Night Terrors and Baby Jail

Jasper Gives you a tour of his new baby jail:

After reading your recommendations on play yards and doing some research, I decided I wanted to get the L’il Playzone, mostly because it doesn’t look like a dog kennel.  Not so much for us, but so that Jasper would hopefully be fooled by the primary colors into thinking it was more toy and less jail cell!

The amazon reviews were very positive, but nearly everyone said to order two to make the area larger. Ouch, 2 would equal $200!  So off to craigslist I went.. and I found a nice couple only 20 minutes away selling their playzone plus 8 extensions for $110.. the extensions run $30 each, basically it was like getting two for one so I jumped all over it.

I was just about to leave to go pick it up when  Jasper started crying HYSTERICALLY in his room about 45 minutes after he’d gone down for the night.

Since we Ferberized a few months ago I’ve NEVER had to go in except for his middle of the night feeding. He might wimper or even weakly cry for a minute or two, but this was totally different and after a moment or two of indecision I went in to rescue him.  My immediate thought being that it was a crazy hot night and we hadn’t installed the A/C yet, maybe he was either hot, or couldn’t fall asleep with the windows open because of the kids making noise outside.

But it was the weirdest thing, when I went in to his room it was like I wasn’t even there at all.. in fact he crawled into the side of his crib as if he didn’t see it there. My presence was of no consolation to him, he continued to cry inconsolably flailing in my arms with eyes open for another 5 minutes until he finally settled down in our bedroom while Jeff installed a window unit in his room.  When I went to put him back down I expected a fight, but he went down as if nothing had ever happened.

The whole thing was so bizarre that I brought it up to the mother of the family that I bought the playyard from. She told me how her twin boys suffered from night terrors that began around Jasper’s age. Bingo!

When I got home I immediately looked it up online and that is exactly what happened.. even down to the timing (45 minutes after falling asleep).  Even though I felt awful that my poor little guy had to go through this, I was relieved to know WHY and WHAT was happening. It was really a horrible experience that I hope doesn’t happen again, but if it does at least now I’ll know what’s going on.

I also feel awful admitting this,  but I was relieved to know it wasn’t just a “sleep protest” that I responded to thereby potentially throwing Ferber out the window. (Once you’ve successfully sleep trained, it’s hard NOT to consider the future consequences of any disruption when it might mean that you have to start from scratch again.)

If they haven’t already, I hope that none of your babies ever have a night terror – but if they do at least maybe now you’ll remember this post and know what it is. I honestly don’t think it would have occured to me if the mom hadn’t mentioned it!

So have your little ones had night terrors? If so, when did they start?

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ariana says:

Jenny, very interesting, thanks for sharing! Jasper was stuck under my pubic bone sunny side up and we did do cranial sacral in hopes it would help his digestive issues when he was younger but I haven’t yet taken him to the chiro. I will definitely keep it in mind if they become a chronic issue.

Heather, he is teething, but this is really different than I’m in pain or I don’t want to go to sleep or any other discomfort that they can be soothed out of.. seriously they are in a trance like state, like sleep walking.

Heather says:

I’m no expert, but do you think he might be teething? My very reasonable 14 mo. old was waking up CRYING AND CRYING about every hour last Sun-Tues. For the last couple nights, we gave him Tylenol and put a frozen teething ring in his crib, and it seemed to help. I’m guessing it was teething and not night terrors because he’s been very drooly…

Good luck!

jenny says:

oh, I meant to add that the preference for being on the left and hating back sleeping are other signs of misalignment.

jenny says:

My oldest had night terrors and night mares from about 4mo, till 3yrs. We were able to stop most of the night terrors by getting him to nap more and go to bed earlier and not having him in a room with a tv on. No easy task.
The night mares lasted until I took him to a chiropractor. After a few alignments, we suddenly had regular sleep. He was probably misaligned from birth (it was long and he had his hands over his head.) He hated sleeping on his back and had a strong preference for being held and nursing on my left side.
Night terrors and night mares can pop up for a variety of reasons, but if they happen repeatedly, the steps we took might help you too:)

Samm Ivri says:

Absolutely! Mia has those too. ANd it almost seems like she’s not fully awake when she cries like that. As if she’s still dreaming. Its the saddest cry! I hate it. I found that sometimes I really have to wake her up from it then put her back to sleep.

