Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sleeping through the night

This blog post isn't about my baby sleeping through the night. He's 2 now, so that finally happened some months ago. This is about ME sleeping through the night.

Yep, you got that right. Me, his mother.

After Jesse started to figure out how to climb up on things, especially how to climb over things like the baby gate, that's when we his parents were put on full alert. No longer could we relax knowing a baby gate kept him from getting into the kitchen, because now he was climbing over that gate and getting into the kitchen!

But that's not the worst part.

The worst part is that he eventually figured out how to climb up on the desk chair by the front door...and unlatch the safety lock we have at the top of the door. This was there to prevent him from unlocking the front door (as he learned how to do) and running outside, quite possibly into the busy street that we live on.

As one might imagine, this caused some anxiety for me. It wasn't enough that I watched him like a hawk, even took him into the bathroom with me when I had to use the bathroom to avoid something terrible from happening to him. On a very deep level, I was terrified.

Terrified because what if he managed to get out through the door while we're sleeping?

In December, I was heartbroken and in tears after reading a news article of a 2-year-old boy dying from exposure in the freezing cold and snow after slipping out of his Minnesota grandparents' house on Christmas Eve, while everybody was sleeping. As saddened as I was by this news, I was also just as scared for Jesse, that he might end up having the same fate.

Meanwhile, I wasn't sleeping. Every night, I'd wake up every 2 or 3 hours abnd go check on the baby, just to make sure he was still asleep in his crib and okay. Apparently, I was so stressed out over this, I couldn't sleep through the whole night. On a subconscious level, I was worried about the baby wandering about the house and getting out through the front door.

I kept telling my husband that we had to do something about this. We went through a series of ideas to prevent Jesse from slipping through the front door while we slept (and I even considered sleeping on a hideaway bed in front of the front door!) and I wrote about all of that in my book on deaf parenting. We eventually found a solution, which my editor actually suggested (thank you, Liz!): A double-sided deadbolt lock. Sounded like a good idea and the next thing was to keep reminding hubby to pick one up.

Well, first my husband tried using a safety pin on the security lock that the baby figured out how to unlatch. But I guess he got tired of me waking him up so early in the morning to take the pin out, since I couldn't and I had to get the children out the door. He eventually got the deadbolt lock. When they were installed, on both front and back doors, and he showed me how to use it, I had to laugh at first. I suddenly saw myself as that mother in the movie, The Others, locking and unlocking a door she needed to go through as she went through the house.

But after I saw just how it worked in keeping the baby from unlocking the doors himself, I wasn't laughing anymore. It was like the clouds clearing from the sky and a chorus of angels singing, "Hallelujah!"

They worked. The deadbolt locks did the trick. No more worries of the baby getting out the doors while we slept or when no one noticed, because now those doors had locks on them he could NOT unlock! HOORAY!!

And for the first time in a long time, I finally got a good night's sleep. I hope there will be many more...if this insomnia I am just recently dealing with ever goes away. I guess sleep and I just don't mix.

But at least the baby won't be able to slip out the front door while we sleep anymore. wow, that felt so great to say. I want to say it again! The baby will NOT be able to slip out the front door while we are sleeping anymore.

As long as we keep that door locked. Always locked.


Anonymous said...

Glad you got that figured out Dawn! You know there will be new worries to keep you awake later, LOL Its the price for being a mom!!

Dawn Colclasure said...

Thanks, Nancy. That is so very, very true. LOL