The initial stages of being a parent can be one of the most stressful times of your life, especially if it is your first child. However, fear not; most of your fears are irrational and stem from your parental sense of protectiveness.
Babies have an irregular sleeping pattern, especially in the early months. They can fall asleep during the daytime and, most often than not, wake up crying when everybody is asleep.
Usually, the only time they are not the focus of their parent's attention is when the parents are asleep or out of the room. In these few moments, the baby may fall off the bed.
Babies are small, so it is easy to think that they are incapable of crawling over to the edge or even falling off the bed. However, the effects of flailing arms and kicking legs should not be underestimated. The baby falling off the bed is a common problem new parents face.
Your baby falling off the bed can make you feel like a terrible parent. However, the baby falling from the bed is a widespread occurrence. Instead of fussing over the baby, you must remember to follow the steps to ensure no lasting effects on your child’s health.
Prevention may be the ideal way of dealing with infants falling off the bed, but accidents can happen to anyone. If this problem ever happens, there are a few steps that you can follow and a few checks you can carry out to ensure that your baby is fine and you can finally put your mind at ease.
Baby Nursery FAQs
Babies are generally very fidgety, and it is quite common for them to fall off a bed while napping or sleeping. If this happens, it is essential to assess the situation calmly and to look carefully for signs of injury. Even though it can be frightening, a fall from a bed does not usually cause any serious harm.
5 Ways To Stop A Toddler From Falling Out Of Bed
- Move your toddler to a small bed.
- Make sure the bed is stable and doesn't shake.
- Place the child's side of the bed against the wall.
- Co-Sleep with your child.
- Buy guard rails online.
They may appear limp or sleeping, then usually resume consciousness rather quickly. Regardless, this is a medical emergency. If your baby appears to have a serious head injury, such as visible signs of bleeding or unconsciousness, call 911 or local emergency services immediately.
Excessive bruising and swelling. Vomiting more than once. Unusual sleepiness and difficulty staying alert. Loss of consciousness or not responding to voice/touch.
Watch the child carefully for 24 hours after a head injury to see whether they develop any signs of a serious head injury.
If you do wake up at night hearing a thump and find out that your baby has fallen, it is important to observe your child for the next 24 hours to find out if there are any lasting effects.
Initially, you need to check whether your baby is conscious. The fall could make your baby lose consciousness initially, and the toddler may appear to be limp or sleeping. The consciousness is regained rather quickly, and they may resume crying.
Even though it may seem normal, you must treat this situation as a medical emergency. It is advised to not move your child immediately after the fall since it may cause further injury to the child.
Pick up your baby and comfort him gently if he does not seem to be physically injured. Babies may be confused, alarmed and scared after a fall. While holding the baby, inspect him for any physical signs of harm, especially on the head area. Although the baby falling off the bed and hitting his head is a common accident, it needs to be treated with caution. If the child is under the age of one, the situation should be treated as a medical emergency, and you must take him to a doctor right away.
- Children older than four months are more likely to move, roll and turn, which can be risked falling out from the bed.
- 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, you should take the child to see a doctor immediately.
- The Bed should not be higher than 120 cm. The gaps between your child’s bed railings should be no wider than 6 cm.
It is not uncommon for young children to fall out of bed, especially babies over four months old and have already become mobile. Parents are usually very frightened when this happens to a small child.
Some babies will cry loudly when they fall out of bed, but then they will quickly cheer up and will soon return to their usual high spirits. In such cases, there is no need to worry. If this does happen to your child and then they have any of the following symptoms, take them to see a doctor immediately:
- 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.
- If your child has been cut or is bleeding, take them 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 faded reddish 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.
Observing Symptoms And Initial Treatment
If your child has symptoms of swelling, bruising, or a bump on the head, with crying then sudden pauses, apply a cold compress to the area of the swelling.
Observe the symptoms for 24-48 hours, and if there are no other symptoms after 24 hours, apply a warm compress to the same area.
