The Mama Confessionals: I Locked My Kid In The Car

the mama confessionalsWell, it happened. The day I never thought would happen. At 10:52 am this morning I locked my kid in the car. After buckling Caden into his carseat and shutting his door, I placed my hand on the door handle fully expecting it to open like it always does but it didn’t budge. Searching my diaper bag for my keys was pointless because I could see them inside the car on the my seat.  After attempting to open all the other doors, including the trunk, I called 911.

The 911 operator told me the more relaxed I stayed the better it would be for my 19 month old. Umm…I just locked my baby in the car! I was ready to bust the window open with my diaper bag if needed to get him out. But instead I said a quick prayer and begin to play peek-a-boo with him. Thank goodness for that sweet 911 operator reassuring me I was not a bad parent and that if I was ever going to lock my child in the car the weather today was ideal for such a dilemma. With the fire department in route to my location the call ended and I attempted to distract my son.

After peek-a-boo we sang a few songs and I danced around to entertain him. I could have cared less what I looked like at the time but I am sure a 5 month pregnant lady dancing and singing around her car was somewhat comical.

In the process of waiting for the fire department to arrive I attempted to call my husband at work. 5 times. I knew that he was probably out on a call, possibly playing the hero to another mama who found herself in a similar situation. I understood calling him was not going to get Caden out of the car any sooner, but one of the benefits of having a firefighter for a husband is that he can talk me out of a panic and tell me that it is going to be ok.

On my last attempt to call Josh, Caden was becoming slightly less amused by the whole situation. I think he was starting to realize that we weren’t playing a game anymore and that he was stuck in the car.

Thankfully at 11:01 am, only 9 minutes since the 911 call, which felt like an eternity, the fire department arrived in the parking lot. I excitedly told Caden through the window that the fire engine was here to rescue him out of the car. As soon as he saw the engine he became super excited and began saying “dada” over and over again.

The firefighters were super nice and Caden was in my arms within 5 minutes. With no damage done to our car and Caden unlocked from his carseat I was a happy and relaxed mama again. Caden was such a trooper during the entire ordeal and he was given two stuffed animals from the firefighters. I hugged on my baby and said thank you numerous times as the crew packed up to head back to their station.

I Locked My Kid In The Car

I will never lock my keys in the car again. Like ever. I might even physically attach them to my body so there is no chance I can do this in the future. That being said, it wasn’t the end of the world like I thought it would be, my mommy card did not get revoked, and Caden is the now the proud owner of stuffed teddy bear and duck.

Thank you Chandler Fire Department for rescuing my baby out of the car and thank you husband for cleaning my car out this weekend. This situation would have been even more awful had Caden been stuck in a dirty car surrounded by stale puffs and used kleenex.

I want to hear your confessionals! Has this happened to you? Leave your comments below. 

xoxo, Tamara

PS…Want to read my first confessional? Cough, cough, sneeze, and whoops…I peed my pants.



  1. I feel your pain. I locked my keys in the car with my nearly 3 year old son strapped in his car seat. We had just arrived home, but it was 10:00 at night which made for a very unhappy toddler. Thankfully it didn’t take long for the fire department to arrive. Of all the things you wish a child would forget about his imperfect parents, my now 16 year old still brings this up every now and then.
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  2. I have no kids, but I was going for a run a few weeks ago from my condo. I went to put my keys in the hidey spot in the car, and “unlocked” the door so I could retrieve them after the run. Super safe and smart right? Well, not so much. I went to pull the handle, and discovered I’d locked myself out of my own car. So I calmly called AAA, and went for my run, because I was expecting them to take an hour like they always do. Well imagine my surprise when about a half-mile down the street, they call me to tell me they’re on their way? I mean geez! Well anyhoo, I finished my run, and managed to get back around the same time AAA got there, and my hubby was none the wiser (I’ve locked my keys in my car more than I care to admit).
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  3. Today’s cars are so much easier to have that happen. Back when my daughter was little, unless you physically locked the doors or didn’t unlock them, there was no way to lock babies in cars. NOT. I did once lock my keys in the car w/ the car running dropping her off at daycare as a baby. It was a mere annoyance. Today…I don’t even need the keys to start my car, much less unlock the doors or vise versa. That truly makes me nervous, and I don’t even have a baby. Good work Tamara keeping him entertained…you’re a great mom, so no worries!

