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Update on Drake

Forum: Attachment Parenting


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February 17th, 2013, 09:37 PM
IronMamma's Avatar -Child Advocate
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4,286
So, last night was an absolutely awful night. Like one of the worst to date. And I will explain in a minute but when this "episode" was going on I said to myself "There has got to be something more to this." So I talked to Sarah (which helped me ALOT today, I really needed her) and I talked to my friend who her son has the same issue and I talked to my Mom who said I had the same issue starting a little younger then Drake (and I have had this my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE). I went on-line, I started to read and I have been on this subject all day and I have come to the conclusion that Drake suffers from night terrors. It's as simple as that.

Here is what made me realize that there is something more then just having trouble sleeping:

Last night Drake woke at 2 am, which was 2 hours after his first awakening which was 2 hours after he went to bed, so so 4 hours after he fell asleep. When he awoke he did not want the bottle, he did not want to be held, he kept standing up and running into the wall (which he has done many times before I just never really *thought* about it), he would lay down and cry, get onto his belly, curl his legs up and put them on my belly and PUSH as hard as he can with ALL his weight, he would scratch himself and me, he would hit, kick and pinch. ALL with his eyes shut. He is asleep. I did not turn the tv on, I stopped offering the bottle so I started to cry with him. I'm lost now. I have no idea what to do. Nothing is working. He will put his arms out to me and I cuddle him then he would arch his back, kick off and scream, run into the wall, rinse and repeat. THIS goes on at least once a week, the other nights its just every 2 hours he wants 2 oz then falls back asleep and while he is sleeping he moans and groans, whimpers, laughs and moves around. Basically he is dreaming.

I talked to my friend whose son is 2 and he has the same issue, same "symptoms". I had the same thing and I did the same thing as an adult. (It stopped when I got pregnant and happened once last month) Dave suffers from chronic nightmares as well. Not terrors, but very vivid nightmares.

I always felt like when this happened I HAD to resort to the tv after a while of "failing" or keep offering the bottle and I found out today that those two things I have done are absolutely correct to break a night terror.

Let me share with you some amazing, useful things I have been told / came across today:

What are night terrors?

Night terrors, sometimes referred to as confusional arousal, occur in five to 15 per cent of children between the ages of four and six, though they can appear in babies as young as nine months. Technically speaking, they are caused by partial awakenings from non-REM, or non-dream, sleep. A child in this state may cry, whimper, and flail. "He won't look scared, but he'll appear to be confused," says Dr. Richard Ferber, author of Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems (Dorling Kindersley).

How long do night terrors last?

An episode may last anywhere from two or three minutes to around thirty minutes. A child having a night terror cannot be calmed down. It can be very frightening to a parent because repeated attempts to soothe the child have no effect.

How should I handle them?

Of course, you'll want to comfort your baby, and you should, but that's not enough. Since the baby is stuck between two sleep stages, you can try to offer him a bottle so he can go into deeper sleep, or take him out of his bed to another room, which might rouse him. If neither measure has any effect it's important to remember, say the experts, that the child isn't actually awake. And though it's upsetting to see your child thrashing about in distress, attempts to comfort may not help; in fact, in many cases, your baby won't even know you're there.

THIS is absolutely correct. He has no idea I am there and will not respond to my voice. If a bottle does not work I turn on the tv or I walk with him in the hall. The times that I have said he runs around and plays is when he is obviously not having a night terror.

What should I do when one occurs?

You can try taking your child into another room or outside where the temperature is very different. This may bring him into a lighter sleep state.

Within 15 to 20 minutes your child should calm down, curl up, and fall asleep again. He won't recall the incident in the morning, and it's best not to remind him of it.

When these episodes happen he DOES go back to sleep within 30 minutes max.

Since night terrors tend to happen in the first part of the night, after your child has been asleep for two or three hours, you can try to prevent them by gently waking him up about 15 minutes before the typical episode would start. This should alter the sleep pattern and prevent the night terror from creeping into his slumber.

This is absolutely true! These episodes ONLY happen within 2 hours of him falling asleep.

