My daughter is 2 years and 7 months old. Sometimes at night, she starts crying badly during sleep and wakes up, but does not stop crying. She calls me mama mama and when I hold her she never stops crying as if she had severe pain in her body. Then she wants to go to her father, but doesn't stop crying.

We offer many things, but she does not want to take anything at that time. We ask about pain, but she doesn't reply, just cries badly. We ask her if she was scared? But she doesn't respond. After 15 to 30 mins or more she stops by herself and sleeps. It happens almost every month. I am worried about her.

Is this normal or not?


First ask the grandparents. This can often run in families. It runs in mine. I will give a link that gives a little information but also a link to "wakening therapy" and that may be of help if they become a more regular occurrence.

With my own children they were never frequent enough to warrant an intervention. The best approach in many cases is simply to encourage the child or person to lay back down. Any interacting you do can be interpreted as anything (even as threatening) during the night terror episode as you can't know what the dreaming person sees. This why you can even have a child screaming for their mother while their mother is trying to hold them & the child is fighting back. So be as soothing as possible, do not touch the child if you don't have to, etc. My mother had 5 kids, all of us did this. So far only one of my children have had it, but I have many nieces & nephews who have as well. We also have a strong propensity for general sleep walking in my family.


Info specific to children (though this one says there is no treatment, waking therapy is a newer therapy & is showing promise) http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/terrors.html


My daughter does this too, it can be a sign of Autism or PDA (pathological demand avoidance) or it might be just down to some perceived trauma that she is replaying. See a paediatrician but talk to several; dont just take the first answer you get, you need to find one who knows this area well.

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