Ava used to have nightmares pretty frequently when she was younger. She would wake crying and it would take us ages to calm her down. She was at the age where she couldn’t really communicate what it was that was making her upset. So we just cuddled her and reassured her that everything was okay and not to worry.
These nightmares haven’t happened for a long time now. They seemed liked a distant memory that was until last night. Last night was the worst nightmare I have witnessed her having. The fear on her face was horrible to see. As a parent there is nothing worse than seeing your child scared.
Ava has been saying for the last few weeks about monsters in her room . We reassured her that there wasn’t any monsters and she was fine with that . She calmed down quickly and after a cuddle she would go back to sleep. Tonight however was completely different.
Ava was woken by Alby around 4 1/2 hours after she had gone to bed. Alby’s not really playing ball with sleep at the moment. So it’s a struggle to keep him in his own bed all night which normally means between 10-12 he wakes crying . Anyway so he woke her she was upset and very hot. I put this down to her being all wrapped up in the covers and the sudden noice of Alby had just startled her . Normally she would be comforted back to sleep but not tonight .So she came into our bed for a cuddle . She seemed fine so we all went off to sleep.
That was until a few hours later she woke us up screaming about spiders. She was jumping and thrashing around saying there were spiders on her feet. She looked and sounded terrified. We couldn’t calm her down she was certain there were spiders in the bed and they were hurting her feet. I could feel her body physically shaking.
I took her into her room which was lighter to show her there was nothing there . It didn’t comfort her she still thought there were spiders trying to bite her feet and hurt her . I ended up having to hold her feet which comforted her for a little bit . Not for long though she started again.
I know it sounds really bad but it’s so hard not to get shouty. I can clearly see there is nothing there but she just cannot see it . Plus the fact I’m shattered and just need sleep. I just had to keep reminding myself that it’s not her fault you need to be there as a comfort for her.
The only way I could break this cycle was to take her away from her bed. In the bathroom she seemed more relaxed. So we decided to go downstairs and chill . After some more reassurance that everything was okay . There were no spiders she finally started to calm down. Then watching Marry Poppins made her totally forget about it .
I have to say in all the time I have been a parent this is one of the scariest moments I have had to go though. I could see she was terrified but I couldn’t help her . Nothing I was saying was helping she was convinced that the spiders were there and they were biting her feet. It’s a moment I really don’t want to experience again.
After a Google as you do I noticed a lot of articles said that if children get woken suddenly by loud noises . It can cause them to have nightmares later on in the night . So I’m wondering if Alby’s crying was what triggered this ?
I’m just hoping this doesn’t become a regular as one I hate seeing her so terrified and two I’m shattered ! If anyone has any advice on how to prevent or deal with nightmares I would really appreciate them.
So I wrote this at 4 o’clock this morning and the day has been a long one . Thankfully Jordan’s around this weekend so I was able to go for a little nap when Alby went down for his . Ava’s has had a really high temperature so I’m thinking this might also be the trigger for the nightmare. She’s also had pains in her feet which I’m guessing could be growing pains ! Who knows. I’m just hoping she better in the morning as she’s got a week full of festive fun ahead of her.