Our almost 3 year old was awakened out of a deep sleep by our cat scratching at her bed. she woke up screaming, telling us there were monsters under her blanket. sounds funny, but she was completely undone, shaking and screaming for 45 minutes. she cowered in the corner of our bed, staring out the door, waiting for the monster to come again. she did not fall asleep again.
we explained about the cat and that there are no monsters, etc. she seemed fine when i dropped her off at the babysitter's and also seemed to understand that it was the cat.
BUT, last night, she WOULD NOT get in her bed. she stood next to it, sobbing, telling us she wasn't tired and that she didn't like her bed. she finally fell asleep in my husband's arms but woke repeatedly throughout the night, again crying and not wanting to be in the bed. (she also didn't want to sleep in our bed, or anywhere else. she never falls asleep alone, btw.) we finally got her to stay in the bed by giving her a pillow to perch upon and with no blanket.
and, tonight, my stepmother was buckling her into the car, and she told her that there are monsters in her bed. my stepmother assured her that they were gone, to which she answered, "They'll be back."
SO, what can we do to help her with her terror? it's very real to her, clearly. we're all exhausted!