Is it possible for a 10 month old to have night terrors?


Is my 10-month-old too young for night terrors? I had them as a child, and my daughter seems to be exhibiting sleep disturbances that match the description – waking in the first half of the night with blood curdling screams, eyes wide open and body stiff as a board but completely asleep. Comforting doesn’t help one bit – she doesn’t even recognize I am there. She calms back down and falls right back to sleep after 5-15 min.

That does sound like a night terror. You typically wouldn’t see a formal diagnosis of night terrors at her age, but given your history I think it sounds likely. Night terrors are usually triggered by insufficient sleep, so you may want to try to increase your daughter’s sleep duration in order to make them go away. For example, put her down earlier than you normally do or do an intervention if needed to ensure she takes 1.5 hour naps. You might also want to keep a log to see if there is a threshold that triggers the night terror type waking. You may find that anytime she gets less than 3 hours of daytime sleep, then she’ll have a night terror. This can help you manage her sleep proactively and prepare for when they might come. There isn’t much to do about them when they come. Just stay nearby and make sure she is safe (not thrashing around and hurting herself). I hope that helps!

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