night terrors-normal?(4 Posts)
My ds is coming up 2 and probably for the last 8m or more he is quite often (about twice a week) waking in the night screaming with what we were advised by the Dr is a night terror. Sometimes we can't get him back to sleep in his cot and he ends up in our bed or I sleep on the floor next to his cot until he's asleep. I know this is not a solution or probably even a good idea but we are stuck on what to do! Any ideas or advice would be gratefully received thanks
If it is a night terror (rather than a nightmare) then the best thing to do is nothing. Do not try to wake him or soothe him. Just wait with him until it passes of its own accord. If he is not disturbed, the chances are that he will not remember it or be bothered by it. A night terror is not distressing to the 'sufferer', but being woken can be distressing. If he wakes after it, make no reference to the event, just resettle him in the normal, quiet, boring way.
Do they tend to happen at the same time? IME NTs, sleepwalking and sleeptalking tend to happen 1.5 - 2 hours after falling asleep, and are often preceded by particular movements or grunts. If this is the case for your LO, you could try ddisturbing him slightly just before it happens. This will shift him out of the sleep-state where NTs happen, without waking him.
IME also, NTs happen more when the person is stressed and/or overtired. Has he dropped his daytime nap? Moved to a later bedtime? Started pre-school?
I think it's less common in dc so young but is still 'normal' and certainly very common as they get older. Ds is 4 now but has always had them. I can pretty much guarantee that he'll have one if he's too tired when he goes to sleep. He falls asleep quickly and deeply and that's when they happen. I've noticed they're also linked to developmental leaps, so whenever he has a growth spurt - i think it's because they have a lot of information to process that they don't quite understand. Tbh I wouldn't worry too much about bringing him into your bed - we've sometimes done this too and it hasn't resulted in bad habits. They only thing i will say is that when he moves into his big bed, it might be an idea to keep a stair gate at the top of your stairs - our ds had also been known to sleep walk once or twice, although he's never got out of his room before becoming disorientated and screaming. And it's nothing to do with how happy they are as children either (which has occurred to me as I've worried he was desperately sad or worried about something!) It's more common if a parent has night terrors (my dh has always had them). Other than keeping them safe when they experience one there's not a great deal you can do other than ride it out with them - even comforting them can distress them further. I find this the hardest part.
Thanks for replies. Yes it tends to be about 2-3am when he has them. Nothing stressful is going on at the moment,no significant changes so I don't think its that. Will have to just keep an eye on it for now and hopefully he will grow out of it soon
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