This is one of those posts that’s going to either make you think that I’m a bit crazy, or you’re going to say “YES!!! I’ve experienced that! I’m glad I’m not the only crazy one!”

(So, I guess either way, you’re going to think I’m crazy.)

Oh well.

Chris and I encountered a strange phenomenon when Ali was a baby.  And, although the event itself was odd, we found it even more bizarre that all of our friends had experienced the exact same thing.

Phantom Baby.

You know that piercing, wailing, unignorable newborn scream….and how it seeps into your very pores and your soul is sucked dry within five minutes of it starting?

There’s something about the human brain that can’t completely flush that sound… and can make you believe you’re hearing it, loud and clear, when it’s not present.

We had many experiences with Phantom Baby.  We would be sitting on the couch, enjoying some time away from our precious sleeping newborn, and then all of a sudden, one of us would hear it: the screaming.

We would freeze with horror and fear.

THEN, the Phantom Baby phenomenon would become contagious and spread to the other one.

We would both sit there, listening to Phantom Baby, trying to decide whether it was Real Baby or Phantom Baby.

(Not to be confused with the other bizarre experience I often experienced with Fake Baby.  Although I think that Phantom Baby and Fake Baby might possibly be evil twins, created by my obviously-damaged brain.)

Finally, one of us would begrudgingly go check on our precious infant…and she would be sound asleep.

Phantom Baby.

So, we’re mentally preparing ourselves to deal with Phantom Baby Number Two, as newborn screams will assuredly be filling our houses and sucking our souls dry very soon.

And, oddly enough, I think my sub conscience is very nearly ready … because I experienced a brand new phenomenon a couple nights ago.

Phantom Kid.

I was sitting on the couch, being a total sloth enjoying some nice, relaxing quiet time, and I heard…

“I need to go teeeee-teeeee!!!!!”

It was way too late for Ali to still be awake.

But then it was again…


So I managed to hoist my gargantuan self off the couch and head upstairs…

Only to find a completely soundly sleeping kid.

Apparently, Phantom Baby grew up into Phantom Kid.

Soon we’re going to have more Fake and Phantom occupants in our house than real ones…and I’m a little spooked.

14 thoughts on “Phantom Baby.

  1. So funny. Sometimes I have heard someone cry or make noise in their bed to only realize they are spending the night away at my mom’s house. Creepy. (:

  2. We’ve had that happen before, but most often we get our cat’s meow and the baby’s cry confused. They sound almost identical.

    The thing I’ve had happen with all three of my boys that was the strangest to me was that when they were all the way up to about 6 months old, sometimes at night I’d have a phantom kick in my tummy that would make me swear a baby was still in there. It made me kind of sad, because even though my pregnancies are always difficult, there’s just nothing like feeling one of those little kicks in there!

  3. I have many phantom babies in my house and I had phantom kicks in my tummy too. Those lasted for a couple years though and I would start to wonder if I was pregnant and didn’t know it. When my son is in his room playing during his sisters’ naps he makes sounds that make me think the girls are crying. He also had two dinosaurs with roars or screams that sounded like my girls. Had is the key word. They are currently on their way to Goodwill. With a new one coming I don’t need the extra phantoms.

  4. Phantom baby makes an appearance a few times a night around here. :-) In fact, sometimes phantom baby wakes up real baby, what with all the checking I end up doing on the poor thing. Last night I finally just gave up and went to bed so that I would at least be in the same room with her & would know the difference!

  5. Could it be a random cry out in the night? Maybe a bad dream??
    I’ve witnessed that. One of the boys will make some bizarre noise and 2 seconds later, look like they’re just sleeping away as peaceful as can be.

  6. Have you moved into your grandparents home? Or has that person followed a Zannis to a new home? I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. Think I will have dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. Does that count as turkey?

  7. I used to wake up in a panic, “holding” my baby only to find that she wasn’t there, she was in her bassinet sound asleep. It probably stemmed from the fact that she wouldn’t sleep anywhere but snuggled on my chest for the first two months. And Beege talks in her sleep… at first I’d run in to see if she was okay just to be irked that she was sound asleep and now I couldn’t get back to sleep at four in the morning. She also used to giggle in her sleep, which for some reason was totally creepy.

  8. Carson is famous for this. Usually at least once a night he will scream out “stop bubba” aka Connor. After I finally get out of bed to see what is going on, all are sound asleep and then I am wide awake b/c of the sudden screams in the middle of the night has my heart pounding. :)

  9. I hear it in the bathroom during showers and leisurely baths. I actually argued with my husband about hearing the baby crying and why he wasn’t getting her when he stuck in his head to check on me one time. Apparently she was SOUND asleep.

    Or so he *claims*

  10. As I was reading this, Lydia started crying. I checked the video monitor, and she was definitely sound asleep. Creepy. Oh, also, my breast pump talks to me. How’s that for crazy!

  11. Oh no! Don’t tell me this! I already see things that aren’t there and hear noises that don’t exist! (cats that manage to remove their collars with bells on them make everything creepy)

  12. I most definitely experienced phantom baby with both kids and still do sometimes. Maybe Ali was talking in her sleep and she really did yell I need to go tee-tee; Luke has been yelling out No! No! in his sleep several times in the past couple of weeks and everytime I go check on him he’s sound asleep!

  13. Oh yeah, definitely experienced phantom baby and phantom toddler. I think we just train our ears to hear any kid sounds so we start turning anything…garbage truck, radio, vacuum, anything into a crying kid. I often think I hear one or the other of my kiddos and it ends up being like the microwave or something. :P

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