Nightmares and anxiety about growing up

My toddler, who is a very sensitive child, is in the process of giving up his pacifier and is being potty trained. He has also had nightmares about bugs for the past two weeks in a row, on the night before he goes to daycare. I'm wondering if all of these new changes may be causing the nightmares and what my husband and I do to help him cope?

Question:

Yes, all these changes in your son's life could certainly be contributing to his nightmares. They are, after all changes which relate to growing up. This can create anxiety for a small child. However, the fact that the nightmares occur only during the night before school may be of significance.

You need to find out if something is going on at school that is bothering your son. Are the teachers asking him to use the potty before he is actually ready? Is something else bothering him? Please be sure to ask your son these questions. And, be sure to speak to your son's teachers to find out if they see any nervousness or anxiety which wasn't there previously.

If, in fact, nothing is wrong at school, then you'll just have to wait these nightmares out. Perhaps there are too many changes happening at the same time. You might consider letting him keep his pacifier for now to help comfort him at bed time.

In the meantime, be sure to tell your son how proud you are of him and plan some "big boy" activities to do with him. He should know that growing up has its privileges too!

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