View Full Version : ADHD & baby safety

12-06-15, 03:50 PM
I've started reading all the helpful stickys here & in the adult ADHD forum. I hope someone can help with a more immediate need. I have a presumed ADHD 5 yr old son and an 11 month old baby girl. He really loves his baby sister, but like so many things, it's too much and I'm worried for her safety.

Here is just 1 of many examples. Baby can crawl and has climbed up the stairs 4 times with parental supervision. Boy has been told repeatedly that parental supervision is a must so she doesn't fall down the stairs, etc.

This morning was the 3rd time that he carried her out of the safe area, to the foot of the stairs and encouraged her to climb the stairs. He, of course, is too young to supervise, and too impulsive to actually stay with her on the stairs (even if he was physically able to supervise). She was half way up the stairs, alone, when I caught up with them & he was in his bedroom.

We've had all the typical conversations about why/why not/how/consequences/etc. This is not the only safety issue. Is the only recourse to never take my eyes off them?! The baby LOVES her brother by the way.

Little Missy
12-06-15, 04:45 PM
NEVER take your eyes off of your child and baby. Ever.

And there is no such thing as a child that is too young to supervise. Period.

12-06-15, 07:41 PM
Is the only recourse to never take my eyes off them?! The baby LOVES her brother by the way.

Not when they are together - no. If your son is like my niece, he can't be left alone (regardless of sister) unless it's in an almost completely empty room with nothing that can hurt him. And even then, I personally would put a baby cam there to monitor changes in noise and glance at her every once in a while.

My sister and her husband left niece alone for a minute. She managed to jump off the couch and bump her head against a pointy coffee table corner. Huge cut on her face and it could have been a lot worse.

I don't know how single parents do it.

12-06-15, 09:22 PM
My (very loveable) ADHD son was 4 and a half years old when his sister was born. (Didn't know he was AdHd back then, but knew he was 'lively' and lived by his own code.)

The morning that I awoke at 6 a.m. (am a light sleeper) and found that my son had already quietly taken baba from her cot and carried her downstairs on his own.... that was the day that parental hyper vigilance kicked in, and stayed kicked in.

Luckily for us, it was a soft landing. (Almost) 5 year old was simply sitting on the couch at 6 a.m. with 5 month old sister laying beside him, smiling and cooing... everyone happy and well....

But the stairs had a double turning and it could have turned out much worse.

It terrified me that I hadn't heard a peep before I woke up. I like to imagine it was only a few minutes, but I shuddered to think of the possibilities.

Baby's cot was moved into my room for several months afterwards. My son was gently drilled on some new rules.

But then again, you can never expect a 5 year old to understand or grasp any rules, really.

Of course your baby loves her brother, and of course your son loves the baby. That's not in question.

The way a 5 year old... (any 5 year old, not just an ADHD one).... sees life is not the same way that you do, needless to mention.

It's not a 5 year old's job to look out for the dangers. That's your job. Not an easy one, but your job, nonetheless.

I really do get it that it is hard to have eyes in the back of your head and look out for every possible eventuality of what might happen if you take your eyes off them for a minute.

But you do have a mobile 11 month old.... and an active 5 year old.

If I was in your shoes, I would consider hiring someone for those moments you can't possibly keep an eye. Even a young teenager who just wants a small bit of pocket money, while you are also around. (I was lucky enough to have a neighbour's teenage child who liked hanging around us, and who helped out several hours a week.)

These days are very transient. It is worth doing whatever you need to do to get through these times. When your boy is around 7, he will understand the 'rules' a bit more clearly. 5 is still very young.

It's tough going, and you do need eyes in the back of your head (and an extra pair of arms). But needs must, and you do need to do whatever you need to do for these days.

12-07-15, 02:04 PM
Thank you everyone! I kind of had a feeling that was going to be the response but wasn't sure if I was missing something. I've read these to my husband and we'll be sure to be more vigilant. Thankfully my son is in school during the day while DH is home with the baby.