Call it what you will, the ‘nightmare’ for a child is, for different emotions, an awful experience for the adult too.
Josh happened to have such an event at about 6am this morning, probably 30 minute before his usual waking time. I was sleeping quite heavily still, Rosie shook me and told me that Josh was crying out for me and immediately I am out of bed and rushing to see the boy.
That feeling though, seeing him cowering under the sheets with real little tears on his face is dreadful. I got in the bed next to him and calmed him down, gave him a cuddle and suggested that maybe because it was close to morning he could come to sit and talk with us.
It transpired that his dream involved him looking after a baby, but that there were crocodiles circling around him and snapping at his legs. He has a cold, and told Rosie that he couldn’t breathe, so we made the assumption that they had pulled him into water.
Poor guy. I was a huge sufferer of them too, incredibly vivid dreams in which what is happening, for that moment at least; is REALLY happening.
Research suggests that taking a child out of his bed during or immediately following a nightmare isn’t particularly beneficial, but given the time of the morning, I will excuse myself.
Parents with a child suffering nightmares, please do look at this site – details everything incredibly well and offers sound advice to help combat the fears.