If there are other symptoms after 24 hours, however, such as excessive and unusual crying, vomiting, drowsiness, or if your child spits up, take your child to see a doctor immediately.
If you wish to give your child painkillers, use paracetamol, as this is safer for them than other types of painkillers. However, if after taking painkillers your child is still crying and still in pain, and their condition is not improving, take them to see a doctor immediately.
Risk Factors Of Bed Falls
- Leaving a child alone who is over the age of 4 months. Normally when children reach this age, they start learning how to turn themselves over. However, even if your child is younger than four months old and is not yet mobile, you should not get complacent. Keep your baby in sight at all times.
- Unsuitable beds, such as beds without guards or beds with rails that are too wide.
- Beds that are higher than 120 cm. If a child falls from a high bed, it increases the risk of bleeding in the brain.
- Beds that have gaps, rails or holes wider than 6 cm. Your baby may be able to put their arms or legs through the gaps, but their head may get stuck. Moreover, if your child’s legs cannot reach the floor, accidents such as self-strangulation can happen which can be fatal.
Dealing With the Bump on Your Infant’s Head After Falling Off the Bed
If there is any impact on your infant’s head, he may develop a bulge in the shape of an egg in that area. However, the egg-shaped bulge is not as bad as it seems- it will usually go away after a short period. The bulge means swelling in the area, but only superficially.
To deal with the bulge, you have to apply a cold compress every hour for about five minutes. This is easy to do, but the only difficulty is distracting the child from the chill of the ice pack. The bulge usually disappears within a few hours, and if it doesn’t, you should consult a doctor.
When a baby or toddler falls off a bed, it is vital to remain calm and quickly assess the situation.
Immediately call 911 without picking the baby up if:
- they have lost consciousness
- they are bleeding a lot
- it looks as though they have a serious head injury
Moving a baby with a head or spine injury can cause serious complications. However, if the baby is in a place with a risk of further injury, it is okay to move them gently to a safer location.
If the baby is vomiting or having a seizure, gently turn them onto their side. Make sure to keep the baby’s neck straight while rolling them over.
It is fine to pick up the baby and comfort them if they are conscious and do not appear to have any serious injuries.
Gently check them over, paying close attention to their head for bumps, bruises, or other injuries. Check the rest of the baby’s body, including the arms, legs, chest, and back.
If the baby does not show any visible signs of injury and does not appear to be acting differently, it should be sufficient to monitor them closely for a short time to make sure that nothing changes.
Several possible injuries can result from a fall, including:
A concussion is a head injury that typically occurs when a blow to the head causes the brain to jolt inside the skull. It can be difficult to detect a concussion in a baby or toddler because they cannot easily tell a person their symptoms.
Signs of a concussion in an infant include:
- loss of consciousness
- inconsolable crying
- excessive sleepiness
- prolonged periods of quietness
- a refusal to eat
- temporary loss of recently acquired skills
The scalp is the skin covering the head, and it contains many small blood vessels. Even a minor cut or injury can bleed a lot, so it can look more serious than it is.
Sometimes, bleeding in and under the scalp can cause a bump or swelling to appear on the baby’s head, which may take a few days to go away.
The skull is a bone that surrounds the brain. It is possible for a fall from a high place to break it.
Infants with a skull fracture may have:
- a depressed area on the head
- clear fluid draining from the eyes or ears
- bruising around the eyes or ears
Take the baby to the emergency room immediately if they have any of these signs.
The brain is a delicate structure that contains many blood vessels, nerves, and other internal tissues. A fall can damage or injure these structures, sometimes severely.
When You Should Call a Doctor
If the situation seems out of control or worsens, you should call the doctor for an expert opinion. However, in most cases, this won’t be necessary.
- If your child seems to have any deformity after the fall, you should visit a doctor immediately.
- Broken bones are another case of emergency, and you need to visit a hospital without any delay to get the necessary treatment for your toddler.
- In case of any cuts or bruises, it may be advisable to wrap the wound with the help of an expert nurse or doctor.
