I think my 15 mo old is having nightmares?

Missii - posted on 12/11/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I think my 15 mo old is having nightmares?? I put him to bed at his normal time.. and about an hour or so later he wakes up screaming as long as I bring him downstairs for like 15-20 mins he will go right back to bed??

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Shelby - posted on 12/11/2009

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there's also a stage (it was exactly 15 months for both my kids) when they suddenly decide life is just not ok unless mommy is around all the time - including at night in their rooms. if he also recently started crying when you walk out (or toward) the door or when he can't see you or when you're putting on your coat, etc, then it's probably that he's having a hard time with attachment. IF that's what it is, there are 2 philosophies;

1) let him comfort himself (this can be very difficult for the first 3 or so days, then it gets better. some self-comfort by thumbsucking, blanket rubbing, or finding their own way) or

2) going in there every time (which we found to just prolong the neediness and make it worse). of course it's up to you! children don't have an imagination this young, i'm pretty sure, (not until 2 1/2 or 3 years old), so the worst he could be dreaming about is something he has actually experienced, is my guess.

Cathralynn - posted on 12/11/2009

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NIght terrors are different than nightmares. Night terrors the baby does not actually wake and is inconsolable with nightmares they do wake and can be calmed. I actually think nightmares are more common once fantasy kicks in around 2-3 yrs. But who knows, its possible a night light could help.



What I have to offer is separation anxiety. My daughter is 18mo and just got past her second batch of it. She has gone to sleep on her own and slept all night since her first batch at 8mo. She still went to sleep fine but would wake screaming in the night. I would go in and she would be wide awake standing and crying in her crib. When I picked her up she would calm instantly but would freak out when I tried to put her back. I thought she was scared of something or hurting. No amount of meds, music, nightlights etc helped. Only keeping her with me. If that is fine, problem solved. But we never bed shared and I wasn't about to start then so we let her cry. After spending a month working thru this at 8mo I knew already that this was our solution. It took two nights as opposed to one before. Tough tho. Good luck!

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Melissa - posted on 01/16/2010

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That sounds like night terrors to me... listen to the others that have advised you of the sugar and caffeine, they're right. I had night terrors as well when I was young and what helped was my mother would sing to me. It didn't matter what the song was as long as it was loving and soothing. The singing reassures the child that Mommy is there and loves them.

Shelby - posted on 12/14/2009

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people; night terrors are when the child does NOT wake up. otherwise it is nightmares. and nightmares can only happen once the child has a vocabulary and imagination, b/t 2-3 years.

Wendy - posted on 12/12/2009

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I have dealt with my daughter having nightmares and my grandson who had night terrors. All I know is they are disruptive to your sleep and comforting to me is the best idea. My grandson when he comes to visit we just sleep on the couch because he actually will get up and walk around and I do not think he is awake. With my oldest daughter one of her nightmares was telling me about some danger--that she dreamed that I had died. There was someone in my life that at that time was very dangerous and really did not know how dangerous until he pulled a gun on me and attempted to choke me to death. I survived but I think my daughter warning from her dream may have saved my life.

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I agree with the other posters who have sugessted night terrors- my daughter had them and now my son is having them too. It's much worse for us than for them as they are essentially still asleep- even though they may seem wide awake. They will have no memories of it. All you can really do is hold them until they settle, although I find taking them out into the fresh air and singing to them helps settle them more quickly. I have also been told that being hot makes it worse, so check that he is not over heating in his sleep.

Shelley - posted on 12/11/2009

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That could very well be the case. The devil tries to get in by attacking our minds. Anoint his room and bed with oil or have a sanctified, prayer warrior to come do it. Pray, pray, pray for your children because the devil don't want them or us to succeed. Play some soft soothing music like jazz, gospel, or lullabies in his room before and while he is sleeping. Ensure that he does not go to sleep to arguing, fussing, or horror movies; not even too much action movies. This will linger in your thoughts while you are sleeping in the first two stages of sleep. I know this will help because I did it and continue to do with mine now, and he is 10. Yes, I still do it. I am praying with you for peace and comforting sleep. God bless you and happy holidays.

