Nightmares can start to develop after the 17 month psycho-social leap.
A well slept child typically has fewer nightmares than an overtired child. So - if you're experiencing more than normal, know that increasing sleep time can decrease these uncomfortable events!
Nightmares can also come up as a response to a scary or traumatic event. Providing lots of love and support can help a child make sense of a new reality.
Once they do pop up, here are my best tips:
- Put a nightlight in the room (orange, yellow, or red light) behind a piece of furniture.
- Respond in a loving and caring way - to teach your child the soothing things they be able to tell themselves in the future without your help.
- Decrease stressful and arousing activities before bed like scary tv shows, movies, or video games.
- Teach your child some soothing breathing techniques so that once they have calmed down, they can use some breathing to calm their nervous system.
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