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Sam frequently has bad dreams.. don't know if it's more than "normal" or not. She'll talk in her sleep or scream. Do other LO's do this?
A few times she has had bad dreams about bugs. She'll call out for me in a panic and tell me there are bugs on her, or to check her for them... one time she even made me look in her panties because she was sure they were in there. Otherwise, her bad dreams are usually about my younger niece.. saying she took my toy, I was watching that, stop bothering me ,,, in her sleep.
Last night she woke up freaking out about bugs. I should preface that by saying that yesterday evening DH offered to take her for a walk and she didn't want to go because of bugs. Also, she's been avoiding her new cedar play house because she saw a fly in it. Anyhoo, I go to her room and she is crying, saying her heart hurts and there are bugs on her biting her. I assure her there are none, she argues. She insists I get cream to put on her "bug bites" and I finally relent, but tell her there are no bites... she's probably just itchy and that is why I am putting cream on her. She insists she wants her Daddy. DH gets up. She will not sleep in that bed. She wants to sleep elsewhere. We're gently trying to talk to her.. there are no bugs, nothing is biting you.. see, look. She lets out a high pitched scream, nearly jumping out of her skin and yells "A FLY!!". She is shaking at this point, still crying, her heart hurts. We calmly tell her there is no fly.. more I'm not sleeping here, etc.
We finally give in and bring her to our bed, but what a night. She kept waking us up telling us to watch for the bugs, to get them off her, etc.
This is the first time this has happened to that degree. As I said, she has quite a few nightmares but usually and sometimes lets out high pitched screams, but normally just some reassurance works and she goes back to sleep.
Also, I don't know where this bug thing is coming from. Last year she was the love bug assassin at Disney.. she's never loved them but not feared them to the point of it affecting her (ie. not playing in her house, not wanting to go for a walk). She would just usually screech dramatically and run inside and we've always down played it.. "Oh, it's just a bug Sam!". We have never made a big deal of bugs, though my nieces always freak out when bees are near.
Thoughts? Totally normal and within the realm of what to expect? Something to be concerned about if it keeps happening? Any idea on how to deal with this fear of bugs thing?
I have tried talking to her about them.. most don't bite, are harmless.. some are downright cute (she loves ladybugs). I am thinking of getting a book about them.
Adding that lately she has been talking about her heart quite a bit. Says it hurts or is beating fast. Asking me why it's beating so fast, etc.
It is so hard at this age to tell what is "real" and what is 4yr old drama queen stuff. But, I do think regardless of which it ends up being, that dealing with it and not minimizing it are important, and I think your idea of getting some books on bugs may help.
As a very young child, I remember loving bugs, but I did develop a fear of them later on and as an adult, I still have a completely irrational fear of bees and wasps. I don't recall every having nightmares though, it was more screaming and running away when I actually saw one.
As for nightmares in general, we have not had to deal with that yet. We did go through a period of time where Aidan would tell me in the morning about a dream he had. Sometimes he would refer to it as scary, but it didn't seem to really affect him or linger and it wasn't waking him up. So from my perspective, what Sam is going through does seem a bit extreme or more than "normal". I wonder if something happened at school, like somebody put a bug on her or one landed on her or something and it freaked her out. You may want to try asking her if something like that happened. Although, that's tough at this age too because the power of suggestion alone can spark some creative story telling. But, at least be a way to open up a conversation about them when she's not in freak out/nightmare mode.
As for the heart thing, that one is odd. Is there a chance she may have overheard conversation about heart issues? I know you did the holter monitor not all that long ago, maybe she's reacting to that in some way. These kids hear and see everything, I swear, even when we least expect it. It may even be her way of showing her concern/worry for your health. I agree with Ashley though, can't hurt to just check her pulse and see if it is elevated at the times she mentions it.
Ashley, that's a good suggestion... I will check it the next time she brings it up.
Gillian - I am sure she overheard some things and she saw the Holter and asked about it... so I explained it checks how Mommy's heart is working.
