citivolus (citivolus) wrote in toddlertime,

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Nightmares or sensory issues?

X-posted to my journal.
This past weekend, Liam had a stomach bug.  He vomited three times in one evening, which is not  the problem I am addressing.  The second time Liam vomited, he had crawled into bed with his brother, Dominick.  When Liam vomited, he did so in Dominick's bed, and managed to get some on Dominick as well.  This terrified Dominick. Dominick has recently been covering his ears with the palms of his hands when he gets overwhelmed or scared.  Last night, after the vomit incident, Dominick started crying and shaking, covering his ears, and was very concerned with Liam.  Not just that his brother was sick, but Dominick was hyperaware of every movement and noise Liam made for the rest of the night. The vomit incident happened at around 1:30 a.m., and Dominick did not go back to sleep until after 4:30 a.m., which kept Jason and me up all night as well.  Liam vomited once more at 2 a.m., which sent Dominick into a bout of hysteria.  I'm talking shrieking, crying, shaking, covering his ears, in general he was acting terrified of his brother.  I understand that waking up to someone vomiting on you is not pleasant, especially to a 3.5 yo child. 
My concern is that Dominick has continued this behavior tonight as well.  He did not want to go to sleep, despite having very little sleep last night and the complete refusal of a nap or even rest-time today.  We usually give the kids melatonin to get to sleep anyway, so he did eventually fall asleep just from the melatonin.  He woke up a little over an hour ago, crying and screaming, covering his ears, unable to tell us why he was scared.  I finally figured out that he did not like his pillowcase(it has Mater and McQueen from Cars on it, and they are his two favorite characters in the whole world, but waking up to someone, even a cartoon, staring at you from your pillow is a bit much for him, I'm assuming) so, I switched the pillow completely and gave him Daddy's pillow from our bed. This seemed to calm him down tremendously.  He was able to drink some water, get back into bed and let me cover him up.  Now, he is wanting to cover his ears when he goes to sleep.  It is not noisy in the least here.  We have a fan on in his room for air circulation and white noise, mainly because he got used to the noise over the summer when it was so warm.  Liam has been a bit restless while he is sleeping(they share a room, but not beds), and Dominick was worrying on the fact that Liam got sick last night.  I had to explain to him that Liam was fine now, and it was bedtime so lie down and be quiet.  He wants me to hold his hands on his ears. 
I guess I am asking for input. Does this sound like nightmares, and they will run their course?  Dominick has sensory issues, and I'm not sure if this is a new manifestation of an old issue, or what.  I plan on asking his therapist tomorrow.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get him past this, if it is just nightmares brought on by a scary incident last night?  On a side note, Dominick is fine with Liam and they played all day.  It's just now that they are in their bedroom tonight that these issues are resurfacing.  I can't take another night of no sleep.
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