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What are night terrors/ nightmares? Can my 16 month old being having them?

My son has gotten up twice this week not in a row. He has gotten up screaming like he is hurt and will not be calmed down for the longest time. Also, he will not go back into his crib. We had to put him in bed with us. Is it nightmares? Even after I let him sleep with me for a few hours and I pick him up to put back in his crib he wakes up screaming just a few minutes after. What is it?? I feel so bad for him but I cant sleep with him in bed with me! We share a room with him as well.

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:50 PM on Dec. 27, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (4)
  • Kids get nightmares. He may be having them. I would make sure not to feed him sweets or alot before bedtime. Also if he continues u can take him to his pediatrician.

    Answer by gemgem at 2:00 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • Nightmares are bad dreams. Night terrors is a nightmare that physically affects the person, usually accompanied by sweating, screaming, fighting in your sleep etc. He could be having night terrors.
    Our little girl has many nightmares/night terrors. I always hear her yelling NO in her sleep:( I feel bad for her too, but I just go in her room and rub her back for awhile and leave. I think the best way to take care of this problem is just to let them know you are there. Tell him everything will be okay, rub his back and leave. He probably will still cry, but he will get over it. Good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:10 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • If it's a nightmare, he will be awake and aware of you, will be wanting you to pick him up and comfort him.
    If it's a night terror, he will not know you are there. He may be standing up in his crib, screaming and crying but his eyes won't track you - he is still asleep.

    For nightmares, comfort him however is best until he is calm enough to go back to sleep.
    For night terrors, stay nearby so you can stop him if he is doing something that could hurt him but don't wake him. Try saying "mommy's here" in a soft voice or softly singing a lullaby, it MAY help. Once he lays back down, cover him up, and leave him.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 5:17 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • My daughter started having night terrors after having her tonsils out. It was more traumatic for me than her. There was nothing I could do to console her. Finally a friend who dealt with the same thing recommended giving her benadryl before bed to keep her asleep through that stage of sleep. After two nights, she stopped having any problems.

    Answer by peppermintmocha at 9:24 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

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