Our 3 year old is currently suffering from nightmares. She is anxious when going to sleep about having to sleep alone and often wakes up. Last night after putting her back to bed for the 3rd time, she slept for half an hour and then let out the most godawful scream. Frankly it scared me shitless. It wasn't a night terror (as defined by the Great Ormond St/ NHS). It's a nightmare she's had before where she hears a loud bell. Last week, whilst staying with my sister in law, a late night visitor (i.e. someone at 8pm) rang the doorbell and left our tot in tears. I'm starting to feel rather guilty about jumping out at her every now and again, howling and scaring her!
Anyway, she ended up in the bed with me. Mr P.M. was in the living room to catch up on sleep lost to the previous night's nightmares.
The tut-tut-tittle-tattle-tutters out there will be saying I should have put her back into her own bed. Perhaps they are right but I'm not one to let a little 3 year old crying child go back to bed in terror. Plus as an insomniac myself telling her she needs to get back to bed and just fall asleep seems a bit hypocritical.
Are we failed parents? Are we helicopter parents? Who knows. Who cares. She managed to sleep. After reading on the site above that lack of sleep contributes to the problem I feel we are helping her really. I hope it won't be forever for both her, mine and my marriage's sake (which is rather dependent on night times cuddles from the other half). In the meantime, to help her on the way, I'll knit her a pair of sound proof ear mufflers to help her block out the sounds (even if they are only in her head). And for myself, buy make up to hide those ever increasing dark circles under my eyes.