My 3 year old left home in middle of the night! :,(

Whitney - posted on 08/30/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )




Ok, this is my very first blog/comment ever, and it is also my first time on this website. I saw some of the other stories and I had to share mine with you all and see if you had any advice or tips.

So, I will begin with my daughters history. She has always been a blunder of a beautiful challenging princess mess! She is very accident prone and has given me every earned gray hair on my head! (at age 24 8 / ) She is a wonderful child and a good girl with a wonderful bubbly personality and smart as a whip. She is 3 years old now, but when she was about 2 years old we began to be concerned about her sleeping habits as she struggled to fall asleep for hours, awoke incessantly throughout the night, and would wander around our home without waking us! We learned very quickly that we couldn't allow this to occur, so we began to sleep on separate ends of the house to ensure we would wake up if she was wondering. However, this didn't entirely work! We became so exhausted by the time we would get her to sleep and after awakening a few times, we would eventually (as human beings
) crash into a deep sleep and sometimes not hear her sneaking about! So... then we consulted our pediatrician for advice. She advised us to put a child lock on the inside of her door to keep her in her room and make sure that it was a safe environment (no curtains, windows, tvs, anything that could fall). Well this worked for 1 night! She figured out how to disassemble the child lock by the second night, so we were back to square one! We utimately ended up using tape to keep the lock together, but in the heat of summer we cannot leaver her doors closed as she would roast! :,(

The doctor then informed us that we should consider trying melatonin (natural supplement to help her fall asleep). This actually worked very well for a significant period of time, she would take it with juice just fine and would then fall asleep shortly after we read our bedtime story. However, she was still waking up very early. (No interruptions in the night though, otherwise). She would go to bed about 8 and then wake up by 3-5 in the morning. I just kept trying to deal with it and get up with her thinking how much her sleep pattern had improved already, I was just thankful! I am a full-time online student with 3 young children so I am up until midnight - 1 am almost every night doing schoolwork, this is where the exhaustion comes in when waking up with 2-3 hours of sleep each night.

I awoke to my dog crying and trying to wake me at approx 4:30 am (he usually sleeps very well at night). I let him outside and went to check on my babies (like us mothers always do anytime we get up in the night/early morning) and I couldn't find my 3 year old!! She was no where to be found in my house, garage, basement, back yard, front yard.....GONE!!!! :,,,(

I ensure you this is the worst gut-wrenching, heart stopping, breath taking, nauseating, surreal experience I have EVER endured! It was like living in a horrible movie (that I would cry to)! I decided to try to look for clues to see if I could find any sort of a trail or ANYTHING left out or out of the ordinary to figure out what happened. My front door was closed but unlocked, therefore I knew someone from the inside had opened it and then closed it. I walked on front porch and I saw her little foot prints (rained that night), so I knew she HAD gone outside! I also noticed there were no other sets of footprints with her so she was alone! I walked out to garage again and saw her bike was gone (her newest obsession as she just learned this summer to ride). I ran to the road and screamed her name at the top of my lungs in despair, and then looked the other direction and there she was IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD on her bike!!!!

Now, I cannot express to you how lucky I feel we are that this scenario turned out with a good ending; only a block away and her return safely with no harm done. However, if this ever happened again, well I think you all can fill in the blanks in the list of possibilities! :,(

I packed us up immediately went out and bought chains/deadbolts and put them at the very tops of my outside doors. I also bought a little fan that mounts on the wall and placed it in an unreachable TOP corner of her room to keep her cool at night. Then I bought a different door lock for the inside of her bedroom door, and went back to the doctor's suggestion of keeping her in her room at night until I open the door!

I feel like the worst mom in the whole world! Has anyone ever experienced anything like this, or heard of anyone experiencing this? Any suggestions, tips, and/or advice? Please! I am petrified to sleep!

I read many other mothers discussing this on different sites, but most of them, their child was autistic! My doctor has never eluded to any suspicions she may have of that, and from what I know about the forms of autism, I don't think she qualifies??

Help my fellow mommies!! :,(

~Mama Whit~
AKA Whitney :)


Denikka - posted on 08/30/2013




My kids (4.5 and 2.5) both got out of the house multiple times this summer. During the day while I was wide awake. Snuck out the back window and went for a walk down the road. I know how scary it was then, I can only imagine the terror you felt in the middle of the night.

I used to sleepwalk when I was little, but only around the house. But I do have 2 friends who made little journeys in the middle of the night.
One sleep walking. He was about 6 years old at the time. Just happened to wander out the front door in the middle of the night, walked a couple miles down the road. He got brought back home by a neighbor who happened to be driving by. They were way out in the country, so it wasn't as dangerous as it could have been.
The other was about 4 and actually woke up and decided to walk down to the 7/11 down the road, about a 10 minute walk for an adult. He decided he wanted to buy some candy and, luckily, had grabbed his backpack which had his name and number on the inside. The cashier called his parents to pick him up. They didn't even know he was gone until the phone rang.

It's not that unusual for kids to sleepwalk, and it's definitely not unheard of for them to get out. Most of the time they grow out of it. You've done the right thing. All you can really do is make sure that their area is secure and wait for them to grow out of it.

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