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Night terrors- all advice gratefully received

(6 Posts)
Supercherry Tue 16-Jun-09 12:28:08

Last night my 16mth old ds experienced a night terror. He woke suddenly screaming and petrified.

Not having had any direct experience of this before, I tried to comfort him, at first he pushed me away as if he didn't recognise me. He was obviously not fully awake. I tried to give him his dummy which he threw across the room.

DP, who experienced night terrors as a child, said to put him down but I didn't feel comfortable with this as I thought he might hurt himself. We took him downstairs and put the TV on which seemed to distract him and gave him a bottle of milk. He fell asleep as suddenly as he had awoke and slept fine for the rest of the night.

I have been googling this morning but the advice I have found is very conflicting. Some advice says to completely leave him alone but sit near him and make sure he doesn't hurt himself as trying to comfort him will frigten him more. Some advice says to comfort him and cuddle him.

What worried me further is that it can be triggered by stress- he had 2 tantrums during the day and proably for the first time ever I had left him to cry for a bit as nothing I did seemed to help

He did seem more tired than normal yesterday as we had been to the seaside on Sunday- could this be the reason?

He has a bit of a cough too at the moment so I'm wondering if this could have also triggered it.

Basically, what I need to know is, what is the best way to help DS during a night terror and is there anything I can do to help avoid them altogether?

DP and his brother had them well into their teens.

mummy247 Tue 16-Jun-09 13:54:55

Hi superchery

My dd had these for about a yr and half the only thing that seemed to work was to take her out her room and put in front of tv and use a cool flannel to wake her and talk to her quietly

u feel so helpless when they have them and they are scary for you as the parent as much as the child but she should grow out of them at about 3 my dd is 3 and doesnt suffer them anymore

katiek123 Tue 16-Jun-09 15:43:38

supercherry - i know this sounds hmm but what worked for us with DD was the homeopathic remedy belladonna - abolished them within a minute the last couple of times - previous ones would take up to 45 minutes to settle. definitely worth a go. cheap and cheerful so nothing to lose if it doesn't work - can get it over the counter at boots or online from helios.co.uk. kids love them bcs can suck them (sugary small pills).
otherwise i must say we had to wake DD from her more dramatic ones (pre-belladonna discovery, i mean) and sit calmly with her for a while in a different place eg with us in the living room - sitting with her just wasn't feasible as she would throw herself around the bed and it was all bit dramatic to just ignore, we felt!

shellki Tue 16-Jun-09 16:11:27

Hi, we have this with my dd1 (2.8) whenever there are stressful things going on in the household, when she's sick, after she had been in hospital, when her baby sister arrived... Usually I sit with her and talk very gently saying that I'm her mummmy and everything is ok. She usually falls asleep suddenly again. My Dh had these when he was a kid, and I do think that it can be hereditary. My dd1 has always been a bad sleeper, and this is just one of the many nightime things that go on in our house! Homeopathy might be worth it...

katiek123 Wed 17-Jun-09 10:37:26

'this is one of the many nighttime things that go on in our house' grin - i know the feeling shellki!! our DD has always been a light sleep and the anxious type. her night terrors are definitely worse if she is over-tired or anxious about something.

Supercherry Wed 17-Jun-09 13:16:43

Thanks everyone, it seems to be quite common doesn't it? It is frightening though and not nice to see a child in such a state.

I'll definitely try the belladonna remedy KatieK123, thanks.

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