Night Terrors In Children

When I became pregnant with my third child, I felt totally prepared. When I found I was having a boy after two girls, I was ecstatic. When my water broke at 6:30 AM and I delivered Henry at 9:57 AM, I knew I had given birth to someone special. Truer thoughts were never had as we would find out almost 3 years down the road. When Henry began crying every 1-2 hours, initially we were sure it was just him being hungry. No matter how often we fed him or what we fed him, he would still cry. As he got older, he slept a bit longer but when he woke, it was different. He would suddenly bolt upright in bed, crying and screaming this pitiful scream. His eyes would be open but he was looking right through you. It was like he was somewhere between a wakeful state and being asleep. We would soon learn he had night terrors, something we knew nothing about. If this sounds familiar, these tips may be helpful to you.

What You Need To Know About Night Terrors In Children

What You Need To Know About Night Terrors In Children

  1. Nightmare or Night Terror? With a nightmare, your child truly awake, can remember her dream and is able to be comforted. With a night terror, your child does remember, is not awake and is often inconsolable.
  2. What Should I Do? Do not try and wake or comfort your child. This can actually make things worse. Because kids with night terrors can sleepwalk, take precautions to keep them safe. Clear the floor, have a gate at the top of the stairs and make sure door and windows are locked.
  3. What Are the Causes? No one really knows where night terrors comes from. It is suspected they stem from stress or illness, change in routines or their lack of sleep. We found kids with autism, which Henry was diagnosed with when he was 4, tend to have night terrors.
  4. Can They Be Prevented? Studies show night terrors may not be preventable but you can take measures to ease them. Keeping a regular nighttime routine, no caffeine, and providing a comfort object can be helpful. Henry seemed to sleep better when he had a favorite plush or toy to sleep with.

What we learned from Henry’s night terrors, we knew when they happened, we had to ride the storm out. We also found that we could lessen how severe they were if we stuck to our routine, cut out a lot of the sugar in his diet and sent him to bed with his favorite “huggy”, which is what he would call his plush toys. What we were not prepared for was how long his night terrors and sleep issues would last. His terrors lasted well past is 6th birthday and he slept with me until he was almost 10. Even at 13, he still has trouble sleeping, often getting his nights and days confused and he still sleeps with a favorite huggable toy.

With the innovative and completely adorable PillowPals, you can get a custom made “huggy” for your little one. Henry not only takes his to bed, but he sets “Floppy” next to him when he is gaming, takes him to the dinner table and has taken him out shopping with us! So, the PillowPals concept is really cool. You create a drawing, painting, or photo and send it over to the Pillowpals crew. They will then take your picture and create a completely lovable and huggable PillowPals which is totally unique to your child. How cool is that? The price is $68, you can add up to 15 characters to your PillowPals and the process takes between 5-8 weeks.

GetPillowPals believes in giving back to society in any manner they can. They are developing ideas to help sponsor PillowPals to children in need or in unhappy circumstances who could best benefit from a special plush toy to bring them comfort. If you would like to sponsor a child with a PillowPal, they would love to hear from you at In the meantime, GetPillowPals is donating $1 from every order to the The Dana-Farber Cancer Center at BostonChildren’s Hospital. Please follow PillowPals on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. One USA reader will win a custom made PillowPals ARV $68.