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Thread: Night Terrors...I think, what to do?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    ...not far enough away :)

    Question Night Terrors...I think, what to do?

    Sorry if this is not the right spot to post this, really just after some advice.

    Charlie has woken the past two nights in a row approx the same time. Usually its a quick scoff of a bottle & back in bed no fuss. But the past two nights he's woken screaming, doesn't calm when cuddled, will not drink a bottle. He also thrashes about, kicks his legs & last night when I turned the light on it seemed he was still half asleep.

    My question is what should I do? I really have no idea what to do, he screams for about half hour non stop...then takes a bottle & goes back to sleep. Should I be trying to wake him up properly? Should I just let him sort it out himself IYKWIM???

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    Hi Erin,

    I have had a similar problem with my son I also do not really know what to do I have tried leaving him to sort it out but that so far has not worked I have also tried cuddling him but he just fights me and does not seem to want to be cuddled. I don't know if night terrors occur in 1 year olds I know my dd has them but she is 3 and with her I know that if I wake her up it is worse so i just sit quitly on her bed telling her everything is ok and stroking her hair and within 5 mins it is over and she is sound asleep again with no recognition of it the following morning.

    Hope someone has some helpful tips. soory i am pretty useless

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Port Macquarie, NSW


    If it is a night terror, and it does sound like one, then all you can really do is cuddle them until they settle down. It's often impossible to fully awaken the child.

    Things that are thought to increase the chances of night terrors are fevers, or lots of emotional stress, or a lack of sleep, so maybe look at how much sleep Charlie gets during the day.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    Alex started getting night terrors at a really young age - under 1 - the docters couldnt believe it but there was no other medical explanation for him waking the way he was. So Yes it is possible for younger children like Charlie to get them.

    I found that as hard as it was to watch I usually had to just let him scream and kick it out - sometimes this would go for half an hour or more. He would not let me hold him and you could tell he was not fully awake as he would not respond to any distractions or talking. I would usually take him out of the cot as he would kick up against the bars and end up with bruises and his legs caught between the bars. I would put him on our loungeroom floor surrounded by cushions so he couldnt hurt himself and just wait.

    If you find that Charlie is waking at approx a specific time each night there is a school of thought that you can wake them before the night terror starts thus preventing it. Ie if he is waking at 11.30pm then go in wake him fully at 11pm and keep him awake for at least 15 mins before putting him back down to sleep. Theoretically you have then broken the sleep cycle and the terror shouldnt happen. Unfort in our case Alex would wake at varying times during the night so we could never predict when they would happen.

    I hope that his terrors dont continue for much longer - they will grow out of them although that is not much consolation now. We had 10 months of them but cross fingers he hasnt had any since Nov.

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