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Night Terrors

Has anyone experienced these?

The boys will be 15 months old on 5th Jan and Ryan has suddenly started screaming blue murder at nighttime. The last 3 nights have been the same - 2 nights at about 9/10pm (bedtime is 7pm) and last night not until 2.30am. He's flinging his head back, arching his back, screaming and generally not himself. He wont be cuddled and this, it seems, makes things last longer.

He has been poorly and this has hindered his sleep, especially for naps, as he hasnt been able to breathe and has an awful cough so unable to sleep. We phoned NHS direct night before last as this was so unlike him. He doesnt have a temp etc.

Anyway, the nurse suggested night terrors. Ive looked them up and it does seem likely. I am taking him to drs for his cough this afternoon anyway.

Can anyone give me any advice? Funnily enough, Alfie has just started sleeping through so dont want to disturb him but all advice on the net is that we should leave Ryan to live the terror out but, although they dont disturb each other normally, the continuous screaming is bound to wake him eventually.

Sorry this is so long!

Gemma, Ryan and Alfie almost 15 months


  • My cousin had this with her twin boys, and they were in the same situation with you as not wanting to disturb Charlie, so would pick him up and put him in their room instead, and let him thrash it out there. Sadly that was often where he ended up staying and they didn't have much sleep for 6 years! (owing to the other two aswell! Lucy their eldest was the worst sleeper due to her meds!)

    The other thing that they found sometimes helped was having music on in their room as it distracted and meant they couldn't go so deep into sleep.

    My friend is going through this with her 16 month old at the mo, but 3 times a night! She is like the living dead! She is also just leaving her to cry it out, and then goes and checks she hasn't been sick. Styrangely this is also after a bad cough had been disturbing her for a couple of weeks prior.

    Sorry there is no fab answer to this one!

    Bets XxX
  • This is really weird. My little boy Zac who is 2 this weekend has been doing this for the last six weeks coincidentally when he started with a bad cough which led to a chest infection.

    He usually only wakes up once but is inconsolable and throws an absolute tantrum and no amount of comforting will calm him down, in fact you cant even hold him.

    I wonder if it is linked to them having an illness and will eventually phase out?

    I hope so, im expecting our second child in June and vv tired!!!
  • hi there, I'm in toddler but saw this!!

    My son is 3 and used to have night terrors and they would be about the same time each night, between 1030 and 1130 at night. we stopped them by waking him up before then!!!

    its a technique thats recommended for preventing them. I used to go into his room and give him a cuddle and resettle him, just enough for him to rouse slightly and this disturbance in his sleep seem to stop the terror coming on!!

    Also cuddles and reassurance that your there for him, and yes its best not to disturb too much when they are in the middle as even tho they may have eyes open they are in a deep sleep, just like sleep walkers so its not recommended to try and wake them while they are having one.

    They are more common in boys than girls for some reason and often stop as quick as they started!!

    If your son wakes about teh same time each night then try rousing them and resettling before the event

    Good luck Claire

  • my LO has been having night terros for the past 4 or so months at least twice a night every night. the only thing that we find works is to give her a bottle with a little bit of milk in as this calms her straight down. there have been occasions were we have to wake her up properly to get her to calm down (she fights out during these episode, wanting only me but when i go to hold her she doesnt realise its me!)

    my HV told me its something that she should grow out of so to keep on doing what we are doing.

    have you tried dummies or antying like that?
  • hi there

    my son had night terrors from about age 3. Night terrors are recognisable by the fact that they happen within the first few hours of bedtime. Joseph was like clockwork. Bed at 7pm and then by 9/10 he would have one. He would wake up crying and shouting for me but not know me when I came to him. He would look past me and be pointing at thin air but clearly terrified. I would just sit next to him until he settled. He would then go back to sleep. He never had 2 in the same night and I am not too sure if that is 'normal' or not. Maybe your child is suffering nightmares?

    The one good thing that I was told about NT is that children who suffer these (boys are most likely) are usually very intelligent and have overactive imaginations! Joseph certainly can tell a tall story when he wants to... lol

    I think Clares advice is worth a try. However if we disturbed Joseph then his night terrors were much worse. Something to do with coming out of deep sleep into REM too quickly? We were advised to just be there when he had them and make sure he went to bed stress free and not after watching something scarey. I was worried about him when he started getting them as he was so terrified. He would be so distraught and it broke my heart that nothing I could do would pacify him. It actually frightened me as he would point as if there was something in the room... aghhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He grew out of them and now at aged 6 he rarely has them.

    d x
  • mummy too many, thats interesting what you say about vivid imagination as my son certainly has a wild imagination too!!!
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