Routines and Night Terrors

About 6 months after I went back to work after having C, I took a day off. She woke up at her usual time. She ate her usual breakfast. And then she walked to the backdoor, put on her shoes, and looked expectantly at us, waiting to be driven to my parents. Once she realized that wasn’t happening, she pulled out the paper, read it and then asked for more breakfast. She was just carrying on the routine she would have gone through at my parents’.

What can I say? Kid likes her routines.

And that’s probably been the hardest transition for her now that I’m back home again. We haven’t established a routine, and that is in large part to the chaotic nature of having a baby in the house. Add to that the typical toddler behaviour of having difficulty with transitioning from one activity to another, and also the general resistance to sleep, it’s even harder. But we’ve got a new reason to really work on establishing a routine. On days when naps haven’t happened, or bedtime gets pushed too late, you can guarantee that 90 minutes after she falls asleep, Scott or I (or most times, both of us) will be back in her room.

C has night terrors.

We’re not talking about nightmares. We’re not talking about monsters under the bed.  We’re talking 20 minutes of her flailing about in her bed, shaking, her eyes partially closed, her mouth wide open, wailing, and yelling gibberish. Sometimes, she knows we’re there and will respond to our questions (incoherently). Sometimes, us being there wakes her up, and she is confused and upset, but doesn’t know why. But most times, we just lie her down, rub her back and quietly reassure her that everything is ok, as we wait for the fit to pass. The next morning, she has no recollection of any of it.

The next morning, we’re still shaken by it.

There are lots of compelling reasons to set up a routine. C responds well to them because it lets her know what to expect and so she is more willing to move from one task to another. But if that helps her sleep peacefully? That’s the best reason of all.



Categories: The new identity | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Routines and Night Terrors

  1. Oh goodness! Poor C and poor you! I think Ollie’s had a couple of night terrors and they are horrifying. I’m glad they aren’t a regular thing. I hope if you can get back to a good routine it will help her. I’m a fellow parent of a routine lover so I totally get it. It’s both a blessing and a curse sometimes.

  2. Oh wow. I’ve never experienced that, but have heard about it. I didn’t realize routine helped. Poor thing. And poor you.

  3. Oh no, poor C! That is terrible. Jona has really bad nightmares and has taken to waking up a ton lately… and sometimes throws giant fits IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT for reasons we can’t figure out. Parenting man… it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Sending good thoughts your way in hopes that the routine will help!

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