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Helping Your Toddler Avoid Nightmares

by T Akery | September 6th, 2012 | Infants/Toddlers

Sometimes, your toddler may experience nightmares. Those nightmares interrupt that good night’s sleep that you both need. They can lead to bad nights and cranky mornings. Helping your toddler deal with nightmares is crucial to having really good days with your toddler.

First, get your toddler checked out by your pediatrician. There maybe a medical reason for the nightmares especially recurring ones. Sleep apnea and enlarged tonsils may prevent your toddler from getting adequate rest. Most medical issues can be taken care of once a potential problem is found.

Look for triggers that may set off nightmares. Scary movies, scary stories, and pictures can create scary images in your toddler’s imagination. Because it is harder for a toddler to differentiate between imaginary and real, they may think these make-believe characters are real. If your toddler is exposed, then you need to discuss the difference between make believe and reality.

Make sure that your toddler has a comfort item handy such as a teddy bear or a blanket. A night light can take some of the edge off of a dark room. Just be careful of light up toys or singing toys that can cause extra stimulation. Avoid these types of toys if they keep your toddler awake.

Avoid the stimulation of extra sugar in juice or sweets at night. These type of simulations can prevent your toddler from settling down adequately into the sleep stage. This unrest can trigger nightmares.

Establish a bedtime routine. Familiarity helps reduce anxiety and stress in your toddler. Anxiety and stress trigger nightmares in adults and can cause them in your toddler. The routine is especially important after a stressful appointment at the doctor’s office or a rushed, hectic day.

Nightmares can come from a number of sources for your toddler. Check with your pediatrician to determine if there is a medical reason for the nightmares. Avoid scary things right before bedtime. Try to reduce stimulus before bedtime. Stick to your routine. These things will help reduce the likelihood that your toddler will wake you up in the middle of the night with a bad dream.

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