Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Night Terrors

Benjamin has been waking up multiple times a night screaming. Not just crying, but sobbing and shreaking like something terrible is happening. Sometimes it scares him so much, that he stands and paces his crib, breathing heavily and panicking.

I think he's sleeping while this occurs (except the pacing ones which are more rare). We usually wait and see if it stops suddenly, which happens at least half the time, and then enter his room if he's still sobbing after a bit. We rub his back and tell him he is safe and okay. Sometimes he wakes at this point and we pick him up and hug him until he is calm and/or asleep. This whole intervention lasts less than 3 minutes each time.

Then it's back to the crib and all is well. Until the next time.

Some nights there are none. Last night there were two, but only one that required intervention. One day last week, he had a series of five between the hours of 1:30 and 4:30 a.m.

It's baffling.

Anyone else experience this?


Marianne said... [Reply to comment]

Yes! It happens every 3-4 weeks here. It is usually a longer lasting event though, with screaming for about 30-45 mins, even with us holding and comforting her. My DH had them as a child and our ped said it can run in the family? I HATE them. Other nights sometimes she does cry out of nowhere for 20-30 secs and goes back to sleep herself, not sure if that is a nightmare or what. It's so hard! I never want her out of her crib and into a big kid bed because I am afraid she would get out of bed and hurt herself.

Good luck! Not sure what the solution is. I tried a nightlight but she didn't sleep well with it at all.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Finn just went through something similar. I don't know if he was sleeping during them though - but when we got back from Chicago/WI he was waking up practically screaming and needed to be held. Like he would frantically say "up please" over and over. But he wouldn't go back down. He'd fall asleep in our arms and then would sob if we tried to put him back down. So I wasn't sure if his was because he had slept near or with me while on our trip and just wanted that comfort or what. Fortunately it did stop. But it did take me letting him just cry it out one night. I gave in and did that because his seemed to be more for comfort than an actual night terror that he was somewhat sleeping during. After that - he was back to sleeping through the night.

Very heartbreaking huh? Poor little babes.

Darcey said... [Reply to comment]

Yes :( Layton started having these when he was 3 months's horrible. He has only had a few episodes in the last couple of months, so I am hoping we have turned a corner. 6 year old had them horribly for 2 years (ages 2-4) that is a whole different ballgame. We would hear him screaming and he would be standing in the middle of his room, sitting up in bed, or thrashing in bed. Most of the time his eyes would be open, but totally out of it...really eerie. The good news is he will not remember a single thing. It may sound silly, but with my son, once he was potty trained we figured out if we put him on the toilet and we got him to go to the bathroom the terror would stop and we would lay him in his bed and he would be out within seconds. Weird I know, but a friend of mine who I had just met in the fall had the same issues with her daughter and they figured out the same thing with her.

I don't think there is anyway to prevent them. My pedi said he will out grow them and so far it seems to be the case. He will still have them every once in a great while, but for the most part they are few and far between.
I know they say being over tired, caffeine, sugar, etc. can all contribute. The only thing I may agree with is the over tired part. Everything else I think is blah blah blah...reaching for straws.

I think you are doing the right thing when he has doctor always said don't try to wake him because it would make it worse, but to be honest I don't think I was ever truly able to wake him.

Poor B and poor mama and daddy...I know how scary it is to wake up to your childs screams :( xoxo

Party of Three Heads said... [Reply to comment]

Colston went through this for a while... almost every single night for months.. and he would be so terrified that he wouldn't go back to sleep. But now here we are and it's pretty much gone for the most part, except when he's super tired, which makes him restless, which then makes him have night terrors..
I don't understand it for the life of me, but just last night I had to lie in his bed with him before he could calm down and quit breathing heavily enough for him to go back to sleep.. :(

Mama Bear said... [Reply to comment]

Ugh! That sounds awful and sad and scary. I'm sorry Benjamin and Mama and Dadda! My mom says I had those around when I was 18 months old. Thankfully I don't remember. It sounds like you are doing just the right thing. I hope B outgrows them quickly!

My New Normal said... [Reply to comment]

It sounds horrible and scary. I don't have any advice, but I hope they stop soon.

James Purcell said... [Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura McCannell said... [Reply to comment]

Grace has had a few nights like that and we dealt with the same way you guys did. I tried not to wake her up, but just soothe her and rub her back and play her seahorse music.

Poor Bman and family.

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

Addalee did it here and there for a few months. It was the worst when I was pregnant with Abigail. I wasn't sure if the "There's a baby in mama's belly!" and things changing type conversations were upsetting her. It was sad. It's hard to hear that terrified cry! We did the same things you are doing to try to help. It seems like she may be over them; at least for a while. She did have some after Abby was born, so that was probably not anything to do with it. Likely just my being overly paranoid.

Hoping B gets done with them soon.

Hang in there, mama.

JoyAndSorrow said... [Reply to comment]

Evy does this at times, and it's so hard to deal with as a mama. Sending hugs your way. Sounds like you are doing the right things for him. ~Lindsay