Traumatizing Night Terrors
If your child has ever had a night terror, you know what we’re about to talk about here. It is one of the most terrifying and helpless feelings a parent can experience. You wake to the sounds of horrific screams and your child shaking uncontrollably. He’s looking at you, but not looking at you. Eyes open, no one is home.
The first time it happened, Marshall was battling a skin infection, ear infection, and upper respiratory infection. Poor guy. We had friends visiting and even they were scared. He woke the first time around 9:00 and we were able to wake him and calm him down, but then it happened again about 45 minutes later. He was screaming and seemed to be in pain. We now know that it was a night terror, but at the time, we thought something was majorly wrong with his skin infection because he indicated that was where the pain was.
We pleadingly looked at our visiting friends, and they nodded for us to go, staying with a sleeping Adelaide. So, we loaded Marshall into the van and headed to the ER while calling my mom to come relieve our friends. After a few hours in the ER, we were told that it was most likely night terrors and to keep doing what we were doing for the other infections.
How we Respond
We have learned over the course of a few more, that fortunately, he does not remember any parts of the night terror. And the only thing that truly helps calm him down is waking him up. So, we hold him and tell him he is safe and we love him. He fights back and shakes, but eventually our soft voices cut through the screams and nightmares and he comes to. When he comes out of a night terror, he is exhausted and just wants to go back to sleep. We, on the other hand, need something to calm us down afterwards!
Have you experienced night terrors with your child? What tricks have you found to make them less traumatic? Share your thoughts in the comments or over on Facebook.