Midnight visitors: How do your kids wake you at night?

I woke up on Monday night to Rose standing next to the bed. I don’t think she even tried to wake me. She just stood there until I finally woke up from her presence.

I generally wake up pretty friendly. I asked her what was wrong. She said she had an earache.

A few months back when Michael was out of town I fell asleep around 10 p.m. I woke up around 1:30 in the morning with Rose rubbing lotion into my feet. She scared the crap out of me. I did yell when I woke up to someone touching me. When I stopped yelling she said to me “Your feet are very, very dry.”

I guess she couldn’t sleep, but I’m not sure what moved her to give me a foot massage.

What worried me about that scenario was how long it took me to wake up with someone touching me! She was onto the second foot!! Apparently I have no hope of waking up if someone broke in.

Walsh just crawls into bed. He doesn’t try to rouse us. Lilina can’t climb in by herself so she just stands by the bed repeating “mom” “mom” “mom” “mom” until I finally wake up and lift her into bed. I don’t think they ever go to Michael’s side. I wonder why.

How do your kids wake you up if they need you during the night? Whose side of the bed do they go to? How do you wake up – nice or grumpy? Would you have freaked out if someone was rubbing your feet?

216 comments Add your comment

Abby

January 20th, 2010
7:09 am

That’s just weird. But…you’ve allowed them to do that, so they do. They should all do as Lilina does – say “Mom” or “Dad” until one of you awakes and then go from there. Just standing in the room until you awake? That’s just not right.

phr

January 20th, 2010
7:28 am

My son has only woken us in the middle of the night 3 times. He didn’t say anything, but just climbed in bed with us. He climbed all over me so I woke up. I don’t think that my husband realized it until the morning when he got up to get ready. I guess we are lucky – 3 times in 7 years.

motherjanegoose

January 20th, 2010
7:35 am

Not an issue with older kids who are almost adults….lol. But mine did not do this much when they were little….usually called from their room across the hall to tell me something was wrong and I am a very light sleeper. I wake up at anything….if the dog hops up on the bed, I am awake.

Julia

January 20th, 2010
7:36 am

Theresa hold very dearly to these memories as weird and freaky as you may think they are. Years later they will bring a huge smile to your face. The boy use to do stuff like that all the time, wait til they pull your eye lids open by hand :). I remember once he was 18 mths and was in a red sleeper, he woke up in the middle of the night crawling in our room doing that eh eh eh eh. I woke up and thought a huge red ant was attacking me, I jumped up on the bed screaming my self – yes I was asleep :)

BRC

January 20th, 2010
7:47 am

I’ve heard stories from lots of other parents where the child just stands by the bed, so it didn’t sound that weird to me. During the day, they’re used to the parent turning to them when they just walk up to Mom or Dad, so maybe they expect that it’s the same at night. Or maybe they’re not that awake yet, but knew they wanted Mom or Dad. My good friend says she can always tell when her daughter comes in at night because she can “feel her hovering presence.” So, yeah, not weird.

My mom’s favorite story is how I woke her up one night by prying open her closed eyes, like Julia mentions above. Almost 40 years after the fact and she still mentions it…

Julia

January 20th, 2010
8:05 am

BRC those are the best memories.. very innocent and just too stinkin cute :), he would crawl in bed with me sometimes and I would just move over…

Katie

January 20th, 2010
8:10 am

Ours don’t make their way in our room unless they have to use the bathroom in the night..although they have their own bathroom closer to their own room. They must like ours better! If they do come in for some reason or another, which is not often, then they just pat me on the arm, never Daddy…always Mommy! :)

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 20th, 2010
8:10 am

I like that explanation BRC — I haven’t asked her about it — i wil ask her today.

