In the middle of the night.

For three nights on the trot this week, we’ve been awakened by a shrieking, whimpering terrified mess of a baby in the dead of night.

He starts with a moaning, sobbing cry but quickly escalates to shouting, accompanied by Real Tears. His eyes are open, but he either doesn’t seem to see us, or doesn’t recognise us. The first couple of times, he took the boob with the desperation of a drowning man grabbing at some flotsam and after a couple of sucks, settled down to a small feed with his eyes closed, seemingly asleep. The third night, this did not work and though we took him out of the room and switched on the lights, he was inconsolable and freaking out for a good 5 minutes before he seemed to realise where he was and who we were. It was another 5 after that before the breath-hitching stopped and he was ready to be re-wrapped and put back down to sleep.

People, it was scary! What’s going on? I didn’t really think babies had nightmares until they were older, old enough to dwell on Bad Stuff. Jay thinks night terrors, but again he seems very young and although two instances happened fairly early on in the night (around midnight, after he went down around 7:30pm), the other was more like 3am.

And so, we’re asking our Vaginas (as I saw Lo say on the boards today); any advice about what might be causing it and what we could do to help him through it would be gratefully received. Thanking you in advance.

vee xxx


11 responses to this post.

  1. um. teeth??
    regardless- I am so so so sorry. For all of you.
    (((HUGS))) and hope it gets better soon.


  2. Posted by nutella on August 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Oh no! Sounds awful, it is so heartbreaking when they just cry for no reason and you can’t comfort them. Hope it gets better soon.


  3. Hmmm, the description does sound sort of like night terrors, but I don’t know that they have them that young.

    I know that when Peeper wakes in the middle of the night, she often has that panicked look, as she’s rooting like crazy, trying to latch.

    As soon as she does, though, she’s usually out immediately. Often without even giving it a good suck.

    It’s as though she just has to make sure that I am (they are) still there.


  4. Heh, thanks for the shout-out.
    It sounds like descriptions I’ve seen of night terrors, but I don’t know anything about the age range. I am not sure night terrors have to do with having “thoughts”, though, I think they are different from nightmares…


  5. I’m not sure about the reasons, but I sure you hope you all get to have some more solid sleeps again soon – it doesn’t sound fun for any of you.


  6. Posted by scarredbellybutton on August 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    TBB used to do this when teething.


  7. Posted by Att on August 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Oh man! That’s so scary! I agree, I think it’s teething. I’m so sorry, y’all.


  8. Night terrors. If he is still asleep when it happens yet his eyes are open, and you can’t wake him from it, its night terrors. M had it too, although he was a bit older when they started. If it is night terrors (look it up on line) then the best thing to do is keep the lights off, soothe him quietly and he will come out of it on his own. With NT you don’t want to wake them. They just need to move through it. Its basically like sleepwalking without moving. Its terrifying, and heartbreaking. And confusing since often their eyes are open so you don’t know that they are asleep…

    M doesn’t have NT anymore, but its progressed into sleepwalking. Sometimes I hear his door open randomly in the middle of the night. Once I went to check on him and he was on the toilet. Asleep. Another time, he was still in his room, sitting on the little couch in there, eyes wide open, but totally non-responsive. I basically led him back to his bed where he rolled over and started snoring immidiately. Its why we ALWAYS lock the gate at the top of our stairs…

    Good luck, my friends.


  9. Both of our kids do that. It’s really hard to see them so upset.


  10. Posted by docgrumbles on August 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    JAG did this a few times before cutting teeth. We thought they were nightmares before we saw the teeth coming through.


  11. Beck totally went through a phase of this, too. Seemed like night terrors or maybe teething but was creepy. Went away on its own.


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