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Baby With Night Terror

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me: Night Terrors

I'd heard horror stories about babies who were light sleepers, kids who slept walked, and nocturnal tots, but nothing prepares a mom to be jolted awake by a blood curdling scream.

In the past few months, my son's guttural wail occasionally sounds and there's no getting used to it.

It began when he was around eight months-old and started eating a larger variety of foods, so I worried he had an allergy, stomach problem or something of that nature. Since he appeared to be in excruciating pain with tears streaming down his face, I took him to the pediatrician. To find out what the problem was,


After our concerned doctor ran a series of tests to be cautious, they came up clear so we chalked it up to a belly bug. But the night episodes continued, so I again consulted the physician and explained what kept happening.

Instead of sleeping through the night, my normally happy-go-lucky lil guy flails in his crib, sometimes bolts up right and shakes. It can take a good half hour to console him back into a sound slumber. Yet in the morning, he wakes up all smiles and raring to go. The doctor's diagnosis was night terrors.

I'm relieved my tot is alright, but there's nothing more unsettling than knowing my son is scared in his sleep.

Does anyone else have a child who experiences night terrors?


Join The Conversation
Renee2942083 Renee2942083 5 years
my 19 month old son is going through the same thing i dont know what to do he gets up 3 times a night i rock him back to sleep
nevadamtnbear nevadamtnbear 8 years
Ugh, our son had night terrors. We travel a ton, and one night while staying in a motel, the cops show up one night after an episode. After that we started traveling with literature from our pediatrician about night terrors. By the grace of God, he's grown out of them now at 4.5.
tracy123 tracy123 9 years
My daughter is now 9 months and has been having night terrors for about 3 months now. It is the saddest thing to know that there is absolutely nothing that io can do for her. When she has the she will sit there and scream and shake with huge tears streaming down her face, and there is nothing that you can do, i was told that it is just a phase that every child goes through, but at this age i do not understand what they would be so afraid of. I dont even think that infants can dream. I was told to try my daughter on a glueten-free diet and see what happens from there, she has been on the diet for about a week now and her night terrors are not nearly as bad as they were. You should take it into consideration, your childs body might be having an adverse reaction to the gluten un his diet.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
That must be heart-wrenching to go through. When I was little, up until I was about 8 or so, I used to unconsciously bang my head violently against the wall as I slept, to the point where my parents had to pad the wall by my bed--is that related to this?
gorgor gorgor 9 years
My son sleep walks and has night terrors. THere are many kinds of these type of night terrors, some children actually wake up and do not even know who their parents are. First of all, it is not a sign of mental illness. Secondly, you are not alone. There are boards that you can go on. My son has nearly run into a glass door. There is no "cure" that seems to be found. But there is support. If you want to talk, I can talk to you privately.
adrilenee adrilenee 9 years
I struggled with night terrors up until I was 17. My mom says they started when I was four or so; I would have them when I was stressed, lacking sleep, and especially when my father was out on training.. My freshman year of high school I ended up seeing the doctor for them again because they had become so regular that I was having difficultly going to school as I would wake up and be so shaken up that I just couldn't get back to sleep (thus stressing me out and causing me to lose sleep, thus making the episodes worse).. I ended up seeing a sleep specialist/therapist and she did all sorts of tests on me and officially diagnosed me with Night Terrors.. I was given prescription valium to take when I was extra stressed or after I had an episode, that way I could go back to sleep. It did help and eventually my episodes became fewer and farther apart until I just stopped having them.. It took several years of dealing with it and really accepting what it was before I could just calm myself down and get back to sleep. It's the strangest feeling waking up and being terrified yet not knowing or remembering what you were so afraid of..
Neural Neural 9 years
My daughter has certainly had screaming fits during the night but I never attributed it to night terrors. It could take up to an hour to soothe her but I always figured it was teething. I dunno.
macneil macneil 9 years
My 1 year old has started with these and had it last night - it was interesting, sorry about this, that when I went in and picked her up, she didn't wake, kept screaming, and then started farting madly. So maybe it does have something to do with diet/stomach feelings.
Aimeelo Aimeelo 9 years
I'm a nanny and my 5 year old used to have these. It is even more scary when it's not your kid and you feel like you just broke them in some way. Just like lickety split said he would see right through me. The doc said the best thing to do is to just put them back in bed and tell them to go back to sleep, because they really aren't aware that they are up
lafaveandrea lafaveandrea 9 years
Wow, I can't imagine what you must be going through. I have an 18 month old little boy and we went through this as well. At about 8 months old. He woke up in the night and the cry was very different than all the other crys. It is a heart wrenching scream that nothing seems to soothe. Luckily it only went on for about a week. What I ended up trying was keeping the connecting bathroom light on in his room. That seemed to work. Good Luck.... Keep us posted.
MamaBee MamaBee 9 years
My son has suffered from bouts of night terrors at key transition points: learning to walk, learning to talk - it's almost as if he's so consumed with what he is learning that it occupies and disrupts his sleep. Luckily, each stretch passed pretty quickly - within a week - but you're right; there is nothing that hollows you out quite like that scream and the inconsolable baby that utters it!
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
my daughter w/ autism had these. at about 3 1/2 she would wake up at exactly 3:00 a.m. and start screaming and running from the window to the door back and forth, wild eyed. she would look right through you, never left her room and the sound was like a tourture victim. started at about 45 minutes in length and w/i 4 months got to 7 hours (yes, i know)a night. finally 3 months after she turned 4 she started on risperdal (the one brits on, or was). after 1 dose, 1/4 ml she slept through the night and we never had another episode. but for months i would wake up at 3:00. i guess expecting her to wake up too.
Angelica Angelica 9 years
Oi gosh! I'm glad he's okay. That must have been terrifying for you too!
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