When your baby falls from a high surface such as a couch, changing table, or bed, you are not a bad parent. Accidents happen and you’d be surprised how common it actually is! I learned my lesson the hard way when I turned my back for a brief second to my daughter lying on the bed while changing her. Here’s what to do and look out for when your infant takes a tumble.
You’ll need to keep an eye out for any broken bones or sprains. Check their wrists and ankles for any awkward bending, flopping, snapping sounds, or protruding bones – these are all likely signs of breakage. If you see any areas of swelling, your baby becomes highly sensitive to the touch of a certain area, or refuses to stand it might just be a sprain, but it’s best to get it checked out just in case. Bring your child to the doctor or emergency clinic as soon as possible. The good news is baby’s bones are pliable and rarely break, but it is safe to err on the side of caution.
A fall on the head can cause damage such as a concussion, skull fracture, or other intercranial damage. The signs of skull damage include soft swollen spots on the head, blood in the whites of the eyes, and bleeding out of the ears and nose. Check your baby’s pupils and make sure they don’t appear enlarged as this is also a sign of brain damage. A concussion may show up as excessive vomiting, confusion, and loss of balance or motor skills. Take your child in as these can be serious and potentially life-threatening.
While everything I listed above should be checked for on your baby, don’t get too worked up. Babies fall all the time and while it probably hurts, it might shock them more than anything.
I was changing my daughter on the bed one day, turned around to grab her shirt off the changing table when all of a sudden I heard a thump. My heart dropped and I thought my daughter was dead. Okay, maybe I’m a little dramatic, but it really scared me and I began sobbing which escalated her sobbing. While it only took a few minutes to calm her down after my fiance took her from me, it must have taken a few hours to calm me down! We looked her over, made sure her pupils were in check, she was fully conscious, and was still eating okay. Over the next 24 hours, we kept a good watch on her to make sure she was behaving normally.
From that day forward, I became extremely cautious of my daughter on places including the bed, couch, changing table, and high chair. Never turn your back on your child or leave them unattended, especially if they aren’t strapped down. Even if your child isn’t rolling yet (mine wasn’t!), you’d be surprised at how well they can wriggle their way around. Although your child will forget the fall, you won’t.