Monday, May 25, 2009

Night time conundrums

For everyone's safety, most importantly Noah's, he has always been locked in his room at night. Until last summer it was with a child safety knob on the inside of his door. Then he learned how to take it off and we had a few "incidents."

  • Like the morning of my 40th birthday when we woke up to realize that Noah had gotten out of his room during the night and covered Kiel's room with baby lotion and baby bath. Fortunately Kiel was still sleeping in our room at the time.
  • Or the morning we woke up to find Noah downstairs at 4am'ish and honey all over the kitchen and dining room floor and the piano.
  • Or the middle of the night when we heard him downstairs and he had every ice cream cone in the freezer unwrapped and laid out on the kitchen floor ready to eat.This one was actually cute, and not messy. But still, he was so wired I swear his feet were not touching the floor.
So, we turned the handle around on his bedroom door so the lock was on the hall side and kept him in his room that way.

Of course locking him in his room is a bit of a problem as we are trying to figure out if he wets the bed at night or just pees in his night time pull up when he wakes up in the morning because it's convenient for him. Since he can't get out on his own he hasn't learned to get up and pee as soon as he's woken up.

If we wake him up during the night to pee we risk him not going back to sleep. As it is he wakes up during the night on his own occasionally and doesn't go back to sleep. It's not unusual to hear him up at 3:30am or 4am playing and jumping around. If we let him out of the room its like releasing a whirling dervish or a wild animal. No one in the house will be able to sleep. We have a conundrum because his behavior is almost manic but its too early to give him his ADHD medications.

In the last couple weeks he's woken up early (around six or so) and asked to get out of his room so we've tried it a few times. He's actually handled himself fairly well, even getting himself cereal or making himself oatmeal. Of course he isn't downstairs by himself for that long, since Kiel is usually up soon after, which means we are too.

So the other night we decided we'd give him a shot at leaving his door unlocked and let him get up in the morning on his own.

Oh yeah, you know what's coming don't you.

I woke up at 4am to pee and guess who was already downstairs. He was being quiet, so I just went back to bed. At 4:30am Rich woke up and realized Noah was downstairs and went down to get him. That got Noah all riled up and there was lots of yelling and goofiness. Eventually he got him in his own room and I think he slept some more.

So, clearly, Noah isn't ready to have the freedom of an unlocked door.

I hate locking him in like this, but I'm afraid if we don't he won't be able to control himself. Best case he doesn't get enough sleep, and neither do we, worst case he does something dangerous or decides to go outside and play.

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  1. Would it open up a really big (and potentially stinky) can of worms to put one of those small toilet-training potties in his room when you lock it? I've read that some parents use glow in the dark paint to put stars on it so the kids can see it at night, and then they don't have to make it all the way to the bathroom if they wake up to pee. Of course he may miss. Or have a cup of pee (or worse) at his disposal in his room...

  2. Ugh. That's a hard one. You sound stuck for now.
    It does seem in just those short paragraphs, that he is showing improvement at night. You may not see it completely, but your writing seems to reflect that.

    Sometimes things seem at their worst, then suddenly it changes.

  3. We have door alarms on all the kids doors. You're brave. I'd be afraid to lock a kid in a room. The door alarms go off and we know when someone is out when they shouldn't be. We also have baby monitors so the kids can call us and we can hear what they are up to and lastly, we recently installed a video monitoring system.

    I have 5 kids- 4 with Reactive Attachment Disorder. So we have to know where they are at all times. The door alarms won't keep him in but they'll alert you (and everyone else in the family) to when he's out and if it's a potty issue, we have our kids ask us to go to the bathroom (because they were destroying the bathroom) so we hear them on the monitors.

    Not fun! Hope this helps some.

  4. i used to be a caseworker for cps (don't throw stones, anyone--i did it because i love kids!!!), and one of the things i recommended to families were the door alarms cupcake mama talks about. you put one part on the door jamb, and the other part on the door. when the door opens, the alarm goes off. it's good if you have kids who sleepwalk, sneak out of the house at night, etc.