If you live with a child who sleepwalks, there are some Must DO’S for Child Sleepwalkers.
Child Sleepwalkers are much more common than most people think, as we talked about in the first post of the series: Sleepwalking Children: Common or Worrisome. It can still be scary, to be the parent of a sleepwalker, and can be tough to know what’s safe to do, and what’s not safe to do. There are a lot of things you should do if your child sleepwalks, and we will cover those here.
Must DO’S for Child Sleepwalkers
One of the biggest things you will see repeated from experts about sleepwalking is a solid sleep routine for kids. Oftentimes if kids aren’t getting enough sleep, or are getting poor sleep it results in sleepwalking. If kids are getting to bed late, or are waking up very early, it can cause a disruption in their sleep schedule and can end up with them sleepwalking. You can find dozens of stories about parents who established a strict sleep schedule and it resolved their child’s sleepwalking altogether.
Guide Them Back To Bed
When your child sleepwalks, they can wander anywhere and everywhere they have access to. They may come to your room in the middle of the night, or you may find them in the kitchen etc. The best thing to do is to gently guide them back to their bed. Telling them to go back to bed, or trying to talk them into going back to bed won’t result in them returning to their own room (generally). Children who sleepwalk aren’t coherent when they’re sleepwalking. They are only awake enough for their eyes to be open while the rest of their brain is still asleep. Get up, and gently guide the child back to their bed and lay them down to go back to sleep.
Keep a Food Diary
One thing on the Must DO’S for Child Sleepwalkers is to keep a food diary. Sometimes food can trigger sleepwalking. If there’s something your child is consuming on a regular basis or drinking before bed, that could be causing sleepwalking it should be eliminated. Keeping a food diary will help you determine whether or not there is consistency between a certain food or drink and your child’s sleepwalking habits. Use a notebook, and keep track of everything your child consumes in a day for a week or two and see if you notice correlations between what they ate in a day, and sleepwalking that night.
Tell Your Doctor
While sleepwalking can be common and just a normalcy for some children as part of growing up, it can be a result of another condition. It’s important to talk to your child’s doctor and inform them that they’ve been sleepwalking. If you’ve kept a food diary, bring that with you to the appointment. Make a note to point out any days during that time your child was sleepwalking. Sleepwalking may be a symptom of anxiety, stress, or even Sleep Apnea. Consulting with your doctor can help to rule out any other causes that may be resulting in your child’s sleepwalking, so it’s important they know.
Keep Your House Safe
Make sure toys are picked up off the floor before your child goes to bed. Ensure that furniture remains in the same place, as moving it can cause your child to trip or fall. Some parents will attach a bell to the door of the child’s room so they can hear if the door is open. Others will set up a baby monitor to ensure they can hear if the child is up and sleepwalking. It’s important to know when your child sleepwalks because some kids have even been known to leave the house or the yard. Keep doors to outside locked, and even yard gates locked so that if your child does try to leave, they’ll be protected.
What are some other Must DO’S for Child Sleepwalkers you’d recommend if you have been through this before? Add your tips in the comments below!