Night terrors

QUICKIE:  Kevin gave Rocco a “Peebody Award” this morning for waking up covered in his own pee.
So Vincenzo does this thing sometimes where he wakes up in the middle of the night screaming, rocking, pawing the air at people or things only he can see.  If we touch him he usually just screams louder.  Last night he actually did let me hold him and then he peed all over me, much to my husband’s amusement.  (“Some kids wet their bed.  Vincenzo wets his mother.”)  If we ask Vincenzo what’s wrong or what he’s dreaming about during these episodes, he manages to throw a couple of garbled, unintelligible words into his screaming.  His eyes are the scariest at these times—black and glassy, unfocused and unconnected to the person inside his body.

The only way we’ve found to snap him out of it is to act cheerful and start reading a book to him as if his head isn’t actually spinning around until eventually he lays down and his breathing slows and his body stops jerking up and down with his sobs.

The whole thing is freaky and creepy in a call-the-priest kind of way.  Vincenzo remembers nothing of it when he wakes up.

I’m just wondering, do anyone else’s kids do this?  Is it normal-ish?  Or should we see someone about it?  Does anyone have any insight about what’s going on in his head?


13 thoughts on “Night terrors

  1. It is freaky but normal. James is going through a mild version of this, which I hope doesn’t get worse. He sits up and talks or yells, usually an hour or two after going to bed. My bff’s daughter has been doing a more extreem version since she was 3, and sounds very much like V at night. She’d scream, thrash, hit, all with her eyes open, and not remember any of it in the morning. Sometimes this would go on for 20-30 minutes. They spoke with her pediatrician, who said it was night terrors, and told them not to comfort her or try to wake her, just make sure she didn’t hurt herself. The doc also told them that their daughter could be overly tired, and to make sure that she went to bed on a regular schedule. I don’t think this helped though. She’s 7 now and doesn’t have the terrors anymore, just complains of vivid dreams and is sleep walking instead.

  2. Is it okay to admit that if this were my kid, I would be a big chicken, and make Eric deal with it while I stayed in bed with the covers over my head? Because that’s reality. One more reason you are SUCH a better mom than me.

    Poor little guy.

  3. My neighbor’s son had this recently, too. She now stays on a strict sleeping schedule (naps and bedtime) and a very regular routine, which has helped.

    I have also heard that you are not supposed to try and comfort them. That may be good advice, but there’s no way in hell I’d be able to follow it. 😦

    Also, if Kevin finds it so funny maybe he’d like to wake up some night to warm water being poured all over him? Just a thought…

  4. is it mean of me to really want you to post a video of it?

    i’m mainly curious – because i know it isn’t funny.

    just wanting to know what my future may look like.

    sorry he’s so scared. i can’t imagine what a helpless feeling that is for a parent.


  5. Dude, the 10 year old still has them. They have changed as she got older in the sense that she will get up and walk into our room, eyes glazed over, mumbling some gibberish/crying. We have been told not to wake her. I take her back to bed, give her a stuffed lovie and rub her back and she is back to sleep pretty fast. She outgrew the thrashing arms part, and thankfully, never peed on me.

  6. They are normal. In the “old days” they were called “night terrors.” You had them…don’t you remember? Nope, and Vincenzo won’t either.
    Love Mom

  7. Both my husband and Maggie are sleep talkers/walkers. My husband wakes up at least once a night talking to who knows who or looking for something “crawling” under the covers. Maggie has had some night terrors too. You totally think they are awake but they remember nothing in the morning. I just do what I can to calm her down and tell her to go back to sleep. Aaron is sort of the same…I don’t touch him, just let him finish muttering and tell him to lay back down and go back to sleep. I definitely creepy if you’re not used to it. Good luck…hopefully they’ll just go away!

  8. Liz is right about being over-tired. B gets these every so often, but more so when he is the sitter. My ped says he is over-stimulated, therefore more tired, by everything at the sitter…

  9. If it makes you feel any better, Allie does the same thing only she screams out for Mommy. When i pick her up and rock her telling her “Mommy is right here,” she usually screams “YOU ARE NOT MY MOMMY!!!” She pushes me away and sobs. Thi can last for anywhere for 5-45 minutes (yes, I said 45 minutes) depending on the night terror. She is truely frightened. I usually have to start telling her a story about sitting in the middle of a field with flowers all arund her and butterflies flying everywhere. We are sitting on a blanket together read books ad telling jokes. Her body is rigid almost the whole time and her eyes flutter open and close. She has no idea whatis going on, and in th emorning remembers little if any of it (other then being scared). Zach experienced it for the first time on a recent vacation, and he was amazed. He said he had no idea how intense they were until then. Me explaining it to him in the morning apparently did not do it justice. So, I am right there with you – I think we should both invite the priest over. Love you and miss you guys ALOT!

  10. Catching up on your posts. We’re right there with you. Sounds like it’s pretty normal. Brice’s can get really crazy and we’ve learned to not try and wake him. We just try to get him to lay back down and sooth him into a normal breathing pattern. It’s been exhausting but luckily for me, Eric has been taking point many of the nights so I at least pretend I’m getting a bit more sleep. I remember having night terrors and crazy vivid dreams (still have the crazy vivid dreams) so I’m guessing Brice takes after his mama in this. Next should come sleep walking. I did a bit of that as well.

    Hope the things calm down and you guys get some more sleep!

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