C started having night terrors around 19 months old. We laid him down for bed one night and he “woke up” screaming and crying an hour later. Nothing we did helped. We rocked, bounced, snuggled, hugged and kissed and his screaming and crying continued. He did not seem to realize we were there. It was scary and heartbreaking to not be able to help your child who is so clearly frightened by something. About 45 minutes in the tears finally stopped, he snuggled in and went “back” to sleep.
C continued to have night terrors. We brought it up at a pediatrician’s appointment and the doctor told us there was really nothing we could do to help him while he was having one. We had to let them happen. It is impossibly hard and heartbreaking to listen to your baby cry and not be able to help.
I started searching for answers. I had night terrors as a child, but mine did not start so young. I outgrew them as I got older. After asking enough questions, I found a mom in a group of friends who suggested we adjust his bedtime because night terrors can be triggered by a lack of sleep.
C never had a late bedtime. He used to go down around 8:30, so we moved the time up to 8:00. It helped dramatically. The night terrors curbed and he has had only a handful since. We know that if we have to be out later than 8:00 to expect a night terror that night.
Daylight Savings Time is the worst. I did not think of the implications last night that 7:30 was really 8:30 pre-DST and therefore C had night terrors all night long. He had no less than 6 last night. Major mom-fail, friends.
My darling boy is down for a rare nap right now. He was visibly sleepy this morning when he woke up. Hopefully the next few days are not as rough as last night.
Damn you night terrors and Daylight Saving Time.