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Night terrors in 1 year old - or something else? Please help.

(3 Posts)
SeaChelles Tue 11-Oct-11 09:14:29

Hi all, have also posted this in Behaviour/Development and Chat as not sure where I will get the best response.

DS is now 1 year old and has always been very 50/50 with sleep. We had a period form 6-9 months where he slept 7-7 every night, however since then it has been very hit and miss. We don't mind and accept he is still a baby, but am concerned about the state he gets in when he wakes.

We have just had 4 nights sleep through from 7pm - 7am. He was even taking his bottle on waking and then going back to sleep for another hour or two! However, last night he woke at 11pm absolutely screaming. (This is not the first time this has happened - maybe once/twice every week for the last few months and it can be at any point in the night) The screaming isn't distinguishable between pain/fear/temper - it could be any of the three.

He is absolutely inconsolable. He asks to be picked up, then won't let you hold him, he screams if you let him on the floor, same if you leave him to cry it out or put him back in his cot and sit next to him. Sometimes a bottle will calm him down and send him back off, other times he won't let me put anything near his mouth and refuses point blank to even open his mouth for Nurofen.

It could be a phase, nightmares, pain - I'm just concerned that I literally can't do anything for him or to console him.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.

LowLevelWhingeing Tue 11-Oct-11 18:22:54

Hi. My DS1 used to have night terrors from the age of 13 months and I do sympathise, it's very distressing to witness isn't it? Particularly as nothing you try to do seems to help at all. Most times, DS didn't even seem to know we were there, he was just screaming hysterically and no amount of comfort/cuddles etc had any effect at all.

After reading around a bit, and some trial and error, I realised that there really was nothing I could do. As long as he was safe in his cot, all I could do was sit by him and wait for him to 'come round', then offer comfort etc. It always seemed to be quite sudden that he would kind of snap out of it.

it would usually take 10-15 minutes for him to come round, and it's not easy to sit and watch, but it seems they really don't remember it afterwards, or the next day and whilst it's distressing at the time, it doesn't seem to do any harm.

DS is now 6 and hasn't had a night terror for about 3 years, so I hope your DS also grows out of it soon <touch wood>

childsleepsolutions Fri 14-Oct-11 19:21:58

Hi there, firstly, whilst they appear really distressing, night terrors are not linked in any way to any psychological trauma or daytime upset, they are just a physiological response and are far harder on the parents watching than the baby or child. The best thing to do is to check they are safe and then just leave them to it, it sounds cruel but comforting them tends to prolong the episode. The only way to minimise the chance of them happening is to ensure your little one doesn't get over tired, an early night or increased daytime sleep can help. I am a child sleep consultant and have seen many cases of these and can assure you, LowLevelWhinging is right, they do no harm! Good luck

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