Nice Playzone!! Great idea. Its exactly what i need!

ariana says:

Lynn, wow… so interesting, yes he definitely had allergies (well, food sensitivities anyway) and also has very long eyelashes!!

Faith says:

mouse is about 7 1/2 months so i’m not there yet, but thanks for the heads up. It sounds horrible. I hope Jasper doesn’t have this too often!

Lynn says:

My daughter is a few days older than Jasper and I was asking a friend about ear infections and the like the other day (her boys, who are 4 and 2, have suffered from all sorts of allergies and the like). She said their specialist told them that night terrors are linked to allergies. I have never heard of that before was intrigued. She said something about long eyelashes also being linked to allergies???? I think I recall reading about Jasper having some stomach sensitivities so maybe there is a connection??

At any rate, I pray it passes for the little one!

lelu says:

Love the baby jail. We’ve been thinking about getting one. My house is pretty baby proofed but the big kids are always leaving stuff out. Legos, markers, Polly pockets…And this baby is into everything!

Sorry about the night terrors. My 4 year old niece has them and I know it can be scary. Hopefully it won’t happen again.

Kimberly says:

No experience with night terrors, but that is one cute jailbird you’ve got there! :)

Michele says:

Ah – how I covet your baby jail! Leo just runs through our house from one hot spot to another. He frantically opens up the drawers where we keep cables, remotes and non-baby items, and while we’re distracted he turns the computer server (which he broke) on and off. We keep trying to baby-proof more and more, but we’re running out of options! Sometimes I feel like all I say is ‘no’…if only we could make our whole place one safe baby jail!

ariana says:

OMG Lindsey, 2 hours?? I’m so sorry that you are still dealing with this, it must be so disruptive and of course sad to see your babe in so much distress :( I hope he does grow out of them soon!

Lindsey Ring says:

My oldest has night terrors. His started around one and we still deal with them several times a week (or night) at two-and-half. They’re supposedly heredity so ask around to see who you can blame. ;) I grew out of them at 3 so I’m home my son will, too. I remember one night when I spent two hours just holding him, waiting for him to stopping screaming hysterically (since I can do very little for him during those). Hugs to you and Jasper. Hopefully, it’s just a fluke.

ariana says:

Susan & Farah, you guys bring up another good point that I forgot to mention which is apparently it’s more common when something is “off” like being sick or even overtired.. it happened on a day when he completely missed his afternoon nap, which is a really rare occurrence.

Susan says:

Hi Ariana,
Violet had a night terror not too long ago that occured around the same time of a stomach flu. She woke up and (like you, did the whole Ferber/happy sleep habits…) it was NOT a normal cry at all. It freaked me out when she didn’t want to nurse and just kept wailing and flinging her body around…soooooooooooo, we jumped in the car to go to the emergency room. Perhaps I over-reacted? ha! She actually calmed down once we were 2 minutes into the car ride. Like Jasper, Violet went back to sleep without so much as a peep once we got home. I hope these terrors are few and far between because I think that it upsets me so much more than Violet!

Farah says:

MT had might terrors while on anti-biotics for 27 days. It was right around 9 months of age

ariana says:

Wow Meggin, I hope he doesn’t either! I knew children were prone to them, I guess I just didn’t think that infants could get them too.. not sure why really?

Meggin says:

Kirk has not had any night terrors but I had them for years. My mom said mine started around age 3 and went on till 6or7. She said I would wake up screaming and like Jasper, I would stare at her as if she was not there and say I want my mommy. She even said sometimes I would start mumbling things she could not understand and play with my fingers (almost like I looked posessed). At first she said it freaked her out so she asked the Dr about it and she explained that it sounded like night terrors. After a while it was just a routine and my sisters did not even wake up any more. She figured out a way to get me out of it–she would take my to the potty and once I went, I would just look at her and smile as if nothing happened! It sounds so crazy to me but I grew out of it:) I hope Kirk does not inherit that from me!

ariana says:

JB, the fact that you remember it even know attests to the horror doesn’t it? But your babe never had one? Thank god!

jbhat says:

Ugh! I once babysat for a tyke (who was maybe 3 or 4 years old) who woke from a night terror. It was the most frightening thing I had ever experienced. I remember not being able to do ANYTHING to soothe him. I called home and my dad came to the house to provide moral support for me, but he couldn’t do anything either.

I hope this is just a passing thing for you and Jasper.