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Every kid is different when it comes to nightmares. Are they nightmares or night terrors? Alyssa gets night terrors quite often, sometimes every night for a month and then she'll go a week or two with none. When she has one, she sometimes even seems awake but she doesn't make any sense. Night terrors are usually more physical than just bad dreams, she thrashes around and kicks in the bed. Then she will settle back down and go back into a deep sleep without even fully waking up.
Eva has night terrors, but as she has got older then seem to be less and less. I also notice that she will have them one days when she has been overstimulated during the day and can't (or won't) settle down at night. Routines help with Eva, so if we get her to relax before bed (reading, watch TV, color, etc.) she is less likely to have one.
A special thank you to Amber for the awesome siggy!! You ROCK!!