Night terror or sleepwalking?
FYI: Before I begin this message, I realized (for anyone else who's experienced this problem), that when posting a new discussion, you must click on "Display/Hide WYMeditor" at the bottom of the Body field of your message before submitting your post. I tried to submit this message before, as well as another message, but neither one posted in the boards. Please pass this info on to others in the forum. Thx! Anyway, here's take 2 for this one.
My youngest son (now 3 1/2) will sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, stand in the hallway and cry. When I approach him, he's groggy but awake. I usually give him a cup of water, then eventually coax him back to bed. So, I think, ok, a bad dream. This happens every once in a while. More frequently, however, my son will wake up, walk down the stairs, then lay himself on the couch where he eventually will fall back to sleep. During the times I've witnessed him do this, I've observed him groggy, but w/ his eyes wide open, and him well aware of my being there. When I tell my son, "Let's go back up to bed," he gets very upset and starts to cry. The only thing I can think of is that he'll often fall asleep on the couch at night, and we then have to carry him up to his bed. When he wakes up (for whatever reason), he probably realizes he's not on the couch anymore, and he gets upset. I don't know if this is the case or not, but it's a theory. Overall, he's not the easiest to get to bed at night, and it usually takes some extra effort to get him to sleep.
Could our son be sleepwalking, though? The only fear I have about this is that he can get hurt, especially if he falls down the stairs. Also, I don't want this to escalate to a point where he wonders out the door into a harmful situation. Maybe I'm over-reacting, but I don't know how to stop this. My husband and I are usually asleep at the time this happens, so we have no control over it until he's already down the stairs. Also, let me mention that my husband's brother used to sleepwalk when he was little. Could this be passed down in families? I'm not convinced in these instances that our son's having night terrors, b/c he doesn't look frightened when I approach him. He only starts crying when I ask him to go back to bed. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this, or have you experienced anything similar?