Thursday, May 19, 2011

Night Terror =(

Last night, we think Miles had a night terror.  Miles woke up about an hour and a half after he gone to bed.  He was screaming - much more loudly than a usual midnight cry.  Jason got him out of bed and immediately realized that something wasn't right.  Miles wasn't really responding to us, and it looked like he wasn't really seeing us.  I tried to nurse him, but he just thrashed around wanting to get away from me.  Miles hardly ever refuses to nurse, especially when he's upset.  It was unclear to me whether he was really terrified or whether he was in pain.  We laid him on the bed and checked everything we could think of... his clothes, his diaper.  Nothing seemed to be actually hurting him.  I started thinking that if he continued to cry at this level for another 10 minutes, I was going to take him to the emergency room.  It was not a normal cry.  He wouldn't make eye contact with us, and his body was very tight and rigid.  The entire thing was very bizarre and disturbing for us.  Jason said afterward that he was almost wondering whether Miles could be having a seizure.  There seemed to be nothing we could do to make him respond to us.  After a few minutes, I was able to finally calm him down and nurse him back to sleep.  He slept through the rest of the night and woke up around 6 this morning.

Of course, we went online immediately to try to figure out what was going on.  It looks like he was probably having a night terror.  He was probably not even awake for the first few minutes when we were holding him and he was crying, almost like a sleepwalking nightmare - that's why he wasn't responding to us.  They say that you should not try to wake up a child who is having a night terror.  How in the world could we just let him lie there and scream out in horror, though?  =(

Last night, we had gone to Life Group, so the babies had gotten to bed much later than usual.  They usually go down around 6:30, but last night they went down around 8:30.  We're not sure whether this had anything to do with it or not, but we've been reading that getting out of routine and being sleep deprived may contribute to the likelihood of a night terror.  I'm really hoping that this is not a regular occurrence.  I felt so helpless as a parent - not being able to do anything to soothe his fears.


  1. Adria has these, they are either a severe form of sleep talking or a mild form of night terrors as far as we can tell. She usually cries in her sleep, but does not have any of the other things that come with night terrors.

    I find that not messing with her makes it pass quicker. I usually just cover her back up and tell her I love her. Not making eye contact is the key to knowing they are still asleep.

    Adria has bouts that come and go, I find they are brought on by changes in her schedule or life. Potty training brought on a bought or if she gets in trouble right before bed time.

    Hopefully this is a one time event for you, but if not I am sure you will figure out what soothes him quickly. Good luck.

  2. We've dealt with those too from time to time. The first one Ky ever had terrified me. It was that blank stare...
    I pray that you will not have many more!