It is 6:15am. Little L had a late bedtime, in part because Daddy came home from his business trip and she was excited. Anyway, after more than 6 hours of "uninterrupted" sleep, she partially roused to nurse. I complied, having been woken up by her rolling her not-so-wee toddler body over top of me in search of the other boob.
After a few minutes, she unlatched and rolled the other way to sleep again.
Well, just a few minutes later, she started crying in her sleep. It was a desperate and frantic wail, and she was also sobbing, "I want nye-nye! Mommy!! Have nye-nye! I can't..." and other similar phrases. I quickly returned to nursing her while her entire frame shook from the crying. Uttering soothing and reassuring words, I stroked her hair and held her tight. She never did really wake up fully, not even when her Daddy talked to her to see how she was doing. It took another several minutes to settle her back down (and stop the sob-breathing), and now she is sleeping again (mostly) soundly beside me again.
Was that a night terror? A nightmare? Just a really bad milk-less dream?
And how on earth do parents comfort their wee babes through an episode without the secret weapon of breastfeeding?! How do they keep their littles from waking up entirely, and still reassure them, sans breastfeeding, particularly when the bad dream is seemingly centred around not having access to nursing?! I have to admit, part of me dreads the day when she weans and I lose my "ace in the hole," even though I know that by then she will be ready to move on from the nursing and it probably won't be the main theme of her nightmares.
But to prepare me for this inevitability one day, what do you mommas (and papas) do to ease the terrors of a nightmare? I'd love to get some insider tips!