Night Terrors

Nicola - posted on 02/03/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Hi Everyone,

we adopted a little girl from Russia almost 6 months ago and she is now having night terrors, does anyone have any advice as to how to resolve this. If so would love to hear it.



Thanks

14 Comments

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Kristin - posted on 09/10/2009

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My daughter had one and it scared the heck out of me. Luckily I have a friend who's son suffers from them and she gave me a ton of info. Children usually grow out of this. Limit sugar, caffeine or any other stimulants at least 2 hours before bedtime. If they do have a night terror, do not wake them. Make sure they are safe and can not hurt themselves. If you wake them it could be more traumatic, plus it could cause added anxiety and stress making them even more susceptible to having another episode. Make sure they have a routine and regular bed time schedule. Avoid bright lights, TV, noise, or anything else that could interfere with sleep. My friends son was diagnosed with ADHD as well and their Ped said this is an added factor to him having episodes. I don't know if any of this helps but I empathize with what you must be feeling. Very scary.

Angela - posted on 08/29/2009

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Hi,

My now 15 year old came to live with us at the age of 2 1/2. She began night terrors almost immediately and I would sometimes spend the entire night with her in a rocking chair snuggling and singing to her. Once she woke, she would not go back to sleep.

Some things that did help for us, teaching her short Bible verses about her being safe. Singing to her. Rubbing her with Lavender scented Baby Lotion. Her own special music for her own CD player. Some of her favorites, Nature Sounds recordings, dulcimer music, lullabies and scripture songs. Even today at 15 she still has trouble sleeping sometimes. She now puts in her own music and cuddles with one of her cats. Some of her favorite music today is the CD by Plumb and one by Ashton, Becker and Dente called Along the Road.

I know this is rough on you, but now that I look back, those were some of the most precious times that I ever spent with her, we finally got to adopt her when she was almost 8. It was a long road, but, it has truly been a blessing.

Carissa - posted on 05/26/2009

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Kids do get night terrors whether adopted or not. My daughter was a great sleeper then at about the age of three she went through a stage of horrid terrors for about two months. I just held her and talked her through them. I actually slept with her when it was really bad. She would reach over and feel me through out the night and I notice she slept more peacful when I was there. Then one night she just stoped having them. Oh, it is so heart breaking but i'm sure they will pass soon. Hang in there mom.

Deb - posted on 04/19/2009

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My daughter had night terrors when she first moved in with me. That was 5 years ago, and she still has them, although much less frequetly.



I started out by holding her and trying to comfort her. Then, as time went on she trusted me more, I started to back off a little. Next I would just rub her back, then just touch her back. Finally she is able to respond to just my voice. I tell her that mommy is here and that she is safe. That seems to be working for her.

Laura - posted on 04/12/2009

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Quoting Kasie:

I have a son that we adopted from foster care when he was 16 months old. He had the "terrors" every single night for weeks. After that it went to 4 or 5 nights a week for several months. He is now 33 months and still has them a couple times a month. My bio son never had this and I never knew of anyone else having this with their children, so I tend to lean away from the "it's normal" idea. Especially since it has lasted for such a long time and decreased in frequency as time goes on. Our boy was a drug baby, and we thought that may have had something to do with it...
In our experience, he cannot be awakened when in this state. When held his body is rigid (as if he is in pain, or fighting). Rubbing, patting, and soothing has no effect. We now try to catch it as soon as it starts and remove him from the other kids so he won't wake them and then we talk to him, and try to get him to wake up just enough to be able to comfort him...this can take between 5 and 20 minutes. He never does fully wake up, no matter what we have tried.
Hope this helps in some way!


my Karlee was a drug baby too, and her night terrors started at 16 months old, every single night for weeks. our experience is the same ,soothing her had no effect. long road things are better she sleeps with out terrors most of the time now. I don't think the fact of been a drug baby had any thing to do with it,do you?

