About 78% of babies fall off the bed, but do not be alarmed, 98% of them do not suffer from serious injuries. If you ask your friends who have children, almost all of them said their babies fell off the bed more than once, and they are still okay and yelling and crying in your face because they cannot find their toy train or barbies.
Babies are fidgety and as newborn parents, these kinds of things are BOUND to happen while they are napping and sleeping, especially for babies which are older than 4 months and could move on their own.
That being said, when a child falls out of bed, it is still a very distressing experience for parents. Some babies may cry loudly after falling, but then quickly calm down and return to their normal behaviours. In these instances, there is usually no cause for concern.
However, if your child experiences any of the following symptoms after a fall, it’s important to seek medical attention right away:
- If your child has been cut or is bleeding, take him or her to see a doctor immediately.
- Other symptoms, such as refusing to be fed, similar to when the child has a stomach ache, might indicate damage in the abdomen (e.g. to the liver or spleen).
- Sometimes abdominal trauma can also cause reddish faded urine, which indicates possible damage to the bladder.
- If your child cannot move his arms or legs, this could be a sign of a bone, joint or muscle injury.
- If your child falls out of bed and has symptoms of drowsiness, vomiting, spitting up, or if the child is whining or won’t wake up, this could be a sign of brain injury and you should take the child to see a doctor immediately.
What to do if the baby seems okay?
The baby may be a bit sleepy after the fall, especially if it happened when he or she was napping, after he or she woke up from a nap or bedtime. While we recommend letting the baby to just rest, the caregiver should still wake the baby up at regular intervals to make sure he or she is okay.
Things the caregiver should check for during the regular intervals:
- If the baby is breathing normally
- If the baby could recognise his/her caregiver or parents
- Can the baby be woken up easily?
If any of the above are not the case, as in any which one of them does not happen, contact a doctor immediately or seek emergency care.
While some suggest over-the-counter pain relievers to relieve the pain caused by the fall to the babies, such as ibuprofen, it is best to check with your family doctor first to make sure the medication is safe for the baby. As a heavy dosage may cause more serious damage to the baby’s liver or other organs.
Although we have mentioned that it is important to wake the baby up at regular intervals to make sure the baby is okay, make sure you still let the baby REST. It is the best treatment and parents or caregivers should avoid letting the baby participate in rough plays for the next few days. Let the baby do more quiet activities like listening to bedtime stories, reading, drawing, etc.
How to prevent a baby from falling?
The best way to keep a baby from getting a head injury is to prevent the fall. If you are reading this article, it is time to re-evaluate safety and child-proofing in the house.
About the sleeping arrangement, or the bed to be more specific:
- Ensure the gaps between the bed railings are no wider than 6 cm. You can place a sheet or pillow along the outside of the railings to prevent the child from putting their arms or legs through the bed.
- Make sure the bed or cot has guards on all 4 sides and that each guard is securely locked to prevent the child from bumping into it and causing it to loosen.
- Always put the baby in a crib that has a tight fitting mattress, sheets, and the crib should not have soft bedding that could trap or suffocate the baby.
- Choose a low-lying place for the child to sleep, such as a mattress on the floor.
- Never leave the baby on an adult bed without someone watching him or her over, and even if you put up pillows as barriers, they are still NOT enough to keep your baby safe!
Do not let your child sleep alone. Parents or guardians should have their babies in sight at all times. We advise arranging the crib close to the parents’ or guardians’ bed until they are 1 year old.
While it is crucial to prevent your baby from falling off the bed, odds are, most of the time, they will turn out fine, so we would not be including possible head injuries in this page to scare you further. Those soft little heads are actually more resilient than you think and most parents we have met have experienced this kind of mishap.
Babies are like little ninjas, you turned your back on them for one second and they could get themselves into any sort of situation in a second. Evolution knew how careless a baby could be and gave them a strong enough body to handle that. That being said, while not to over-worry, it is important for a parent to prevent the fall from happening, and if it happens, stay calm and quickly assess the baby. Seek emergency care ASAP if necessary.
Most importantly, don’t blame yourself too much if it did happen, understanding the situation, and baby-proofing your house are ways to prevent or stop a fall from happening again.