night terrors?

Lisa - posted on 05/17/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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my son who will be 3 in june has had a few instances of what i believe are night terrors? last night however, it happened twice. he was screaming for me and when i told him i was there its like he didnt even hear me. his eyes were somewhat open, but i believe he was asleep. i picked him up and held him and when i felt that he was wet and put him on the changing table, he fell back into sleep state. i put him back in bed and 15 minutes later it happened again. its such a helpless feeling cuz there is nothing i can do to calm him down. it seemed like he was mumbling words but i couldnt understand him. are these night terrors? what brings this on? would love to get any input... :-)thanks

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Morgan - posted on 05/18/2010

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yeah definitely sounds like a night terror not to be confused with a nightmare which they will wake up from and a night terror is similar to sleepwalking where they seem to be awake but are not. Theresa is right that you should not wake them just make sure they are safe.

Theresa - posted on 05/18/2010

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Yep, sounds like night terrors. My daughter is almost 2 and has been having them for the last 8 months. I took her to the doctor and he indicated that stress brings it on or they are really really overtired when they go to bed and it usually happens within the first 2 hours after bedtime. He told me to never talk to her or try to wake her just be sure she is safe as it only usually lasts 10-15 minutes and then they fall back to sleep. It's been almost a month since she's had an "episode" so knock on wood.... Good luck, I know it's scary to watch but he will grow out of it.

Jessi - posted on 05/18/2010

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My son, who will be 3 in September, has had these on and off since he was about 18 months old. Try doing a search for "confusional arousal." A doctor told us that this was most likely what these episodes are. They can br brought on by being overtired. My son actually had one last night. I know that your first instinct is to pick him up, but they usually come out of them faster if you just leave them alone. Stay in the room, making sure that he doesn't hurt himself (my son will sometimes thrash around a little), and maybe talk quietly to him, trying NOT to touch him. If it's confusional arousal (also called night terrors), he's still sleeping and if you touch him or move him, it can make things worse. The good thing is, they don't remember any of this the next day. :) Usually, our son will only have one (on nights when it happens), but he has, a few times, had 2 or 3 in one night. I have heard that they outgrow them as they age, and we are seeing less of them. Hope this helps. :)

Louise - posted on 05/18/2010

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It sounds to me like he was having a night mare. He wont remember any of it which is a blessing. If this turns into a regular event it may be worth speaking to your gp. Most children will have the odd night of broken sleep where they talk, cry and lash out in their sleep. My eldest son used to think he was playing football and would kick the wall all night long waking us all up. He used to shout goal at the top of his voice too! It is distressing when they are obviously not enjoying their dream. Try reading silly funny stories before he goes to bed with lots of positive thoughts to give his mind something to work on! Don't worry we all have the off night every now and again!

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