Different from nightmares, night terrors can be a scary thing for everyone in the house. Use these tips to help console your little one when they strike.
As a parent, your first inclination is to protect your toddler from things that go
bump in the night. Unlike nightmares or scary dreams, though, night terrors follow a different set of rules.
In most cases, your toddler might fall asleep without a problem but wake up terrified within two hours. While she appears to be awake and upset, you’ll notice that she remains unresponsive.
The most important thing to do when it comes to night terrors in toddlers is to do your best at calming your child. In the middle of a night terror, a toddler may be inconsolable, so your main job will be to keep the lights dim and speak softly. Reassure her that you are there and that you aren’t going to let her get hurt.
Most night terrors in toddlers last from 10 to 30 minutes, at which point your child will probably settle down, go back to sleep, and not remember the incident in the morning.
Remember that for some toddlers, night terrors are brought on when they are too tired (just another reason everyone in your family should embrace naps!).
It’s important to keep a regular sleep routine, especially in young children. If you have established a regular bedtime with your toddler and she continues to suffer from night terrors, try putting her to bed around 30 minutes earlier and see if that helps.
No matter what form the night terrors take, rest assured that they will naturally disappear with age. In no time, your toddler will be back to getting a full, restful night’s sleep.