My infant has night terrors. He starts crying histerically and I cannot wake him up. Any suggestions?

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Kristan - posted on 02/19/2009

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He sometimes opens his eyes like he is awake, but he is not. The doctor said there is nothing that can be done. There is nothing wrong with him, these things just happen (like sleepwalking). He also flails around, it makes me nervous. I just keep him in his crib and try to comfort him. Also sometimes walking with him calms him down. It is just frustrating knowing there is nothing I can do to help him. Then in the morning he is happy and awake (like nothing happened) though I am exhausted.

Jennifer - posted on 02/19/2009

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Make sure to give the baby something sweet before bed.. lowered blood sugar is a know cause.. it really helped my son.. Also, best not to wake them.. just gentle rock or hold them over the crib until he settles back down.

Trish - posted on 02/19/2009

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This link might help you.  After reading it you may decide it is or isn't really terrors.  I know my daughters have had nights they woke up and were inconsolable so we would get up and rock and cuddle and they would eventually fall back to sleep.  There were a few times that we were so scared because it was so intense.  This link says not to wake them but I never read that before today.  So, when it was our kids, sometimes we would walk onto the porch in the cool night air and it would help her wake up and calm her down.  I hope you are able to figure out what works best for you and your child.



http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/sle...

Melanie - posted on 02/19/2009

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My best friend had these as a child, and so did her son.  The best thing to do is stay in the room until he gets through it, although it's painful to watch.  It is a really deep sleep, in fact some children's eyes will open and they appear to be awake, but they are actually still asleep (like sleepwalking) and if you try to hold them, etc., they will be afraid of you, too.  I have seen my friends son do this and he would only be more terrified if she tried to touch him or talk to him.  They do grow out of this; he is 11 now and only had one night terror in the last couple of years.  He doesn't remember it at all!



 

Rebecca - posted on 02/19/2009

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I was told that I had a few as a child, and both my girls have as well. I recognize them happening when my kid is very over tired, then a few hours later wake up crying unconsolably, eyes open as if they are awake, but more like sleep walking awake. I just gently console, try to keep everything quiet and back to sleep. If you are religious there are a few ideas I could pass as well, my mom blessed us with holy water before bed...

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Ashley - posted on 03/12/2013

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Hi,
I'm a first time mother who was never supposed to be able to have kids. My son is six months old and has been having terrible night terrors since his father had to return to Texas in January and they just keep getting worse. He jumps an tosses violently awake and screams and cries to the point it scares me. Is there anything I can do as his mother to help?

Stephanie - posted on 09/06/2012

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My LO is 8 months. He has started crying and wimpering in his sleep and he usually starts this a couple hours after going to bed and it continues periodically throughout the night. He tosses and turns most of the night and cries. He will at times just scream and scream. His eyes are closed, they are never open when he does this. Sometimes, I can pat him on his bottom and he will settle down and other times he doesn't. I have tried putting him in the bed with me to see if me being right there will help, and he sleeps for a little bit and starts tossing and turning again and crying. He has done this everynight this week. He is on the same schedule everyday. My mother in-law keeps him and this week we have had someone coming to our house to keep him just for the morning and then my mother in-law gets him at lunch. Can a change like this cause night terrors, or these symptoms?? I am not sure if these are the start of night terrors. Or if this is a sign of something else??

Heather - posted on 02/19/2009

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My daughter suffered from these until she was 8 years old.  Although frightening to me there was no lasting effect nor could she remember anything from the episode.  I spoke to her doctor and he explained that it is a disruption of the sleep cycle and often genetic.  He also said it was best not to attempt to wake her, just make sure she was safe especially during sleep walking episode and that she would eventually out grow them.  She did and now it's just a family joke.

Tanya - posted on 02/19/2009

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my son is now 6 and he used to have them when he was 2-3 years old. I would just hold him, rock him, sing to him and bring him in bed with me, it didnt happen a lot but he eventually grew out of it. I never took him to a dr but if its a constant thing you might want too. eventually he might grow out of it too. its sad though because you feel so bad :o(

Lacee - posted on 02/19/2009

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My son still has this problem from time to time. He doesn't remember any of it when he wakes up. The Dr. said most kids grow out of this. It is scary to hear them screaming but most likely it's just night terrors which is a fairly common sleep disorder. Usually I just sit next to him and hold him and tell him to go back to sleep and everything is ok.

Michelle - posted on 02/19/2009

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You shouldn't wake him, my son had them when he was young, just leave them run there course and be there when he wakes up, keep a close eye on him so he doesn't hurt himself and be calm and don't resrict him he will only hurt himself.



 

Georgina - posted on 02/19/2009

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I have a 3 year old daughter, Robyn who is now perfectly healthy but when i separated from her Dad 2 years ago, after an abusive marriage she began having night terrors, sleep walking and wetting the bed, her Dad had stopped trying to hide the way he was towards me and began to be very aggressive in front of her, she was devastated by him all the time and the worse it got the worse her nights were. Her Dad is no longer part of her life and although he is fighting me for contact i hope that she never has to go through it again. She no longer has any problem at night and although i have to leave her light on and her door open every night I feel that this is a small price to pay to know that she is sleeping peacefully and that she is happy.

I'm not suggesting that your son has been through anything as extream as Robyn or at least I hope he hasn't, I wouldn't wish it on any child. But i think that anything that unsettles a child no matter how small can cause disruption in their sleep. I'm sure he will grow out of it soon and in the mean time the security love and cuddles that you are already giving him will help him.