He takes one almost 2 hour nap a day at noon. If the nap hits a little over 2 hours he will start to fuss and I have to pick him and walk with him to break it.

I KNOW in my heart Drake has night terrors. He is the happiest baby on earth. Most nights I can give him the bottle and he will fall back asleep almost instantly, some nights, like last night, was a bad night.

I have realized he is just like me and just like his Dad. He will grow out of this, I just need to stay mentally strong and get through this. Because now it's not only about me, my little Monkey is having a hard time and he needs Mamma. I want to so bad to to not get frustrated anymore. I KNOW EXACTLY how he feels. It sucks.

Thank you *Kiliki* for my perfect siggy

When you know better, you do better. And when you do better, you know HINTA.

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February 18th, 2013, 06:41 AM
sareymac's Avatar Mommy to Gary & Adalyn
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<3 I am sooo glad I helped. Im only a text away

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February 18th, 2013, 07:11 AM
ohnicole's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,756
Aww how sad for Drake and how scary for you! I hope that finding out about this will help you feel a little better about things Are you planning on talking to his pediatrician about it? Maybe there is a sleep clinic or something that could help?
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February 18th, 2013, 10:01 AM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,905
My oldest had night terrors from about 2 years old to 5 years old. Indeed, it's scary to see it happening, and I didn't even need to look online to know what it was, because in his case it was severe to the point I could tell he was hallucinating and that he couldn't "see" me at all and wasn't comforted by me being there. My daughter (age 6) has currently being having regular nightmares, too.

Unfortunately (and I know you won't like hearing this and won't take this advice, but it's worth repeating for lurkers who might) one of the WORST things you can do with a child who has night terrors is allow them to watch TV in the middle of the night or really even any time close to bedtime. We had to stop TV in our hours two hours before bedtime to help my oldest's night terrors (which moved it from a frequent occurrence to a once in a blue moon thing--now he only has it maybe every 3-6 months). If at some point you do get desperate enough to stop the nighttime cartoons, I hope you can find other nighttime parenting solutions (healthy ones) that will help him fall asleep at night.

"Step 3: Refrain from Stimulating Activities

Give your child his bath in the day time instead of in the evening. Keep television watching to a minimum. Television can greatly stimulate children and could contribute to night terrors. Do not play loud or raucous music right before bedtime. Limit his physical activity so that he experiences a period of slowness before bed time. Institute a quiet period after the dinner hour. Keep your child as relaxed as possible right before bedtime. Read a light story to your child before bedtime, but stay away from books that are stressful or scary."

How to Stop Night Terrors in Toddlers - WAHM.com

Night terrors may be caused by the following:

Stressful life events
Sleep deprivation
Medications that affect the central nervous system (the brain)
Recent anesthesia given for surgery

(even is Drake seems happy during the day, he's definitely sleep deprived based on how much sleep you say he gets)

When to Seek Medical Care

Sleep disruption is parents’ most frequent concern during the first years of a child’s life. Half of all children develop a disrupted sleep pattern serious enough to warrant physician assistance.

In children younger than 3˝ years, peak frequency of night terrors is at least one episode per week.
Among older children, peak frequency of night terrors is one to two episodes per month.
If your child seems to be experiencing night terrors, an evaluation by the child’s pediatrician may be useful. During this evaluation, the pediatrician may also be able to exclude other possible disorders that might cause night terrors.

Night Terrors

I hope Drake is getting better sleep soon and the night terrors fade away or at least significantly decrease in frequency (whatever you decide to do). Good luck and lots of hugs!
Thank you Jaidynsmum for the beautiful siggy!
Check out the Attachment Parenting Board for Effective Parenting Solutions.
PM me if have questions about autism, TTC gender swaying, natural childbirth, going "vaccine-free", or if you are looking for gentle discipline advice.
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February 18th, 2013, 10:42 AM
KMH KMH is offline
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Wow, how amazing to find some answers and a cause for all the things you guys have been going through! It must be so hard to see him going through that I don't have any great advice or ideas, but I hope you can find things to help him or at least lessen how often he has to go through it. Hang in there, Mama!

