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Night terrors anyone? My almost 3 year old daughter has the worst night terrors. It took me almost 10 minutes to wake her up last night from one. She even got up while still asleep and ran into her closet door, luckily I was right there to help her. Every night she gets up at least once, but normally 2 or 3 times screaming and yelling in her sleep, and not little screams, screams like someone is trying to take her. I am starting to get scared, what do i do?

Should I take her to the doctor?


Asked by alli286 at 1:18 PM on Feb. 1, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • First of all, yes take her to the dr! Her ped. needs to be aware if it's happening that frequently. My daughter used to get them too. I didn't know anything about them at the time and would try to wake her up, but she would just scream louder & for longer. It was the scariest thing to watch- her eyes would be open but she wasn't seeing us. Even just talking to her agitated her more. The best thing to do is not wake her, just be near to make sure she doesn't hurt herself. Here's a link with information on night terrors: It talks about causes- overtired, stress, etc. and prevention (on pg 2 of article), waking her 15 min. prior to when it usually happens and keep her up for 5 min, this may help break the cycle. I know how hard it is to watch your daughter go through this so I hope something works and just remember it does pass.

    Answer by princesspalace at 12:38 AM on Feb. 2, 2009

  • Stop waking her up. Really. I have night terrors. Here is basically what's happening in your daughters mind.

    Say she is dreaming about monsters. When she starts screaming, she is physically awake, but her mind is still trapped in the terror. When she opens her eyes and looks at you, she sees the monster. When you grab her, the monster grabs her. She smells it, feels it, sees it, as far as her mind is concerned it is 100% real. The more you grab for her and try to wake her up, the more terrifying it becomes.

    What my DH has to do for me is talk me down from it. So for you, you would just say over and over, "Mommy is here. It's me, mommy. Mommy took care of it. Mommy made it go away. It's all gone now. Mommy is here." Just keep reassuring her and telling her you are there. Don't tell her it's a dream because it's not.


    Answer by SamanthaAgain at 1:22 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • ...Cont.

    Of course if she is in danger of hurting herself, you have to stop her. But if you can calm her down without waking her up, she won't remember anything in the morning. As often and severe as hers are, I would go to the doctor. But do your own research first. There are several drug therapies that have helped some people, but you might not be comfortable with that. They didn't help me at all. Chances are she will grow out of it in time, and when you learn the best way to calm her down they will also improve. I've only had two in the past year, when I used to have them every night, and I totally thank my DH for learning how to help me.

    Answer by SamanthaAgain at 1:25 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • Night terrors are so scary for the parents, luckily the kids never remember it. Do not wake them, I know that is the first instinct but try to find what might help bring her down from it. Of my kids who had them, each required a different method. The first one was probably the worst, and with him it was a "I am hear" as SamanthaAgain said, The second one would actually increase in intensity if I said anything, so I would watch and make sure she wouldn't do anything to hurt herself. The 3rd one I would actually have to say "Knock it off, go back to sleep" sternly, have no clue why that worked but it did. The 4th one was a combination of knock it off and mommy is hear.

    But most important is to not wake them.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 1:41 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • With my oldest son, all I have to do is get him calm enough to take a drink of water. That mundane task will ground him and bring him out of that state. When he is calm enough, I lead him to the bathroom and let him pee. He has more instance of night terrors when he has had food or drink too close to bed time. The slight disruption caused by digestion can cause sleep disturbances. Sounds funny but try it. Are you putting her to bed with a drink or a bedtime snack? Cut it out and see if you get better results :)

    Answer by TessaBianca at 1:56 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • Don't wake her. Just stay nearby to make sure she doesn't hurt herself and so you can get her back in bed and covered up if needed.
    The only things I've seen that can help prevent them in some kids is
    (1) Make certain she gets enough sleep. Overtired kids are more likely to have them.
    (2) Make certain dinner isn't too close to bedtime. For some reason, going to bed just after eating makes kids more likely to have them.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 2:48 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • honest, Im remamber my old age as 3 years old. im also has bad dream cause from family bad day at home. Im believe that dream come from what i saw my family doing bad things. im sure. Is hard to tell dream like fear me too much. i wake up cry for my mother but she dont understand why im cry. how can i tell her bec im only 3 years ol. im wait untill im older. finally i told my mother what really happen. She was shock. how can i remember. that life. Something your baby get nighmare befoe she dream and fear. pls try give her warm hugs and said is ok. dont worry. u will be fine. hopeful u give her happy dream. all u have cheer her up all day and night before bed.

    Answer by whoishotmama at 10:46 PM on Feb. 1, 2009