Have you noticed that your baby is restless during his sleep and you think they are nightmares? Don’t worry, children that young don’t have them . If you are agitated or restless in your sleep, it is not from a nightmare. It is that his nervous system is still somewhat immature in terms of sleep control and is evidenced by kicks, arm movements or small body shakes.
YOU SHOULD NOT LEAVE THE CHILD CRYING, YOU HAVE TO GO AND CALM HIM DOWN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
As parents it is normal to worry , but since you cannot avoid nightmares, since they are part of the development of the child’s personality and it is a form of accommodation to the world around him, the best advice would be for the parent to support you, listen your child actively when telling the nightmare and above all be attentive to the child’s experiences during the day: movies not suitable for children , scary news on TV , witnessing inappropriate scenes in their environment such as discussions or places that are not suitable for children and many other similar examples.
As the child grows and matures, the nightmares diminish . They are usually part of a stage of their growth and not all children suffer from it.
Sometimes if there is an important change in the child’s life (the birth of a brother, a change of address or school, the separation of his parents , the death of a close and loved family member …) it is likely that said change produces an inner restlessness that can manifest itself through the nightmare , or through stress, agitation, anxiety, or that we notice that it has become “more childish”, as if it had reversed its mental growth .
HOW TO DEAL WITH A NOCTURNAL EPISODE
In the middle of the night, if the child wakes up because of a nightmare, he will surely cry and call his parents insistently . It is better to go right away and calm him down than to wait a bit to see if he stops crying on his own. Most likely, he will not do it and the opposite will happen, that he will see unprotected, in the dark and alone, listening to his own voice, which will cause him to become more distressed. It will take time to get back to sleep and this situation will make you more uneasy. For this reason, experts recommend that you go immediately, calm them down and urge them to go back to sleep, under the clothing of their father or mother.
If we see that he is crying in his dreams, it is better not to wake him up , but to try to calm him through caresses and soft words. The next day you will try to remember with him what he dreamed of, thus looking for the reason for his concern, to make him see that it was only a dream and that he does not have to be afraid.
If the nightmares are frequent and have been repeated several times it is good to leave him asleep with a dim light on , or hugging his favorite stuffed animal. Take as a routine a small ritual of going to bed that gives you confidence and tranquility, such as reading a simple story without “monsters”, singing a little song, or putting your dolls to bed. That will make you forget a bit about what you might have latent in your head, and we will prevent you from thinking about it just before falling asleep.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NIGHT TERRORS AND NIGHTMARES
|Night time:||First hours||last hours|
|Ability to remember the dream:||Infrequent. It’s rare that he remembers what he dreamed of||Frequently and in detail|
|Movement of arms, legs or sweating:||Very frequent It is perceived that he is distressed.||Infrequent|
|If the child wakes up:||You feel confused.||It is oriented. Narrate the dream in detail|
Night terrors tend to be suffered by 3% of children, especially between the ages of 4 and 12, and normally disappear naturally in adolescence . The night terrors can be caused by episodes of fever , lack of sleep or drugs acting on the central nervous system.
WHAT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO DO WHEN THE CHILD SUFFERS FROM NIGHTMARES
After a nightmare episode, taking them to their parents’ bed is counterproductive, as is sleeping with them in their bed. It is best to remain calm and wait a bit with the child until he relaxes, then calmly put him back to bed as if nothing had happened.
If the child cries but has not woken up, do not do it. Stay quietly by his side, waiting to see if he calms down on his own, or increase the crying until he wakes up and then calm him down.