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Has anyone had experience helping a toddler with night terrors?

My 3yr old son started having night terrors almost every night for over a month now. His pediatrician said its a stage but the Dr has no prior experience with them. My hubby & I have tried everything we can think off. HELP!!!

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Asked by ajmfmommy at 1:46 AM on Jun. 8, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • I had night terrors as a kid if I had dairy too close to bedtime. And my oldest son gets them if he has any dairy durring the day. I would try taking your son off dairy for 2wks(takes that long to kick in) and see if the night terrors stop.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:49 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • DD had them and it was usually related to not getting enough sleep or not getting a long enough nap during the day. As long as he can't hurt himself the best thing to do for them is nothing. We tried doing things when DD had them and they only got worse and lasted longer when we interfered with them. Don't hold him, don't talk to him and DON'T try to wake him up!

    Answer by Blueliner at 1:49 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • Thanx! I'm going to try both. Sometimes when he has them he does hurt himself so I try to wake him up. When he gets them he wakes up my other baby who then wont go back to sleep for a while

    Answer by ajmfmommy at 2:00 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • My son had them up until the age of 5. They always occurred when he was overtired. I'd put him to bed and like clockwork, within one hour he'd be in the midst of a nite terror. He never had any recollection of them. The only thing I could do for him was hold him and comfort him until he layed back down and went back to sleep. I never heard about the dairy connection like Anon mentions above but I did find out years later that my son was allergic to casein (milk protein).

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:11 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • My oldest son had them when he was about 3 and a half for a couple of months. It was awful. At the same time every night, he'd start screaming bloody murder. All we could do was comfort him until he went back to sleep. He finally just stopped having them. All you can really do is be there for him. Best wishes!!

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 7:34 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • My son gets them. They used to be really frequent, but now we'll go months in between them, I'm hoping that soon I'll be able to say "my son USED to get them". Eventually I figured out that his biggest trigger was being overtired. On the days he refused to nap or didnt get to bed on time I knew he'd have one. I got better about enforcing nap time. When he didnt want to nap I told him he had to lay there, and that I would come check on him for 10 minutes and that if he was still awake after that then I would let him have quiet time instead. Most days if I just waited 10-15 minutes he'd go to sleep. If he didnt nap we would cuddle on the couch and watch a movie, he's a really active kid and needs down time.
    Different kids have different triggers, overtired and life changes are common ones. Watch for patterns so you can figure out his trigger and minimize them. Good luck!

    Answer by nicoled02 at 8:40 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • wow, I am sorry! My nephew had to live with us for a while when he was 5 and he had a few. But they were related to his parnets being gone. they were note terrors by definition, but thankfully he had them for a week only and they stopped once he settled in. I agree with the others, all you can do is be there for him, and some say that changing things around int he bedroom can help "break" the cycle. Like moving the bed and the dresser, just switching it up a bit, but I dont know anyone who has tried it. I would also say ask your childs doc to recommend someone who does have experience with them, thats just horrible. good luck mom.

    Answer by Bearsjen at 11:23 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

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