August 13, 2012

Mind the gap.

Each session of Now I Can (intensive therapy) brings out changes in Bertrand. Only starting the second week of therapy, we've been seeing a BIG change: Bertrand is falling out of bed.

I promise you, we are not being neglectful. In the past 4 years that Bertrand has slept in a big boy bed, we've NEVER had this problem.

In fact, the first few times he did it last week, we thought it was accidental. We felt awful. (Luckily, its only a 2 foot drop and he didn't cry.)

We've kept erecting larger and heavier barriers at the foot of the bed. Then, last night, he made it out though this gap. And, via video monitor, proceeded to try to escape through it again!

The BIG change/issue is that Bertrand is actively trying to get out of bed--and succeeding!

On one hand, it is fantastic that he is strong enough and dexterous enough and willful enough to make it out. On the other hand, it is dangerous for him.

We've debated just putting his mattress on the floor, but that would be killer on our backs and my flimsy knee. Does this mean a hospital type bed/crib is in our future? :(

In typical fashion, I've held off on decisions for supposedly temporary measures (like this bed and the wheelchair) because such measures have the tendency of actually being permanent. I'm not ready for Bertrand to lose his kid's bed because, in the back of my mind, I still hope he has a chance for some semblance of a typical kid's life.

Well, regardless of whether I am ready for it or not, Bertrand may be ready. We'll have to start looking at bed options. Any suggestions? I can always keep telling myself it's just temporary.

Who can stay sad looking at a silly face like this?  :)


  1. LOVE those boots! She could be a farm girl ;)

  2. Good for Bertrand being able to do that! But yes, I can see where the result is a big headache for you. The gap doesn't look that big -- depending on how hard he's able to push, maybe a board or a small screen could be a good stopgap solution? And a pillow on the floor to fall on to, of course :).

  3. Barbara @therextrasAugust 14, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    A long time a I rememb a study of why young children feel off tricycles. The conclusion was that they fell off because the enjoyed falling. (probably not rigorous research)

    Have you asked any of your therapists to problem solve with you?

  4. We have a toddler bed with guard rails all the way around. You can come look at it if you want. The guard rails are really low on one side, so a kid can still get out if he really wants to, but they prevent accidental falling out, so I'm not sure it would be sufficient.

  5. Why block him at all? It's awesome that he's going on adventures and it must be good for his development. Maybe pad the floor somehow? Pile up a bunch of cushions?

  6. Top of a bunk bed that has all four sides and no opening not medical but safe. like a normal bed . There are ones that you can separate and use different ways.

  7. Aside from the creativity it's no doubt going to require from you and Matt to figure out how to keep him from injuring himself, his progress sounds awesome and he's making excellent strides. I do like the suggestion of cushions so that his mobility isn't restrained AND he gets to keep his bed. Best of both worlds if it's feasible.

    Rock on, Bertrand! ;)


  8. Thank you, all! Every suggestion has proven valuable, and we look forward to helping Bertrand with your wisdom. :) Many thanks again and love! --C

  9. My thoughts on a hospital bed would be, there are still gaps in the rails (larger than the one you have pictured). Hospital beds are not really meant to contain people who are actively trying to escape them.

    Bunk beds that have a bar all the way around, but a gap between the bar and the mattress, B getting caught between the two and hurting himself (either when trying to get out of the bed or if he was having a seizure and a limb got entrapped somehow). This is coming from a person who nearly had to call for the jaws of life to come extract my 4 year old from a chair at a fast food place (got him out by literally pour fast food liquid butter on him, taking off all of the screws on the bottom of the chair, then picking him/chair up and turning him upside down to have gravity help... yeah, don't like entrapment issues).

    I know some people go to things like this tent (very expensive) or this (not nearly as expensive and to me looks more like a 'cool tent' than something medical). They fit onto typical twin size beds.

    Go Bertrand! Keep moving! (But it would be awesome if you did it somewhere other than a raised surface you should be sleeping on!)