Jessica - posted on 12/11/2009

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There's such a thing called 'Night terrors' as scary as it sounds it's not that bad for them, they don't end up remembering it afterwards, my 28 month old son still gets them, try making his pillow a 'dream pillow' so when he wakes turn it over, fluff it up and tell him the bad dreams were chased away. Helps my little one sleep :)

Sally - posted on 12/11/2009

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My 15month old has been doing this a lot also. I find it worse when he is over tired and has fallen asleep in my arms at bed time rather than settling himself. I am hoping it is just a phase and he will get through it. I too get him up sometimes and cuddle him for a while until he settles again, I don't think this hurts as long as its not happening throughout the night on a regular basis!

Stephanie - posted on 12/11/2009

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My son will be a year tomorrow and has night terrors. Here is what I know.
Night Terrors are genetic (according to my fiance') His father and brothers all had them and now he does as well.
When having one they are not awake, and as said by Cathralynn, they are inconsolable. Pretty much all you can do is try to sooth them and keep them from hurting themselves. My son thrashes around and kicks as well as the screaming.
And lastly, Children do not remember night terrors when they wake. This doesn't help us in dealing with them, but for me at least it eases my mind to know that once my son is awake, its over.

Good luck

Carrie - posted on 12/11/2009

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I had many nightmares at that age and throughout life. Probably means he is a sensitive soul and may even have some intuitive abilities. When he is old enough to communicate the dreams to you...ask him what he is dreaming about? Good luck to you and your son!

Cathy - posted on 12/11/2009

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I agree it sounds like they are having nightmares, but have you tried putting a nightlight in the room and maybe play soft music in the back ground, so maybe it won't get to that point? Just a suggestion that might work...

Lori - posted on 12/11/2009

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Our pediatrician told us once that dreaming starts (good dreams and bad) when a child's vocabulary really starts to get larger. Stands to reason that as they learn more words and their meanings, this opens a whole new world of things to think about and fear (and dream about).

Kellee - posted on 12/11/2009

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My son had night terrors on and off for about 6 months. He was a premature baby and was born with apneia. I was told that sometimes, due to the lack of oxygen to the brain during an apneia episode, it would trigger a night terror. I am sure their are other causes as well. I would just let me yell till he woke up a little then help him get back to sleep. Theres nothing much you can do while its happening. One day, they just went away.

Melissa - posted on 12/11/2009

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Sounds like night terrors to me. this is a very common childhood parasomnia. getting plenty of sleep may help, as well as limiting or cutting out caffeine. It usually lasts a few weeks and should pass. If it's night terrors, he would scream like somebody is killing him and you wouldn't be able to wake him up. Also, trying to wake him up would make it worse. if this isn't what he's doing, then it's probably not night terrors. if it goes on for a while you could see a homeopath who could give him a rememdy for it. my daughter had nightmares (not night terrors) and she's now on a remedy and hasn't had them in a long time.

Jackie - posted on 12/11/2009

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My youngest has night terrors. What I have found works best for us is a couple of things.



1) Limit sugar during the day and cut out all red dye.

2) Make sure he is getting plenty of sleep. Being over tired makes it worse.

3) We do not take him out of bed. We just rub his back and talk to him until he calms down. He goes right back to sleep then.

Jeannine - posted on 12/11/2009

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My son would wake up and not truly be awake and there seemed to be nothing we could do to comfort him. My husbands brother suggested we read Psalm 91 to him before putting him to bed and when he was old enough to read it himself he then read to us. As long as we did this everyone had a peaceful nights sleep.

C. - posted on 12/11/2009

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That's exactly what it sounds like. There's really nothing you can do except comfort him and let him know you love him.. Which you already seem to be doing. Just keep it up, the nightmares will hopefully let up soon. Also, if you don't have a small nightlight in his room, that may help.

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