From one extreme to the other

We are walking a precarious tightrope between two extremes with Addison lately. Either she is extremely sweet and loving and couldn’t possibly be any more adorable or she is in extreme, hysterical tantrum mode.

I would say about 90 percent of the time she is in the first mode. Such an incredibly bright, funny and sweet girl. But it is that other 10 percent of the time. Just run – far, far away from our house.

I have just been attributing it to being tired. The girl is such a routine baby it is scary, and it is very, very frightening is when she gets off of that routine. I can almost predict the nights that are going to be “rough.”

Unfortunately these “episodes” occur around 1am in the morning. She is exhausted, maybe didn’t have a nap, or didn’t get bath, snack, books, cuddles (in that order) before bed, whatever it is – it just sets her off. I am talking complete hysteria, she calls out for me, “Mama, MaaaMAAA! MAMA!” and it is with such angst that I just can’t bear it.

So I will go in to her room. Sometimes she isn’t even really awake, and if I try to pick her up she doesn’t want to be touched. So I’ll try to put her down, which sets off a whole new set of screams. At this point her face is nearly purple, she is so upset and I keep using the word “hysterical,” but it is the only word that truly describes the scene.

Okay, so let’s try a drink. I’ll get her a drink.  She screams “no dink, nooooo dink!” and propels the cup across the room.  Of course as soon as it lands, she screams, “dink! DINK! I wanna dink!”

And so it will continue. Usually for about 20-30 minutes until she just exhausts herself, falls asleep for the rest of the night and wakes up like none of this ever happened.

Um, what the….?

I kind of feel like it might be night terrors.  According to the BabyCenter article it really does seem like it may be a logical explanation.

“Related to being sleep deprived,” uh, check.

“Common cause could be a looming development leap,” yeah, another check.

And it isn’t every night. Yesterday was perfect. Denise said that she asked for her diaper to be changed and headed upstairs for her nap. (Yes, I know. We are also working on the potty training, she is asking to go, and definitely knows when she has to go. Maybe that is the looming developmental leap? Hmmm….)

Anyhow, She had a great nap. We spent lots of time doing everything in order last night and she fell asleep pretty easily. I didn’t hear a peep from her again until 8am this morning. She slept well and woke up happy.

I am just trying to stick as closely to her routine as possible, I guess. And I’m also off to buy her a nightlight for her room. It may be possible that she is waking up and is disoriented? Her room is really dark at night. I just am at a loss and willing to try anything. Anyone else ever had similar situations? Anything else I can or should try?

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7 Responses to “From one extreme to the other”


  1. 1 Kim June 19, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Too bad today couldn’t have been as stupendous as yesterday, huh? Hopefully it’s just a phase (a kind of long one, I know) and not really night terrors. I hear they can be just awful! Sending you love and compassion!

  2. 2 Becky June 19, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    I was reading along and said, “Night Terrors” aloud. I’m reading that you are thinking the same thing. We have been through the same thing here too. We battle night terrors as well as severe leg aches (growing pains). We spoke with the ped about it and came up with somewhat of a plan. The terrors are not as often now that they are getting a bit older. The leg aches are awful. We have chosen to give motrin before bedtime on a particularly rough day with lots of activity. This really helps keep the muscle aches away. As far as the terrors go, it can be quite frightening to walk in on. The kids are often times “out of it” and no matter what you do, the child isn’t truly aware that you are even there or what is going on. They especially don’t realize that you are there to help them! I found it helpful to have a rice bag (hot pack) handy. I heat it up, give motrin (if needed), quickly try to let them know I’m there and that they are okay. I hear the microwave beep, retrieve the rice bag, set it next to them (to give warmth/security) or on their sore muscle, give a drink (or sippie) of water if needed and I leave the room. Give it a few minutes to see if it works before heading back in to the torture chamber. I wish you lots of luck as you go through this stage. In time, it too will end. Hugs!

  3. 3 Michelle June 19, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    I am known to be the queen of night terrors in S.F. Lots of kids never have them……..my sweet Connor……. had them at the earliest of ages until he was 3. They really tapered off by three. I’d keep the room dim, but light enough so that they could see me there when they had come back to the real world. I do believe that for some it is a developmental stage that they have to go through. I would just hold Connor, and say a prayer out loud…that may have been the only thing that ever helped. You are doing such a great job, Carrie. You are a fantastic Mom . : )

  4. 4 Christina June 20, 2007 at 10:23 am

    I was thinking “night terrors” before you even said it. I’ve never had any experience with them, but it does sound exactly like everything I’ve read about them. Wish I could offer some advice. Good luck!

  5. 5 Stacy June 22, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Hmmmmm, part of it sounds like night terrors and part sounds like a two year old. I get the screaming (before bed) and throwing and mind changing from my two year old. I would think a night light would be helpful…my kids have them in their rooms. It’s not a ton of light, but enough for them to see what’s going on in their rooms.

    The whole not calming down and being hysterical does sound like night terrors. 😦

  6. 6 Colleen June 23, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Zoe does this occassionally too. Usually she is the perfect sleeper… but once in a while she just wakes up screaming and is almost inconsolable. And then all of a sudden she calms and goes back to sleep. She did it almost every night we were away for vacation (boy did that take away from the whole relaxing aspect). But, like you’re describing… we were off schedule, doing things differently, etc. etc. etc. Last night was our first night home… no screaming. My fingers are crossed that it was just a vacation thing.


  1. 1 The tyrannical “threes” « Barely Controlled Chaos Trackback on October 28, 2008 at 3:35 pm

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