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.
Related: Definite DONTs for Child Sleepwalkers
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!
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
Oh wow. You really have to make sure all the bases are covered when your child is a sleepwalker. None of my kids have had this issue, and I’m really grateful for that!
Jennifer Van Huss says
I was a huge sleep walker as a child. My episodes revolved around me being stressed. If I was worried about an upcoming trip, I’d pack in my sleep. If it was school, I’d empty my backpack.
My son is the same. His episodes usually revolve around getting lost on his way back from the bathroom when he is really tired.
Carol Cassara says
I’ve never experienced this before, with any family member. I think it’s really good to have a routine especially if you’re dealing with a child. These tips are so helpful!
I did sleep walk as a child. Not a lot but I did. I even went down the stairs. My eyes were open and I was telling my mom something until I woke up and ran back upstairs. To this day, we never really figured what was causing it. I grew out of it I guess..
Victoria Heckstall says
My nephew is sleepwalkers, he is talking too. Glad that I found this very helpful tips.
There are times when we are starting to wonder if my oldest daughter is a sleepwalker. There are weird things we’ve noticed, and we are starting to wonder about her. We’ve heard other family members saying they think she’s sleepwalked before, so it’s certainly something to think about. I could only imagine how safe you really have to be with this.
I am so glad my daughter isn’t a sleepwalker or yet anyways, but I’ll keep these tips in mind if the time comes. These are great!
It would be really scary to have a kid who sleepwalks! My little brother did a tiny bit, but nothing dangerous… He just would drowzy walk into the room and pee someplace weird like the garbage can.
Cyn Gagen says
Oh these are such important things to consider. My daughter had night terrors and they would sometimes cause her to sleep walk. It was downright scary until we prepared for it.