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Toddler fears and nightmares - help!

(7 Posts)
Sparklesandglitter Tue 19-Aug-14 20:12:51

My toddler has recently developed a fear and she is having nightmares, waking up talking about her fear. It's something she sees everyday so we can't just ignore it, how do I help her get over it? She is verbal but not to the extent of understanding reasoning.
She is also very clingy as a result
Anybody with experience please help this is exhausting!

OneSkinnyChip Tue 19-Aug-14 23:18:52

Can you say what it is that is triggering her nightmares? It might make it easier to make suggestions to help.

ButtonBoo Wed 20-Aug-14 19:47:55

Similar to my DD (2.10). She's scared of the dark, dogs, and now cats (one near my house is fluffy and she doesn't like it. Now that's it...all cats are scary!). I can understand the dark and dog fear to a certain extent but cats?!

I have made a conscious effort not to tell her not to be 'silly'. We talk about 'scary' puppets on TV, how the Gruffalo is actually nice/funny etc and that he's not real, just in a story, that alligators won't come in the house because they live in swamps and we don't live in a swamp (although my house sometimes resembles one!), that of course, mummy wouldn't let a cat/dog hurt her and besides, they usually just want a tickle, that the dark is exciting and everything's just the same with the light on etc etc

I think it's just a normal growing up phase. But acknowledging the fear, talking about it practically and not belittling her worries is my chosen method of handling it at the moment.

Other tactics greatly appreciated!

Sparklesandglitter Wed 20-Aug-14 21:16:54

It's a fear of cats so she sees them every day. Shes absolutely

Sparklesandglitter Wed 20-Aug-14 21:18:58

Petrified and is now incredibly clingy as a result. She is only 1 so not old enough to understand reason and is talking about them during the day too as in scary cat, bad cat. It breaks my heart seeing my usually confident toddler so scared sad

OneSkinnyChip Wed 20-Aug-14 21:28:07

Oh gosh, I don't know what to suggest. Is she just one or nearly two? That will make a big difference. Could you use cuddly toys? Not just the a cat toy but others? Have them play games. Or tell them they love her and they will scare the bad cats away?

I'm trying to think of the kinds of things that would work with our DD. So for example she loves lions (big cats) and dinosaurs. Could you give your DD a cuddly dinosaur / lion, get her to make the rarrrrr sound and tell her that's what she says when she sees the cat, even if it's when she wakes up at night? And put the guardian lion / dinosaur in her cot? Our toddler says rarrr for lion and for dinosaur puts her hands up in the air and says rarrr.

Sparklesandglitter Wed 20-Aug-14 21:36:05

Shes nearly 2. I tried giving her a teddy and saying it will protect her etc when shes in bed but shes hysterical and I end up bringing her in to my room to sleep as she is so upset. I tried showing her they are not scary and how to chase them away etc but at least4-5 times an hour she will bring it up. I am at a loss!!

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