  4. Gosh that is so so scary! Even reading it I was tensing up! I thought I did that once with my daughter when she was just under 3, but she managed to unlock the door herself (after what seemed like a LOOOONG time of trying). Thank goodness it all ended well! Now it’s time for a drink mama!
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  5. Been there and it scared me to death. Thankfully it was a cool rainy Texas day, because had it been during the summertime (with 105 degree temps), I would have straight up broken a window the second it happened! I let Sadie hold my car key, )which has the remote on the head of the key) after she asked to and 3 seconds after I stepped out and shut my door to go get her out of her car seat, she hit the lock button. I was almost to her door when it happened. So there I stood like an idiot cheering her on to “push the button!) only to have her hit “panic” which set off the alarm & lights. What felt like an eternity, but was more like 2 minutes, she finally hit the unlock button and I jerked the door open. I was shaking as I pulled her out of her seat!
    You both deserved your burgers for lunch 😉

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  6. Oh how frightening! So glad you are both fine. We all have those moments as moms. I once put Liam in the car when he wasn’t buckled into his car seat. He was barely a few months old and it haunted me for weeks! It has never happened again!
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  7. So our old car had a feature that relocked the car if the front door wasn’t opened after a certain (very short) amount of time. So oneday I got to go shopping by myself oneday (thank goodness they kids were at home). I shop, I unlock the car put everything in the trunk – purse, cell phone, groceries. Walk around to get in the car and it had relocked itself. It was raining, I wasn’t moving slow.. Shock and disbleif and I try the door several more times just in case.

    No one would let me use their phone to call my hubby (maybe if the kids were in the car, people would have been nicer). It was pouring (rare here), So I ran the three miles home. I arrived at home, looking like a drowned rat, but everyone was safe and that little incident was in the past.
    Becuase of this I would never take the kids in the car and am super paranoid about where my keys are, and also very thankful mycar won’t lock with a key in it- beacuse sometimes there is a lot going on trying to get two little people and all of our stuff in the car.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I am sure you are not the only one who has done this. I knocked my daughters car seat off a desk while she was in it. Luckily she was strapped in so she didn’t fall out!
    You are a good mom!!

  9. This summer, my husband and I locked ourselves out of the house while our toddler was asleep inside! Thank goodness she was sleeping, and had no idea that it took us 45 minutes to get my in-laws to come over with a spare key. Now our neighbors have a key to our house.

  10. AHHHH!!! How terrifying! This & dropping Presley are my WORST fears, but they have to happen sometime right? EEEk. Way to stay calm! 🙂
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  11. This happened to me yesterday! I have a 4.5 yo and an almost 2 yo. The 2 yo wanted more water in her cup so I put the keys in the ignition so I wouldn’t get water on the clicker, closed the passenger door (had been in that seat buckling the 4.5 yo) and tried to open the back door. Nope. All the doors were locked. But it was a 50 degree PA day so wasn’t even worried, just annoyed with myself. I played charades with my 4.5 yo to get him to unbuckle but he couldn’t do the crotch buckle. It IS in a sensitive spot for boys and he just couldn’t get fingers behind it and hurt himself pressing. He cried some but only from the hurt and he calmed down. Of course he was in the middle so he couldn’t reach the handle or lock- he tried hard! So I went back into the restaurant where we had eaten lunch ad asked to use a phone but was debating who to call. We have USAA for car insurance and since they have roadside assistance I do not have AAA. But I didn’t know the number! The restaurant manager got out his cell phone and had called 911 before I had finished talking all this out with the waitress- like 1 minute of conversation. He was careful to tell dispatch that it was cool enough out, the kids were fine, not even crying so it was NOT an emergency. As a bonus, he knew the address, which I didn’t so that was helpful. The cops arrived within 5 minutes and the kids were still smiling at me making silly faces every few minutes. Two cars came, they had me sign a waiver, and they used a wedge and inflatable thing and the door was open in two minutes. The restaurant manager knew the cops and said he almost called the one guy’s cell but the cop said it was better to just call 911. Made me feel better since I didn’t know the non emergency number and while it wasn’t an emergency I did need their help. They were super nice about it, which was good because I was so embarrassed. Since everyone was fine I just rebuckled my oldest and we headed home with happy kids and a red faced mama.

    I think I am going to put a ‘dumb key’ under the car in case this happens again. The car requires a RFID chip so it wouldn’t start the car, just unlock it.

  12. Sara Johnson says

    I did this when my son was appx. 6 months old at a gas station. I left my keys in the ignition and did my normal routine of getting gas but when I tried to get back in the car it was locked. I was at Costco and the attendent noticed something because he came over and when I told him what happened he went his booth to call the local number for the fire dept. (not 911, which in hindsight would have been faster) and we all (I say all because the manager and another employee came out to talk/make me feel better) waited. Eventually, maybe 10 minutes later a fire truck rolled in with siren and promptly got him out. It was not quite summer but was warm enough that he was uncomfortable and sweating. I stood by his door and tried to remain calm and was being silly but he too eventually was over our game and started fussing. I was calm but I started crying when they got him out and hugged him. I was shocked to see how hot he got in ten mins and it scared me. Everyone around was very nice and supportive despite how foolish I felt.
    Anywho, it happened again maybe 6 months later but this time I let my son play with the keys while I put groceries away in the car and he locked me out! Needless to say the keys are ALWAYS on my person now.

    BTW, I learned pop a lock will not charge you when there is a child locked in the car. They responded very fast to my second incident.

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