Toddler 2 Year Old with Night Terrors

Updated on April 23, 2008
C.B. asks from Fleming Island, FL
9 answers

My 2 1/2 year old daughter has starting having night terrors. They are causing her to wake up in the middle of the night or VERY early in the morning. She is then unable to return to sleep. I am expecting our second child in September and need more sleep than I am getting now. My husband is a huge help, but he is sleep deprived now also. Any suggestions on what we can do to help stop the night terrors or get her back to sleep?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your wonderful advice! We limited her TV watching to just a few minutes and she slept all through the night peacefully. It's amazing the difference it made -- it hadn't occured to us because she doesn't ususally watch much TV, but recently, she's been hooked on watching Finding Nemo. She's a happier child this morning than she's been in days!

More Answers



answers from Orlando on

There is a natural remedy specific for night terrors- you can find it in the healthfood stores under Bach Flower Remedies. They have been around since the 1800's. It is called the Rescue Remedy. It comes in cream and liquid. I have used it on all 3 of my boys 14 year, 12 years, and 1 year. I started with it 13 years ago when my oldest started having terrors about flying on a plane. We were flying alot back then too. A friend of American friend of mine that lived in Europe with me turned me on to these. There is a short book you can buy too for $5.00. I love Bach Flower Rememdies! They work for so many emotional/physical issues.

R.' S. married 4 years and 3 boys!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I would talk with her pediatrician. True night terrors are usually driven by a traumatic event that has occurred. You certainly would want to find out what that event was and help your daughter deal with it.



answers from Jacksonville on

My eldest had night terrors too. There is nothing you can do besides either let them cry (pediaticians advice) or turn on all the lights and totally wake them up then try to put them back to sleep. I totally understand how hard it is but I could never let my daughter cry because I knew she was having a night terror and I wanted to be there for her. I understand your need for sleep.The good news it she will out grow it, the bad news is you will lose sleep. I have a almost 3 yr old, 15mth old and baby due in 1 1/2 mths. I have not had a full night sleep since my last daughter was born. My second had constant ear infections and never was able to sleep through the night until 13mths (had tubes). She has been up every night for the last 3 weeks with the stomack flu and then ear infections again (at least 3 times a night to more). My eldest is up now too with a bad cough. Neither of them will calm down at night for my husband and I work too. It can be worse. When my youngest had the stomack flu I was up cleaning up throw up in her bed and bathing her twice a night then trying to get her back to sleep and go to work the next day during my busy time at work. I know what it is like to be sleep deprived but that is part of being a mom and having young children. YOu have to deal with it the best you can. I try to get sleep on my days off when the kids are taking naps or have my husband get up with them so I can sleep in. Of course this only gives me an hour extra but anything helps.Good luck!



answers from Pensacola on

I recently took my son to his pediatrician because of nighmares. Of course, nightmares are not as bad a night terror's, but it was still disrupting everyone's sleep. My son is 6.

Doc said statistically for kids his age, sleep issues were caused by overstimulation. She recommended no more than 30 minutes of TV and 30 of computer/gaming per day. She also told me to really police what he watched. She suggested he watch a full movie over 3 days. It has been hard, but I can see a difference in his sleeping.

Good luck,



answers from Panama City on




answers from Fort Walton Beach on

Hi C.,

Most night terrors are outgrown, however, there is usually a stimulus that can cause them. At 2 1/2, I doubt there is any stress (which can cause them in older children) so environmental toxins can be a primary culprit. Cleaning supplies and bath and body products can cause neurological damage and can cause things like night terrors, nightmares, child behavioral disorders like ADD and ADHD and even memory problems. The main problem with your average product at Wal-Mart is that it has a "allowed" limit of toxin. When used in combination of other things with "allowed" limits, the limit has increased. This is not to mention the combination of toxins that outgas and contraindicate like a pharmaceutical does.

The other issue that usually causes night terrors is lack of sleep. So you have a vicious cycle here with night terrors keeping her awake and causing lack of sleep.

Detoxifying your house will help a lot; especially by changing to a laundry detergent that is considered non-toxic to humans. (There are a lot of things labeled non-toxic that are only considered non-toxic to the environment.) My husband's sleep problems improved greatly after we detoxed the house. HE does use a supplement called RestEZ so I can get MY needed sleep. It is primarily Valerian Root and has a relaxing affect and doesn't make you sleepy or groggy in the morning. A 2 1/2 year old should be able to take it but do your own research. I know it would help your husband if the detoxing of the home doesn't solve the problem.

Detoxing CAN be simple and it can be inexpensive to. If you want to give it a try, I'd be glad to help. Feel free to contact me.

Hope I helped a little C.!

God bless,




answers from Panama City on


My daughter had night terrors for two years. The ped. said it was normal and that she would grow out of it eventually.
The way hers worked, though, was that she would appear to wake up and scream for 20 minutes like she was being attacked or something and then after about 20 minutes, she would go back to sleep. She was never aware of waking up and had no memory of it at all. The ped. said that it just happens in some kids and in rare cases it carries through to adulthood. My daughter woke us up like clockwork for two years. She then had them less and less often and finally, no more.
From what I have read about it, they just have to run their course. It is unknown why they happen. However, it may help to have you get up with her during the week and your husband on weekends or vice versa. If she is not going back to sleep, are you waking her up or are you just soothing her until the terror is over? Night terrors are strange because the child usually is not really awake when it occurs, they just appear to be.
Maybe try talking softly to her or sing to her to calm her or put some music on for her. Also, a warm bath may help relax her.
I wish I could help more.
Take Care,



answers from Daytona Beach on

My mother in-law says that this happened to my husband when he was a child. First I would cut back on television if she is watching any, second make sure you never wake her from the dream. When she has a terror go in and comfort her, hug her, rub her back, and try to get her to lie back down. My mother in-law said after a few nights my husband was fine. But first I would examine what she has seen on tv. That may have something to do with it. We actually let our son sleep on the floor of our bedroom if he seems very afraid when he wakes up, but this can become a habit so be careful.



answers from Fort Walton Beach on

Take her soft drinks and sugar away.What does she have late in the evening?

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