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So, DD#1 will be 2 at the end of May. My kids generally don't sleep (Especially naps). They just stay awake all day keeping each other awake. When we run errands in the car they will fall asleep, and sometimes I can get them to fall asleep on a walk home from the park. If they take an early afternoon nap, it usually lasts about 2 hours. If they don't fall asleep by 3pm, it's impossible to get them to sleep at night.<br><br>
We start the bedtime routine at 8:00pm, right after dinner, and it usually lasts until about 9:15. DD#1 usually falls asleep about 9:30... even if we finish the routine at 8:45. Then she wakes up by 7:30 begging for food. DD#1 sleeps on a crib mattress on the floor next to our bed. DD#2 sleeps in our bed.<br><br>
So, here's the current issue. DD#1 has recently started waking up around midnight... screaming. She screams for mommy, she screams for daddy, sometimes she'll take a drink of water, sometimes she won't, sometimes she wants to hold dolly, sometimes she doesn't. When we go to comfort her she just screams at us. Last night I tried holding her and rocking her to sleep, but she kept asking for her bed. When I put her down again, she screamed at me. I can't tell if she's even awake or not. She seems to respond to most of our questions (ie. she'll say "no" she doesn't want dolly, and "yes" she wants water, etc.), but she spends most of the time just screaming.<br><br>
Last night this uncontrolable screaming lasted from 11:30 until about 1:00. After that, she calmed down, but still had short outbursts until 2:00.<br><br>
So, is this a night terror? Is there any way to prevent this from happening? What's the best way to handle it? While she seems to communicate with us, nothing we do seems to help. Is it better for us just to leave her? I've always hated the "cry-it-out" methods, so I spent the entire time doing everything I could think of to calm her. Should I just leave her alone? Could this be something other than a night terror? I'm sure she's teething now too, would that cause something like this? I've asked her if her teeth hurt, or if she has an owiee, she always tells me no. But, I can't tell if she just doesn't understand me, or if she's not really awake enough to comprehend, or if she really isn't hurting.<br><br>
HELP!!!<br><br>
Emily
 

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Argh! I was hoping there'd be a reply to this! My four year old is going through something very similar except she does not even respond when we talk or hold her.
 

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DS had some nightmares a couple weeks ago and I came across some info on night terrors in my reading.<br><br>
Here's some info from Dr Sears on night terrors:<br><br><a href="http://www.askdrsears.com/faq/ci8.asp" target="_blank">http://www.askdrsears.com/faq/ci8.asp</a>
 

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I know that me, & my brother would both have these kind of "semi-awake" nightmares because we both are VERY sound sleepers and my daughter and son have had them a few times too. I don"t know if ours are the same as your's, but they sound similar. I still get them sometimes, and my husband has to calm me down. They are usually triggered by stress or changes like moving to a new house, having lots of people over, being really busy, frustrations during the day (like when my daughter doesn't get something she really wants, or when my brother had to eat carrots at dinner which he hates, or when I had to go to church choir with the director I can't stand), or slight pain during the night that isn't enough to wake us, but is enough to cause us to dream that something is happening. Like if dd is teething she might dream that someone is shoving something in her mouth, or that someone is knocking her teeth out. If she is a really hard sleeper like we are, then it can be nearly impossible to actually wake her up enough for her to realize on her own that she is ok. For us, we would respond to questions, open our eyes, walk around the house, tell stories, ask for things, even if we were still asleep. We aren't really responding to YOU though, just something in the dream and we don't really hear you or know what you are saying. Trying to pick her up could make it worse if she doesn't realize it's you, or perceives it as something else in her dream. If you ask her what's wrong and she won't tell you or just screams, then she probably isn't awake to hear you.<br>
So try this: After you have asked her "what's wrong?" and she doesn't say, just put your hand on her back or shoulder LIGHTLY and tell her "go back to sleep, you are having a bad dream, you are safe right here with mommy and daddy, and we are taking good care of you, everything is fine" or something like that. It might help to say it very calmly and close to her ear so she can feel your breath as you are talking and that sometimes helps to make the connection that this sound is coming from you and not something in a dream, without sending her off into panic so that she doesn't hear you. sometimes it takes doing this several times or very gently shaking a shoulder while you say it. She probably won't wake up for you at all, but will make the connection and calm down and go back to sleep.<br>
I know it sounds odd, but when you are asleep that soundly, sometimes gentle touches can wake you more easily whereas something more loud or dramatic will be automaticly incorporated into the dream and worsen it.<br>
Don't keep asking questions if she won't answer. Just TELL her what to do very calmly. Most sleepwalkers (which is basicly the same thing) will follow instructions for some reason even though they don't seem to understand much else you say. My brother would walk all over the place and would come downstairs and just start talking about the craziest things, and we would interrupt right in the middle and say "go back to bed steven, you are asleep" and he would stop in the middle of the sentence and turn and go right back to bed. But if we asked him "are you awake?" he would just keep on talking or shake his head or nod or just stare. Any other questions usually get the same kind of response.<br>
I honestly don't know if this will help, but it works for us.<br>
I also was reading the other day that babies who co-sleep actually wake up and go back to sleep more times per night than babies who sleep alone because of the movement of mom and dad in the bed. This can cause them to rouse themselves out of these really deep sleep patterns while they are sleeping with you (which is a good thing because we all need to know how to wake up once we are asleep). So if you have recently moved her out of your bed then she may be having trouble learning to find that "middle ground" so to speak without having you tossing and turning next to her to keep her from falling so very deeply asleep. I know that my dad, me and my bro were never co-sleeping babies and we have had problems with this our whole lives. My daughter and son were co-sleeping babies and they have had problems only right after I moved her into her own bed, and during times of lots of stress, but very rarely.<br><br>
forgot to add this: whatever you do, don't touch her arms or legs unless she is kicking or thrashing around violently and it is necessary to keep her from hurting herself or someone. This will almost always be felt as something trying to catch her, tie her up or the like. Touching the face is risky, but sometimes a hand on a cheek or forehead can be ok, your best bet is on the back or shoulder where they won't feel as threatened.
 
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