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Toddler night terrors

(6 Posts)
daisydee43 Wed 04-Jun-14 13:49:02

I know there's no cure but what can I do to help? Dd2 starts crying up 5-6 times a night but is still asleep. Likes a dummy and sleeps in long sleeves as gets cold. I'm like a zombie atm who just goes in her room and tucks her back in and settles her- night lights or relaxing music any good?

Iggly Wed 04-Jun-14 18:34:01

Are you sure she isn't getting too hot? My ds does as does my dd. But I started putting them in short sleeves and they were better (even though I thought it was cold).

daisydee43 Wed 04-Jun-14 20:55:46

Don't think so, with short sleeve she seems to wake up more - trying night light and dolphin music tonight

amyboo Thu 05-Jun-14 12:20:38

Not sure how old your DD is? DS2 (17 months) was diagnosed with night terrors a few weeks ago after going from sleeping well to semi-waking up, rolling around and screaming pretty much every 2 hours like clock-work! We had about 7 weeks of crap sleep till we saw the paediatrician to discuss it, then we've had 3 weeks of better sleep since we started doing some of the things she suggested to help him. And now finally last night he didn't wake at all! Praying it lasts....

Here's what we've found helped:
- not letting him get too tired during the day. For DS2 this has meant finally dropping his morning nap, and getting him to do a longer nap at lunchtime. He naps for around 3 hours at 12 noon, then goes to bed by 7.15pm.
- not picking him up or trying to cuddle him when we go to him in the night
- not offering him a drink when we go to him (he used to wake wanting water a lot)

We found that shushing and gently placing a hand on him till he calms back down in his sleep works well. I sometimes lean on his cot shushing for about 10 minutes before he quietens back into sleep. If I leave before he's properly calm, it invariably ends up with him waking again 10-15 minutes later!

FWIW, i was talking to a friend about it, as her DS1 (4 year old) also gets night terrors. She says that the tiredness thing is also key for them. He still naps twice a week, as otherwise he gets too tired and the night terrors start up again. Could this be something that might help your DD?

gorionine Thu 05-Jun-14 12:31:24

It is really scary when they do have night terrors . The first time DS had one, we thought he was having a paddy because he was screaming his head off that he did want us with him and them screamed he didn't want us around at all, he looked awake but wasn't (he has them when really tired and at now 10yo still has them when he is really poorly). The best advice I was given by GP is to get along with whatever he is saying, not trying to wake him up but be comforting.
As an example , once he was screaming that tigers were going to get him. DH and I noisily chased the tigers up and down the stairs and when we declared they had been defeated and had gone, DS went back to bed.

Charlotteamanda1 Sat 07-Jun-14 01:37:00

You sleep in a cycle going through three stages. Non rem - rem - particial waking and then back to the start.
When we sleep all our senses are paralysed except our eyes. That's why they move in rem or dream sleep. In some people one or more of their senses don't switch off such movement and this causes them to sleep walk.
Your son will have no recollection of the dreams. His sense of sound has not switched off. Do not disturb him whilst this is happening as you could easily wake him. When you are in non rem sleep it is a light sleep.
What you can do is put him to bed then after an hour go back in and stir him very gently. He will be in the first stage of sleep - non rem sleep. This is a very deep sleep when it is hard to wake someone. Stirring him will make him repeat this stage and may jolt his sleep patern to not have the nightmares. Only do this once a night as we need rem sleep to learn and feel rested. Try it for a week and see if it helps.
If not you may have to suffer the mares. Your child will be fine it's just you it's awful for. Btw that was a very cut down version of how we sleep.

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