Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Best Time to Have a Night Terror

My son Pie, who just turned three, has been having night terrors for the past several months. Thankfully, they've become fewer and far between, and we've learned how to cope with them. If you've never seen a little one have a night terror, it's quite unsettling: Pie will sit bolt upright in bed, eyes wide open, and start screaming (in his case, it's usually along the lines of "I WANT MOMMY! I WANT MOMMY!"). The scariest part is that he'll be looking straight at me during an outburst--and if I try to soothe him, he'll struggle physically and verbally ("Not YOU! I want Mommy!").

The experts say it's best to wait it out; trying to soothe the child usually makes the episode worse. Unfortunately, the experts are right. The tricky part is when your kid has a night terror at a hotel (I wanted to get him a shirt the day after that said, "Ask Me About My Night Terrors!") or in an even more inopportune situation ( like when your disapproving mother-in-law is in the next room listening to your child wail "I WANT MOMMY!" and nothing is resolved for 10 or 15 minutes..."where the hell is that bee-otch my son married...").

Can you top my night terror nightmares? Tell us about it!


  1. Do the "experts" say they eventually grow out of the night terror stage?

    1. Yes...although I have heard of a "friend of a friend's sister" who still has night terrors as an adult. I think Pie will grow out of it.