Why Babies Have Night Terrors & How to Stop?

Why Babies Have Night Terrors

Many parents have seen their babies crying while sleeping.

This is because of the night terrors in babies. If you know why babies have night terrors and how to stop them, then you can make your little one comfortable while sleeping.

Why Do Some Babies Have Night Terrors?

These are the mysterious glitches.

Night terrors are too scary, and they can be more terrific when you don’t know how to deal with them.

They are also referred to as the sleep terrors.

This sleep disruption situation is quite similar to nightmares.

It is abnormal behavior for the baby’s nervous system.

Some factors that are supposed to be a cause for the night terrors are:

  • Stress
  • Fever or illness
  • Breathing issues in sleep
  • Routine direction
  • Being sleep deprived or overtired
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Medications affecting brains

You can prevent such symptoms in your child by solving his sleep problems.

Night Terrors in Babies Symptoms

Some of the systems that will let you know that your baby is going through a night terror are:

  • The child will suddenly sit on the bed
  • He might start to be screaming or shout out
  • He will be sweating
  • The child will be scared
  • He will act upset and might also thrash around
  • An increase in heart and breathing rate.
  • The baby will be terrified. He might also have a glassy-eyed look.

The babies calm down after a few minutes and return to sleep.

Such night terrors don’t leave any mental images to recall as the babies were in deep sleep when those episodes happened.

What Causes Night Terrors in Toddlers?

The most common cause of such situations is the lack of quality sleep. Certain medications and illness can also result in night terrors in babies.

Your baby might get night terrors if anyone else in the family experiences them too, i.e., they can be due to genetics.

How to Stop Night Terrors in Babies?

It is recommended not to wake up babies during the night terror. This will make much harder for them to sleep again. You need to assure them that they are safe during the night terrors.

During a night terror, tell them in a soothing voice that they are safe.
Also, hold them until this terrible situation is over.

Sometimes the little one might sleepwalk or bang his face against the crib.

You can reduce the risk of this terrific condition for your child by following these steps.

  1. Don’t wake up the baby during a night terror. The baby is disoriented and gets much confused when you wake him up.
    Thus it is better to leave him asleep as the situation will pass and the baby won’t remember anything about it.
  2. Make sure your baby sleeps following a regular bedtime routine. Also, don’t let the baby stay awake late at night.
  3. If your little one is facing any stress, try to reduce it.
  4. Make sure they are not overtired.
  5. If the baby is having night terrors at any particular time of night regularly, then wake up the infant 15-30 minutes before that time and then make him asleep again after some time.
  6. Also, follow the regular bedtime routine during traveling too.

If the situation becomes quite worst and it interferes with the baby’s rest, impacts the little one’s life or lasts for a longer time (more than 30 minutes), then do consult the pediatricians.

You can make a sleep diary.

This will help you note down the behavior patterns and the nighttime awakening of your baby. Then you can give these notes to the doctors to let him know about your infant’s situation.

This way, you can offer the doctor a better and clearer clinal picture of the problem.

Most of the time, the doctor recommends sleep to the child. He can also ask you to take your child to a sleep specialist.

Night Terrors vs. Nightmares

These two terms are a bit different.

The nightmare occurs during the rapid eye movement sleep. In contrast, the night terrors happen during the non-rapid eye movement sleep.

This is the non-dreaming situation.

Children keep sleeping during the night terrors while they usually get terrified and wake up after the nightmare.

Also, the nightmare occurs during the second half of the night. This is the time when the child is dreaming.

On the other hand, nightmares occur in the first hours of sleep. This is the time went the child is sleeping deeply.

The night terrors stretch from 10-30 minutes while the nightmares occur for few minutes.

A nightmare doesn’t make the toddler do sleepwalk, but the night terror can.

The baby remembers the complete episode or some part of the nightmare but does not remember about the night terror.

Night Terrors Treatment

Your doctor might have a multi-faceted approach while curing the night terrors in your baby

Some of the steps to treat this terrible condition are:

Fundamental Cause

Stressful events can be due to nervous triggers. Therefore the doctor will first ask you about the baby’s daily routine to find out any stressful event.


Relaxation therapy will help the baby sleep better.
Socializing the baby and playing with him will keep the baby distracted and make his mind busy.


During the worst conditions, and the doctor will prescribe some medicines.

Sleep-inducing medications are not suitable for young babies. Therefore, the doctor will prescribe a medicine to boost the excellent mood of the baby by which he will have positive mental health.

Final World

The infant will be in panic while being in the condition of night terror. Also, your child, won’t respond to you if you try to comfort him during such a situation as he will be in a deep sleep.

Night terrors in babies make them get agitated during deep sleep. This is a much disturbing condition for the babies.

Such terrific situations happen suddenly, and if you know why babies have night terrors and how to stop night terrors in babies, then you can help your child come out of the situation and have a comfortable sleep.

Check out How To Get a Toddler To Stop Screaming?

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