Page 2 | Friend sleeping with toddler still awake

(196 Posts)
Pinkypieeyed Fri 19-Jan-18 23:14:13

Bit worried about a friend who is pregnant with her third. She has a 7 year old and a 3 year old. She's been going to bed in the day and setting an alarm to wake her up in time for the school run. However her 3 year old is being left to her own devices during this time. Should i talk to her or AIBU in thinking this is potentially unsafe?

OP’s posts: |
tiptopteepe Sat 20-Jan-18 00:25:38

i also read that if a child has reached the stage of being able to climb which at 3 they will have, then stair gates make stairs much more dangerous. If the toddler climbs on the stair gate and falls they are falling from a much greater height and are less likely to roll, theyll just fall straight down which causes much worse injuries than simply slipping on the stairs.

DailyMaileatmyshit Sat 20-Jan-18 00:59:47

As a social worker we once got a court order to remove 2 children in similar circumstances. We were involved already due to allegations of physical abuse (by a family friend, not the mother). Myself and a colleague did an unannounced visit and found mum asleep on the sofa. The three yo used a kitchen chair to climb on to a radiator to get the door key off a shelf above the coat rack and posted it through the front door to us (we asked them to post it through, but not to climb to get it, they knew where it was and how to get it). We woke mum up. She was very apologetic, thought the key was in a place the child couldn't reach, had a Stargate across the kitchen and stairs, kids TV on and stuff for them to play with. But it wasn't safe. We could have been anyone, they could have messed with plugs and electrocuted themselves, could have climbed over the Stargate or fallen over and hit their head. It isn't safe, it isn't on. (The physical abuse turned out to be an accidental injury).

DailyMaileatmyshit Sat 20-Jan-18 01:00:42


SpaceDinosaur Sat 20-Jan-18 01:05:59

If she really is your friend then why not offer to help her?

"I've been thinking about what you said about napping whilst xxxxx is playing and it worries me. Can I take her for xxxx hours a day to give you a chance for a decent rest?"

CheshireChat Sat 20-Jan-18 02:02:23

I find it pretty shocking a child should be removed for that little.

However, it's 100% not safe with a toddler to go to another room for a nap, is it even on the same floor?!

If both are sleeping, she's napping in the same room then it's not as bad. She has my sympathy as I've been sick with a child the same age and struggled, but no way would I leave him alone.

MinorRSole Sat 20-Jan-18 02:12:37

As a social worker we once got a court order to remove 2 children in similar circumstances

You got a court order because a mum had a nap? Really?


OlennasWimple Sat 20-Jan-18 02:25:25

It's not safe, of course it's not. And if anything happened to that little child, you'd never be able to forgive yourself

You need to find a way to have the conversation; offer to help as much as you can; and be prepared for it to go very badly (at least initially)

mathanxiety Sat 20-Jan-18 02:51:47

'Mum had a nap' daily and left 3 year old roaming the house with no safety precautions or supervision, MinorRSole = similar circumstances.

OP, I think your friend has taken leave of her senses. Please urge her to at least doze on the couch where she can keep one eye open for the 3 year old, who could be watching tv.

One of my DCs left the house all by herself at age 3, and skipped off, crossing two streets, to the local playground. She climbed to the top of the highest piece of climbing equipment and watched for her two older siblings who were due to walk home together from school at 3. I was wide awake at the time, and had just gone upstairs to put my toddler down for a nap. My back was turned for all of 5-10 minutes.

LolitaLempicka Sat 20-Jan-18 02:53:40

three year old also has 30 hours at preschool per week.. she doesn’t go for 1 day a week
So she potentially has a nap once a week while her toddler is home? Maybe the toddler naps too? Maybe she naps in the same room as her child plays? Maybe someone else watches the child? Maybe she foregoes the nap on the one day her child is home? You don’t know, how could you possibly know everything that happens? You are nosey and spiteful.

MinorRSole Sat 20-Jan-18 03:02:59

@mathanxiety if you read the whole of the post I quoted from you will see that the circumstances weren't actually similar and the mum had done her best to make the area safe.

Exhaustion is not uncommon in parents of young children. I find it hard to believe that social services would go for a court order based on that one incident and one accidental injury. I find it harder to believe it would be granted.

mathanxiety Sat 20-Jan-18 03:41:04

Her precautions were inadequate and not based on an appreciation of what the children were capable of all the same, MinorRSole. And she slept through the entire incident of the doorbell ringing and what was possibly quite a long conversation between the child and the social workers who asked where the key was, could the child get it, and could the child post it through the letterbox.

I know from my own attempts to get 3 year olds to follow instructions that they have difficulty unless you break it all down into individual steps for them. Even something as simple as 'Could you grab me a tissue from the box on the coffee table' results in the 3 year old spinning around several times and needing to have the location of the coffee table and the tissue box pointed out, and then the request for the tissue repeated.

My own childproofing attempts were inspired by an incident when I was about 3 that my mother often reminds me of, where I locked my mother into her bedroom and proceeded to lock myself into the bathroom, climb on a chair and 'shave' with a safety razor as I had seen dad do, after first lathering up properly. Thanks to my guardian angel crossing every single finger and toe available, I did not decapitate myself. Mum luckily had a front door key with her, which she threw down to a passing neighbour, who let himself in and broke the bathroom door open. Then the neighbour sprang mum from the bedroom. (I had taken the bedroom key with me).

I think you have to ask yourself what is the worst possible thing that is remotely possible before taking a snooze (or in my mother's case, turning your back).

