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I think my daughter is having night terrors.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by mbelue, Mar 29, 2013.


  1. mbelue

    mbelue

    Dec 11, 2010
    First I have to say I know nothing about this, just what I have read on the web, and I you know how that goes.

    My daughter is right about 22 months old and is waking up a couple times a week screaming, crying, and is nearly inconsolable for several minutes. This is a different sort of behavior than her normal middle of the night and" where is Mama and Papa" wake up. She doesn't seem to recognize me or my wife and will wail/swing her arms erratically. Seems to work best to try and wake her up completely to get her to calm down. You have to raise your voice, turn on lights etc to even get her attention. Once you do get her attention she often settles down rather quick and falls back asleep.
    This is vastly different than a normal night where she cries alittle and will calm down almost immediately when her mother or I walk in the room. On these occasions she seems to take much longer to get back to sleep. Almost like falling asleep for the first time.
    I don't remember having night terrors myself but I am prone to odd behavior in my sleep. I'll carry on conversations in my asleep that my wife says are odd and nonsensical or out of character for me. There are other weird behaviors but suffice it to say I don't really asleep like normal.
    Are sleep disorders even hereditary?
    Regardless of why it happens, I'm heartbroken everytime it happens and I feel helpless to resolve it. Anyone else have experience dealing with this behavior in their kids?
     
  2. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    My daughter had these when she was about 6. It was terrifying. We thought she was in pain or having seizures. She would scream so loud we worried neighbors would think she was being abused. But she would eventually go to sleep peacefully and never remember it. After a while (a few months as I remember) they stopped. I think it's a developmental stage some kids go through. I don't think there is anything you can do about them, but as far as I know, they are not harmful or indicative of other problems even though they are quite alarming.
     
  3. NG51

    NG51 Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Oakland,CA
    This was my experience with my son,too- although my son was younger- about the age of your daughter. It is a truly terrifying thing-more for the parent than the kid, I think. I have three kids, and he was the only one to have it. As I recall, the way it was explained to me was that they think it has something do do with a developmental stage the brain goes through. It does go away, and my understanding is that there is no harm done-except maybe to the nerves of the parents. Reading your post brought back to me how scary that was- and that was almost 28 years ago. Hang in there, and try to stay calm when it happens. my son certainly had no long-term ill effects from it.
     
  4. minutes. you're lucky. my older son would be awake for hours
     
  5. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas El Duderino Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    mbelue, tried to send you a PM and couldn't due to too many messages in your inbox.
     
  6. mbelue

    mbelue

    Dec 11, 2010
    By all means try again. I've made some space.
     
  7. madurolover

    madurolover

    May 21, 2011
    Tampa Fl
    My daughter had it when she was 3, she was adopted from foster care and had several episodes. I spent many night sleeping on the couch outside her room to calm her down and assure her everything was ok. She is 16 now and all of that is over. Just comfort and knowing she is safe is all that I did.
     
  8. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas El Duderino Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    Still couldn't.
     
  9. Casting Thunder

    Casting Thunder

    Oct 7, 2012
    I suggest bringing this up to her doctor next time you have an appointment.
     
  10. mbelue

    mbelue

    Dec 11, 2010
    Thanks for the support folks. Being a new father I could use the advice.
    It will definitely be brought up at her next checkup(2 year?). Am I supposed to try and wake her up, or just let it go?
    Also of note even well meaning comments about the"state of my soul" aren't really necessary, but thanks for the concern. :)
     
  11. Casting Thunder

    Casting Thunder

    Oct 7, 2012
    If it's a true night terror she won't remember any of it once she's awake. It depends on which method will make her go back to sleep faster, if waking her doesn't mess with her falling back asleep I'd do that.
     
  12. mbelue

    mbelue

    Dec 11, 2010
    I don't know if it is truly or not, trying to learn. Thanks for the insight. Been trying to pay attention to what works best, its just easy to get concerned and not remember details.
     
  13. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Videotape a full episode. Show it to your daughter's doctor. It will aid in diagnosis.
     
  14. Casting Thunder

    Casting Thunder

    Oct 7, 2012
    My knowledge of this subject just comes from a couple of undergrad psych classes (including child psych) and was only talked about with children age four years and older. If I remember correctly (and that class was four years ago so please take this advice with a grain of salt) as long as she isn't suddenly wetting the bed after being 100% potty trained, don't be worried.
     
  15. mbelue

    mbelue

    Dec 11, 2010
    Yeah, potty training that's next, just can't wait.
    Video tape, check. Thankfully it doesn't happen every night, so this might take some time. Still when it does happen its nearly always ~5 hours after we lay her down. So timing will be easy.
     
  16. Flowdopin

    Flowdopin

    Dec 10, 2009
    Hudson WI
    That's interesting, my first daughter had these really really intense wakings at night, and it was directly related to peeing. As soon as we could convince her to take down her pants and sit on the toilet, she would pee and calm down. Sometimes we couldn't convince her, and she would pee her pants, then calm down...

    Man those where trying times! Stay with it bro, it will pass.
     
  17. mbelue

    mbelue

    Dec 11, 2010
    The correlation with potty training IS interesting. Most people we've talked to have said the child is ready when they wake up in the morning with dry diapers. She is almost there. I'll have to make note of that too on her bad nights.
     
  18. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    It's terrifying and heartbreaking for you I'm sure and I can relate. My 7 yr old daughter gets them too. I'm a heavy sleeper, but the second I hear her scream I shoot out of bed like a rocket and run to her room. She calms down after a moment, falls right back asleep and has no memory of the events.

    Sorry I don't have any advice; just sayin' I empathize with you. Best wishes.
     
  19. Alot of adults have night terrors as well as children/young people. My GF included (she's 28) Alot of the episodes are similar to what other people describe. Really scary stuff. I always try to comfort her and wasn't sure if it was just bad dreams, untill I researched into it. One night she woke up screaming, and I shot up in bed and could actually see the electricity in the room, still gives me chills. You can psychoanalysis this kinda stuff all you want, and religion may help some, but I believe some humans are more open or susceptible to paranormal occurrences than others. I urge you to setup a camera w/audio every night maybe there is some kind of precursor to the events? Humans normally would favor a scientific explanation, or to pass it off as stage in "growing up" or some other "safe" explanation. No one wants to admit there is things around us everyday that science will never be able to explain. That there might be a spiritual presence around us that we do not control. Ghosts, Angels, Fairies, Aliens who wants to admit that we might be living next to these things everyday? Just know whatever is happening, it is very real. And that a humans soul in a living body is more powerful than a spirit without a body. Try to fill your house with love (not that you don't) realize that fear of the unknown is normal. The hardest part is feeling helpless to remedy someone you love of this kind of thing. Whatever route you go, realize that just by trying to help, you are in the right, by way of your love, you are working with the tools of light and good.


    Peace be with you and your family.
     
  20. johnson79

    johnson79

    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    My daughter had this a handful of times. Just shrieking in the middle of the night. It didn't happen enough to be a concern. Good luck, it will probably go away.
     

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