Halloween is a spooky time of year, but it doesn’t take much to scare a child. He was probably just dreaming that mommy was too lazy to go to the grocery store again and that we were STILL out of milk and bananas. Horrifying, but possible.
(Thank goodness to wonderful husbands who can stop at the store on their way home from work!)
Whatever he was dreaming about, Mr. 1 woke up shortly after 10 pm crying. It was not an intermittent “Gee, I’m having a little trouble going back to sleep.” cry. It was a loud and continuous “I’m scared and alone!!” cry.
This is the first “nightmare” that Mr. 1 has had. Mr. 3 used to get them every once in a while at this age too.
I went into the room and picked him up. I patted him on the back and talked to him in a quiet soothing voice, hoping that we wouldn’t wake up his brother in the process. Mr. 1 hiccupped and kept saying “da da da” but gave no indication of the meaning of these noises. When he saw the cat slink by he started whispering “meow” and seemed to feel better. So I sang him twinkle twinkle and he leaned toward his crib. He laid down quietly and I left and shut the door.
Except less than 2 minutes later he started crying again! I sent Daddy in there to try his hand at calming the poor child, but he started crying again as soon as Daddy closed the door.
What should we do? Should we let him cry it out and settle himself to sleep? What if he wakes his brother? We waited 2 minutes to see what would happen, but although the crying would slow it would not stop.
I decided my poor little baby needed something else. I brought him some water, which he didn’t want. I picked him up and took him out of the room. I fed him a leftover piece of the granola bar I had been eating, and offered him the water again. He seemed calm and relaxed now so I offered to take him back to bed. He pointed at mommy and daddy’s bed.
I threatened him, “Okay… you can sleep with us BUT you have to stay put. No wiggling and trying to escape. IF you leave the bed you go back to your crib.” (This was the first time he will have tried to sleep in an open bed, and also the first time to sleep with Mommy and Daddy.)
He seemed to agree and I put him down on the bed. He immediately clambered up onto my pillow and took up 97% of it, and he only left me about a foot and a half of bed to sleep on. But he was laying still and trying to sleep.
He managed to stay in bed for about 4 hours when I heard a groan and found him crawling over Daddy’s head and trying to escape.
I brought him to his crib and he didn’t complain, and slept the rest of the night normally. Mr. 3 never woke up enough to complain.