Today, the whole Imagination Movers show was a surprise... right until we got there. As we are walking in, she mentions her heart is being funny. So, I was thinking she was excited. Then she starts shuddering like crazy.. like having a seizure without it actually being a seizure, kwim? IE. shaking/shuddering a lot. So, now I get that she is actually nervous rather than excited.. I explain what we are doing, etc. She didn't even want to buy a souvenir but after some gentle prodding, she did.
After she saw her cousin there, she seemed to calm down and ended up having a great time.
All that to say, I don't think this relates to anything she heard... if anything, I think maybe she is getting very nervous about certain things lately and can articulate/ask about how she is physically reacting to it.
I hope this degree of nightmare was a fluke but I will keep track of her heart rate and if the nightmares continue, I will make an appt. to see her ped.
I think I have to work on building her confidence, too.
What you're describing now definitely sounds like an anxiety/nerve issue and not specifically a nightmare thing. The nightmares may just be an outlet for the anxiety?
I think you're taking a good approach and working with her to help deal with things that are making her nervous, by building her confidence. I hope you're able to sort through it all and that it's a short phase.
Miranda went through a period of nightmares. Some were about bugs. She would see them crawling on the walls. I figured it out that she has this cool "Miranda" sign that has a lot of different loops and designs. That was scaring her.
One night she woke up screaming at the top of her lungs. I ran in there and she was hiding under blanket screaming "don't get me". Once she saw me she leaped in my arms. Poor thing was sweating. She ended up sleeping the rest of the night on my chest like a newborn. She freaked me out.
What it turned out she was scared of was a red x we had gotten her a new story called "and the dish ran away with the spoon". In the story there is a map with a red x marks the spot. I hid the book and no nightmares since.
My long story has a point. Anything could have triggered the nightmares. Either way I hope you all get some rest.
Mommy to Miranda 1/17/08 & Annabelle 3/24/11
Poor Sam and Mommy! Definitely seems like anxiety/nerves to me. Thomas has a long history of nightmares. Which he always woke up and ran right to me, he would always come to me sweating, shivering, and crying. But would tell me about them.
Collin has woken up shaking like a leaf, but after me rubbing his back he'd go back to sleep and he would never tell me what it was about.
I would want to know more about her mentioning her heart, I know when *I* am really anxious and very close to having a panic attack, my heart races so fast I can actually feel it beating, to the point where it makes me freak out even more. I would definitely check her pulse next time and if it seems higher than normal, I would bring it up to her pediatrician.
Nicole: Tom's Wife [5.7.05]; Mommy of Thomas [9.6.05], Collin [1.17.08], & Bailey [10.2.09]
YES!!! Kylie has nightmares at least a few times a month and normally about snakes or ants or some sort of bug. She will scream bloody murder or get out and come in my room. Then as I lay with her she'll kick her legs after awhile and get all freaked out again. She'll say, momma, my imagination is going....
^I am sorry to hear that but what a relief!! Sam is exactly like Kylie.
I do worry about anxiety with her... last Friday when I took her to see Imagination Movers she was so anxious she kept shuddering. I sat her down and gently asked what was wrong and she said she was a little bit scared. I explained why we were there, who would be there, etc. Once she was distracted by her cousin arriving, she was fine. I think she was so nervous, her mind was running wild. She also mentioned her heart was beating fast.
She is fine when she is distracted.. ie. her cousins were here yesterday and they played outsides (lots of bugs, flies around). I heard her mention to her cousin "There are lots of flies around here" so it was obviously on her mind.. maybe she was wanting to see his reaction? He didn't react and she didn't bring it up again and didn't flip out.
I am going to keep track of her nightmares and her pulse from now on and then make an appointment to see her ped to review.
Sounds like a good plan. We have experienced night terrors and some nightmares but she'll wake up irrationally crying inconsolably and then suddenly snap out of it. What you describe sounds anxiety driven.