Good luck

Georgina x

Kristan - posted on 02/19/2009

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James is only 10 months so he does not move around too much and he is in a crib, so somewhat contained. He does not have them every night,so maybe overstimulation might be the key. You ladies have given me a lot of questions to ask my doctor thanks for all the advise, and of course will welcome any more! Thanks Kristy

User - posted on 02/19/2009

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Hi, just new to this whole circle of moms thing, I read you problem, and boy I don't miss those my now 2 year old did them up unitl about 1 and 1/2 . They were awful his eyes would open and he would not settle down for nothing. turning on lights to try to wake him only made him angrier, he somethime would do that for a hour, at the time of though we just held and cuddled him however we could to make him comfortable. But we did take him to the Chiropractor instead of the Doc. Boy, what a night and day difference in the little guy. He then went months in between episodes. And when he would have another we would take him back for an adjustment and he's been great. We tried alot of options prior to chiro but this one was the winner!!God Luck

Kelli in Iowa

Stacey - posted on 02/19/2009

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my daughter had night terrors, and the doctor was right, there is nothing to do. I just tried to hold her if i could and if she didn't let me i didn't  pursue it. They don't remember a thing. I would ask my daughter the next morning what happened and she would look at me as if i was the crazy one !! LOL they do outgrow it so hang in there and know that it is no fault of their own also. my daughter's only lasted a few months and there were some nights of peace and quiet. don't try to wake them, first because it usaully doesn't work and they just end up crying more and also because it may scare them more if they were to awake.

Jennifer - posted on 02/19/2009

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I daughter had them too, she still does occasionally. I did a lot of research and even talked to her doctor about it. There's not really anything you can do other then safe proofing the house. Protect him from falling off the bed, stripping over toys, falling down the steps (not sure if you're childs sleep terrors involve walking like mine did).



Also, a routine bedtime. I put my daughter on a routine bed time, only a half hour earlier then before and kept her on that. They have decreased by A LOT.

Best of luck!

Jillene - posted on 02/19/2009

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Does it happen at about the same time each night? We went through this with my son when he was an infant/toddler and were advised by a child psychologist to wake him up and break his sleep cycle before he has the night terror. In our case, he was waking up around 1am (give or take 30 minutes) every night, and we were advised to wake him up around midnight, keep him up for 5-10 minutes and then put him back to sleep. That way he was in a different part of his sleep cycle arond the time when he normally would have a night terror episode. It took a couple of nights, at first it just pushed the night terrors to a different time of night, but eventually he got to the point where he was no longer having them. Good luck!

Kristine - posted on 02/19/2009

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I just found my girl grew out of it in time. It is rather disturbing though. Never happened with my second.



I just used to sit and hold her even though she had no knowledge of you being with her, about all you can do.



She is ten now and went through the terrors from 2-5. They didn't happen every night though, but when they did it was like a hurricane of emotions, sat bolt upright and screaming at a point in the bedroom which was totally empty! lasting anything from 10 mins to half an hour-yes we had good neighbours......Now she likes to sleep walk! but at least she is quiet. lol

Beth - posted on 02/19/2009

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We went through this for four year. The solution that we finally found was one I found online. After you put the child to sleep, wait about 45 minutes until he/she is in a deep sleeep. The go in and gently rouse him/her unti you can tell that they know they are awake and then put them to sleep again. It takes several weeks of this, but in the end it is worth it. It changes the sleep cycle and as they mature, they self adjust their cycle. Before this,we use do take him in the bathroom and turn on the water and the gentle sound of water relaxed him.

Kristin - posted on 02/19/2009

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From my experience, do not wake them.  They are not even awake even if they look like they are.  Their dark eyes are still sleeping even though their eyelids ae open.  Just make sure they are safe until they are done having their "fit" and if need be help them get back to bed.  It will eventually pass.  My doctor said it can be from over stimulation during the day or over tired.  Good luck!

Lani - posted on 02/19/2009

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My mom said I had them as a child whenever i had an overstimulating day. She said i would talk in my terrors and mention something from the day. Now, my daughter has them and she does the same thing. I have found that I would always try to sooth her with a calm voice, and she wouldn't know me. So when I would talk really stearnly to her and say her name and tell her to look at me, it would interrupt her histerics. Then I would talk soothingly to her. That has helped. Also, when she was an infant, we would do kangaroo loving-(skin to skin cuddling) Hope this helps.

Jennifer - posted on 02/19/2009

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Also, a sleep study is not a bad idea.. my son was diagnosed with Apnia and also got sick a lot - so once adenoids & tonsils removed the problem was 100% cured.. He is also done with teething so that could help as well.

Kristan - posted on 02/19/2009

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I cannot wait for that to happen. I cannot wake him though, he usually just settles down (after about an hour)! Thanks for your support!!!

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I'm so sorry to hear that. I wouldn't wake him right away, it might make things worse for him. Instead hold him, and comfort him as much as you can. I would talk to his doctor right away to see what else can help. Good luck!

Brandy - posted on 02/19/2009

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just from reading on here... there are a lot of scary things that can happen to babies...even adults in their sleep... my suggestion: take him to a dr. have them do a sleep study... especially if you cannot wake him... if anything is wrong (God Forbid) you'll be glad you found out now instead of later. if nothing is wrong the doctor may be able to give you better advice than anyone on here bcuz he will know more about your specific situation. but if you feel something is wrong... dont take no for an answer. make sure they listen to you and dont let them speak over you.! good luck i hope you figure it out soon!

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