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Your baby fell off the bed and you’re most likely freaking out. You have no idea how it happened because it all happened so quickly. And you’re probably in the midst of going through every article on Google to read about other moms’ experiences.
Breathe mama. If your baby is crying and alert, then that’s a good sign. And you are most definitely not the only mom who’s been there. I along with many, many other moms around the world have experienced this.
Babies are squirmy and it’s actually pretty common for them to fall off a bed or even a changing table. According to Medical News Today, even though it can be frightening, a fall from a bed does not usually cause any serious harm. But it’s possible for injuries to occur so it’s very important for you to assess signs indicating your baby needs medical help.
In this blog post, I’ll go over what I did when my baby fell off the bed, not only once but twice. And what you can implement to continue bedsharing safely.
The First Time Baby Fell Off The Bed
Let’s be honest. The first thing I did was freak out. My daughter, Emory, was only 2-months-old and little. One morning, I heard a thump on the floor and I immediately woke up freaking out. The sun had not come up yet and I turned on my lamp and saw my poor baby girl on the floor screaming.
I quickly picked her up and tried consoling her after making she didn’t have any serious physical injuries. She was alert and responsive. There wasn’t anything obviously wrong with her head, body, or the way she responded to the fall.
After walking around with her consoling her, she stopped crying and was falling back asleep. But instead of allowing her to fall back asleep, I kept her up for a little bit longer to make sure she was okay.
Since there weren’t any bumps or obvious signs of injuries with her head, arms, and legs, I put her back to sleep. But I was still horrified that she fell off the bed.
The Second Time Baby Fell Off The Bed
This is a touchy subject. And you’re probably thinking how the heck did I allow this to happen twice, let alone once. But we all go through different circumstances. And no mom brags about their imperfections, especially not about their baby falling off the bed. For the lack of betters words, “shit happens” and my goal is to always be transparent with my readers.
Emory was about 4-months-old the second time she fell off the bed. My husband was gone to Senior’s Leader Course (SLC) in Georgia and I had my step-daughter, niece, and mother-in-law in town. I was studying for my nursing boards (or at least trying to) while having visitors and on top of all of that, taking care of my colicky baby.
For the second time, I allowed my sleep deprivation to get the best of me. And I knew we needed to make some changes after my baby falling off the bed for the second time.
How To Bed Share Safely
Although it’s embarrassing admitting my mistakes for allowing my baby to fall off the bed twice, I know some new and seasoned moms need the reassurance and extra resources to bed share safely. Because bedsharing is the only way for some of us mamas to get adequate sleep to function.
The different things (some more obvious than others) are methods I personally implemented that allowed me to bedshare safely with my baby along with what is recommended by credible sources.
1. Baby needs to be on their back
According to KidsHealth, in response to evidence that stomach sleeping might contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) created its “Back to Sleep” campaign, which recommended that all healthy infants younger than 1 year of age be placed on their backs to sleep. Another reason you should always have your baby on their back is to prevent suffocation.
And there are even weighted baby sleep sacks to help babies sleep throughout the night and on their back, especially transitioning out of the swaddles.
2. No adults should be smoking, drinking, or using any drugs
Smoking, drinking, and drug use before and after pregnancy is a huge risk factor for SIDS. If you aren’t easily able to be aroused, then it is dangerous for you to sleep with a baby. And when I say drugs, I’m talking about both legal and illegal use of drugs.
3. Put your mattress on the floor
When my baby fell off the bed the first time, putting our mattress on the floor crossed my mind. But I convinced myself it wouldn’t happen again. Then two months later, she fell off the bed again.
If you’re bed-sharing, put your mattress on the floor. Don’t ever think another mom’s mistake couldn’t happen to you. It’s always best to take preventative measures and take those extra precautions to avoid worst-case scenarios.
4. Clear all things away from the mattress that could cause harm
Clear all things away from your mattress like the nightstand, dresser, or anything that could potentially cause harm to the baby. If your baby did fall off the bed, could she get hurt from any objects or furniture surrounding the mattress?
5. Check your mattress
If your mattress makes an indent where your baby’s laying, then it’s not suitable for bed-sharing. It’s recommended you place your baby on a firm mattress for the crib, so the same thing applies with your mattress.
I have a firm pillow top mattress that isn’t exactly as firm as my baby’s crib mattress, but it doesn’t make an indent where we both lay.
6. Use a pacifier
7. Clear everything off the bed except you and baby
It’s recommended you clear everything off the bed if you choose to bed share with your baby. Pillows, blankets, dogs, and stuffed animals can add to the risk of suffocation.
However, I did read that a lot of co-sleeping moms placed long body pillows on either side of them so that there was a barrier between the baby and the ground. After placing our mattress on the ground, I actually started putting my long pregnancy pillows along the edge of the bed.
8. Place mattress against the wall
Placing your mattress against the wall can help prevent your baby from getting trapped or pinned by other furniture or objects. However, if you can’t push your bed against the wall, I recommend placing pillows on the ground just in case the baby rolls off or falls off the bed. This is after you place the mattress on the ground.
Bed-sharing isn’t for everyone.
As reported by HealthyChildren.org, certain situations make bed-sharing more dangerous and you shouldn’t bed share with your baby if:
- Your baby was born prematurely or with low birth weight.
- You or any other person in the bed is a smoker.
- If you drank any alcohol.
- You have taken any medicines or drugs that might make it harder for you to wake up.
- You are not the baby’s parent.
- The surface is soft, such as a waterbed, old mattress, sofa, couch, or armchair.
- There is soft bedding like pillows or blankets on the bed.
Stigmas Around Bed Sharing
Posts like My Baby Fell Off the Bed Twice and I Can’t Get Over How Guilty I Feel helped me mentally during my baby’s falls. And I hope my story can help you prevent injuries from bed-sharing and to bed share safely.