We’ve been really lucky, for the most part, with the Noodle’s sleep. Beyond the typical disturbances during illnesses or teething, or a developmental or growth spurt, we’ve *mostly* had a good sleeper.
With one exception.
F*#K!NG night terrors.
The Noodle has had night terrors for a while. From what I can gather, for him they’re from being overtired–if he hasn’t napped well that day, if he did too much, if he didn’t sleep well the night before. We can usually count on them on daycare days, as well as days when his normal schedule gets truly out of whack. That’s not to say they’re routine, but there are usually some warning signs. If you’ve never had to deal with them, you’re lucky, because they’re pretty heartbreaking.
They’re also creepy as hell.
See, the thing with night terrors is that your kid can seem like he’s awake, even though he’s totally not. So, you come into the room because of the heartbreaking screams, and you’re faced with this zombie looking kid. Eyes open, glowing by the light of the nightlight. Looking AT you, but not seeing. For the Noodle, he’s usually sitting up, ramrod straight in the middle of his bed, facing the door, eyes open and screaming.
Seriously, it’s creepy.
Then, you face the decision of what to do. Most of the advice I’ve read has said not to pick up or hold a kid who’s having a night terror. My kid seems to scream with less intensity when I *DO* hold him, so that’s usually the way I deal with them. But that means that I have to deal with a thrashing, screaming, zombie baby. Who’s looking at me with his unseeing eyes.
Luckily night terrors don’t last too long–20 to 30 minutes seems to be the longest for us–and they don’t really affect his sleep once he’s through them. He doesn’t seem to have any recollection of them in the morning either. He’s fine once he’s got a decent night’s sleep. It’s just me who’s traumatized.