Night Terrors???

Updated on June 07, 2009
M.C. asks from Holmen, WI
5 answers

My son is 14 months old and for the past few weeks has woken up about 1 to 1 1/2 hours after going to bed at night screaming. Sometimes he can calm himself and go back to sleep. But, other times I have to go in his room and hold him and calm him down. This will usually take about 10-15 minutes. Could it be night terrors? It's just weird that it happens about the same time every night. Any suggestions?

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answers from Milwaukee on

It does sound like night terrors, my daughter started around the same age and she is almost 3 years old still gets them once a week or less. I would also watch for sleep walking when he is a little older, instead of night terrors now she seems to sleep walk.

When it does happen I go in, don't say a word, and gently rub her back. I do that for a few minutes and she is still screaming/crying I will pick her up and rock her, within minutes she is ready to go back to sleep. Rearly she will wake up again crying but it does happen and I repeat the above.

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answers from Omaha on

Hey M.,
This actually just started happening to my son who is 18months old. I have to wake him up in order for me to stop him from screaming and crying. Its a really scary thing, but just be there to comfort him and try and relax him. If it continues to go on for over 15mins, you may have to wake him up to take him away from his nightmare. When I wake up my son, he goes right back to bed with a bottle of water.

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answers from Duluth on

Joyous Greetings M.,

I can't say this strongly enough, your son could greatly find peace by praying over him. Do you believe in Jesus Christ? If you do, like a lot of people, most of the time we forget that Jesus wants to help. Speak to the problem. Say something like, Stop in the name of Jesus anything that is bothering my son, I place the blood of Jesus over you at all times and allow a calmness to come over you so that you may rest.

Sometime the problem is gas. Look at what your son is eathing, a lot of times milk can cause very painful gas. Your son may be in pain and even though they don't wake up the Master can change all of it.

Practical Nutrition Consultant

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answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds like night terrors to me. My son started having them around 12 or 13 months. There is nothing you can really do, since he is actually asleep when this is happening. Just continue to hold him or rub his belly until it passes.

Sometimes when my son has them and it is lasting a long time, I will turn on the TV or bring him over to an open window so the cool air wakes him up briefly, and then rock him back to sleep for a minute and lay him back down. But it is better for him if you do not wake him up. Another thing that someone mentioned when I posted about this a while ago was to get a good bedtime routine going, and make sure he is getting enough hours of sleep each night.

You mentioned sometimes he can calm himself...with a real night terror he would have no control over it, but maybe you are observing that he is screaming and then he stops screaming and the terror is subsiding.

If he seems to be awake it could be so many other things, it could be that he is actually having a nightmare, it could be teething pain or having some other kind of pain, it could be reflux, ear infection, etc...but obviously there would be other signs of those things, and they would not happen exclusively at the same time every night.

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answers from Des Moines on

my son is 14.5 months he has done that since he was 7 months old. generally he calms himself, sometimes i have to give him hugs. but you r not alone. Every mom i know has made mention of their children doing this at one time or another (my son does it at least 5 nights a week, i can even set a clock by it. my 5 year old nephew has terrible ones, he moves around the house screaming and throwing things. my sister just follows him and keeps him safe until he calms and then he goes right back to bed and doesn't remember a thing about it in the morning

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