VERY difficult to let your baby scream like that, but there was nothing else to do. Comforting him seemed to make it worse. The same thing happened with my nephew and his parents did the same as I did. Both kids are happy and healthy. hope this helps a little. Just know that you are not alone.

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Candy - posted on 10/09/2010

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My daughter had these too. We would let her go through it. That would feel like FOREVER and you feel so helpless. She would run around in circles crying and screaming. You couldnt touch her at all. She would get worse. Sometimes she could hear us and sometimes not. Good luck and my God give you strength you need.

April - posted on 10/08/2010

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My son is 5 and still has night terrors. I have learned what triggers my son's night terrors early on and avoided him being over tired when going to bed. I made sure that he got a nap every single day when he was younger. Now that he is 5 and not taking a nap every day, if he gets over tired or we have had a long day like swimming or playing for a long time outside then he goes down for a nap. Night terrors are usually caused by exhaustion. I would make sure that your 2 year old is getting a nap every day. When he does have a night terror, he will just need to sit in his room to keep an eye on him to ensure that he does not hurt himself. Don't try to wake him up or talk to him, you will only make it worse and make it last longer. I know it can be disturbing, my son would wake up and be ready to fight someone he was so mad and violent and then after about 20 minutes he would just lay back down and go to sleep. You just have to be near by and not disturb them.

Leanne - posted on 10/08/2010

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my daughter had these. change in routeen/trauma/stress/over exhaustion can all cause them. all i did was call repeat her name an told her its ok. sometimes trying to pic her up made it worse but comforting her seems to calm her much faster. they are scary but they grow out of them. good luck

Lacye - posted on 10/08/2010

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my sister's son did this. he started when he was a couple months old and he is going to be 7 soon and still has them sometimes. he would scream in his sleep at least 3 or 4 times a night and would kick us in his sleep when we went to go comfort him. we would have to wake him up and calm him down. but it does get better after a while.

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My 5 year old daughter  went through this when she was between 2 and 4 years old. She very very rarely has them now. Nothing traumatic has happened to her, I think it is just something kids go with through because its hard for them to process adult situations, like movies or things they see on the news. The best thing to do when this happens is to just sit next to them and let them cry it out. My daughter would act like she was seeing something she was scared of or just in a total panic, but she was obviously still asleep. Waking her up only made it worse, so waiting it out soothed her down faster.

Holly - posted on 02/03/2009

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my daughter did this. Ask yourself has anything recently changed. Because stress can trigger them. They started for her when we moved she was a little over 1 year old. Then when my son was sick in the hospital and I was not home at all for almost 2 weeks. Now they only seem to happen when her father works a lot of extra hours and she doesn't see him much. The only thing i can advise to you is make sure that he cannot hurt himself. With my daughter is seems like if we are in the room she freaks out more. I tried holding her at first and it seemed to elevate it. Some times she will allow me to put a cool cloth on her face to calm her down.. its very hard and confusing and really stinks to watch. But i have found that if i put her on my bed (which is kind of high) and duck below it so she thinks im not there but i am to make sure shes ok. She will calm down fairly fast and go back to sleep and then I can move her to her bed. The doctor says some kids will only have it a very short time and other will have it longer. when she first had them it felt like eternity.. The other suggestion my doctor made is. It seems like they do it the same time every night usually (which was true for my daughter) so he said to set my alarm and wake up about 15-20 minutes before it happens and go in and wake them gently with some juice or just a hello and I love you. They will go back to sleep and this will break up the sleep routine enough for it not to happen. Do it for like a week. I did this and it stopped for the time being until the next round came months later. I hope this helps!! good luck!

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