Night terrors in 2 year old?
By - emilyp2b
My 2 year old has night terrors. He wakes up, usually after sleeping for about 2 hours or so, completely freaking out. He seems almost awake. He throws, kicks, cries, thrashes, and even tries to walk sometimes. He is absolutely inconsolable. If you try to wake him up by comforting or distracting him it takes at least 20 minutes before he's calm. It's better to just keep him physically safe so he doesn't hurt himself, but try to get him back to sleep. It's not recommended to turn on lights, ask questions, or anything stimulating like that. The only thing we've found that triggers it is if he gets overly tired or there's a big change like we're on a trip or have a house guest.
Thank you for your input. I did read about how you should act when your child is having a night terror and feel bad that it wasn’t what I was doing, but I really had no idea he was even dreaming at all, let alone having nightmares or night terrors. We have made some big changes recently with a move but he hasn’t had one of the kicking episodes in a month or so I would say. Now that I’m more aware I’ll try to start tracking things that happen, although I work night shift now so actually that may not work.
Hopefully they get less frequent as your child adjusts. My boy has spells, so he'll have them 6 days in a month then not have them again for 6 months. I forgot to mention that nightmares and night terrors are very different, but it's possible to have both at different times. Your child absolutely won't remember a night terror, it happens in the stage of sleep when their mind is mostly shut down but their body is active, where nightmares happen in the opposite state. Try not to feel guilty about what you did or didn't do, your kid won't remember and it's scary to see them so upset like that.
My 2.5 year old gets them sometimes, and his dad did too. It’s different from when he normally wakes up in the middle of the night; instead of just fussing, he’ll be outright screaming, and it takes a long time to calm him down no matter what we do. When he does that we usually just take him to bed with us until he falls back to sleep.
My daughter started getting night terrors around 2 yrs old. They lasted for about a month. I’ve read it’s common at this age and it’s one of those things that will pass. She never showed obvious signs of being afraid of the dark though. Just the crying and whimpering in the middle of the night.
Usually true night terrors will come around the same time. Try tracking them for a little bit and if they are happening at 11 for example, wake him up at 10:30 or 10:45 for a couple minutes. Nothing super stimulating just enough to interrupt that sleep cycle and he can go back to sleep. The good news is they don’t remember them but they are hard to watch. Even if they are crying and screaming they are still asleep and aren’t aware of what’s going on. I get them and my daughter has them. For me they seem to get worse when I’m stressed out so also pay attention to what his day was like before he has the dream. Did anything upset him or did he not get a long enough nap, etc. My daughter’s seem to be related to not getting enough sleep the day before. She’s is also afraid of the dark and it started after we watched monsters inc. She loved the movie but it really stuck with her 😥