My 30 month old is having nightmares. Any suggestions?

Tiffany - posted on 11/07/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My 30 month old boy has been having "nightmares" as they say for a few months now and I have not been able to get any answers other than "it's normal and it will pass, eventually." I'm not really comforted by that answer. My son doesn't watch anything scary, we definitely don't watch anything inappropriate when he is around or awake. Nothing has changed in his home life, we haven't moved, there is no new baby, schedules are exactly the same, my husband and I are very happy and never fight in front of him. I am just so confused as to why he would be having nightmares. The even stranger thing is, I have asked him on numerous occasions when he has woken up crying form one of these horrible dreams, "are you scared of something?" I have gotten the same answer three times now, "yeah, the boat!" I have no clue what that means. We don't have a boat and do not know anyone that does. Any advice as to what may be the reason as to why my son is having nightmares and what is a good way to deal/handle/fix the issue?

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Jane - posted on 11/11/2009

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Noah's Ark can be kind of scary for little one's if you think about it the world floods & this family lives on a boat w/ a bunch of huge animals & then the water goes down & they're the only family that's left...but you aren't sure if that's even what the boat in his nightmares are. Anyway my son also had nightmare's @ this age & his Aunt bought him a dream catcher & it came w/ a little story about how it's supposed to give you good dreams & keep away the bad ones. It did work, it got a lot better after we hung it by his bed. He would have the occasional bad dream but wasn't nearly as bad as it was before the dream catcher. Just an extra note: is your son ever w/ a babysitter? When my son was about 4 yrs old his teenage babysitter was watching Scream & he got up to go potty went out into the living room & saw the mask & heard the screaming on TV & then the nightmares started again & I didn't know this had happened to him until months later when we saw the mask @ a halloween store & he told me about it then. So be sure that you explain to anyone else that watches him they know NOT to ever watch these kinds of things even if your son is sleeping he might hear it or be around the corner & see it like my son did. Good luck & I think that most kids do grow out of this.

Erin - posted on 11/07/2009

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does he have a tor boat? maybe a tub toy. or a friend with a toy boat? could he be dreaming that he is on Noah's Ark surrounded by all those big animals? maybe you could get pictures of different kinds of boats and see if he reacts to any of them.

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Sally - posted on 10/02/2012

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I have a similar situation wz my son, but wz puppets! And he believes z wolf shows up fm under his bed and grabs him fm his arm! As per ztherapist its normal n i just need to comfort him as it might last for months. Its his imagination building up. She suggested to keep on talking to him about it, showing him that its nice n doesnt do no harm. But not to say its not zr wn he wakes up in z middle of z night as he wl not understand what is imagination. Its hard n challenging n it requires patience

Tiffany - posted on 11/14/2009

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Thank you for the dream catcher idea. That is something to definitely consider. A really neat idea actually:) The granparents are the only other people who ever watch him, and as far as I know they haven't had that issue happen yet. Thanks so much for your help:)

Tiffany - posted on 11/07/2009

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That's a good idea, hadn't thought of the picture thing, thanks! I'll try that.

Tiffany - posted on 11/07/2009

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Thank you for your advice. The only boats I can think of that he sees or hears about are the Noah's Ark in the Bible that we read together or the ship in Peter Pan, both of which he has always shown happiness towards. I will try and talk to him about them to see if they are scaring him even though he is showing signs otherwise. Thanks again.

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Is there a boat in any show or books he reads? maybe try telling him a nice store before bed. It usually helps calm children before bed. if that doesn't work, maybe take him to what he is scared of and show him it's not threatening. best advice i could give.

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