Locked Out of the House with the Baby Inside

I turned the key in the lock, pressed down on the brass handle and pulled open my front door.  My one-year-old son, Dude, had just fallen asleep upstairs and I made it my mission to be productive for this nap.  I had scooped the cat box, called AAA because my car battery died (thankfully in my driveway) and was now taking out the trash.  I felt so productive and accomplished in those past five minutes. I could have conquered the world! I threw the trash in the bin and turned back to look at our house.  We had just moved in 2 weeks ago and I loved it.  New neighborhood and a new place to raise our family.

I gripped down on the handle of the front door and pushed.  It wouldn’t open.  Thinking I was mistaken, I pushed again.  Nothing.  I’ve been locked out of the house before, so I have a habit of always checking the outside handle before closing the door.  I checked this handle.  The handle pressed down when pushed but the door wouldn’t budge. Apparently this handle doesn’t announce when it’s locked.  It just shuts you out.

All the blood in my upper body dropped down to my stomach. My cell phone was inside the house.  My keys were inside the house.  I glanced up to my son’s window.  Since he had just fallen asleep, I knew I had a little time.  I darted around to our back gate and silently pushed it open.  Even though I was in panic mode, I couldn’t risk waking him up.  I tried our back door.  Locked.  I checked all the windows.  Sealed.  I looked up to our bedroom windows.  Closed as well.  I ran out of options for getting inside without breaking a window. 

I ran back out to the front yard and looked up and down the street.  That’s when I realized I knew no one.  Sure, I’ve said hi to a few people, but I didn’t know anyone by name nor knew of anyone who might be home. Across the street, I saw a garage door open.  I ran over and knocked on the door.  A college aged girl opened it.

“Hi.  I just moved in across the street.”

“Oh, hi!,” she said.

“So, I just locked myself out of my house and my one-year-old is taking a nap inside.  Can I use your phone?”

(Stops for a second, stunned)”Oh sure, come on in”

I got lucky.  She was home on a break from the U of A.  Usually, her family isn’t home in the middle of the day.  She handed me her cell phone.  As I dialed, I prayed that my husband would answer.  He had been so busy at work lately that he wasn’t regularly answering his phone.  It rang once. I paced back and forth in my neighbor’s kitchen, mentally running through my next steps if I couldn’t get a hold of him.  It rang again.  My stomach twitched.  Should I be leaving Dude alone this long?  What if he woke up?

My husband picked up the phone.  Relief.

“Hi, it’s me”

“Uhhh,” he says.  Of course, I was calling from a different number and he didn’t know who me was.

“It’s JoAnn.  I need you to come home now.  I’ve locked myself out of the house and Dude is sleeping inside”

“Ok, heading out the door now.” No more questions.  Obviously, he realized the severity of the situation.

I thanked my neighbor and walked back to my house just as AAA battery service pulled up to fix my car.  I greeted the mechanic and sheepishly told him, “This is my car.  It won’t start.  But we need to wait until my husband comes home because my keys are locked in the house.  With my one-year-old son.  Yep.  Good day. I have it together.”

My husband arrived 10 minutes later.  I grinned at him as he pulled in the driveway.  He opened the garage door with his remote.  I bolted up the stairs to find Dude silently napping in his crib, blissfully unaware that his mother had been in full freak out mode for the last 20 minutes. 

Now, I always carry a key whenever I go outside.

Want to read another parenting fumble? Broken Arm Baby

Have you ever locked yourself out before?

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JoAnn Crohn

CEO/Founder at No Guilt Mom
JoAnn Crohn, M. Ed is a parenting educator and life coach who helps moms feel confident in raising empowered, self-sufficient kid while pursuing their own goals & passions.

She’s an accomplished writer, author, podcast host of the No Guilt Mom podcast, and speaker who appears in national media. Work with her personally in Balance VIP

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  1. Every time I take the trash out while my son is napping I have this fear! I would have been so scared. That was smart of you to go to the neighbors. haha I probably would have broken through the window.

  2. Oh my gosh!! That is so scary!!! But no worries….I have done that myself. It was years ago, and a similar situation. I was taking the recycles out to the recycle trash bin. Then my 2 yr old somehow managed to lock BOTH locks on our garage door. Ughhh! Scary!

  3. Yes, I share this same fear! My biggest fear though is locking them in the car. I usually get them loaded up in the truck just to remember my cell or brain is still left on the counter, and I usually dash back in the house. I’m so glad everything turned out good and it only cost you a little panic!

    1. Locking in the car is a big fear as well. My son now likes to play with my car keys while I’m strapping him in his car seat. I just think of the day when I forget he has the keys, I close the door and he presses a button.

  4. I can imagine how panicked you were. Maybe you can go say hi to that neighbor again w/ a small thank you, like some baked goods so she knows you are not flighty, you are just human. And don’t be too hard on yourself, while you are at it. 🙂

  5. Although we don’t kids, I have so lock myself out of the house. So now my husband installs a key pad on the front door of the house. It prevents me from locking myself out of the house. Since we are active duty navy, we move alot. So it’s a little bit of an invest $150, but SO worth it. It’s also great because you can give people the code if they need to get into the house and you aren’t around!

  6. Been there, done that, but it was with two kids outside, one baby inside. Thankfully the neighbor was home (husband was unavailable of course) and the police came and showed me how easy it was to break into my house. Two valuable lessons learned that day. We gave the neighbors a spare key and put a better lock on our sliding glass door!

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