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Should I wake her from a nightmare?

So many night sleep problems lately with my 2.5 year-old, I won't go into them... but last night she was talking in her sleep, "No... no... please, I want to put it in... and crying.." on and off for about 15 minutes. Clearly it was a bad dream. She's been having so much trouble with night waking lately and it's hard to get her back to sleep... is it better to wake them if they're dreaming like this, or let it run its course? We're all such a mess these days, and I feel like my judgement is impaired! (Last night she ended up waking herself up so it was a moot point... I couldn't get her to talk about the dream at all to be able to make it less scary. But I wanted to see people thought about the waking part in case I find myself in bed debating it again tonight).

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Asked by EmilySusan at 11:23 AM on Jan. 25, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 5 (79 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • I'd rub her back gently to comfort her but wouldn't actually wake her up.

    Answer by Bmat at 11:28 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • Just like us she probobly couldn't remember most of her dream or find the words to describe it but maybe ask her if anything is bothering her. "I don't want to put it in" sounds pretty scary to me. I know you are worried as it is but my first question would be what she was so afraid of. Is there any chance of abuse?
    My son suffers from night terrors everynight and screams from 5-15 minutes then it stops and then he is ok. Good luck and I hope you get a most restfull nights sleep tonight.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:30 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • Let the dreams run their course, 9 out of 10 times it will be short lived and she will go back to sleep on her own.

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 11:30 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • No, she's in a loving family and is with me all the time... no abuse (I know a loving family doesn't necessarily mean no abuse, but I really can assure you 100%) The line from the dream was "I want to put it in" with the emphasis on the I. She has a little sister so it almost sounded like fighting with her over who gets to do something. But she was very upset. She's going through some MAJOR toddler fears right now... doesn't want to be left alone in her room anymore... sometimes she says she's afraid of monsters, other times she just says, "I'm worried." She's fighting bedtime, nap time, waking every few hours at night. This was the girl who used to talk to her animals happily in bed for 45 minutes if she wasn't tired, but loved bedtime. Never a murmur at nap time either. The odd thing is she's her usual chipper, happy, verbal, inquisitive self during the day. But I'm sure not. I'm going to ask her doctor about this stuff.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 11:39 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • My pediatrician said no when we were going through night terrors. I stay there in case she wakes, but I just rub her back. That sounds like the things she says, and during the day, that sounds like "No, I don't want to put it in" as in "No, I don't want to put the straw in the cup!"

    Answer by whiteroses82 at 11:49 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • Just because she is waking frequently and crying doesn't mean the dream was scary... it might have just been an active dream, maybe she was crying because of toy or something in her dream... not something scary. Even if it is scary she will either wake up or the dream will move on... I wouldn't wake her up.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 11:50 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • My pediatrician and my dd's (for my grandkids) all said No don't wake them. I always got in bed with them and just held them and they settled down. If they are in a crib I stroke their cheek and either hum a tune or gently sing a song I know they like. Patting a back or rubbing it can let them know you are there too. All of this is done gently of course.

    Answer by admckenzie at 12:40 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

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