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Nightmares: Advice from Moms

Carrie in Hopkinsville
Try this: put a picture of his parents and a picture of an angel and set them near your grandchild's bed where she easily see them. Then explain that mommy, daddy, and the angles are watching over her and will give her sweet dreams.

Stephanie in Valparaiso
When my 3-year-old started having bad dreams, I told her to "change the channel" and try to find a good dream in her head. She thought it was funny turning the pretend dial in her ear and using her imagination to dream of nice things. Now when she wakes up in the morning she tells me about the great dream she turned on!

Christy in Conway, SC
My son was having the same problem, so he started sleeping with a "bed protector." I told him a bed protector is a toy that stays in his bed at night and watches out for him while he sleeps. He picks out his own bed protector before bed each night, usually choosing one of his "tough" toys like a tiger, bear, or dinosaur because they are "good bed protectors." This seemed to work for him from the first night we tried it. He felt safe going to sleep because he knew that nothing could bother him while there was a big tiger in his bed watching out for him. Now we're both able to sleep again!

Christabel in Hayward
Needing to go to the bathroom, being too hot, or having eaten rich or spicy foods may be non-psychological reasons for nightmares, so it may make it easier to try and rule them out. Take her to the potty, sounds silly, and may even be extremely difficult if she is having "terrors", but "letting it out" often results in a calmer child. My children used to wake up screaming with nightmares and then wet the bed after I finally comforted them and coaxed them back to sleep. New home? Maybe she's not comfortable getting to the potty by herself at night in the new place.

Carmen in Pensacola
Sprinkle magic dust on the floor or even her cheeks or wherever she feels comfortable. It doesn't have to be anything fancy but it should be special for her. Of course we do not want glitter all over so take some of the smell good powder and a little food coloring, mix it together to get a pretty color and put it in her own special container. Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle and it smells good. Make it a fun nightly ritual!

Star in La Habra
My 3-year-old is having the same problems. I think it's because she's getting over-stimulated by TV just prior to getting into the bedtime routine. I'm now more cautious about what is on TV. I tell her that her dreams are only pictures in her mind and that she needs to tell her dreams that she only wants to have nice ones. I tell her to imagine playing with her toys, or playing in the back yard, when a scary dream comes up. I'm hoping she might be able to stop them, hence have control over them, and that could help her feel better about them.

Elise in Hammond
I'm a great-grandmother and adore my 3-year-old great-granddaughter, who spends a lot of time with me. She has nightmares, cries out, and ''fights'' in her sleep, even when cuddled in my arms! However, I'm sure the reassuring words I whisper in her ear, because I'm there, do help. I realize this isn't popular: most parents are eager to move the child to their own room. What's the rush? If sleeping near a young child who's having nightmares is a comfort, why not get the child through this critical period?