Night terrors?

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Mrs.G
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Night terrors?

Postby Mrs.G » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:34 am

My youngest is almost 4 and is suffering roughly once a week, during the night, screaming, kicking, thrashing and utterly inconsolable. He has no memory of it the next day but is raising the household (and probably the neighbours). He cannot bear any physical contact during these episodes and appears not to hear us speaking to him. Our only option seems to be to wait it out and make sure he doesn't hurt himself.

I think this is known as night terrors. Does anyone have any experience of this? I'd welcome advice on how to avoid it and how to deal with it when it happens.
I'm feeling concerned about leaving him with a babysitter.

Thanks
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marysmungo
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Re: Night terrors?

Postby marysmungo » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:56 am

My son started getting these regularly at around the same age. It is very scary. He is now 9 and has them now very infrequently. What I would say is that he probably can hear you speaking to him but is unable to respond - as he gets older and if he still has them he will be able to reply to what you are saying - this was the case with me - and they are in a really scary place from what he can tell me he is seeing/doing during one.

The only thing that worked to 'snap him out of it' was to get him in front of the tv with his favourite programme - maybe because it gets them to focus on watching something and 'forget' the nightmare. The minute he calms down he will go back to 'sleep' (remember he has never really been awake) and you can put him back in bed. It will reduce over an hours episode to about 10mins!

Two triggers that I know are being too hot and needing a wee or a poo (I lost count of the number of times I was wee'd and poo'd on after he calmed down!!)

As he was having them nearly every night I could only leave him with a babysitter who I knew could deal with the situation.

It will get better! Good luck!
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vendredimanche
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Re: Night terrors?

Postby vendredimanche » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:02 am

I feel for you. We experienced these too when our son was around 2 y old. The episodes are scary and distressing to handle - our son looked almost possessed... I found the night terrors usually happened when he was tired or had had a lot of excitement during the day. But he grew how of it. What worked for us was taking him for a drive in the car. Not sure if it was the change of temperature or the movement of the car, but he usually settled down. Of course you have the issue of fastening a screaming, kicking child in a car seat in the middle of the night...
Good luck, hopefully he will grow out of it soon.
VdM
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Mrs.G
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Re: Night terrors?

Postby Mrs.G » Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:31 pm

Thanks so much for the advice and support.

We have re-inforced a strict bedtime routine and we have had a (slightly) more peaceful week.

Looks like we will have to let it run its course.
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New to Earlsfield
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Re: Night terrors?

Postby New to Earlsfield » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:52 pm

We have recently been experiencing night terrors with our almost 2 year old. I had never heard of them and took him to the doctors as I was worried he was in pain. I was very concerned, particularly after he jumped out of his cot and appeared to be sleep walking. The doctor said he would make a referral but as yet I haven't heard anything. However over the last few days we have noticed an improvement by keeping him cool, leaving the window open a bit a night and restricting afternoon activities. He does still wake up but we manage to resettle him, last week it took 3 hours to get him back to sleep. If there are any more tips out there or people that can help I too would welcome some support. It has left us totally shattered.
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