My 3 year old very rarely sleeps the whole night through, she usually wakes due to nightmares or night terrors. we have tried everything to give her a calm, quiet environment before bed. Limit TV, activity etc as well.. yet she still wakes. sometimes she goes back to sleep quickly if you hold her hand, other times it takes ages. Does anyone have any tips or advise on how w e can get her to sleep the whole night through?
we have tried night light both on and off, yet nothing stops her waking.

Posted anonymously, 8th May 2014

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  • First of all I would start with keeping a sleep diary and journal his exact sleep pattern for some months.
    Occasional sleep terrors aren’t usually a cause for concern. If your child has sleep terrors, you can simply mention them at a routine well-child exam. However, consult your doctor if sleep terrors:
    Become more frequent
    Routinely disrupt the sleep of the person with sleep terrors or other family members
    Lead to safety concerns or injury
    Result in daytime symptoms of excessive sleepiness or problems functioning
    Continue beyond the teen years or start in adulthood.
    A doctor can look to underlying causes, for example sleep apnea


  • my son did this at the age 3 and we eventually worked out his doona that had pirates on it was giving him night mares is there anything in the room that may be a factor ?


  • I think you need to figure if it is night terrors or just waking. Our two year old won’t sleep through as she is always hungry so she has a bottle or two and we have broken sleep. There is an interesting article on night terrors which might help http://www.bubhub.com.au/info/articles/toddler/how_to_stop_night_terrors.shtml


  • Are you 100% certain its from night terrors ??
    My son used to wake during the night and thats what we thought it was till one night i thought it was a little cold so put a extra blanket over him and put a vest on him and from that night he hasn’t woken once he goes to be about 8.30pm and wakes between 7.30am and 8am.
    I think if it were me and it was carrying on for longer than say 6 months i would be going to see my doctor as I’m sure all of your are getting very tired from such broken sleep.
    good luck hope you get it sorted soon.


  • I’ve heard a couple of good suggestions with night terrors. The first was to get a bottle of water with lavender in it and mark it “monster spray” so if she wakes up thinking something’s going to get her you can spray it around the room to get rid of the monsters. Also lavender helps to calm. The other tip that worked really well for us was to get rid of any stimulus in the room – toys, teddies, furniture etc and just keep one teddy for her to keep in bed and tell her that teddy will protect her.

    We only left our daughter’s bed, lounge chair, drawers and boxes that have toys in them (they close so she can’t open them) in her room and that seemed to do wonders. If that doesn’t help then I really don’t know. Good luck!


  • my Grandson is also 3 and he has taken to not sleeping in through the night and can wake more than once so every thing is child friendly in their house so there is nothing he can get into. They will wake and find him asleep on the lounge with a pillow and blanket or his bedroom floor again a sleep pillow and blanket they have even found him on the kitchen floor one hot night a sleep in front of the fridge with the door open. They have tried every thing but they are just learning to live with it and with hope he will eventually go back to normal sleeping


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