Sunday, October 02, 2005

Night Scares and Nightmares

Another part of toddler-ism is getting used to a full night of sleep, which can be easily disturbed by a night scare or a nightmare, two VERY different things.

For a few nights, Iman has had night scares. In the dead of night, while she was sleeping, Iman started crying. Not just "sniff sniff" but full fledge CRYING. Trying to do the right thing, I went and picked her up from her crib to comfort her, and she fought her way down (sleeping all the while) and when a set her on the bed and tried to hug or hold her, she pushed me and my hand away. Since I found all this really confusing, I went to my trusted website and looked up the problem and found my answers...

So I am here to enlighten you with the difference between the two. Night scares (also called night terrors) occur when the baby is sleeping. Since she is asleep, if you try to hold her and comfort her, she gets even MORE scared, meaning... she's dreaming of a monster, and then some hands come and grab her and try to pick her up. In her dream, she doesn't know that it's me, so she thinks the monster is grabbing her and picking her up and it scares her even more.

Result: If your baby is having a "night scare" let her be. She'll scream it out and then continue sleeping. DO NOT attempt to pick her up or hold her, it might cause her to get even more scared.

Nightmare, is (as we all know) a bad dream. In this case your child will wake up crying or visibly upset. You should go to her, hug and comfort her, and if your toddler can talk, ask them what happened and then help them resolve the issue, for example "there is a monster under my bed", show her the space under her bed so she can be assured that there are no monsters.

Result: A nightmare must be comforted. It is your responsibiltiy to resolve it and assure your child that she is safe.

Now that you are all a little more wiser, you can thank me when your toddler cries in the middle of th night and you can tell the difference between a night scare and a nightmare (NOTE: child may also wake up sick or cold or hot or feverish or hungry, etc. then the above information does not apply). Whoever thought parenting was easy... think again.

5 Comments:

At 8:57 PM, Anonymous D said...

Don't really know how to respond to this entry... but I thought I'd better post some kind of reply to show I've read it.

 
At 9:00 PM, Anonymous D said...

Oh, just thought of something marginally more intelligent to write.

Did you know that here in the UK, many people believe that if you have some cheese in your evening meal, you'll end up getting nightmares that night.

Actually, I take it back: the above isn't even marginally more intelligent...

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger Hina said...

It wasn't an "intelligence provoking" entry. Just a little more knowledge to add to your existing pool.

Next time someone mentions something about their toddler crying in the middle of the night, maybe you can show them the right direction... :)

 
At 12:35 AM, Blogger Smoky said...

I had pizza for dinner... I'm screwed.

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous D said...

And in Iran, I seem to remember the way to stop kids from playing with matches was to tell them they would end up wetting the bed if they didn't put the matches down.

Which has NOTHING to do with the original post...

 

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