Do we have a problem on our hands. If you had asked me about sleepwalking six months ago, I would have brushed you off, and thought you were talking crazy.
Today, my opinion on this topic is quite different.
Mr. D is a full fledge sleepwalker. Saturday was the clincher when Hubby found him outside on the deck. That’s right. He managed to get out of his squeaky door bedroom, down the hall past my open door bedroom, down a flight of stairs, out the locked slider door which chimes an alarm when open, and onto our two story high deck. He was only one gate away from the pool.
I slept through it all.
Lucky for us, Hubby was just finishing up a late night poker game with his buddies and found him.
This is the first time he made it outside. Hubby and I are besides ourselves.
Mr. D has just started this behavior in the last six months. Usually it’s just a few hours into his sleep and we are still up. We also have found that it happens after he has had a very busy day and is overtired. He comes down to the family room, eyes dilated, walking a little wobbly, and not able to talk any sense. We manage to turn him around and tuck him back into bed. He never has had two episodes in one night and he doesn’t remember a thing the next morning.
At first when he started doing this, I thought he was trying to stay up with us. I even punished him for an episode in which he peed in a laundry basket full of clean clothes that was in his room. Here I had thought he was being naughty. Now, I am seeing this new behavior in a better light.
My little man who is not fond of the dark, navigates through the pitch black on these little adventures. Doors, stairs, and locks don’t seem to stop him.
I am usually such a light sleeper and I am so upset at myself that I didn’t hear a thing. I am now having horrible images of finding him in the middle of the road or worse at the bottom of the pool.
What could we do to keep our boy safe.
Locking him in his room had crossed our minds, but then I thought if there was a true emergency he would be trapped. Also he is so good about getting himself to the potty and not having accidents. I think this might cause problems with his bathroom independence.
Our current solution to ease our worried minds.
The Baby Gate!
Yes, up it went. The super sturdy, almost impossible to open, gate that is located on the top of our stairs.
I dug it out of storage and installed it that night. It’s very difficult to open and makes such a racket when you do. When it was newly purchased, I thought that these features made it the worst gate around. No napping child would still be napping if anyone needed to get through the gate. However, I think that this might be our wonderful solution to this dangerous situation.
I just hope that he doesn’t figure out how to quietly open it or climb over it.
Keeping or fingers crossed!