My sleepwalking little one
It wasn’t the first time it happened but each time it makes me a little nervous. She had been asleep for about a couple of hours when I heard her little feet padding down the stairs. I asked her why she was awake and she didn’t answer. Instead, she walked over to me and crawled up onto my lap, without saying a word. It wasn’t until she was settled cozy in my lap that I realized she was still asleep. She had gotten out of her bed, walked down the stairs and crawled up on my lap all without waking up.
To be perfectly honest, she settled so softly in my arms, sleeping so peacefully just like a baby that I kept her there with me. We stayed sitting on the couch her soft steady breathing relaxing me. Her warm body feeling so big in my lap, reminding me that she wasn’t a baby anymore.
Eventually I stood and carried her back up to her bed, tucking her in, without her even knowing she had been downstairs.
While it’s not an everyday occurrence, it’s not unusual for one of my kids to get out of bed and wander around while sleeping.
My son has been caught at the sink brushing his teeth while still snoozing. My daughter has walked from bed to bed in a peaceful sleep.
At first I worried, wondering if it was a sign that something was wrong. That’s what we do as parents isn’t it? We worry. After speaking with my doctor, other parents and doing a little research I realized that sleepwalking children is actually quite normal.
Sometimes sleepwalking can be a result of kids being overtired, not having a regular bedtime routine or a reaction to a stressful situation. More often than not, sleepwalking is not dangerous or anything to really be concerned about.
For me, the most important thing is to make sure my kids are safe if they do sleepwalk. Baby gates are a good way to ensure that kids don’t fall down stairs or end up in rooms that can be unsafe for them. One of my biggest concerns was always that one of them would wander out of the house in the middle of the night, especially in the winter. For that reason we used to turn our house alarm on; if the door opened the alarm would sound and wake us even in the dead of the night. Though most young children do their sleepwalking an hour or two after they have fallen asleep. A lock that’s tricky for little ones to open would also work.
Keeping dangerous obstacles of your children’s bedrooms is also a good idea.
Usually when I happen on my sleepwalking child, I gently guide them back to their beds, give them a kiss and tuck them back in. I don’t wake them and I try to stay quiet, slow and gentle so as not to startle them.
Though some suggest not bringing it up, we always chat about the incident the next morning. Asking if they remembered their little trip and they usually find it funny that they were up and out of bed at night and they have no memory of it.
Sleepwalking has never been something that has caused us any real worry. It seems as though it can actually be a normal part of many kids sleep patterns.