Monday, March 14, 2011

Night Terrors?

Daryl and I think Hunter has been suffering from Night Terrors recently.

He still wakes up every night (sometimes multiple times a night...UGH...) but he has always been super easy to settle back down into bed and he drifts right back off to sleep. I know there have been quite a few changes in everyone's lives recently so I attribute his horrible sleeping at night to that, as he adjusts.

But this new phase? Is totally different. I'd say it happened like 3 times this week and 2 times last week. And the first couple times it was like, "What the HELL is this kid doing?" He'd wake up screaming (not his usual wake-up cry) and when one of us would go in he'd either be standing by his bed with a frantic look on his face or he'd be at the wall or door banging on it with his little fists.

And the usual "It's okay, Hunter. Mommy/Daddy is here." did nothing to calm him down! When he is in one of these terrors he even runs fearfully away from us. And being he is half-asleep, we try to grab him quick (without scaring him more!) before he hurts himself cuz he did run into the wall the other day. The other night I heard Daryl in there with him, and all this crashing/banging as Daryl kept saying soothingly, "It's okay, buddy, it's okay. Daddy is right here." And he told me afterward that it was crazy, Hunter was flinging all the picture frames and his baby monitor off the nightstand almost in a frenzy.

Then last night I went in (Daryl was downstairs watching TV) when I heard this frightened screaming and banging on his door. I quickly opened the door and said in a calming, soft voice that I was there, and his eyes were wide, practically bugging out of his little head, and he screamed LOUDER and ran away from me! My mouth just kinda fell open in shock. After I was able to grab him, before he tripped on anything, I held him tight to me which usually makes him feel secure when he wakes up at night, but instead it seemed to have the opposite reaction and he fought me, arching his back and continuing to cry. And to make matters worse, Avery must have been in a REALLY awkward position in my belly cuz I was perched sitting on Hunter's mattress trying to calm him and feeling a sharp, stabbing belly pain! I called Daryl in and he took over and settled him right down so I could go back to bed and try to get comfortable (or as comfortable as manageable).

Daryl has really stepped it up the last 1-2 months with taking care of Hunter during the night. He knows how exhausted I've been AND how difficult it is for me to get out of bed now. Don't get me wrong, I still TRY but even with Daryl watching TV downstairs sometimes, he STILL makes it into Hunter's room before I do, two doors down from his bedroom! And maybe becuz of this, it seems like Hunter and Daryl have become eeeeevvvveeeennn closer so now the nights I DO try to go in to soothe my baby, he wants nothing to do with me! He wants his Daddy! I guess in a way, this is a blessing in disguise since Avery will be here soon (TOMORROW! YIKES!) and I'll be nursing half the night away.

But at the same time, it makes me feel sad. Mommy isn't always enough to soothe her baby boy! And now throwing in these night terrors (which are hard to watch your child having them and not being able to make him feel better), I feel bad cuz I know Daryl has been pretty tired. But he has been doing a great job!

So has anyone's child gone through Nights Terrors? How long did it last? I did read a little on the internet and it suggested waking them up right before the time they usually have them but becuz Hunter wakes up a lot ANYWAY, I seriously couldn't tell you when the night terror will strike. AND I'm not willing to wake him up even more then he already is waking on his own....his sleeping is so erratic at night and I think part of this could be contributing to his INSANE tantrums during the day, cuz he is so tired. But I'd be curious to know if this is (HOPEFULLY???) a short-lived phase?


Kat said...

Is Hunter able to talk about it at all after the episode? Tell you why he is so scared? Do you think he remembers it the next day? It is so hard because he is so young and he can't tell you much.

Have you tried putting something special in his room like a special nightlight. Or what about one of those cool lamps that turns and has stars on it. Or maybe putting those glow in the dark stars on the ceiling? Something to make the room REALLY fun for him. I don't know what else to say. Poor kiddo. And poor you too!

I hope this phase goes QUICKLY.
Good luck!

Flea said...

Only one of my kids had night terrors, and not so violent in nature. I held them and prayed for them out loud - it seemed to make a big difference and they'd settle right down. Then I'd fall asleep praying for them, which settled me down.

Krystyn said...

My oldest had them. What worked for us and is recommended, is figure out when they are happening (like what time of night) and like 15 minutes before hand, go in and wake them up. So, you wake them before they get to the terrors when you can't wake them or do anything. This resets their sleep cycle.

It really worked. I think we had to do it twice.

Nicole said...

We went through this a handful of times when C.ooper was about the same age, and before I got really serious about getting to the bottom of them, they stopped. I have heard of other parents using the method Krystal suggested with good results. And because it is my go-to suggestion for weird kid behavior, I will also suggest that you look at his diet - red dye is a huge problem for us in many ways, sleeping and dreaming included.

P.S. Best of luck to you tomorrow! I cannot wait to hear that your sweet little Avery has arrived safe and sound!

Sarah said...

We deal with night terrors as well. The key is sleep, for my little one. When she is overtired, they are worse. So we stick to a schedule as much as possible. When she is in bed at the same time, the terrors are not as prevalent. We have also woken her before they are going to happen to break the cycle, and had success with that. Good luck!

Lovely Lalo-Cha said...

I sure hope he is sleeping better. That has to be tough. My two never went through that, sorry I can't help any. Big D is quite the hubby/daddy. =)