My 4 year old is having night terrors, or so I think. Anybody share this experience?

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Bethany - posted on 01/22/2009

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My oldest child had them around age 2.  We were told to NEVER wake them up.  Dreaming helps the mind work through things.  In this case, we'd been preparing him for a new baby coming and it lasted a couple months past his younger brother being born.  It's terrifying for the parents, but the children don't remember them.  My son would have his eyes wide open and would look straight at us with a horrified look in his eyes and on his face as he screamed, but he was still asleep.  It was absolutely gut-wrenching!!!  The worst thing is knowing you can't do anything.  You need to let your child just work through it.  Stay with them to make sure they don't hurt anything or fall off the bed or cause any harm to themselves, but don't wake them.  It'll pass.  It's very, very difficult, I know, and it rips your heart out, but you must let them work through it without interfering.  Good luck!!

Kara - posted on 01/22/2009

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Thanks for the posting! Your comment about the room change is funny because I made that suggestion to my husband this morning. We will try that right away. The terrors scare me more than they do her. It is a freaky thing having your child stare right through you.

User - posted on 01/22/2009

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my son used to have them,,,he used to frighten life outta me,,but hes grown out of it,thank god... but jus be there,,,make sure there ok,,all you can do,,,apparently they dont remember them,,,but i do!!! x hope it doesnt last too much longer for you ))

[deleted account]

My daughter has them about once every couple months. She'll cry and I'll go in to check on her and she'll tell me to "go away" or "leave me alone" and she'll sit in the corner of her bed and cry for 15-30 minutes. I just sit on the edge of her bed, not touching her so she doesn't scream at me and wake everyone else up, until she suddenly decides she's ready to lay down and I can then snuggle with her. She's back to sleep almost instantly...I think the snuggling is more for me than her :O) I'm told she should grow out of it eventually. Good luck!

Caroline - posted on 01/22/2009

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My son seems to go through something i might consider night terrors. He is asleep and crying, then yelling and thrashing. I usually can console him, but it can take anywhere from 1-45 min. My doctor said he will outgrow it eventually. I think it happens when he is extremely over tired or uncomfortable..I use to think it was because he was mad that he fell a sleep like he is missing something that is going on and is angry about it.

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User - posted on 07/01/2011

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My youngest son has had night terrors since he was 1yr old. He is 4 yrs old now and still has them. Every single night he has been yelling, screaming, and crying in the middle of the night for hours. We have a good enviroment around and no routine has changed. We do the same things every day and still nothing. I have told my doctor recently about this and he said that he will grow out of it. I really hope he does grow out of it soon.

Sophie - posted on 01/24/2009

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yeah mine did too he used to scream in the middle of the night but by the time we got to him he couldn't remember anything. Then 1 night we got there an it turned out he was having bad dreams about something he'd seen on t.v. try an talk to him during the day an if he can't remember try an get to him in the night an ask him whats bothering him hopefully he might tell u like mine did x

Lisa - posted on 01/23/2009

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not me, but friends i have. has there been any change in routine? anything or anyone new?

HaNa - posted on 01/22/2009

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Wow..I suprised to see so many kids have night terror. My son for years now..what I though is apnea and chest congestion because of his asthma. Before I though  he see ghost. Til now, he cry late at night like no tomorrow! Four different doctor keep saying it go away and not recommended a specialist. I notice a pattern of overly active day cause night terror. So I keep him calm and focus in activity wise. If anyone have online article. please post!

[deleted account]

My daughter had night terrors when she was about 2 years old. Luckily, one of her older cousins had them as well and since I babysat him a lot I knew what was happening (made it a little less scary for me). I got the same advice from my doctor as other moms have mentioned... stay with them, say reassuring things to them but don't wake them up. They do grow out of it eventually. I also found that by changing the position of the bed in the bedroom she had less night terrors. I don't know if that was just a coincidence but it felt like it worked. We moved her bed to a different wall or even just switched her pillow to the other end of the bed every few months and the change in perspective seemed to help. Good Luck!

