Is he having nightmares? The right attitude
Baby is terrified by a nightmare … How to react? Point out a few received ideas to better understand these bad dreams and help you adopt the right attitude with your toddler.
“Nightmares do not help.”
FALSE: Nightmares are very useful because they serve as an outlet and allow your child to evacuate the tensions, anxieties and negative emotions experienced during the day.
During sleep, the brain “digs” into the unconscious to recover what your child has buried in it and made nightmares for that matter. Is your toddler very jealous of his little sister? He dreams that an enormous spider devours it. Through this nightmare, he can express his hostility without feeling guilty and thus “cleanse” his head.
“Parents can take their child in bed to reassure him.”
FALSE: A little child from a nightmare sleep does not distinguish between reality and what he has just dreamed of. Hence his terror. It is therefore essential to reassure him by taking him in his arms. Moreover, mainly speaking to him: “This big spider does not exist in truth, it is you alone who invented this story.” Light the light to help him emerge from his bad dream, tell him something ‘pleasant to divert his mind from the memory of the nightmare.
On the other hand, it is not wise to take him in your bed: to find oneself with his parents, in a place that is not that of a small child, would only create confusion … therefore anxiety, and perhaps other nightmares!
You do not have to wake up a baby with a nightmare
Right: If he is terrorized, eyes wide open, but does not seem to hear, it is not a bad dream but a night terror. While the dream occurs during the second part of the evening, during the paradoxical sleep, the night terror arrives in the first section of the evening, during the slow deep sleep.
Do not do anything, except to watch that your child does not get hurt while fidgeting. There’s no point talking to him; he can not hear you, for he is asleep. The next day he will not remember anything. Some children never have nocturnal terrors; others have them when they are exhausted and sink into a somewhat too deep sleep.
Nightmares indicate a difficulty for your child
TRUE: If your child has more than one nightmare per week, a fortiori if he makes it every night, you can be sure that he is going through a difficult time: something in his life disrupts him. It is up to you to investigate to find out what, to find a solution.
The sources of nightmares in a toddler are numerous: the birth of a baby, a move, a quarrel with a boyfriend, a new nanny or a mistress who frightens him, tensions between his parents, a grandparent, etc.
Without trying to interpret absolutely the nightmares your child tells you, you can find clues: in very young children, the nightmares are much more transparent than in the older ones and adults.
You may also be interested in: 10 Tips to Help Baby Sleep