Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Anyone Have Night Terrors Experience?

One of the most common reasons they occur? "Over time it has been proven that most often than not, night terrors in children are caused by sleep deprivation. These cases are cases in which the sleep routine has been broken." (I found info on

Why am I all of a sudden interested in Night Terrors? On Sunday while we were in Los Angeles, Connor had an episode that can't be explained by anything else. He woke up in a complete panic, screaming on the TOP of his lungs, shaking...didn't want to be touched or held by anyone. This lasted a long time (perhaps 30-40 minutes?). He would not stop screaming or freaking out. We tried everything - putting him in the bath, holding him, rubbing his back, loving him, kissing him, stripping him down to check for a rash, hair wrapped around his toes (remember this), etc. We couldn't determine the cause of the crying. It was almost as if he didn't even see us. So we took him out of the tub (wrapped in just a towel), brought him upstairs, and gave him something to eat. Almost as quickly as he went into a tailspin, he came out of it. He stopped, looked at the grilled cheese, and ate it - happily. Talk about strange!

I came home and did some research and night terrors are all I can come up with. He was sleep deprived - he hadn't slept two complete nights through since we had been in LA. He didn't have his naps at normal times. And even when he was sleeping, it was in an unfamiliar place in a pack-n-play. What I'm mostly trying to figure out is what to do when/if it ever happens again. There seemed to be no way to get him to snap out of it and there's something about seeing your baby boy screaming bloody-murder for 40 straight minutes on the top of his lungs - that freaked this Mama out.

Anybody have any experience with this or have an alternate theory?


The Schult Family said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I feel so bad for Connor! I had night terrors as a kid - don't remember any of it, but I know that my mom always felt helpless, like there was nothing she could do for me. I'll ask her about the sleep deprivation angle - she would be interested to hear about it. I hope it doesn't happen to Connor any more!

courtney said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

My niece, Michelle had night terrors. Hers were pretty bad and lasted a few years, but were not consistant. I am pretty sure Megan had them around age 2, when they are most common.
We are dealing with sleepwalking, which is the same type of phenomenon apparently. I think everything you guys did was good. You can't snap em out of it, so being as soothing as you can is the best you can do.

Angie said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You don't know me at all but I do have lots of experience with these yucky night terrors! My son had them for 6 months and would have them sometimes up to once a week! The first time he had one we had no clue what was happening but his body was limp, his eyes were open but seemed like they were looking right through us and he was screaming the most awful scream we had ever heard. We are friends with our pediatrician so we called him at home and were worried he was having a seizure or something. Our ped. assured us that it was a night terror...his recommendations for if/when it happened again were to leave him laying in the crib and just to rub his back and softly talk to him...the reason being that the kiddo can get more frightened by you picking him up and trying to snap him out of it. Our ped also said that unlike dreams, the kid will have no recollection of it the next day (thank goodness!) Our son's lasted anywhere from 5-15 minutes and like you said, he came out of it as fast at he went into it! He was a terrible sleeper for us and was DEFINITELY sleep deprived (as were we :) and on the days he slept the worst, we could almost always predict another night terror!
Hang in there...they are so scary!! Hopefully this will be the first and the last for your little Connor!!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Angie, thanks so much for the information! This sounds exactly like Connor...except he wasn't limp; he was rigid - almost frozen straight. Someone else suggested not touching or lifting him from his crib either. Hopefully we never have that happen again, but if we do - we'll try just letting him come out of it on his own.

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