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Two year-old terrified by nightmare - what helps?

(5 Posts)
HJBeans Sun 06-Sep-15 14:05:30

This was night before last. I've never seen anything like it - physically fine but clutching onto me with his while little body after waking around four, wimpering staring at the ceiling in terror, and actually shaking with teeth chattering from fear. He settled eventually in our bed that night.

He can't say what scared him but clearly remembers and breaks down sobbing and clutching us whenever he does. Realised he'd need to go to sleep again after two bites of dinner last night and completely broke down, no food eaten, no bath taken, only calmed when DH lay down with him in our bed again until he slept. Slept fine, but same carry-on at naptime until I lay down on the sofa with him.

Don't want to get him dependent on us for sleep, but he's terrified and I can't make him deal with it alone. Any talk of what the dream was about, dreams not being real, etc. just reminds him and starts him crying again. Has anyone seem this behaviour? What helps?

Other stuff that might be relevant: he's gotten fearful of his much-loved nursery in the past three days. Still enjoys it while there, we're told, but cries on drop off (which he's never done) and says "no nursery - nursery scary" when we drive past. He was bitten by a friend on Thursday, but this started before it happened. He also had blood taken for the first time on Friday - was a real trooper about it, but could have been quite scary as well as painful for him. He can't confirm that any of this has to do with the thing that scared him so much on Friday night.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 09-Sep-15 19:03:48

Poor little mite. Do you know what has scared him at nursery?

HJBeans Fri 11-Sep-15 13:34:22

Thanks for the reply. We couldn't work out nursery at first, but it seems a boy has bitten him twice now hard enough to leave Mark's we see but without staff noticing. He'd gotten better in terms of sleeping, and could describe the nightmare and take comfort from saying "wake up - poof! It's gone!", but then got bitten again and was inconsolable going to sleep last night. So we reckon that might be the trigger. Are talking to nursery and priming DS to shout and go show the injury to staff if it happens again. Poor kid.

HJBeans Fri 11-Sep-15 13:35:11

Er - marks, obviously. Thanks auto- correct.

amarmai Fri 11-Sep-15 18:58:03

the biter must be pretty sneaky or the staff is not watchful. My 5 yrs gs was having bad dreams thinking a wild dog was in his room at night -he is deathly allergic to dogs- and it seems to be the passing car lights coming thru the edge of the blinds and flashing over the ceiling combining with his real fear of dogs.Maybe stay in his room as he goes to sleep and see if there is anything like lights/noises that maybe triggering the nightmares. Hope you can explain away his fears-and get the nursery staff to do their job.Get the bites logged so you have a record.

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