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How to Comfort Your Child When They Have Bad Dreams

One of the heart aching things to deal with as a parent or guardian, is when your child has nightmares or bad dreams.  I can remember my son having night terrors and it would scare me because he looked like he was awake, and sometimes would sleep walk.  It was so bad for a period of time, that I actually decided to sleep in his room to prevent him from hurting himself.  His bedroom was on the second floor of my home and I worried he would fall down the stairs.   I didn't want to lock his door, for safety reasons.  There were many nights that I was glad I was in his room to calm him or gently wake him while he was having an episode.

According to KidsHealth.Org, nightmares occur during the REM stage of sleep.  In this stage, the brain is very active.  The brain has vivid images that seem to be real and can trigger emotions.  The reason they call this stage REM is because of the Rapid Eye Movement beneath closed eyes.

When our children wake up from their nightmares they are still thinking of those scary images that seemed so real and it can make them scared and upset.  This is when they usually call out for us in the middle of the night or after a nap.

No one really knows why nightmares happen, but some believe it can be related to stress, change or dealing with difficult situations.   These can include, moving, school, new sibling births, tensions at home or any trauma that may surround them.  Reading scary books or watching scary movies or cartoons that can be interpreted as scary can contribute to nightmares.

There are many different ways to help deter bad dreams for your child.  Here are some suggestions.
  • Limit television before bedtime, especially scary or stressful types of television shows.
  • Develop a regular bedtime schedule with your child to keep them in a routine.
  • Give your child a warm bath before bedtime.
  • Speak pleasantly to your child before bedtime and reassure them that dreams are not real and can not hurt them.
  • Have a relaxing sleep atmosphere and something to comfort them.
Dreamimals are soft plush bedtime pillows that were developed by a seven year old little girl whose brother would often have bad dreams and nightmares.  She decided to help comfort her little brother by having him write down happy thoughts and things that he could dream about that would make him laugh or smile.  Then, she would have him tuck those thoughts into his pillow.  It worked so well, that she decided that she wanted to help other children who experienced the same bad dreams.

Dreamimals Dream Pillows are available in three styles.  

Lamby the Lamb

Lamby is a soft, cuddly lamb who loves to cuddle.  She loves sharing sweet dreams and calming children's fears.

Sharkie the Shark

Sharkie is the bravest of all of the Dreamimals.  Sharkie inspires kids' personal power and belps to boost confidence.

Pinkie the Koala (coming soon)

Pinkie is a silly dreamer.  Pinkie loves to snuggle and help children to dream funny dreams.

Check out my Youtube review of the Dreamimals Dream Pillows:

Dreamimals Dream Pillows are recommended for children ages 3 and older and retail for $29.99.  You can purchase your own Dreamimals by visiting

Comforting Tips For Your Child After Bad Dreams or Nightmares from HealthyKids.Org:

Let your child know you are there for them and that you will protect and keep them safe. This will help them feel secure.

Talk to Your Child About the Nightmare
Let your child know that the nightmare is over.  Tell them it was a bad dream, but that it is not real. 

Comfort Your Child
Let your child know that you understand how they feel and remind them that everyone has scary dreams sometimes.  Let them know it is natural to feel scared.

Do What Moms and Dads Do
Make the scary imaginary monsters disappear with magic parent powers.  Use imaginary monster repellant or magical spells.  Then check the child's closet and under their bed and let them know it they are safe.

Get a Night Light
Having a special nightlight with music or white noise can soothe or comfort a child at night.  Let your child keep a small flashlight next to their bed as well.

Listen to Your Child
In the morning, speak to your child about the nightmare they had the night before.  Listen to what they say and then reassure them.  Have them think of a funny or happy ending to their nightmare and let them draw a picture of the happy ending.

If your child is having nightmares often, speak to their pediatrician.

Disclosure:  I received product to review from Dreamimals.


  1. Great tips. These are so cute. I think ANYONE would sleep better with one of these!

  2. These are very useful tips! The Dreamimals Dream Pillows are so sweet. I love the story behind them with the sister wanting to help her little brother. I'm sure these pillows would be very comforting for children to have.


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