There’s very little a parent can do to ease nightmares except to try to make every day as peaceful and happy as possible.
Listen and reassure when these scary dreams occur. Consider consulting a doctor for night terrors.
Night terrors happen during deep non-REM sleep. Unlike nightmares (which occur during REM sleep), a night terror is not technically a dream, but more like a sudden reaction of fear that happens during the transition from one sleep phase to another.
Helping your child understand weather and even enjoy it is the best way to combat this fear. Play outside in various conditions so your child can feel what it’s like when it’s windy or rainy.
As your toddler grows and changes, so do the things that worry him. From bump-in-the-night frights to flush-down-the-drain dread, find out about typical toddler fears.
Avoid putting an overtired toddler to bed.
Night terrors are sometimes caused by a child who is exhausted. Try to get your toddler to take a nap during the day, and make sure he gets to sleep early enough in the evening.
As early as 18 months old, your child can wake from experiencing nightmares – vivid and emotionally intense dreams.
Researchers have found that approximately 40% of children ages 2 to 8 experience nightmares.
Understand night terrors are not the same thing as nightmares.
Toddlers who wake in the middle of the night crying but consolable are having nightmares.
Night terrors are periods of hysterical crying, screaming and non-responsiveness. The child will eventually calm down but not remember the event at all.
During a night terror, a child might suddenly sit upright in bed and shout out or scream in distress.
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