Baby and Toddler Sleep. Brisbane Sleep Specialist

Nightmare VS Night Terror

Ever wondered whether your little one is having a Nightmare or Night Terror?

A nightmare will happen usually between 3-5am your little one will wake calling for you if it's a toddler they can usually articulate what the nightmare was about but will also settle back to sleep really quickly with some reassurance from you and a cuddle.

A Night Terror will usually happen before midnight your little one may have a high pitched scream, thrashing in their bed or cot. This can be quite scary because when we rush into the room their eyes are closed and showing signs that no-one is home.

Our initial response at this point would be to pick them up, rouse them, or wake them BUT this can actually cause more harm than good similarly to sleepwalking.

If your little one is experiencing a Night Terror

1. Go into the room and ensure they are SAFE it might mean you make sure they don't fall out of their bed or it might be popping your hand in between the cot bars and their body to ensure they do not get hurt.

2. This terror will be over in no time and once they are calm and back to their next phase of sleep you can leave the room.

Top Tip; If your toddler is toilet trained make sure they have completely emptied their bladder before bed as there is a hormone that is linked to bladder control and Night Terrors.

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