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Ways to Deal with Nightmares in ChildrenWe don’t know when nightmares start, but there’s some evidence that dreams become especially vivid around one year old, although they don’t become an issue until the toddler ages.

There’s no simple cause of nightmares. However, they seem to appear more often when children are ill, overtired, in the middle of a developmental change, stressed or anxious, or have had irregular sleep patterns.

Here are some ways you can help your child deal with his nightmares.

1. Be understanding – To your child, these fears are real. Do not dismiss them, make fun of your child, or call him silly. At his age, separating dreams from reality is still challenging.

2. Provide lots of reassurance – It’s important that you communicate safety over and over. You don’t want him to start to think that his bed (and sleep in general) is a dangerous place. He’ll begin to resist going to sleep, which is bad for his development.

3. Have fun in the darkness – Children associate the darkness with the unknown and the place/time where their nightmares happen. During the day, play fun games in the dark to desensitize him to it.

4. Provide a night light – These work for some children, but not others. If your child can sleep with the night light on (or the door open so he doesn’t feel alone), these could help. But if the light just keeps your kid awake, it’s not a good solution.

5. Provide a lovey – A lovey, or transitional (security) object, helps a lot of children. It comforts your child during moments of discomfort and anxiety. Usually loveys develop over time, however, so you can’t suddenly thrust one in your child’s bed.

6. Skip scary shows/movies/music – Figure out the source of your child’s fear and cut it out of his life. If monster movies keep him awake all night, those need to go.

7. Teach coping skills – You’ll have to practice with this because every child is different until you find one that works. Some kids can learn to breathe slowly and think about happy things when they’re afraid. Others like to imagine themselves in a happy place, like a beach they love or the set of their favorite TV show. Some just need to think positive thoughts.

8. Talk about the fears during the day – During the day time, those fears will seem a lot less scary. As you talk about them, you take their power away. At night, your child will be able to dismiss them more easily.

9. Check in often – If you think your child is struggling with some nightmares, check in on a schedule, like every five or ten minutes. Be predictable about it so your child knows you are coming by again, and not just because he cried out.

10. Fight nightmares with fantasy – A creative solution many parents use is “monster spray,” a water bottle filled with a magical anti-monster liquid that deters creatures of the night. Spray it around the room, under the bed and closet. Feel free to come up with your own solution.

11. Have your child stay in bed – It’s important that you have your child stay in his bed, even if you have to go to him to calm him down. He needs to learn how to master his own fears, not run to mom and dad every time. By all means, offer comfort and support, but don’t let him “run away” from what’s frightening him.

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organic bedding and accessoriesWritten by Jennifer Cicci of Babee Talk

As a mother, Jennifer understands the importance of offering nothing by the best for baby. Motivated by teeth marks on her children’s cribs, she decided to design a teething rail cover after trying products that didn’t measure up when it came to quality or style. What she found out made her even more concerned about children’s safety and health: The toxic chemicals used in the production of synthetic materials have been linked to birth defects, reproductive disorders, and weakened immune systems.

She asked herself, “What if I could revolutionize the way parents decorated their crib with a safe and stylish teething rail cover that could be placed on the crib from day one?” Babee Talk® launched in 2014 with organic bedding and accessories. Chew-friendly, drool-friendly, and organic inside and out, her products ensure a healthy start in life for babies.

She only offers products that she would provide for her own children. She hopes moms and dads will start to talk about the importance of choosing safe, healthy, eco-friendly products, especially for babies.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Babee Talk? Send your topic idea to media@babeetalk.com.

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