Photius

January 20th, 2010
8:20 am

They don’t… teach your children that they have their own bed and you have yours…. don’t be manipulated by your children and keep them out of your bed.

irisheyes

January 20th, 2010
8:25 am

Mine don’t either unless they are sick or awakened by a storm. But they slept in their own beds pretty much from birth, and all of mine slept through the night by 8 weeks, so they aren’t accustomed to waking up at night either. It would not be a pretty sight at my house if I woke up and one of them was putting lotion on my feet.

mom2alex&max

January 20th, 2010
8:31 am

I guess I am a weird mom. Not since they were tiny little infants have my children come to bed with us. That’s a huge no no in our house. If they need something in the middle of the night, they KNOCK. Our bedroom is the only sanctuary that is kid free in our house. And I mean to keep it that way.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 20th, 2010
8:36 am

mom2alex — we coslept with all of ours since I was nursing — I don’t mind having them in and out as they need — Rose doesn’t come in unless there’s a problem –Walsh will climb in now when he’s cold (his room is very cold!) — and the baby I think comes in when she wakes up and gets scared — I think they’re cuddly and it won’t be like this forever — Dr. Sears always talks about night parenting — you can’t just cut them off at night — they won’t understand that –

Julia

January 20th, 2010
8:40 am

Theresa I love this topic – I will do your home work and hover over you till you fall in your own grave but DO NOT COME IN MY ROOM :)

JATL

January 20th, 2010
8:40 am

My 3 year old usually says “Mommy” and tells me why he’s up and waking me up in the middle of the night (peed in his pants, sick, etc.) Sometimes though he just crawls in bed with us, which we’ve really NOT encouraged. We always take him back to his room because he won’t go to sleep in our bed -he just rolls around and wants me to scratch his back. I’ve pretty much been a stickler about not leaving his room and waking us up unless he’s sick or has wet the bed. It works most of the time although he goes through little phases now and then. There have been a few times that we’ve woken up and found him passed out in our bedroom floor!

Julia

January 20th, 2010
8:44 am

JATL, mine would grow another 20 arms and legs, so after about 10 mins, I ran him off any ways :)

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 20th, 2010
8:53 am

I did ask Rose – she said she tapped me during the night to wake me.

lurker

January 20th, 2010
8:54 am

I can not believe that some of you say your room is “Off limits”! That amazes me! What if they truly need you and are afraid to come into your room? My 10 year old still comes into my room if she gets scared or a storm, but my thought is that some day soon she will be out and about on a Sat night and I will worry all night about her! Choose your battles people! Why is your room “off limits” to your children?? I am appalled by that! And, I will NEVER have my door SHUT the whole night, that is dangerous. I want my daughter to know that IF she is scared, she can come to me as that is MY JOB as her mother!!

Julia

January 20th, 2010
8:56 am

Lurker, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

Michelle

January 20th, 2010
8:57 am

Our bedroom door is loud when it is opened. So, there is no “sneaking” into our room! I hear him instantly. Usually he comes in when he’s had a bad dream or doesn’t feel good. If it’s a bad dream, I will take him back to his room and snuggle for a couple of minutes to help him calm back down. If he’s sick, I will usually let him crawl in and snuggle so I can keep a close eye on him until it’s time to get up for work.

In answer to the mom vs. dad question…he ALWAYS comes to my side of the bed! LOL!

deidre_NC

January 20th, 2010
9:14 am

everyone of my kids have at some point pried my eyelids open to wake me up..usually if i was taking a nap on the couch…and i know i will get lots of grief for this…but my kids were always welcome in my bed…i have been a single mom for the majority of my life and my kids have all slept with me at one point or another…even their friends would sleep in my bed when they spent the night…when they were little…and now that they are all grown they still will lay down with me and talk..sometimes falling asleep. they usually would only wake me up if they were sick or scared or something like that…if they had gone to bed in their own bed and came to mine later they just crawled in…not waking me up. theresa its ok that she just stares at you…i dont think thats weird.

Jane

January 20th, 2010
9:17 am

Why do parents keep the bedroom door closed? We keep ours open – I want to be able to hear if there is anything going on with the kids elsewhere in the house.

If there’s a problem, they can come in and wake one of us – but DON’T hover or put lotion on us!

Julia

January 20th, 2010
9:19 am

deidre_NC I am right there with ya girl. Its fun to just all pile up on the bed – it should be a safe place and a special place :).. If your children have never had that line crossed.. let them have this safe feeling it wont last forever…

Julia

January 20th, 2010
9:20 am

Jane lol!! or just dont wake me up doing it :).. I still find it cute, she was just loving her mama :)…

...

January 20th, 2010
9:31 am

I think Rose rubbing feet with lotion or just standing there is kind of terrifying. Remnds me of a horror movie. She is going to be staring at a off channel television one night and turn aroung and say “THEY”RE HERE” next.

