Nightmares on Our Street

You know on Cbeebies you can send in birthday cards you have made for your kids – home made pictures of them getting hugs by Auntie Mabel, getting a high five from Bob the Builder, perhaps hiding behind a tree with a Zingzilla? I am going to make one for Alex and send it in. It will be a Usual Suspects style identifaction line up, with Mr Maker, The talking cabbage from Mr McGreggors nursery, The Number Taker from the Number Jacks and the baddy from Lazy Town. It would say “Which one of you meant that I spent all of last night like this?!”.


Poor Alex. I vividly remember having them when I was little and pretending I had an electric drill to drill through the wall to my parents room next door…

It started that he screamed and cried during the night one night. We soothed him. He went back to sleep in his own room. It has got progressively worse. Will only sleep on me in the chair in his room…will only fall asleep in our bedroom with us and we move him across…will only sleep in our room with us after he wakes during the night…will not go to sleep at all now in his own room without the mother of all paddy whacks and crying himself to sleep. The other night I went up to try and settle him (again) because I could hear him throwing his body against the door and when I got to his room his fingers were scrambling around under the door. Awful. Is this night terrors? Is this habbit? Is this hell? Is this normal? Is this ever going to end?

Night light? Check. Open door now? Check. Soothing pre-bedtime routine of no TV, bath, book, milk? Check.

Child continuing to scream upstairs? Check.

As always, I can only think to try and find some humour in this (or I will go crazy and start dribbling on the computer keys).

So this is how we sleep…

I lie awake at night thinking about how much space we waste.

We can’t use it because if we did the duvet would go over Alex’s head, so we all have to shuffle down to the bottom of the bed to sleep and wake up with cramp.

Instead of sleeping, I then lie in bed and think about getting one of these…

(minus the stick) because sleeping with Alex is like sleeping with Freddie Krueger. *makes a mental note at 3am to cut his nails in the morning*.

We could make extra money from that wasted space above our heads. We could rent out Ed and Alex’s rooms and Ed could sleep with us as well. Like this.

See – even enough room for all the bears and blankets and cars and bricks he insists on sleeping with every night.

Or…we wouldn’t have to worry anymore about inviting family over for christmas and finding them somewhere to sleep.

They could do this…


With Ed we had episodes when he would wake at night screaming, and whoever went in (you could put money on it) would get whacked and hit at. The second person in, could calm him. Didn’t matter who it was, first or second. A tramp could have gone in second and soothed him better than husband or I. But this with Alex, feels more raw. As I type this (he is soothed and asleep on our bed, where I army rolled off the bed and snuck downstairs – it is on 7.30pm) my heart is pounding in my chest. Badum. Badum. Badum.

I do know what to do….If my heart is beating out of my chest, then his must be 100 times worst. Trust my instincts, but follow his lead.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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4 Responses to Nightmares on Our Street

  1. tee2072 says:

    I don’t remember how old Alex is, but Adam went through similar for a, sorry to say, very long time. Absolute terror at being left in his room. It’s when we started to co-sleep, although we had a spare bed so my husband, Simon, and I would take turns sleeping with Adam and sleeping down the hall.

    The first thing I would do is buy another duvet, so you and your husband can each have one and you can all sleep up at the top of the bed. That way it won’t be over Alex’s head, he can be between the two of you, wrapped in your duvets!

    Next, just accept it’s going to be like this for awhile. That’s really what got us through it. Remembering that it wouldn’t last forever, it would just feel like it. Adam is now 2.8 and sleeps all by himself in his own room probably 6 nights out of 7. Or even more, depending. He still gets nightmares, but they are much less severe than they were when he was younger.

    Keep in mind I hate and despise leaving a child to cry. I am sure there are people who will come along and tell you to leave him to cry. Those people have never had a terrified child at 2am, of this I am fairly sure. This isn’t attention seeking. This is a truly terrified child.

    I hope that helps some and lets you know you aren’t alone!

    • Massively appreciate this comment – Thank you. I think you are right. In my heart of hearts I think this is they way it will be for a while…for his needs. A very good friend of mine said she had the same thing and suggested we buy a kingsize bed and just tried to make life as comfortable as possible for us all! Alex has never ever been a good sleeper, so this just seems like another sleep battle to succomb to. Many thanks again. And it is wonderful to know we are not alone!

  2. Pamela says:

    Just had to put this on here, as I whole heartedly agree with above comment, and it is one of the things we kinda just have to accept and go through with them, then the children just kinda work it out for themselves and will not rely on sleeping with you so much.

    And yes the best bit of advice (all be it slightly expensive!), and this is based on the fact that our 5 year old Sam did this every night until he was about 3 and a half! And after trying EVERY method going to keep him in his bed……………….we bought (albeit a second hand!) KINGSIZE bed 🙂 Best decision ever!!! We still tried to encourage Sam to stay in his bed, but as the enevitable happen and in he came, at least we all got a decent nights sleep! I am one of those people who if I dont get my full 8 hours I am a bitch from hell!! So with mummy getting sleep, as I am now not being kicked, thumpted and smothered to death, peace and harmony was restored!! 🙂 Eventually Sam did stay in his own bed, which he just kind of worked out for himself, with encouragements from Mummy and Daddy. Happy days!

    One more thing, there are benefits to this sharing a bed lark……I loved waking up seeing him all cosy snuggled in with us, and when he woke he would always give us a massive kiss and cuddle!! And for me personally, I know this contradicts a lot of advice given, it just feels right. If my little ones are frightened in the night and really cant be soothe back to sleep in their room, then I dont feel it is right to leave them to cry, my instinct screams to hold them and hug them, and I trust my instinct, its never let me down yet. 🙂

  3. Linda Bird says:

    Have you tried controlled crying? Did that when Jess was a baby much to her fathers dis-pleasure but it worked and I feel very smug. Leave Alex to cry for 1 minute then go in sooth him say goodnight then gradually increase the time you go in, that way he will know that even though you are not there in his room with him you are around if he needs you. It works after some time but persistance is the key. If he is a night time escaper like my Abi then rapid return is pretty good at first you take him back to bed and say goodnight the next time say nothing he will quickly learn learn that getting up at night is pretty pointless and should stay where he is.If these don’t work you could yourself and your husband some ear defenders! .Hope you soon get your bed to yourselves

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