Night Terrors

App+7mnejhu - posted on 03/02/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )




Hi Everyone! I wanted to post a question out there to the other toddler moms. My daughter Aubrey has been having horrible nightmares/night terrors going on 3 weeks now. She wakes up in the middle of the night screaming and won't go back to bed right away. It takes her about an hour to fall back asleep because she keeps saying the big bad wolf will get here, or the polar bear is going to get her. We don't allow her to watch anything on TV except Strawberry Shortcake, Disney Princess movies and Dora the Explorer and even then her TV is very limited. Does anyone know what could be causing this? Or how I can help her through it?


Worried Mother


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Ashley - posted on 03/08/2012




a book that i found helpful (whether you believe in psychics/afterlife or not) was a book by Sylvia Browne called Psychic Children. In chapter 6 shes touches on what could cause night terrors and the like and I found it to be very helpful information. Maybe the book could help you too.

Elicia - posted on 03/07/2012




Hi Claire, No my daughter doesn't remember or realize anything happened the next day. With the reading at night...I read to her and we read chapter books (not sure how old your daughter is) We started chapter books when she was about 7, and stared with the Baby Sitters club "Little Sister" books (they are out of print right now but I get them at thrift stores...I loved them when I was a kid!) They were light hearted fun books that she had to listen to instead of loook at all the pictures and I found this really helped her to relax before sleeping and have better nights of sleep. I am now reading the Little House on the Prarie her and so far this has been working quite well for us! I do also find though that as she has gotten older, she is outgrowing hopefully it will end soon! lol

[deleted account]


Loving that nightlight at Disney! And yeah the creepy stare lol.

We are on off grid solar here, so I have just invested in solar nightlights myself...

I find it's hit n miss with night time reading. Tonight she read a few pages of a very funny book and hasn't stopped talking since I got on the computer.

Do you find your daughter has definite fatigue from the night terror session the next day?

It's usually a soup, toast and bed straightaway night for us :)

Elicia - posted on 03/04/2012




My 10 year old daughter has been having night terrors since she was 2. When she was younger she would thrash and cry, now it is not as often and she will be asleep thinking she is locked in a room (mainly the basement) and cant get out and screams, or she will sleepwalk and just stand there staring (which is creepy! lol)

Unfortunately, there is really nothing you can do, just stay with her, make sure she doesn't hurt herself and talk soothingly until it passes, but one thing we did do that REALLY helped was put a night light in her room. As long as night light is on she has no problems...when it is off is when we have the has been working for us for 7 years (we even brought the night light to Disney World! lol)...I think it just helps her to know she can see she is in a safe place....also another thing we do is read every night before bed....I find it helps her wind down before she has to sleep. Hope this helps! :)

[deleted account]

Hi Stephanie,

My eldest daughter still has nightmare/ terrors. I say both sorts because she does both, exclusively or together at a time.

I have listened to conversations i.e. her clearly arguing with another child and also 'talking to aunty' about an outing. She can go to the toilet and not be aware of it, has tried to open the front door and will talk to us for a couple of minutes and not realise it in the morning. At eleven, she still does these things at least once a week.

I give you these examples of her night terrors because at any time she can become abusive or scared and start screaming.

Your little girl sounds like she has nightmares, but if it combines with other things like these above (or something that she does/ says in wakeful times and in the night it seems out of place or performed in a 'routine' kind of way) it may be night terrors.

Our second girl (2.5yo) has been waking up at night now, due to seeing something on tv about monsters.

But I feel I should point out that as a kid I remember having nightmares about books that were read to me! That Paper Bag Princess sure was a brave girl! She was-is- my hero and I still get a feeling of dislike-fear- for the dragon when I read it to my toddlers :)

Are your books or those at childcare (if you are so lucky to have some) an issue? :):)

The 'pooky monster' reached manic heights a few months ago; starting to appear during the day. Does Aubrey see her 'monster(s) in the day? We told Ruby that there is no monster but to make sure, she can take a headtorch down the dark-ish hallway and yell "go away" before bed time and in the late afternoon.

I also felt it was important to 'normalise' monsters. We (still) like to play with the 'monster' theme, allowing her to see it's all pretend and that it's not a real threat.

It started inadvertantly, playing peek a boo with the 15mth old and covering him with a sheet from the washing line in front of Ruby.

After playing peek a boo a few times, I covered hime fully ,like a ghost, said ' Oh no, it's the Joey monster' and laughed. I uncovered Joey- who loves being 'monster', btw- and did it a few more times. By then we were laughing a fair bit so I put the sheet on and said 'It's a Mummy monster. Arghh', tickling Joey as i said it (and crouching down so as not to appear too scary). I did that a few times too. Luckily, Joey loves a tummy tickle too. :)

I then did it again, this time directing it to Ruby giving her a brief tickle and uncovering my head. I felt she was completely at ease with the joke so I repeated it a few more times. We used that same sheet for dinosaurs as well, but they didn't have the scare appeal of monsters. It still demonstrated that the game was pretend.

Now, monster isn't such a 'bad' word and her 'pooky monster' hollering is really just an attention seeking ploy.

Maybe you can try something similar with Aubrey's 'scary' animals?

Hope this can help you!

Claire xox

Jennifer - posted on 03/03/2012




If it is a nihtmar, she will wake up and talk to you. If it is night terrors, she will scream ans cry and nothing you do will help her calm down. In fsct the more you talk or try to interact the worse it is. The night terrors can be triggered by stress, fatigue or a major change in routine. I suggest being as calm and supportive while they ride it out. And if upu believe in prayer...pray.

Davina - posted on 03/02/2012




hallo,heb meschien wel een antwoord dat jou kan helpen,in dromen verwerkt het kind de indrukken die het overdag heeft opgedaan,dromen kunnen hierdoor signalen geven over het gevoelsleven van het kind,er kunnen dus angsten of frusratie van een kind naar buiten komen,maar gebeuren de nachtmerries zo af en toe is dit geen reden tot paniek dit hoort bij de ontwikkeling van het kind bv een erge drukke dag kan voor een nachtmerrie zorgen of een te koude of warme kamer ook

bedenk samen met het kind dingen waardoor de dromen wegblijven bv;s'avonds voor het slapengaan samen alle boze dromen wegblazen

andere mogelijkheid is het kind helpen om de droom een andere wending te geven door bv; een toverzwaard om de wolf mee te verslaan,zorg voor een vast ritueel voor het slapengaan,je kan ook eens in de kinderkamer kijken in het donker,een gewone stoel kan bijvoorbeeld in het half donker een enge schaduw zijn ik hoop dat deze jou kan helpen

AS - posted on 03/02/2012




Are these night terrors or simply night mares? I think kids don't wake up from night terrors, but I'm no expert. Have you talked with your pediatrician?

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