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How do you handle night terrors??

My daughter is almost 3&1/2 and has really bad night terrors. I thought that kids were supposed to out grow those, and have fought them for what feels like forever. At first we didn't know what they were so we would get really frustrated with her, because she was lashing out of control and was incosolible. She won't be 4 until November and so we have at least 7 months left until then. Should I be worried or concerned about this, should I call her doctor, or just let it ride until her 4 year well child?? I hate to see her have to go through them, so any advice would be helpful. Thanks!:)

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Asked by chelcityrocks at 7:10 PM on Apr. 22, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 5 (58 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Does she tell you what she is afraid of?

    Answer by older at 7:15 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • If you suspect your child suffers from night terrors, consult your doctor. It’s important to rule out other conditions that could be causing your child’s symptoms—conditions like nocturnal seizures, panic attacks, or post traumatic stress disorder.

    In addition, it’s important to determine if your child’s night terrors go along with snoring or other forms of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). SDB can be dangerous, but it is treatable.

    And if you treat your child’s breathing disorder, you might also cure her of sleep terrors. A recent study tracked kids with both SBD and night terrors. Researchers found that kids who underwent surgery for SBD were free of sleep-disordered breathing symptoms 3-4 months later. They were also free of night terrors.


    Answer by Skepticchick at 7:16 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • f your child’s night terrors follow a predictable pattern each night, consider the treatment known as “scheduled awakenings.” This treatment involves waking your child up about 30 minutes before you expect him to suffer a night terror episode. Let him go to the bathroom, then return him to bed. In small clinical trials, this treatment had a lasting, beneficial effect on both sleep walking and night terrors in children.

    But whether or not your child suffers from SDB, there are other important steps you can take to treat—and perhaps prevent—night terrors:

    Make sure your child is getting enough sleep.
    Identify and treat your child’s anxieties.

    Answer by Skepticchick at 7:18 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • Have you Googled this. Go see your doctor to rule out medical problems first. Befor just letting her grow out of them.

    Answer by louise2 at 7:20 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • This may sound weird but my son who is 3 1/2 was waking up at night and screaming then falling back asleep. One day my husband was driving to work & heard on the local news radio that giving toddlers vitamins later in the day causes night terrors. I was giving them to my Son after dinner. There is something in the vitamins that causes brain activity when they sleep. They say to give the vitamin after breakfast in the morning as early as possible. I did this and no more night screaming! He still wakes up occasionally but no hysterics. Give it a try. Hope it helps!


    Answer by Anonymous at 7:37 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • I really wouldn't wait it out considering your child is suffering because of the night terrors. I would definately talk to the doctor about it.

    Answer by lowencope at 7:42 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • A child can have night terrors for a year or year and a half, usually starting about age three. They can wake frequently shaking in the night and even vomit. They do eventually out grow it. But it is important to make a doctor aware of the situation. One parent may think it is a night terror and it could really be sleep apnea or some other issue. We thought originally it was night terrors but it turned out to be a medical issue waking him. My son said it was bad dreams so I took it as that is the reason. After a few consults with his doctor and careful record keeping we were able to track down his issues. Our doctor said providing love and support, not to get upset, not to think it is attention seeking, and to continue to provide comfort. We would settle him right down to bed, pat/rub his back, and sing. We also limited "scary" things and monster talk.  Routine was important and having a good bedtime ritual. 


    Answer by frogdawg at 9:52 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • My first had them for exactly one year, textbook style.
    MY second had them from age 3 to age 7, and continued to sleep walk and talk.
    Wait it out, and make sure your house is a safe environment if her bahavior changes in her sleep from terrors to other activity. GL

    Answer by jewjewbee at 8:54 AM on Apr. 23, 2010

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