Angela - posted on 01/22/2009

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My son started having night terrors about 6 months ago. He just turned 9. Sometimes they can be quite violent, sometimes he just cries, sometimes he screams and yells, always walking or running around aimlessly. I have gotten into the habit of double and triple checking the doors at night to make sure they are locked, because sometimes he tries to get outside. It can be quite scarey, for me as well. He looks right through me, like i am not there, or just panics, breaks out in a sweat and runs around. It usually happens within an hour of him going to bed. This all started with him when there were a series of big events and changes in our lives. We moved to a new house and a new town, had to go to a new school, the only father he has known had to leave (has been gone 6 months now, will be back in 6 more months), his grandma passed away, then his kitty passed away. A lot for a little boy to handle. I have 2 other children, and thankfully, they are not experiencing this problem.



Dr.'s told me that there is nothing that can be done for it. They said he should grow out of it, and it should just disappear as fast as it appeared. They feel that all the stresses in his life over a few short months are what is causing these night terrors. With his step dad being gone too, they said he may have feelings of not being as secure and safe as he was.



What I do is just hug him, if he'll let me, and tell him "Mommy's here" and just reassure him that everything is okay and he is okay. The episodes can last anywhere from a few seconds up 30 minutes. And eventually he just goes back to bed, and that is usually it for the night, but the odd time, he could be up 3 to 4 times in the night. I hope this problem goes away soon. He never remembers anything in the morning.



My advice for you, as for myself, is to just be patient, and reassure your child that everything and everyone is okay.

User - posted on 01/22/2009

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My little one and even my eldest are having a kind of terror dreams. I think this is because sometimes they have had much candy or they have ate too much before going to bed. I also think this is happening to them because someone scared them, it could look like they liked it at first and forgot all about it, but at night they start to scream and cry. So I told them that it was only a joke, that is not real and that nothing wrong is going to happen to them.

[deleted account]

Quoting Kara:

My 4 year old is having night terrors, or so I think. Anybody share this experience?




My son started having them soon after he turned one.  He is four and half now.  He doesn't have them as often, but they are frightening.  More so for the parents than anything else.  We used to have to walk him outside up and down our driveway to help change the atmosphere.  He seemed to be completely awake during them.  He would stare at us and have some coherent conversations, but in the end  he would finally calm down and he would just go right back to sleep.  He would wake us up by screaming and trying to fight us because we made the mistake of attempting to wake him up.  We took him to the drs and they said to just let them run there course, because sometimes when you fight your child while he's in the throws of one it can make it more extreme.  I hope everything works out and just try to stay strong and go thought the battles with him/her.  They will over come them. 

[deleted account]

I had night terrors BAD when I was about three they started and my mom took me to the doctor and he told her about a form of depression that kids get and it's usually hereditary. I thank God everyday my kids did not get it. I guess it skips generations cuz my grandmother had it and then me.

[deleted account]

I also have a 4 year old and this has happened and when it does he wakes up and it's like we aren't even there when he wakes up with the terror. the only thing that works is staying calm and just holding him and rocking slowly while you keep reassuring him (or her) that you are there and everything is ok. it is scary though. the more calm and quiet you keep it seems to work the best though. this is the age for things like this also. good luck

Danika - posted on 01/22/2009

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My 22 month old has night terrors ( I'm pretty sure) and she started having them around her first birthday. I have heard that they are hereditory (sp) and her dad had them severally until he was 6. I have been recently speaking with a doctor. We're monitoring it at the moment. Have you spoken to a doctor about it?

Julie - posted on 01/22/2009

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There is a little girl in my daycare that has night terrors during her naptime. She cries most of the time she is asleep, and sometimes gets loud like she is deathly afraid of something. Her Dad is thinking of getting her sleep tested to see if there is anything that can be done to help her sleep peacefully.

Ria - posted on 01/22/2009

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I had the same thing with my daughter when she was that age. The doctor told us they get into a really deep sleep about 1-2 hours once they go to bed. You need to watch him up and then back to sleep. It really does help. It takes awhile before they get back to a normal pattern.

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