Many a times, it so happens that toddlers wake up from a peaceful sleep, screaming, crying and distressed. Even though you calm the baby down and put him/her back to sleep, you cannot help but think and try to find out what is bothering your child that he/she is won’t get a good night’s sleep. More often than not, it is nothing but the problem of night terrors. Night terrors are different from nightmare. The basic difference between nightmare and night terror is that the former happens when the body is preparing to sleep and the latter happens in deep sleep.
Problem of Night Fears
Almost 5% of toddlers get up screaming, crying, whimpering or even jolting right out of the bed due to night fear or night terror. Sometimes, it so happens that the toddler has his eyes wide open, but not realize that you are standing in front him. Often, after the night terror, the toddler might soundly go off to sleep as if nothing happened. In a nightmare, the child realizes that he has had a bad dream. Though night terrors are harmless and fade away with age, many parents get immensely worried about the well-being of their child. You need to keep a constant watch over the child and see that they don’t hurt themselves.
How to Deal with Night Terror
You need to remember that you may face some hostility and not really be able to calm down the toddler immediately. This is mainly because the child is in a state of partial sleep. He is neither awake nor asleep. That is why your presence doesn’t register in his mind. Even though his eyes may be open, he cannot really see you. Your natural instinct will be the most helpful in dealing with night terror. Just pick up your toddler and soothe him down, hugging him in your arms.
If he turns hostile, put him down close tot you and don’t try to shake him off that state or speak to him. Within 10-20 minutes, your baby will automatically calm down, curl and go to sleep. If you notice a set time or pattern of night terrors, you can gently wake up your child after a sleep of a couple of hours, just before the night terror sets in. This should alter his sleep patterns and help him pass through it without any glitches.