Night Terrors in Children

Leigh - posted on 12/25/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Does anyone have experience with night terrors in children? I suspect my now 16 month old is experiencing these as she wakes up hysterical and inconsolable a couple hours after we put her to bed. She has always been an excellent sleeper even as an infant so we are a bit thrown.

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Chelsy - posted on 01/01/2010

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I would suggest readin the What to expect the toddler years. They have a few pages about the differences between Nightmares and Night Terrors in children.... Its very help full!

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One of my sons had night terrors as a toddler. It seemed to happen when he was overtired or his reflux was bothering him. He had a very sensitive nervous system and would actually get hyper and crabby when he was tired. Out of all four of my children, he was the only one who did this. I also had to be very careful with any kind of cold or cough medicines; didn't seem to matter of they were prescription or over-the-counter. The night terrors were kind of a phase and he just grew out of them. It is stressful in the middle of the night because they do seem to be so upset and nothing seems to help much; my pediatrician said their brain is still really asleep which is why they don't respond to much that usually comforts them. Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 10/27/2011

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Allison-my 7 year old son is the same way. He always seems to have them when he is overtired or hot. I usually just sit on his bed, while he is running all over freaking out, and talk to him very calmly repeating over and over "You are safe. No one can hurt you. Come lay down." Eventually he will calm down enough to lay down and I will rub his back and keep telling him that he is safe and to go back to sleep.

Allison - posted on 10/25/2011

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Both of my girls had night terrors and my soon-to-be seven year old still does. I have found that if she gets too hot while she sleeps (and I can tell because she "wakes" up crying and sweaty) she has a suceptability to night terrors and when she goes to bed truly overtired that it happens most often. I have no idea if night terrors are caused by an iron deficiency but when they DO happen I can usually just hold her and rock her until she passes out again. I used to totally freak out because she would get soooo upset but she never remembers them! It's gotten more infrequent over the last few years but still happens now and then... perhaps it's more like colic in that they grow out of it eventually...

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Jip, I think my son also has night terrors sometimes. Wake up hysterical and it takes a while to calm him down. After that he sleeps again as nothing happened.

Nicky - posted on 12/27/2009

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If the iron thing doesn't help, I would say just love them more than ever. They all go through stages and I've realised getting freaked out at every little thing that changes just stresses me out and makes life more stressed for the kids. Relax, go with the flow and realise that there are always bumps in the road. But give nutritional therapy a chance - I really believe in it!

Jennifer - posted on 12/26/2009

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I was just getting on here to post almost the same thing. My daughter has been an awesome sleeper and now I just don't know what to do. I'm going to try the iron thing but if that's not it then what can I do to help??

Nicky - posted on 12/26/2009

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Night terrors in children can be caused by a lack of iron. My son also started with them and responded almost immediately when I gave him a supplement with iron in it.

Stella - posted on 12/25/2009

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Hi Leigh,

My son had this same issue for about a month and half. He has slept through the night (11-13 hours) since he was 3 1/2 months. Then all of a sudden at 14 months, he would wake up in the wee hours of the night just screaming and inconsolable as well-- usually around the 2-4 a.m. block. If it is any consolation, he seems to have stopped having the terrors now. I like to think it is just a phase, but I am not sure if this could potentially be a recurring problem. Holding my son would make it worse, and sometimes I would go in his room, and it was like he was not even aware that I was in the room. I would quietly hang around to make sure he would not harm himself (bang his head, etc.), and most times he would fall back asleep on his own. I will bring it up with his pediatrician when we go in for his 18 month check in early February. If you are really worried about it, consult with his pediatrician.

Nicky - posted on 12/26/2009

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Night terrors in children can be caused by a lack of iron. My son also started with them and responded almost immediately when I gave him a supplement with iron in it.

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