- If the bleeding is internal- your child has bleeding in the nose, eyes or ears, then a visit to the doctor is a must. This should be treated as a critical condition, pointing at internal clotting.
- Brain haemorrhages also have the same symptoms as internal bleeding. Remember this when you take your child to the hospital.
- A concussion is another danger, and its signs include dizziness, weakness, and sluggishness, combined with vomiting. This indicates that the hit was harder than it seemed.
- Another thing to notice is if the baby seems to be experiencing a blackout without any quick movements in the eyes.
- The pupils may seem to vary in size after the fall, with one pupil more significant than the other.
- Finally, if the baby appears to be crying for longer than usual, it is indicative of some internal problem. Take your child to the doctor immediately.
It is important to call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if the baby shows any of these signs after falling off a bed:
- loss of consciousness
- abnormal or slow breathing
- bleeding or leakage of clear fluid from the nose or ears
- pupils of different sizes
- bulging of the soft spot on the head
- a serious wound
- uncontrollable crying
- excessive sleepiness or inability to wake up
- changes in eating or sleeping patterns
Parents and caregivers have powerful intuition. If something seems wrong with a baby, it is essential to see a doctor. It is always better to be safe and ensure that no serious injuries occur.
Care at home
A baby might be a little sleepy after a fall, especially if it happened during or after a nap or bedtime. It may be helpful to let the baby rest. However, the doctor might recommend waking up the baby regularly to check on them.
Waking the baby can make detecting any signs of a more severe head injury developing. The baby should:
- be breathing normally
- recognize their parent or caregiver
- be easy to wake up
If any of these are not the case, check back in with the doctor or seek emergency care.
Falling off a bed can cause head, neck, or body pain in the baby.
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help to make the baby more comfortable. It is best to check the medication type and dosage with the doctor.
Rest is the best treatment after any head injury. Parents and caregivers should promote quiet activities for a few days and ensure that the infant avoids rough play.
Five Ways to Prevent Your Baby from Falling Off the Bed
Most parents would get nightmares just thinking of the baby falling off the bed. But once the baby learns to roll over, it is a common scenario. The little one is not accustomed to the bed and might have trouble learning how to get off the bed. Injuries cannot be avoided with the little ones but can be reduced by following the below steps:
- Move your toddler to a small bed: Cribs with long sides help to keep the toddler secure in one place and reduce their chances of falling. The toddler beds are often painted with things they love, like cartoons or objects. This makes them feel happy and not trapped in one place. They can spend more time in their cribs, and you can also focus on your work. Keep a mattress on the floor if your child tends to fall off the bed often. Even if they fall, they will not hurt themselves.
- Tighten the sides of the bed: Make sure your bed does not wobble. Tighten the screws of the bed, which could result in the falling of your baby. Check the stability of the bed every few months if necessary. In addition, place your beds away from the windows, shelves and other objects. This will reduce the chances of more accidents in the future. Keep objects far from the reach of the children. This way, they will not be tempted to reach out and fall off the bed.
- Place the child’s side of the bed against the wall: You know the side your child likes to roll on to. Place the bed against the wall eliminating his chances of falling. If that cannot be done, place pillows on both sides of his bed, creating an obstacle. Place a bean bag or pillows to reduce the chances of injury to your toddler. If you have a bunk bed, never place the small kid on the top of the bed.
- Co-Sleep with your child: Co-sleeping with the child can reduce the chances of falling or rolling over. If you are a sound sleeper, make sure you secure the baby. Be sober when you are sleeping with your child. Many parents do not realize which side they are rolling or how tight they hold the baby when they sleep.
- Buy guard rails online: Many online products can be attached and detached when not required. A few of them are also available, inflated or deflated when not in use. For people who constantly shift, these kinds are the best to use. There are some DIY side rails also available. At the least, one can co-sleep with their babies on the floor. This eliminates falling completely. Many mothers place a mattress on the floor because their toddlers fall a lot from the bed.