Many parents have had to deal with the terrible night terrors with their precious little ones at one point. You never know when the bad dreams will strike and you can feel helpless trying to console your child trying to convince them what they dreamed about isn’t real. We want to protect our most precious little people from everything but that’s hard to do when it is in their own mind.
If your child starts experiencing bad dreams, the first thing you should ask yourself is why. Bad dreams can appear for a variety of reasons such as change in school, home or something that they may have saw. The best way to help your child is ask them about their dream and talk about it. This may be hard to do at 3 in the morning, but it is very important to try and figure out the root of the nightmare.
Take in their sleeping environment into consideration. Maybe there is something in their room that is unsettling to them. It could be something as easily as a certain stuffed animal making creepy shadows at night or there is a scary corner that a chest of drawers would solve that problem. You may also consider putting in a night light if they are scared to go to bed in a dark black room.
It can also be the transition to bed that could be the catalyst to their bad dreams. All parents are counting down to bed time so that they can have some precious time to themselves but if you are hurrying your little ones to bed, this may not be helping them with their nightmares. Take the time to establish a calming bedtime routine. This can involve some quiet, wind down time which can include reading, a lullaby or a nice warm bath. You may even want to play some relaxing music while they drift off to sleep.
Sometimes a few props can go a long way to help with the bad dreams and can help them feel safe. One fun prop is giving them “Monster Spray.” They can spray the areas in which they think these monsters are lurking before they go to bed to make sure that they stay away. Take note of where they are consistently spraying. This can give you a clue as to what they find so scary such as strange shadows or a toy that is scary in the dark. This can alert you for an easy fix. Dream catchers are also great prop. You can hang them from above your bed and let them know that that it will help catch the bad dreams. This will help your little one fall asleep without the worry.
Always remember to listen, stay calm and be consistent in routine for bedtime to keep the bad dreams at bay. Be aware that any change in their life can bring on a few bad dreams. As a parent, the best we can do assure them it was only a dream and that we will always be there to protect them.