Braidy’s Night Terror


Has your child ever had a night terror? My four-year-old just had his first. Night terrors are different from nightmares. During a nightmare you can usually wake the child up and they can be calmed down and can resume sleeping, or your child has a nightmare and runs into your room to tell you about it and you are able to calm them down and get them back to bed. During a night terror, you usually can’t wake the child as they are actively in the middle of whatever it is they are afraid of.

I was getting ready to crawl into bed myself and was doing my usual bedtime routine when I heard Braidy screaming from the top bunk, “NO!!! STOP!”. I raced up the bunk steps to comfort him, and he arched his back as I lifted him into my arms and stared right through me with huge big fearful eyes, then at the top of his lungs screamed: “NO GET AWAY!”  I could tell he wasn’t awake…he wasn’t seeing me, because surely I would be a comforting face to him. He was looking through me at whatever in his dream had him so afraid. I gently laid him back down and laid right next to him on the bed. He calmed down for about 30 seconds until he threw the covers off again and screamed “NO!” directly at the ceiling. His eyes were wide and dilated and all I saw was fear pulsing through his little body. I got scared for him and ran to get my husband who was able to wake him a little. He grabbed him from the top bunk and walked out of the bedroom. As he did that we realized, he still hadn’t woken up, “He screamed “NOOO STOP!”, back into the bedroom.

Scott and I had never seen anything like this before and didn’t realize then the difference between night terrors and nightmares and that you handle them differently. I think it was still a good idea to remove him from the top bunk so he didn’t hurt himself, but normally with night terrors, you patiently wait it out. Have you ever witnessed a night terror? What was your experience with them? 

About Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

Heartfully Heather


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Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

28 thoughts on “Braidy’s Night Terror

  1. Yes, we’ve experienced night terrors. My older child experienced a bunch of them about 6 months ago (when she was about 4.5 years old). It was definitely scary for all of us. Luckily, it was mostly a phase and it hasn’t been an ongoing problem. Hope it’s not an ongoing problem for you either!

    1. Thanks Jen. It looks like it was just that one time, and since its summer time, we haven’t been on a strict bedtime routine, so I think he was overly tired and that contributed to the night terror.

  2. My oldest daughter had night terrors until she was 12. You talk about something frightening. She would sit straight up in bed and scream, when we would run in her room we would have to literally shake her out of her terror. I am so glad she does not experience these any longer.

  3. A couple of my kiddos have experienced night terrors at one time or another… Not a fun experience for anyone, luckily we got past it quickly with them all.

  4. I don’t believe that I have but how scary it must of been for you to watch. I hope things get better for the little guy.

  5. My first born had bad night terrors for years, then she got her tonsils and adenoids out. I guess her adenoids were the size of a 26 year old and she was only 6. This was causing sleep apnea, which led to night terrors 🙁

  6. yes, my daughter had night terrors until she was about 4. she hasn’t had one in over 2 years, thank God. it is very distressing, especially the very first time. as a parent it is crazy hard to not hold your child when they are clearly beyond scared.

  7. 2 of my 4 boys had night terrors. The first time it happened we were quite distraught and didn’t know what to do. The upside is that unlike a nightmare, they usually had no memory of anything.

  8. I have to admit that I have not seen this in my kids when they were little but I do know I used to have them. My first one was at three my mom and dad said. It is a scary thing for a parent to witness for sure. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  9. My kids have never had terrors of sorts but they have yelled out in the middle of the night before. It can be disturbing because you don’t know if they are awake or asleep.

  10. I’ve never witnessed a night terror but I can imagine it is a frightful experience. I think you did the right thing by bringing him down to the bottom bunk, just in case.

  11. The thought of kids having a night terror really scare me! That was such a terrifying experience. I’ve never experienced anything like it with my kids and I really hope I don’t encounter it any time soon.

  12. Awww bless his little heart. I’ve never experienced night terror before and have only had one nightmare that I can recall. My son and DIL thought their son was having night terrors and nightmares or night terrors because they kept finding him on the floor when they’d go in to wake him but found out that he was having epileptic seizures.

  13. It must have been so frightening for you to witness but remember that the child will wake and have no memory of what happened, unlike nightmares. I had them until I hit puberty at 11 but other than my parents moving me to the bottom bunk (which I hated as I was the eldest!) they had no lasting effect at at all.

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