Suddenly waking up hysterical at night

I have never been penetrating the worries and scary feeling like yesterday when my daughter suddenly woke up hysterical at night. Have you ever experienced this during your motherhood? Here is my story.

Last night my daughter went to bed at 8:30pm and slept through really well. I did come in the room and checked her couple times before I went to bed to make sure everything was ok.

Around 1:00am I heard she crying so I went over and held her in my arms but she seemed not so happy with that. She was crying and screaming and tried to get out of the bed and ran away. She ran to the living room then to the bathroom in the dark. I was so worried that she can hit something and I just wanted to calm her down so I tried to catch her and hold her tight. But the more I tried to settle her down the more she was upset and screaming. She ran into the bathroom and hidden herself in the corner near the toilet and just sitting face to the wall. I was so scary and didn’t know what to do (my husband was away for business trip). When I called her to let her know that I was there with her but it made worse and worse. She stared at me like an enemy with watery scary eyes. She went of her head and freak out when I came near her or when she saw my face. I was shaking and crying a lot. This was the first time I felt helpless to my daughter and it really hurt me.

I stood back, went to my bedroom and kept silence. Then she stopped crying and went quite. I still heard the choked sobs but not screaming any more. This hysterical crying took half an hour to finish. I thought she was calmed herself down so I decided to go back to the bathroom and picked her up. But she was still upset and she hit me when I carried her. She was so exhausted after all and easily went back to sleep in my arm with rocking and paddling.

In the morning, I decided to clear my worries by hopping on Internet and looked up for hysterical waking up at night. I found a very interesting post on BabyCenter from Deborah Lin – Dyken, a paediatric sleep disorders expert. As what she said it is very common for the toddler even for the best of sleepers to suddenly start having sleep problems. And that called “night terrors”, which are similar to sleepwalking but are more dramatic.

With her advices and from my experience last night, I summary things to do when it happens to your kid:

–      Don’t speak to him or try to soothe him. Trying to soothe your kid will only extend and intensify the sleep terror – even saying his name can make him more upset.

–      Don’t try to awake him. He may think you are attacking him.

–      Just let the night terror run its course, and stand nearby to make sure your kid doesn’t hurt himself.

–      When he wakes up after a nightmare, go in and reassure him. Stay with him until he falls back to sleep.

All the best to mums and kids.

* Thoa Read *


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