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Is it normal for my 2-year old to have nightmares?

My 2-year old son started to cry during sleep and say words as if he is seeing a nightmare that someone is bothering him (like "no no no"). Is that normal at this age? He has an older sister (6-years) and they sometimes fight over toys and stuff. I'm so concerned, and would appreciate an answer. Thanks, Nabil

Submitted by nabil

It sounds like your little one is sleeptalking or in this case having confusional arousals/sleep terrors.  These are the exact same thing as sleeptalking and sleepwalking, but just more dramatic.  If this is the case, there is nothing to be concerned about and it has nothing to do with his relationship with his older sister.  These behaviors during sleep typically run in families and are more likely to happen when a child is not getting enough sleep.  So be sure to institute an early bedtime. 

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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My 21 month old son does the same thing. I have noticed however, the only time he does that is when he doesn't get a good nap that day or he is overly tired from a strenuous day (outdoor activities). I had nightmares and was a sleep walker as a child until I was around 8 years old. I worried the same as you that something was wrong.
Submitted by Ekugirl1996