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Question
Posted by: Leonie | 2011/03/21

My baby''s Nightmares

Hi. I suspect that my 22 month old is constantly having nightmares when he sleeps at night. He will wake up screaming and kicking 2 - 4 times at night. Not only is his sleep constantly interrupted, but so is mine. I am 25 weeks pregnant at the moment at I feel like death warmed up when I wake up in the morning. Is there something I can do or give him to make sure he has a good night''s rest? What can cause this? He is not currently in a school, but stays with his grandmother during the day on recommendation by his GP and Pediatrician. Could it be that he needs more stimulation during the day? I''m not sure where to take him either, his Pediatrician, a psychiatrist or a Occupational therapist? Help Please!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

ABSOLUTELY NOT AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST - their role is, properly, far more limited than some seem to try to take over.
A Child psychologist or child psychiatrist would be ideal, a good paediatrician could help.
Like Purple, I think these might be night terrors. When they occur in an older child, one notices that whereas a child who wakes from a nightmare can tearfully tell you what frightened them, a child waking from a night terror cannot, and in the morning usually doesn't remember it at all.
As she says, they're terrifying to parents, fortunately, they're NOT terrifying to the child, though it looks as though it is and sounds like it. They tend to fade away, without our knowing why they came or went.
These have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with evil spirits, and a pastor cannot help - unless indirectly by making the mother feel less worried.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2011/03/22

Oh, the name night terrors is actually a bit misleading as although the children appear to be terrified, they don''t remember anything on waking and even if woken during episode of night terrors, don''t seem to be afraid (except for surprised at being woken up). Generally people are advised to leave them sleeping and if it makes the parent feel better, to stroke their forehead and say soothing words. As mentioned, my sister and my friend both found putting the children in their beds helpful, but I know this isn''t the solution for everyone.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: AGM | 2011/03/22

Take your child to the pastor of any church and learn to pray for your child, thise are evil spirits they only need a praying mother

Reply to AGM
Posted by: PUrple | 2011/03/22

Children generally don''t have nightmares when this young - their little imaginations aren''t working well enough yet, nightmares are more common from around 4 and a half. It''s possible these are night mares though.

What some children get is something completely different called night terrors. They don''t actually wake up, they thrash around, scream and the parent gets the terrors. There isn''t anything you can do to prevent this, a very small number of children get them, but they are common enough that if you ask around amongst your friends, you will find one or two others with a child who had a patch of these. They are most common as children approach the age of 2 up until about 5 years of age, but there are children who still have them at age 7.
They just pass on their own. They usually last a few weeks, reccur again a few months later for a few weeks and so on.
Google night terrors, there is lots of info on them. Books like Toddler Taming also give lots of info on them.
My sisters daughter and a friends son both suffer from them and have found that putting their children in their bed helped everyone get more sleep.
Both said they found that when there was a big change - new baby about to arrive, about to start grade 1 - that sort of thing, that they either started or increased in frequency. Both found they just stopped on their own after patches of a few weeks of them happening every night.

Reply to PUrple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/03/22

ABSOLUTELY NOT AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST - their role is, properly, far more limited than some seem to try to take over.
A Child psychologist or child psychiatrist would be ideal, a good paediatrician could help.
Like Purple, I think these might be night terrors. When they occur in an older child, one notices that whereas a child who wakes from a nightmare can tearfully tell you what frightened them, a child waking from a night terror cannot, and in the morning usually doesn't remember it at all.
As she says, they're terrifying to parents, fortunately, they're NOT terrifying to the child, though it looks as though it is and sounds like it. They tend to fade away, without our knowing why they came or went.
These have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with evil spirits, and a pastor cannot help - unless indirectly by making the mother feel less worried.

Reply to cybershrink

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