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My child is 2 years old and has the worst nightmares. She wakes up screaming and is very hard to get back to sleep. This didnt used to be such a problem until her sister arrived. Now between dealing with Karens nightmares and feeding Amanda at various hours at night I have been pretty much left with an hour or two of sleep at night. I was wondering if any of your kids had a problem with nightmares and if there is anything that you did to make them better? Any suggestions you have I will be greatfull.
I can't add anything to help, but I can let you know you're not alone. My daughter is 17 months, and she will randomly wake up screaming during the night. This isn't just an, "I'm awake, come here" scream. This is a, "I am hurt" scream. I can wake me out of a dead sleep. I'll go in to get her, and she's just laying there, screaming. I'll pick her up or try to comfort her in her bed, and she'll start to calm down, but then the uncontrollable crying starts. So I'll sit and rock her or just rub her back until she catches her breath, but by that point, she's too awake to go back to sleep. I don't know anything else to do to help her. I fear that when the next one comes I'll be in the same boat you are, with no sleep and 2 unhappy kids in the middle of the night.
I had a similar problem when my daughter Anna moved out of her nursery and into her own big girl bed not too long ago.
As soon as Anna moved out of her crib, she began wandering into our bedroom at night. We put Anna back in bed, get her a drink, and reassure her that there was nothing to be afraid of. Often we go through this routine several times a night. So we use a night light with her, thinking she doesn't like the dark. I toke some of her old sheets to incorporate into her current bedding so it will feel more like her old crib. But the problem persists.
I learned that, typically, if your toddler has been sleeping fine throughout the night until this point and has just started coming to her parents' room at night, it is because of two possible reasons. Once of which is that she may have started having nightmares. As toddlers develop independence, their life knowledge expands and so do their fears, often causing nightmares. If nightmares are waking her up, of course she will run to mom and dad for comfort.
During a night terror, a child may scream or cry, but will not respond to calls to wake up. Parents will just have to wait for the child to fall back into a deep slumber. In all likelihood, the child will have no recollection of the previous eventful night when he wakes up the next morning. While the occasional nightmare is not an extraordinary occurrence, recurrent nightmares may mean that your child is experiencing an abnormal degree of stress or anxiety about something.
From what I've been told, do not make her feel that you have 'saved her' or protected her from anything or that she is safe only when you are present. She should feel that she is capable of handling the situation. Ask her if she would like to go to the bathroom. Sometimes the urge to go to the bathroom disturbs one' s slumber. If your child is deeply disturbed by the dream, discuss the dream with her briefly and tell her to imagine a happy ending. Sometimes leaving a night light on helps. You can also offer to stay with her for a few minutes till she falls asleep. Maintain a regular bedtime schedule and encourage her to do soothing activities like reading a happy story or playing a quiet game before going to bed instead of watching television.