I keep waiting for our sleep deprivation journey to turn a corner, eagerly anticipating the darkness (and sleep) at the end of the tunnel. And sleep, did I mention sleep?
So you would expect that a change would be welcome! You would be wrong. The latest development has seen the introduction of night terrors into our nocturnal routine.
It seems our nights weren’t busy enough what with teething related waking, not wanting to sleep waking and just general “Is it not time to get up yet? waking. Oh no, clearly we were missing something, and that something has presented itself in a horrifying spectacle of hysterical wailing, thrashing and tears. And that’s just me. My fiercely strong willed toddler has taken to, over the last couple of nights, experiencing night terrors. At first I wasn’t sure if he was in pain (getting his back molars, at 19 months – yay for that..) or what was going on, as the screams were different and he was inconsolable. He kept screaming for his dodi, while it was in his hand/mouth and nothing could calm him down. So yesterday I looked into night terrors and it sounded like a match, so I was better armed last night when one erupted around 11pm. The poor little pet was so distressed, but I could do nothing for him. I tried to pick him up and calm him, but he fought me tooth and nail. In the end there was nothing to be done but keep him safe and let it run its course. When it ended, it ended as abruptly as it started and he curled up and conked out. Meanwhile my husband and I were left dazed and staring at each other wondering what on earth was going on.
So it turns out that this is normal, he won’t remember it and the best thing to do is not touch him (as it can only distress him more as he can’t actually see me, even if he is calling for me) and just keep it safe and wait for the storm to pass. It can be brought on by a number of factors like sleep deprivation (and he was already over-exhausted thanks to those teeth), genetics (and with both his parents susceptible to bouts of sleep talking and walking he didn’t stand a chance), disrupted routines and so on.
Like the back molars, the only silver lining on this cloud is that when they stop we are just glad it’s not happening any more.
Is it bedtime yet?