I actually can’t remember my child coming in during the middle of the night, but I am sure he did.

mom2alex&max

January 20th, 2010
9:32 am

Lurker: I keep my bedroom door shut because I like to work on my marriage too, if you know what I mean.

Theresa: interesting point about night parenting, but my kids are older. They can knock on the door if they need something, that was never an issue. But our bedroom is ours.

lurker

January 20th, 2010
9:34 am

I have memories of my parents bed being so much more comfortable than mine was! It was a treat to be able to go jump in bed with them every now and then. My daughter will have those same memories. Not every night – LOL! But once in a while is just fine! Like I said – Choose your battles! And I am still appalled by the bad parenting skills of keeping your door shut all night and the parents room being off limits. You gave up your rights to total privacy when you had children! LOL!

ajay2009

January 20th, 2010
9:37 am

This rarely happens as my 1st grader is a pretty heavy sleeper, unless she is sick or has a bad dream or whatever. When she was little, transitioning from the crib to the toddler bed she would come in my room and pat me on the face; a nice sweet soft pat until I woke up. We usually keep both our bedroom door and hers slightly ajar at night, but if it is closed, she knows to knock before busting in.

mom2alex&max

January 20th, 2010
9:37 am

Lurker: please do not judge other people’s choices as BAD parenting. My bedroom is is off limits unless there’s an emergency because I ALSO believe in the sanctity of my marriage. What’s the best gift you can give your children? A strong marriage. Well, that takes work. It’s not bad parenting.

And I have NOT given up my privacy just because I had children. I am a person TOO!

Julia

January 20th, 2010
9:39 am

Lurker you are making me smile today :)… its that same feeling for them when you hugged them as a baby and your heart skipped a beat in a good way.. these are memories they will carry thru their life as happy good memories of their parents :)

Michelle

January 20th, 2010
9:44 am

Lurker…sometimes when you have teenaged children you DON’T want your door open! ;o) We also keep our door closed to keep the dogs from roaming through the house all night! Just because the door is closed doesn’t mean it’s locked!

I never want my child to feel like he can’t come to me at night if he’s scared or sick! I want him to know that I will be there to take care of him if he needs me!

lurker

January 20th, 2010
9:46 am

Well lucky you if you need your door shut all night for the “sanctity” of your marriage, but mine only needs to be shut for a shorter length of time , not all night! Not judging, just I would NEVER leave my bedroom door shut all night. Anything can happen! I have a very strong marriage and I do not have the need to shut my children from me ALL NIGHT to do it! I understand privacy and marriage sanctity, but a gift to your children is also the gift of feeling safe and secure and knowing you can go to your parents with anything at any time – even at night! I don’t turn off being a parent in the middle of the night or once that door shuts – safety of your children and their security comes BEFORE the sanctity of your marriage! I mean a couple hours with the door shut is one thing, but then at least open the door after!

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 20th, 2010
9:47 am

My kid will usually only come in when he’s not feeling well. Sometimes he’ll give me a poke to wake me up…other times he’ll just stand there and stare until I wake up. That always freaks me out!

He knows at night that if he needs something he can come to us…as long as that “need” isn’t to sleep with us. I don’t think he ever spent the night in bed with us. There were times he was sick and I would crash with him on the couch, but never mom and dad’s bed. Sleeping there has always been off limits. We took the philosophy that there we very few things an infant and/or toddler could do independently. One of those things was sleeping through the night on his own, in his own bed. In retrospect, I think it gave him the confidence to know he was able to do something important on his own AND he knew early on, that even if things got a little scary, that he would be ok and that mom and dad would always eventually show up to check in on him and make sure that he was ok.

I don’t know if we screwed him up or helped him…but we’ve got friends who did the “come on in” philosophy and now the kids are 6 and still waking them up every night. For the life of them they can’t understand why their parents would change the rules after 6 years.

Julia

January 20th, 2010
9:47 am

The last thing a “kid” wants to see is their daddy ___ their mommy and wondering whey she is yelling OH GOD, well you know the rest. :)… see the humor in this if anything :) I understand working on your marriage but have respect for the kids too – can you not wait til they go to bed??? :)….

Julia

January 20th, 2010
9:48 am

I have a ? for you parents… Do you let your “dog” sleep in your bed???

