Motherhood: When He or She Falls and It’s Your Fault

If you are reading this, it probably happened – you know… the big fall.

It probably makes you cringe just to think about it, and probably breaks your heart to know that your baby’s fall happened while in your care.

If you are a new mother, you may be looking for advice from other parents about the fall or you may be looking to ease some of the guilt you feel about the incident.

If either one of those statements is true, you’ve come to the right place.

I know I can’t take away all of the negative feelings about the incident, but I can share my own experience and the lessons I learned from parenting a rambunctious little boy for 13 months now.

I remember how soothed I felt when I went searching for information on the subject and then realized I wasn’t alone.

First of all, take a deep breath, and take heed to my words.

YOU ARE NOT A BAD PARENT just because your child fell while in your care.

I know that you try to be all things at all times, and speaking from a mother’s perspective, we sometimes feel obligated to protect our child from every scrape and every bruise.

Let me save you the trouble by letting you know – it’s impossible.

If you’re a first time mother, like me, you may feel the guilt much more because you haven’t quite built up your experience in the motherhood field, and this thing then comes out of the blue and crushes you. At least, that’s what it feels like.

Let me tell you a little about my experience.

My son (who was 9 months old at the time) FELL. OUT. OF. HIS. PLAYPEN.

Holy shit was I a mess.

It felt like the whole thing happened in slow motion, but also in an instant.

I could see him climb up on his turtle toy that was in his playpen, and pull himself over the edge. I just couldn’t get to him in time.

Without going into the theatrics of it, lets just say I felt like shit afterwards.

There were some things that I learned from the experience however, that helped me, and I want to share those things with you.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. So if you need true medical assistance please be sure to contact your child’s pediatrician or if your child’s fall seems severe, call 911 or go to the emergency room.

With that said, here are 5 tips to help walk you through your child’s fall.

#1 Don’t Panic

  • There is nothing worse than being in a situation that needs your full attention and you being out of it.

#2 Realize – Your Baby’s Bones Are Different Than Yours

  • Their bones are softer than adults, so they are less susceptible to fractures and breaks.

#3 Check Your Baby Out Before Freaking Out

  • Is your baby disoriented?
  • Is your baby crawling or walking awkwardly after the fall?
  • Is your baby crying for an excessive amount of time (15 minutes or more)? If so, there may be an injury that you don’t notice. Report the signs to your child’s pediatrician or a doctor to see what the next course of action is.

#4 Do A Snap Test

  • Snap your fingers left, then right, then up, then down (one direction at a time – seeing if your child follows the sound). If so, chances are, your baby is just fine. Keep monitoring the child, and do another snap test 15 minutes later.

#5 Keep An Eye On Your Child’s Behavior For 24 Hours

  • If your child fell and all seems okay from the list above, chances are, your baby is just fine. Just keep an eye on them for the next 24 hours though. It’s your baby’s first fall, and it won’t be his or her last. It’s best if you know what to check for. You can also ask your pediatrician if they have a list of signs to look for after your baby’s fall; if you want additional information.
  • Some doctors also recommend not letting your child go to sleep for at least an hour after his or her fall. Just monitor the baby closely during that hour. That’s another little tip.

I hope these tips help.

The most important thing to remember is – DON’T PANIC.

I know it’s easier said than done – trust me.

Breathe through it and try to remain calm so that you can assess the situation and get help, if needed.

Speaking from a first time mother perspective, we sometimes try to be in all places at all times, and the very last thing that we want to happen is our child getting hurt.

The truth is… we can’t be in all places at all times, but we can take each situation that we are faced with – one step at a time.

Thanks for reading!

Renee B.

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