Between 18 and 24 months it is normal for nocturnal nightmares to appear. We know that sleep is an especially sensitive topic for families with children from 0 to 3 years old and the appearance of nightmares can give a little respect. The first good news we are going to give you is that they will disappear as they grow, usually between 4 to 5 years old.
Nightmares are a natural part of child development and they are linked to their maturation: our children grow and acquire greater autonomy, their communication skills develop and their imagination increases. These episodes usually occur around the second half of the night, when the child is in the REM sleep phase, at which time brain activity increases (it is easily identifiable because his eyes move rapidly under the eyelids). At this moment dreams appear and, of course, also nightmares.
Despite being a natural stage, there are some factors that can be triggers of these episodes, for example, irregular sleep schedules, fever, some medications, the use of screens or situations of fear or anger that they may have experienced during the day or just before going to bed. But remember: nightmares are part of development and are just another stage.
So can we do something to avoid them? As in everything, in parenting there are no magic solutions, but at the Happy Way school we have some tricks that can help you survive this phase better:
Cheer up families who, like all the challenges you have overcome, This too shall pass. Happy dreams to all. Shhhhhh…