Laura - posted on 04/12/2009

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my Karlee had her first night terror at 16 months of age. I was one the in terror, until I called her Doctor and we talked. I understand it and know how to help her. she did calmed down and only has the night terrors once or twice a month.

Marie - posted on 03/06/2009

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My 16 year old son had night terrors as a 2 year old (he is homemade and we have 2 younger daughters who are adopted). I did find that a busy day and lack of his schedule led to a night terror either that night or the next night. We also discovered that if we, during the night terror we would set him on the potty and he would go, he calmed down. It is like he got stuck in a bad cycle of sleep and couldn't come out of it. Between adoption, moving and just being 2, her little brain is growing and developing like fireworks right now! Try to realize it is a stage and she will move beyond it, soon I hope!

[deleted account]

I have a son that we adopted from foster care when he was 16 months old. He had the "terrors" every single night for weeks. After that it went to 4 or 5 nights a week for several months. He is now 33 months and still has them a couple times a month. My bio son never had this and I never knew of anyone else having this with their children, so I tend to lean away from the "it's normal" idea. Especially since it has lasted for such a long time and decreased in frequency as time goes on. Our boy was a drug baby, and we thought that may have had something to do with it...

In our experience, he cannot be awakened when in this state. When held his body is rigid (as if he is in pain, or fighting). Rubbing, patting, and soothing has no effect. We now try to catch it as soon as it starts and remove him from the other kids so he won't wake them and then we talk to him, and try to get him to wake up just enough to be able to comfort him...this can take between 5 and 20 minutes. He never does fully wake up, no matter what we have tried.

Hope this helps in some way!

Christene - posted on 03/01/2009

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I have a son now 6 who had night terrors this sometime is also typical in children who have had different caregivers. My son was adopted from guatemala.  I consulted my Dr and he said that we need to let them run their coarse but not to wake them up.  Espeically if they are infants or toddles.  They can take that fear and put it on you since you are the first thing they see when they wake up.  HE suggested if the child goes to sleep with music and it has shut off turn it back on the subconcience with go to this.  My son had one once for 25 minutes it was awful, I just sat there rubbing his back lightly and listening to the music.  Good luck



 

Nicola - posted on 02/07/2009

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Thanks Kindra,

Congrats on your adoption. Our baby girl doesnt wake up during her terrors so to hold her wud probably wake her which we dont want to do.However i did speak to a social worker who also adopted and she advised me that it cud be caused by 3 things:



1. A growth Spurt

2> the child is now settling in and attaing a comfort level

3.Child going thru a significant milestone(maybe not to us but to them).

The social worker suggest we just rub her back to comfort her and not wake her up. She says it may last as long as a month or so.

Amanda - posted on 02/06/2009

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We have a 7 year old with what we thought were night terrors. She has been diagnosed with Narcolepsy, actually Narcolepsy with Cataplexy. She sleeps a lot. Almost 12 hours a night. By Thursday and Friday she'll come home and nap even. If they don't improve I would strongly reccommend a sleep test. They do these at our local Children's Hospital. It's becoming more and more frequent that kids under the age of 16 are being diagnosed.

Kindra - posted on 02/06/2009

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Unfortunately, I don't have a whole lot of advice on this topic.  My 2 year old has night terrors also.  We adopted her from Thailand 6 months ago.  The best thing that I can think of is just to hold them and talk soothingly to them while they are having a terror.  I know it's hard to see your child go through that.   I hope that helps a little.



 

Nicola - posted on 02/04/2009

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Thanks for your response, I did speak to my Paedi and like you she says it is normal. My daughter does take 1-2 hour naps in the day when she gets home from school. She even has the "night"terrors during her naps.

User - posted on 02/03/2009

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Hi! We adopted a little boy Domestically. Night terrors are very common in all children, whether adopted or not. There are many causes of night terrors but one of them that I've heard is because the child doesn't nap enough during the day. Have you asked your doctor about these?

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