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Toddler waking up screaming - night terrors?

(12 Posts)
Trinpy Mon 04-Jul-16 17:54:10

He's 2.3 and has been doing this since before he turned 2, but it's been happening most nights recently.

He normally wakes up crying between 11-12 and when Dh goes into him he becomes hysterical and starts screaming for water or cuddles but when you try to give him water or cuddle him it just makes him scream even more. Nothing will calm him down but eventually it's like he gets tired out and collapses. It can last for anywhere between 10-60 mins.

His sleep is a bit messed up at the minute because he's pretty much grown out of his nap but recently he keeps waking up too early and so he gets tired during the day and needs a nap, but if he naps then he can't sleep at night and gets overtired. I've noticed that he usually wakes up screaming on the days when he's had a nap. Also it only seems to happen when Dh goes to him, but then it's usually Dh who goes to him so could just be a coincidence.

Is this night terrors? Dh and I have been disagreeing on how to deal with it.

Bottomchops Mon 04-Jul-16 17:58:52

We have this with dd. Just shouts "no" over and over. We think she's asleep still. There is nothing we can do. It's been a while now since its happened. I've been keeping her bedroom window open at night as I noticed she was getting really hot and sweaty in bed. It's been about 3 weeks without one now must mean one is due

Trinpy Mon 04-Jul-16 19:38:26

Do you just leave her then Bottom? Dh and I are having disagreements about how to best deal with it.

user1467491951 Mon 04-Jul-16 19:43:17

I had a similar problem, only way to calm him down, was to take him outside, though it was winter at the time, so leaving the window open makes sense.

Bottomchops Mon 04-Jul-16 19:43:19

No because it would just carry on. We can't decide either! Sometimes we go in and try and cuddle her/rouse her, then pop to the loo and sometimes she will have come round by then and we can settle her. Sometimes we've had to leave her as she just kicks and screams (asleep still ), we'll go back to bed and she'll cry herself out after 5 minutes or so. It's awful cos we don't think she's playing us up and she won't let us near her to help.

StubbleTurnips Mon 04-Jul-16 19:45:57

We've had this for months, we always wake her - cold flannel on forehead is quickest. The minute she's awake she asks to go back to sleep, job done in under 5mins.

If we leave her she gets so wound up she pukes everywhere.

Trinpy Mon 04-Jul-16 23:42:00

He woke up as usual tonight so I went to him instead of Dh and he went back to sleep without any hysterics. So I'm really not sure whether it's a coincidence or if he's reacting to seeing Dh?

Interesting that a few of you are saying cooling them down helps. At the moment Dh (gently) holds him still until he relaxes and if that doesn't work he just turns on the light. But tbh I'm not convinced by this approach because it just seems to get ds more riled up. I prefer to just lie down next to him and try to keep him safely in bed so he doesn't hurt himself but I end up getting kicked/hit a lot.

It would be so much easier if they could just tell us what was going on with them hmm.

Trinpy Mon 04-Jul-16 23:44:02

I might try the cool flannel on the forehead or opening the window next time it happens. Thanks for the tip. So far nothing has snapped him out of it.

Bottomchops Tue 05-Jul-16 07:09:18

DD is still.not dry at night so I've changed to putting her in just tshirt and nappy to sleep, she was wearing pyjamas. Another night with the window open, and it was actually really cool in there. She woke up at midnight but it wasn't a night terror. She's not been sweaty either. Fingers crossed.

VertiginousOust Tue 05-Jul-16 07:13:56

Sounds like night terrors to me, two of mine have suffered from them and it was a matter of trial and error to find what worked for each of them. One absolutely freaked out if you touched them or tried to cuddle them in any way and would only calm in response to being sung to. The other one, we found just agreeing with whatever he was saying worked (ie, he'd be shouting, I want to go home I want my mummy. If you told him he was home and I was his mummy it'd just wind him up more but agreeing to take him home to his mummy would calm him down). With night terrors they aren't awake and aren't aware who you are. They also don't remember them in the morning. And they do usually grow out of them!

Trinpy Tue 05-Jul-16 10:30:20

Thanks Vertiginous. I will try both of those things with ds and see if either works.

I'm going to try to go into him every night when he wakes up and see if it makes a difference having me there instead of Dh. He didn't seem awake when I went into him last night, he didn't respond when I asked if he was OK. How long does it take for them to grow out of it?

Trinpy Tue 05-Jul-16 10:31:45

Bottom so seems like she was getting too hot at night then. I hope that's solved the problem for her.

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