Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Peta | 2010/11/16


Nightmares/ seperation anxiety / nightmares? / not sure which it is!

Hi Dr
I have posted previously about my little boy who has recently become tube weaned, and taken your advice and posted under dietdoc, thank you.

My question is this - since 2 days into our program where we started weaning him (on 10 October) he has been having the most horrific nightmares / terrors, not sure which you would call it.

He will go to bed quite happily and wake up anything from 2-4 hours after going to sleep. Then he can wake up from once a night to up to 6 or 7 times, screaming and crying but fighting us and it is just so sad to see.

Since returning home 2wk ago, when the nightmares are really bad i put him in the bed with my hudband and i and he then snuggles into one of our chests and sleeps quite happily there for the rest of the night although sometimes it does continue for a while after he is in our bed. We have tried to put him back into his cot after he is asleep but he gets almost hysterical when we do this

My question is this - is this normal? do you think it might be as a result of the whole tube weaning program that he is just overloaded with sensory imputs? Is it a good thing to let him sleep in our bed (we dont really believe in it but will change our views if it is best for him?)

Should i take him to a child pyschologist or someone to help him overcome this? The thing is, he is quite happy during the day, no crying or tantrums or anything so i am quite perplexed about this...?

Looking forward to your response, thanking you in advance

Expert's Reply



I have forgotten how old your son is and you did not mention it here. Is he about 20 months? He appears to be having typical night terrors which can be a very regular problem for a while but is fortunately usually a temporary problem. The cause is not usually obvious. Putting him into your bed is probably not a good idea as this may become a habit in itself. The usual advice is to go to his bed when he wakes with the night terror, to reassure him and to stay with him for a short while and then to leave his bedroom.Your son will benefit from having a night light in his room. Sometimes Rescue Flower remedy is recommended for children with this problem. No studies have been done to confirm its benefit but it may be worth trying.You will need to find out if he can take anything of this nature.

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