Mummyoflittledragon Sat 20-Jan-18 03:48:55

I have ME. When dd was 3, it got really bad, I was incredibly ill and barely able to function. Dd was at nursery 3 days a week because I couldn’t feed her or look after her but I couldn’t bear to part from her for more than that. So the days she stayed with me, I used to leave dd downstairs while I went upstairs for a rest/sleep. All the doors were open. Dd knew the rules. No going outside etc and I am a very light sleeper so if anyone had knocked on the door or had dd opened the door, which she never would have done, this would have woken me immediately. I don’t understand the worries about the stairs. The child is 3, not 1.

I asked the gp for help once and he told me I’d chosen to have dd so basically I had to deal with it. He continued there was no help apart from having dd removed by social services. I had a lady from homestart visit for 2 hours and she came most weeks. I organised that myself. My friend also looked after dd and me 1/1.5 days a week most weeks.

Perhaps before you go in all guns blazing, you could help out.

lilly0 Sat 20-Jan-18 03:49:03

I'm very upset that 2 children were removed because of that were any external factors involved ? My dd managed to climb out of a window because I nodded off she was 3 FIL was looking after her and left I wasn't aware he had left he did shout me , SS became involved temporarily i had had problems nodding off for a while and I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy and I began to take medication and I have no more episodes SS were nothing but supportive of me. I shudder to think I could have lost her without the support of my doctor and neurologist.

theForeigner Sat 20-Jan-18 04:50:41

My 3 year old used to make himself sandwiches in the middle of the night.

I'd have locked him in his bedroom but an interfering "friend" raised the safeguarding issue with me.

Get a grip OP. 3 year olds don't need constant supervision!

BuckysRoboticArm Sat 20-Jan-18 05:43:45

Daily Wasn't that quite dangerous asking/allowing the child to retrieve a key when you had no idea where the key was - it could have involved something climbing on a chair to reach up high. They could have fallen off the chair and broken their ankle? Why did you not just knock loud enough on a door or all the windows until the mother answered? You'll say you tried that I assume but who would sleep through a loud knock on the living room window (I'm assuming that's where she was as you said sofa.) You were communicating through the letterbox? You could have shouted louder through that even? That was pretty risky for the child involved imo, you allowed that to happen but the mother would have been blamed had the child fallen off the chair and broken a bone. It would have even been safer to keep talking to them through the letterbox so you can see they are safe, then asking police to come. Then instead of discussing with the mother and cautioning her or giving her more support you got a court order to remove her children? Or was the court order actually more due to the suspected abuse (which was not abuse as it was an injury)?

Just goes to show how easy it is to interpret a situation.

Then children actually being neglected and severely abused go under the radar. I don't get it. 🤷🏼‍♀️

I don't nap with my 3 year old but I can't see how anyone could fall into a deep sleep around a toddler unless drugs were involved. You wouldn't shut down enough and so your brain would still be sensitive to noise and more easily woken.

Sometimes it seems people would rather punish and criticise other parents than actually lend a hand and support their fellow human being. Talk to her and offer to help out or suggest ways she could be supported.

MinorRSole Sat 20-Jan-18 07:12:01

Her precautions were inadequate and not based on an appreciation of what the children were capable of all the same, MinorRSole

Maybe so but then education and support would have/should have been offered to help the parent. There is either more to the case or the pp isn't be truthful

Enidthecat Sat 20-Jan-18 07:21:28

I think you have to ask yourself what is the worst possible thing that is remotely possible before taking a snooze (or in my mother's case, turning your back)

In that case I best not close my eyes ever again. My house might burst into flames and my fire alarm might not up off and we might not get out.

My one year-old might get up in the night and manage to climb out of his cot over his baby gate fall down the stairs and break his neck.

I can't prevent either of these things though obviously I've done what I can (gates and alarms)

Nothing is impossible and with that attitude I'm surprised you ever leave the house!

Enidthecat Sat 20-Jan-18 07:24:35

And daily sorry to say it but situations like yours are why social workers get a bad name.

coconuttella Sat 20-Jan-18 07:35:33


I had generally thought that the bar for removing a child is high, probably too high..... Seems in your case it is extremely low, and a high proportion of children would be in care if all SWs were like you. Are you in the U.K.?

confusedhelpme Sat 20-Jan-18 07:37:00

Unbelievable! Mother takes a nap ..... quick take all the kids away and break up a family, SS involved forever because the mother takes a NAP!!

People are going to be too scared to have children soon!!!

confusedhelpme Sat 20-Jan-18 07:38:49

Daily - you also messed up the physical abuse ... turned out that was accidental!

Asking a child to let you in?????? That's disgraceful

confusedhelpme Sat 20-Jan-18 07:40:42

And OP you are no friend

Amatree Sat 20-Jan-18 07:41:04

I'm quite shocked at all the people here saying this is fine. A three year old is basically a toddler and should never be left unsupervised to roam the house while the mum takes herself off for a nap! Everyone here who is saying it's fine, well I can't imagine what they would be saying if it was on the news that a toddler wandered out of her house and was run over and the parent was found in bed asleep confused I'm genuinely shocked and sad that so many on this thread are fine with what is unarguably neglect. Op you are right to be concerned and I would definitely raise it with your friend. Poor child needs someone to stand up for her!

coconuttella Sat 20-Jan-18 07:42:36

I locked my mother into her bedroom and proceeded to lock myself into the bathroom, climb on a chair and 'shave' with a safety razor as I had seen dad do, after first lathering up properly. Thanks to my guardian angel crossing every single finger and toe available, I did not decapitate myself.

How can you decapitate yourself with a safety razor.... it’s called “safety” razor for a reason... a few minor cuts maybe, nothing more. You’re being alarmist!

mathanxiety Sat 20-Jan-18 07:44:51

Enid my point was to be realistic. This involves not kidding yourself that just because nothing bad has yet happened nothing bad could possibly happen, and remembering that 3 year olds do not have any common sense whatsoever so it falls to the parent to be the responsible party at all times.

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