It was not just one night when MKJ had this mysterious screams while sleeping. There are times when I was awakened totally because he was crying out loud or tears fell down from his eyes yet his eyes were totally sleeping. I wonder, that maybe he was just having a bad dream or he was hungry and needs to nurse. But one night, that mysterious scream was really different. He cried as if he was really scared and frightened of something. I popped out my breast but he doesn't want to nurse. I really can see in his eyes that he is really afraid and all I did was to console and hug him tight. After a few minutes, he went silent and slept on his own.
After that, I found myself asking, what happened to him?
I got the answer the next day we had our visit with his pediatrician. She told me that MKJ is having night terrors. I was completely amazed of what is it all about. Upon hearing all the things his pedia explained, I researched thoroughly about that thing.
From babycenter.com, night terrors are:
"Night terrors occur in at least 5 percent of young children, and can start as early as 9 months. These mysterious disturbances happen during deep, non-dreaming sleep. A child in this state will cry, whimper, flail, and even bolt out of bed. Though his eyes may be wide open, he's not awake and isn't aware of your presence. Once the night terror (which can last anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour or more) is over, your child will return to a sound sleep and have no memory of the incident in the morning."
His pediatrician also explained that it is somehow normal for babies to experience night terrors as they were in the midst of developing and growing up. As she said, "everything he encountered in the day, got scared and afraid of something that is unusual, his subconscious identity will figure it out through sleeping." And then, I remembered all the things that MKJ got scared of and the people in the household who are making fun of him to scare about funny things. Duh, why did I let them do that with him?!
So here are the things to do when your baby is having night terrors:
*Help your baby/child go back to sleep or let them have good enough sleep. When he is experiencing already night terror don't wake him up, instead turn on the lights and be calm. Talk to him in soothing and sweet voice. Tell your baby by whispering gently on his ears that there's nothing to be afraid of. Mommy or Daddy is here and everything will be alright.
*Protect him from getting hurt or getting afraid of something. Keep him away from sharp and harmful objects and turn him directly on bed to sleep.
*Lastly, educate people in your household. Explain what night terrors are all about. Be ready and firm, and don't over react.
I hope that I can eventually help MKJ face his fears. I know he is not yet ready but I am hoping. Hey night terrors, I am on your way!!