Melissa & DH
IVF babies Claire (5), Abigail (3) and George (3)

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February 18th, 2013, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,755
Eliana was having night terrors every night. They went away little by little as we adjusted her bedtime earlier. She will still wake up for long stretches at night, but I'm really not sure why. She's not usually scared, just resistant to sleep. I know it was a sleep deprivation issue.

When she'd have the episodes I would sit near her and wait for it to pass, I would turn on the hall light so things would be dim, but not scary and confusing. Sometimes I would get my husband for it, either because I would get scared and frustrated or because she's a daddy's girl and I thought his presence would be beneficial. Sometimes he can rock her out of a night terror, he's very relaxing for her.

I'm glad that you realized the cause, hopefully you find something that works for you to help him with his night terrors.
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February 18th, 2013, 11:31 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,057
Identifying the problem is a very important step!!! I think you have gotten great advice here, and I would definitely be talking to M's pediatrician about it too, if she was having night terrors. Hopefully when you guys get settled in your new home, you can develop a good prevention routine and help him have them much less frequently. Poor lil guy good luck and hang in there mama!!!
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February 18th, 2013, 12:28 PM
klockert's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Near St.Louis, MO
Posts: 655
I am so sorry! Gabby has night terrors too and has for months. I was concerned because she would start whimpering really loud then just wake up and start screaming bloody murder. Nothing would console her, most of the time she wouldn't even open her eyes. I took a video and played it for her pedi. He told me it was night terrors. I have noticed they happen more when she is over tired, so I try to not let her get to that point. It is a really scary thing to go thru especially when they are so little and don't understand.

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February 18th, 2013, 09:49 PM
IronMamma's Avatar -Child Advocate
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4,286
I know that not sleeping enough is also a cause. I have thought about that a million times. I am not able to force him to sleep. He sleeps roughly 2 hours at nap time, and then goes to bed between 8:30 ish and 9:30 ish. There have been plenty of times I have tried bed time earlier and if he is not ready that trying time is like a recharge for him. I do the best I can. I also did not have to do research to completely find this out. I have always thought it and so has DH but the other night was just the like reassuring phase for me and then I just knew.

Tonight Drake went to bed a little earlier because he had a rough night, and so did I. We sat in the ER until 3am. He was projectile vomiting, does not have a fever, has a cough and a runny nose. He has a cold and his cough prolly made him puke and then on top of that he has an ear infection.

I am mentally not ok most days, but I am trying my best.

Thank you *Kiliki* for my perfect siggy

When you know better, you do better. And when you do better, you know HINTA.

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February 19th, 2013, 06:39 AM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Poor kiddo! I hope he is better soon. There is a bug going around. My house just had it. You are probably feeling mentally off because of your OWN lack of sleep I don't know how you function! Is there anyway you can get a nighttime helper for a while or even someone during the day to give you a break? Not sure if that is in your budget for sleep, you can't make it happen. Just make nighttime more conducive to sleep if you can. Lights stay off, no talking, and no cartoons or tv. In time his body will adjust to nighttime being a quiet time not an active time, and that should help at least some. Also, the pedi might recommend tryin some things medicine wise. I doubt you want to go that route, but of you ever have to for drakes health and safety, I can help you out with some homeopathic solutions because we had to do that for a short time when our oldest was younger. Within a month we didnt need them anymore but anyway, I'm sorry you are goin through this and can't seem to catch a break. I hope you can find a bedtime routine and pattern that helps drake sleep. And I hope somewhere Long the way YOU can get some much needed and deserved rest as well. Drake needs his mom to be healthy! I wish there was SOMEone there who would give you a night off.
Thank you Jaidynsmum for the beautiful siggy!
Check out the Attachment Parenting Board for Effective Parenting Solutions.
PM me if have questions about autism, TTC gender swaying, natural childbirth, going "vaccine-free", or if you are looking for gentle discipline advice.
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February 19th, 2013, 08:55 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,057
I hope Drake gets better soon!!! Poor guy and poor mama. Hang in there. Hugs!

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