Jane

January 20th, 2010
9:50 am

When you keep your marriage “alive” – yeah close the door. But after those 5 minutes are over, open it back up. You don’t need the door closed all night to “preserve your marriage.”

Jane

January 20th, 2010
9:51 am

@ Julia – yeah, when my husband is having to sleep in the dog’s house!

lurker

January 20th, 2010
9:52 am

@Juliia – exactly! Wait till the kids are asleep, shut the door, do your thing, then open it again! Simple. And great question about the dog!!!

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 20th, 2010
9:52 am

Jane…5 minutes??? I’d like to think I could ALMOST double that number!!! :-)

oneofeach4me

January 20th, 2010
9:54 am

@mom2alex&max ~ I understand what you mean about the working on your marriage part. During the day our room is ours period and they must knock if the door is closed. If it’s not they should stand at the door until invited in. I give them the same courtesey when it comes to their space. Now at night.. thats a different story and the kids are aware of this. We close and lock the door when we are “working on it” but when it’s done, I unlock the door and crack it open for the kids. See about 3 years ago, when there was that huge flu panademic with everyone running around freaking out, there was an 8 yr old boy that died from the flu. His parent’s bedroom door was locked so he went downstairs, curled up under the Xmas tree and freakin died. Since then I make it a concious effort to at least leave my door cracked and never locked.

My daughter hovers too Theresa, and sometimes it freaks me out. My son, he will just come in and crawl in the bed. Neither of them go to their father’s side either. I think it’s because they know he will be a monster if he gets woke up before its time! lol

Julia

January 20th, 2010
9:57 am

Tiger dude please that is in your dreams and only when you were in your 20’s :)

...

January 20th, 2010
9:57 am

Our dogs sleep on beds on the floor in our room. I sat and thoought about it and I can’t remember a single time since my son was an infant that he didn’t sleep through the whole night. Once he is asleep, thats it until i wake him for school in the morning. I am happy he can do that, because I never sleep for more than a couple of hours at a clip. On a good night, I wake up 5 times. On a bad night, its every 10 minutes. I’ve been like this my whole life.

I close his door, not ours when he goes to bed. I open it when i go to bed so I can hear him just in case.

Julia

January 20th, 2010
9:57 am

Jane ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Becky

January 20th, 2010
9:59 am

Our two are allowed into our room anytime..We don’t close the door and have never told them that they cannot be in our bed..If one of them wakes up during the night, all they have to do is say “Nanny” and I’m awake..

oneofeach4me

January 20th, 2010
10:01 am

Oh, but I should add that they don’t come in unless they aren’t feeling well or if it’s really storming. The boy has only spent the night in our bed once time when he had RSV as an infant. I ususally get up and walk them back to their rooms and tuck them back in.

&*(

January 20th, 2010
10:06 am

I would never ban our kids from my room, or anywhere in the house. It is there house too. If you can not wait till they are asleep to “work on your marriage”, then find another option! Do you shut your dog(s) out of your room or just your kids???

Julia

January 20th, 2010
10:11 am

This is just my thought.. if you are saying YOUR room is off limits.. They are going to say their room is OFF limits to you. This is one of those you really cant say.. do as I say not as I do……

oneofeach4me

January 20th, 2010
10:12 am

@Julia ~ Our dog is trained to not even come up the stairs. I do that mostly due to the hair factor (upstairs is carpet, downstairs is all hardwood) and the protector factor. Belive it or not, she obeys this rule.

Julia

January 20th, 2010
10:18 am

oneofeach4me that is awesome :)

Uconn

January 20th, 2010
10:21 am

Parents should be allowed to have at least one room in a house they pay for to themselves. When the kids are real little, yes the door should be kept ajar so that unusual noises can be heard/tended to, but when they are older, they should learn respect (asking a lot now, I know) by knocking on a closed door. Giving kids free reign over everything…. Hmmmm…. I think learning manners and respect start at home.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 20th, 2010
10:23 am

I think there are places and times in the house that absolutely warrant banning the kids from. My first thought is the furnace room in our basement. It’s a dangerous place for an almost 6 year old. The medicine cabinet is off limits always. I think there are also appropriate times to ban entry to room. When mom is taking a shower is one that comes to mind. So I’m not really on board with the “this is your house too, so you have free reign to any room at any time” philosophy.