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Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help
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I am posting it here as I hope for more reasonable answers then at LR. My daughter is almost 3 yrs old and 1 to 3 times a night she wakes up absolutely screaming. Wife goes over to try to soot her (I tried but she goes even more hysterical and wants mommy) and she continues to cry and scream for another min or two, then settles down, wife stays with her for at least half an hour until she is asleep. Then she sleeps for few hours and starts again. Our other daughter never did this. It has been going on for some 3 months and is driving us crazy as we are always tired. She is scheduled to see her doc for regular checkup in about 2 months time where we will bring this up. Any personal experience with this? We thought few times to just let her cry it out but she goes so hysterical and distressed that it is really terrible to listen to. Any advice and help would be appreciated.
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Re: Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help [softrun] [ In reply to ]
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Holy crap, don't wait another two months to bring it up with her pede. This is seriously disrupting HER sleep as well as yours. Medical issues shouldn't wait for routine visits.

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Re: Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help [softrun] [ In reply to ]
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Is she awake when she’s screaming? When children have night terrors they’re usually not awake but more in a trance and you’re not supposed to wake them.

Is your daughter able to communicate why she’s crying? Our almost three year old starting screaming at night a few months ago only we were unable to calm her and could only wait until she sorted it out. She did it every night for almost a week then suddenly stopped.

Is it possible that she’s doing it now out of habit? Three months is a long time to have nightmares.
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Re: Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help [softrun] [ In reply to ]
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Night terrors suck; kids usually grow out of them; some people have success reducing them in children by a) tracking when in the sleep cycle they tend to occur (great apps for this nowadays; I use one myself), b) once you have a sense of the pattern, waking the child 5 minutes before the target time for a bathroom break or just enough to disrupt and reset the sleep cycle. Talk to the pediatrician, and try to stay calm when it happens. Let us know how it goes in the next few months.
Gee (PhD developmental psych)
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Re: Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help [softrun] [ In reply to ]
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I'm a psychologist (although I don't work with small children) and agree with Dr. Cupcake that it would be a good idea if her pediatrician can see her sooner. My experience is most are willing to do so under these types of circumstances.
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Re: Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help [squid] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you all for the replies. Visit with dr. scheduled.
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Re: Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help [softrun] [ In reply to ]
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Couple of things, are they nightmares, or does she just wake up and get scared alone in the dark? My now 4 year old daughter did the same thing, but it was not nightmares, but just waking up and wanting mommy. In this case we just rode it out, as in let her kind of scream it out, while some comforting. What she wanted was to come sleep in mommy and daddy's bed, and I could tell a lot of the commotion was to get us to go along with that. If so, maybe night light, white noise, some comforting stuffies, a routine to go through when waking up that get her to think a tiny bit, rather than just get scared and emotional..

I agree it is difficult when kids are in a state, but sometimes I think it is best to let them just go through it as painless as possible. But dont really know if this is your situation or not, just my experience with a screaming young daughter that we are thankfully done with now, mostly...(-; Good luck, you are doing the right thing, ask a lot of people about their experiences, and talk to the docs that specialize in this stuff..
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Re: Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help [monty] [ In reply to ]
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She has nightlight, stuffies x 2 and white noise. We did try to let her cry herself out several times out but it would escalate to a point that she was going hysterical and distressed, we could tell it wasn't just ordinary loud cry.

Interesting thing is that at this time we were also potty training her at home and at the daycare. The daycare lady would give the kids few Skittle candies every time they ask to go to the potty. So one day she declared to us that she is now big girl and big girls don't wear diapers/ pullups :-). We agreed and told here that big girls also sleep through the night. She agreed and asked if she can get Skittle candies if she sleeps all night. Deal :-). She only woke up once that night, none the next, twice the night after but the settling was much easier and she went back to her crib with no fuss. We are on a good path now, often she settles herself back to sleep and if my wife goes over it is brief and much easier. And she is fully potty trained by day now.
Thanks for your input, have a Skittle candy handy :-)
Cheers...
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Re: Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help [softrun] [ In reply to ]
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Glad things are going better for you all!

This morning at work, I am reviewing a chapter in a college textbook and thought you would appreciate this question from the end-of-chapter quiz (slightly edited because google). I didn't write it -- my job is just to confirm it's accurate/realistic.

[Child's name] sits up in bed several times a week, shouting and crying as if she is terrified. Her mother takes her to the pediatrician, who suggests that she is experiencing night terrors. [Child's] father says, “this is probably just caused by nightmares. She’ll grow out of it!” Is the father correct?

;)
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Re: Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help [Gee] [ In reply to ]
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I don't know. From the limited amount of reading, night terrors happen several times a night, but they are not nightmares as in bed dreams. And the child will grow out of them.
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Re: Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help [softrun] [ In reply to ]
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It's a multiple choice question, and what you typed is almost exactly the answer keyed as correct. Nice job!
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Re: Night terrors with my 3 yrs old. Help [Gee] [ In reply to ]
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:-)
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