A few years ago, on a bright Saturday morning, I had the scare of my life. We were having a good time after breakfast and my daughter was happily playing on the couch. The dad and I heard one of our favorite songs and in a leap woke up and started dancing.
She must have been excited to see us move to the beat, she started giggling continuously and imitating us. She was less than a year old and so was not walking yet. We kept stealing glances but not too many times as the music took over our hearts.
In one short heartbeat, I turned to see the little girl tossing in the air, head facing down, and hands widespread, heading to the floor, I gasped and jumped to catch her and the dad moved in fast to save the fall.
Unfortunately, it was too late; she landed with a thunder on the floor.
My goodness!! I gasped. I started shaking.
There was a span of two long seconds before any sound came out. The dad took her into his arms, I had no strength. After a short while, to our relief, she let out a loud, painful and tormenting cry, I had to join in.
As I type this, my hands shake at the memory of that morning. I hate to remember it.
Do you remember your baby's first fall? Does it send a cold chill through your spine?
You are not alone. Every mother has a similar or close experience and no one wishes for a repeat. Unfortunately, these little ones are like tennis balls. You swear to God it will never happen again, but then a week won't end. Another instance happens. It's like a script.
I remember how I carried that guilt for long and shrank at the thought of the crazy falls or the worst repercussions. Thankfully, my baby had no ripple effect.
It's not always the case, some babies fall and it becomes the start of a long medical history. It can be tormenting and excruciatingly painful. I hope it never happens to any of us but if it has to you, take heart. Forgive yourself and be strong for your little one. It's going to be okay.
Let me share with you some advice I got on how to prevent baby falls, it can come in handy.
- Use play mats: the safest place for baby to play is on a flat surface, if they try to stand and fall, the impact will be minimal and the worst that can happen is a bump on the head.
- Cushion the play area: remove sharp edged tables or stands near the play area. If you can, replace all your square furniture with rounded ones or buy bumpers for the edges.
- Put bumpers around the cot especially if it's wooden or metal and make the edges high such that the baby can hardly climb.
- Do your best to supervise play. It's never 100% safe. These kids can surprise you.
- Keep attractive stuff either out of reach or close: babies are attracted to unique and colorful things; they will definitely try to grab.
Another thing I learned about babies, they do not know what you know, they don't see the edges and the lean wall, they could even hold on to a spider web expecting to be safe.
At first, you wonder, can't she see she could fall? Is he not noticing the steep stairs? No, they don't.
You are their guardian angel, you must watch over them. Their curiosity, especially for toddlers, is a thousand times yours so yes; they will fall severally. I stopped counting.
So, how do I know if the fall is serious?
- If the baby is unconscious.
- If the baby does not cry and is unusually calm.
- If the baby stops being active.
- If the skin color starts to change
- If there's a bleeding wound and after first aid, the bleeding continues
- If the baby cries excessively; normally the baby cries for about two minutes and then forgets.
- The sixth sense; just have the baby checked if your mother instinct says so.
I am one of those mothers who don’t advocate for self-medication. Unless you are a medic, please consult. Do not just tie a heap of a bandage on the child and assume everything will be fine.
Above all, observe your baby, consistently. Any change of behavior, like loss of appetite, refusing to play. Sitting or sleeping for long could be a sign.
I hope your baby doesn't fall but if she does. Take heart. It happens.
Would you like to share with us your experience? Please post your story in the comment section and let's learn from each other.