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What do you do when your child has a nightmare?

Last night my 3 y/o DD had a nightmare, she woke up screaming and I expected to hear her come running into my room but she just sat there screaming and then I heard a couple of thumps and of course I ran in to see what was going on...she was laying back down but still crying...I tried to soothe her in her bed but eventually brought her into my bed (with lack of room for me to sleep) I decided to bring her down to the living room where we slept for an hour and a half before I carried her back to her bed and I finally got to sleep 3 hours before I had to get up....I am exhausted this morning. She told me that in the dream she got stuck in the office...our office doesnt even have a door so I reassured her that she couldnt get stuck in there.


Asked by foxracing43701 at 8:36 AM on Sep. 29, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (5)
  • I sit on her bed and get her in my lap. I hold her as if she were still a baby (she's almost 4), rock her, and ask what her dream was about. I stroke her hair and her face, anything to calm her down. Sometimes, I lay down with her (she has a twin mattress) and wait until she's asleep before going back to bed. I write down what her bad dream was to reflect on it later. Lately, when she has bad dreams, it's about "...a chocolate man taking her animals away from me and I can't get to them to save them." In her mind, "chocolate" means those with darker skin.

    Answer by _Tam_ at 10:07 AM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • My son likes me to sing to him and turn the light on when he has a nightmare and i have to stay with him til he goes back to sleep or else he will not go back to sleep sometimes he likes me to read him a story because it calms him.

    Answer by discarded at 8:41 AM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Sounds to me like a night terror. They scream and cry but are actually still asleep. Moving her could have awakened her and scared her more. Next time I would leave her be and she should calm down. You can stay near by to make sure.

    Answer by martinmommy26 at 9:33 AM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • She was already awake and I did not drag her out of bed. we was laying in her bed crying and shaking, she was terrified. usually if she wakes up I can get her to go back to sleep in her own bed but she was way too upset to just fall back to sleep and I was a little more worried about myself getting some sleep instead of staying up half the night with her since she could sleep as late as she needed to but i still had to get up in a couple of hours. My question had nothing to do with critiquing my parenting skills, I was justs wondering what other people do when their child has a bad dream and is upset.

    Comment by foxracing43701 (original poster) at 6:46 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Why did you drag her out of bed??? I would have just sat there till she fell a sleep again. If mine does not come running i just check on him and usually he goes back to sleep a short while after.

    Answer by Ladyblue38 at 11:30 AM on Sep. 29, 2010