Ever heard of night terrors?

Margaret - posted on 05/10/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My daughter was crying/moarning in her sleep. My husband and I tried to wake her up but she would not stop crying and would not wake up. After calling 911 with the paramedics on the way she stops crying but would not talk by the time they got to the house she was back to normal. They didn't know what happend so we went to the ER where 2 of the nurses told us about night terrors. We had never heard about this. This was the most scary thing we have ever gone through so I'm trying to figure it all out.

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Kim - posted on 05/11/2010

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My daughter used to have them on a regular basis. It was extremely frightening the 1st time it happend as i could not wake her up and she was crying to the point of making herself vomit. I researched night terrors and spoke with a nurse bc i knew this wasnt a normal nightmare. According to them these are usually brought on by stress but not always. The best things to do are sit with them and try to calm them down the best you can. They are unaware of what is going on around them and do not realize they are doing it so trying to shake them awake or hold them is going to make them freak out more. Try calling their name and speaking to them gently. Console them to the best of your ability and let them know everything is ok etc. Most children out grow them over time.

Shannon - posted on 05/11/2010

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Our oldest started getting them before his 2nd birthday. They got more frequent as he got older (up to 2-3 times/week when he was 4 - 7 yrs old or so) and then they started coming less and less. He'll be 11 this summer and I don't think he's had one for 2-3 years so maybe he's finally grown out of them.

It IS like they're awake during them. Kids with night terrors can talk (just don't expect them to make any sense!), scream, cry, get up and walk around... but they're not HERE with you - don't hear a word you say and aren't really seeing what's around them... they're seeing what's in their dream. It's very scary to watch as a parent. There's nothing you can really do...

The scariest time for us was when he wandered OUT of our cabin at the lake in the middle of the night and was crying & walking around outside. Neither of us heard him! Luckily my brother was tenting in the yard and caught him (locked the doors after that!). Another time we caught him trying to walk out the back door of our house... totally oblivious.

MELISSA - posted on 05/11/2010

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yeah i 've heard of it, my doctor said it is common, mine son is 14 months and he still has them periodically. they may also have them from something that happened to them during the day that they could be remembering, so i try to make sure he doen't have to bad of a day like fall or something like that but it isn;t something you can really help. when it happens i just get him and rock him back to sleep, he's teething too and that has an effect on him too.

Jenee - posted on 05/11/2010

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My son has night terror every so often. He had one the other night. I was at work and he woke up screaming for me. It broke my heart that I could not be there to comfort him. Hubby said that he spent about 5 minutes just screaming after he woke up. The best thing that I learned it to just be there when they wake up for some cuddle time.

Lori - posted on 05/11/2010

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My son had for a couple of years every 3-4 months. The first few scared me to death. He was screaming/crying, and sweating. He was sitting up and had his eyes open but didn't respond to me at all. My dr. just said to make sure that he didn't hurt himself so I would just stand at the door until he laid back down. He is now 7 and hasn't had one in @3yrs.

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Margaret - posted on 05/11/2010

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Thank you all for responding. My daughter is 19months and hopefuly gets out of this soon. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one as I had never heard of night terrors befor this.

Gwen - posted on 05/11/2010

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Yep! I started as a child by sitting straight up in bed and "screaming bloody murder" as my Mom describes it :-) She usually just hugged me real tight and got me to lay back down. I had no memory of it in the morning. I still have them occasionally as an adult :-)

A sleep specialist told me to imagine an elevator getting stuck between floors. You are neither in deep sleep, or awake. He said if you look at someone having a night terror, the eyes are usually open like "the lights are on, but no one's home."

Rebecca - posted on 05/11/2010

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my daughter got them when she was first born i was in the lounge room with my parents visiting and she was asleep and just started bawling her eyes out like she was petrified of something i had never heard her cry like that before and was a little shocked even after she woke she was still hysterical and couldnt breath properly.. shes had it a couple of other times but now shes 16mnth its been a while since her last one

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All to well Margaret,my first child was just like yours.At first it was not as bad and my doctor told me it was night terrors.She then began to get very bad,screaming and kicking and i couldn't even touch or speak to her as it made for worst.I would sit there crying watching her hopeing it would stop soon.It happened 2-3 times a week for mths.Then as soon as it started it stopped and she never got them again.



Its the most awful thing to see them like that and knowing nothing you do will help.The have no memory of it at all once there awake and carry on as normal.I hope your little child gets over them soon.As theres nothing worse.

Pippa - posted on 05/11/2010

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My little girl ahs ahd night terrors from since she was very small(shes three months now) when it first happened i couldn't move quick enough to get her up and out of the moses. She too would not wake up and on occasion tipped the moses basket, so we changed her to her cot. She did eventually settle back to sleep, and now sleeps alot better in the cot. She still has them and its no fun, but once awake she seems herself again!

Melanie - posted on 05/11/2010

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my son used to have them (he's now 10) & i used to wipe his face/ neck with a cool facewasher...woke him enuf to settle back to sleep without scaring him awake....good luck

Joanna - posted on 05/10/2010

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Even now at 26 I still suffer from night terrors (I have an episode about once every 2 months, but as a child I had them maybe once a week). And my daughter (she's 2 1/2) also gets them occasionally. It's good to just be in the room to make sure they do not harm themselves, but NEVER try to wake them up (doctors even warn against that). Try gently saying the child's name, hearing their name can sometimes help bring them back into reality, but don't try to actively wake them, shake them out of it, nothing like that.

Claire - posted on 05/10/2010

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It can be scary to watch a kid cry in his /her sleep. Our son had them very early, from just a few months old, most nights. We could do nothing but stand there and watch him cry, but as soon as it was over, he returned to normal sleep. Unfortunately, there's nothing to be done about them. They're fairly common among little kids (toddlers/pre-schoolers is when it tends to start), though not so common when they're as young as my son was at the time. The good news -- or so says our pediatrician -- is that most kids grow out of them; our little guy has them rarely, maybe once in 6 weeks, and he's 19 months now. On the flip side, we've noticed a trend with mild-moderate sleepwalking.

Talk with some other Moms in these groups and you'll get some more stories. I hope I helped a bit.
Night Terrors in Children
Toddlers with Sleep Issues

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