Nightmare On St. Kilda Street

Recently, Frankie had somewhat of a bad night. She would wake in absolute hysterics, thrashing about and crying uncontrollably. Except, ‘waking’ isn’t really the right word, as she didn’t seem ‘awake’ as such. Her eyes remained closed the whole time, almost as if she was crying in her sleep.

My wife mentioned this to one of her friends, who in return said she could have been dreaming, or given the nature of the behaviour, having a ‘nightmare’.

A nightmare.

A 6 month old baby. Having a nightmare.

Now, we all have nightmares. Even the best of us. I can imagine Tim Burton tossing and turning in despair at the paralysing thought of getting rubber stamped approval to remake Beetlejuice, only to be told Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are both unavailable. Kim Kardashian waking in a trembling, cold sweat dreading the inevitable day that little North decides to pop the question on ‘how Mommy got famous’. Lady Gaga losing sleep at the perilous thought of arriving on the red carpet at the Grammys, only to discover that someone else has also turned up in the exact same outfit made of chinese broccoli and licorice ropes, wearing a space helmet filled with cream cheese.

But what in god’s name would a 6 month old baby have a nightmare over?

What could be so horribly disturbing to instill night terrors into someone who’s only been on the planet for six months?

Especially when the scenarios are limited to:

“I had a boob in my mouth and then it fell out.”

“I’ve rolled on to my stomach and I can’t get back over.”

“They left me in the car seat. Forever.”

“I dropped my dummy. And now I want it back.”

“They keep changing my clothes. Again and again. It never stops.”

“Mummy hid her face behind a blanket and never came back.”

“One of my socks fell off and now I’m only wearing one sock.”

I can understand the rational thought of a baby crying in their sleep being attributed to a ‘nightmare’, but I can’t for the life of me figure out, given our understanding of nightmares, what it could possibly constitute?

Does anyone out there have any thoughts?

What would your baby have a nightmare about?

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24 thoughts on “Nightmare On St. Kilda Street

  1. While it sounds nightmare – ish, I’ve never heard of a six month old baby having nightmares. I would probably have guessed teething.
    There’s the famous formula: up to three months it’s colic. Above that it’s teeth 🙂
    Our eldest had the screaming nightmares when he was about two. At that point the doctor said it’s perfectly normal.

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  2. I’m with leftover… Under a year it’s probably discomfort. Our younger son had night terrors between age three and four years.. Pediatrician said terrors because he would be asleep with eyes partly open but didn’t see us.. And he rarely remembered having them. Similar to sleep walking we were told. Watched him carefully for any walking for a few years after but he was out of them by age five.. Kids.. They’ll keep you up with something no matter the age! lol

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    1. I actually know a high school graduate who still has night terrors every now and then. Ironically, they scare everyone except him when he has them. He never even remembers they happened.

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  3. I highly suggest you read just one book probably the only book I would reccomend reading if u had to choose one. “the aware baby” by aletha soltier will explain everything and Help otherwise the searh engine on the website hand in hand parenting is awesome to read articles on heaps of different topics like this xx

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  4. My husband and I had this conversation; our son is six months old as well, and has been having little episodes like this. Neither of us could figure what he’d be a having a nightmare about, and my husband ended the conversation singing “When You Dream,” by Barenaked Ladies.

    With the amount he’s been drooling though… it’s probably teething.

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  5. Thats terrible! She is so little – I would guess night terrors but she seems too young, although some say they can start as 8 months – I would guess 3 to 4 years. Maybe separation anxiety or a belly ache? Good luck and I hope you all get some sweet dreams soon.

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    1. To be fair, she’s been an angel most of the time. She naps and sleeps very well compared to the horror stories I’ve heard from some parents.

      This was really one particular incident. We have noticed a tooth coming through, so I’m sure that will present some challenges going forward.

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  6. My girl did this around that age too, and i had started to convince myself they were nightmares, and I imagined the poor girl dreaming that she was crawling about the house looking for mom and dad and unable to find us. And in my soft hearted mom ways, I would scoop her up and snuggle her until she was calm and gently rest her back in the crib and tiptoe out on eggshells and snuggle back into bed.

    Then it gradually escalated to three or four times a night, and all the while seeming like she wasn’t truly awake.

    More than two or three months of this and mom lived life as a zombie, putting diapers on the chicken and babies in the roaster (kidding, kidding), and we finally submitted to the dreaded ‘Cry it out’. One scary day of moaning and groaning, and the girl sleeps solidly through the night, only waking up if she’s ill. Now she will occasionally cry out in her sleep, but almost always at a time when she’s very obviously teething.

    I suspect, at least in my case, that it was a matter of waking and being unable to get back to sleep without moms help, but being too tired to commit to being fully awake, thus the closed eyes. Though if ever I left her long enough, she would fully wake and scream until rescued.

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    1. Thankfully, we haven’t had any consistent issues like that.

      There is the odd difficult night, but for the most part she is pretty good.

      In fact last night she only woke up once! My wife’s boobs had almost exploded come morning.

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  7. My best guess would be the sensation of falling. I don’t think it’s something you need to have experienced (meaning I’m not suggesting that you’ve ever dropped her) to get that feeling you sometimes get when you’re just falling asleep. You know the one I mean, right?
    Anyway, it could be a physical thing rather than an imaginary one. If it keeps happening, maybe get her ears checked.
    Thanks for “liking” my post. I’m glad I found you. 🙂

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  8. Would it be okay with you if I linked to this post in a blog post of my own? After reading about what went on in your head during Frankie’s bad night, I’m inspired to write a post of my own and I want to make sure you get the credit you’re deserved… or the anonymity you’d prefer if that’s the case.

    Liked by 1 person

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