36 answers

Minor Head Injury/Fell off the Bed

My son just turned 6 months and he just learned to roll over on to his stomach. While I was putting my shoe on, he rolled off the bed in an instant. He fell on his side and bumped the right side of his forehead. I rushed to the hospital. The doctor said that it was a minor head injury with no need to get a catscan or MRI. He suggested that I keep an eye on him for the next 24 hours waking him up every three hours. My son checked out ok but I am still shaken up and the guilt is killing me. What have other moms done in this situation to monitor these injuries?

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I am sorry you had to experience this accident. I have had children fall on their heads. The doctor told me to look at the pupil of their eyes and if they dialated they did not have a concussion. Then when I put them to sleep I had to touch them on th bottom of their feet to see if they stirred. If they did all was well.

First thing is not to panic. And forget guilt. Really. There is no way to avoid all accidents at this age. Probably, not his first bump, and (unfortunately)not his last.
Babies' heads (bones) at this age are made the way (they're sort of flexible)to "respond" to all those small hits. Just watch him closely. But, really, only he won't start crying and vomiting there is danger. Otherwise, he's fine.

It happens to the best of us. My infant fell off the table
in an infant seat 16 yrs ago with no problems. relax he will
be fine it was an accident just enjoy him

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My oldest daughter had rolled off her changing table all in the split second that I leaned over to grab something. Our pediatrician told me to do the same, just keep an eye on her and believe me there have been so many other bumps & bruises since then. But that is still the one I feel the guiltiest about. We are always busted on when we go to the hospital w/her because she is usually there at least once every two or three months w/something (they told us they are building a wing for us). One thing that I have learned w/my two girls is that accidents are going to happen, but I swear to you I still react the same way (horribly!) My husband was a police officer in Newark for years and is a 911 dispatcher so he's seen it all & heard it all - me on the other hand, it's almost like I have to calm myself down before I do anything. I'm sure your son will be fine, it's just us moms that we have to worry about!

1 mom found this helpful

I have four children and each of them have either rolled off the changing table, chair, or bed...just as you described. Forgive yourself and give your baby a kiss.

1 mom found this helpful

You have NOTHING to feel guilty about - accidents happen to all of us wonderful, attentive mamas...It only takes a second, you've learned your lesson and can now take a sigh of relief and stop beating yourself up!...

We have 3 kids and ALL sorts of stuff has happened to us...it just goes with parenting/growing up...bumps and bruises all along the way.

Have a wonderful New Year and I'm personally thankful there are good mamas like you out there...too often we hear about the bad ones.
God Bless.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh, please don't feel guilty. I have three boys and all three of them had more than one accidents bumping heir heads and sprained knee, the list can go on and on. My oldest is 4, my second one is going to be 3 and my youngest is 15 months....so I had my hare of worrying, panic, guilt, on and on. I onced read something and made me feel alittle better and it's could be sooooo true. If we put our baby in protective bubble to protect them, the baby will find a way to break and cut him/herself. That was somewhat reassuring to me. Just think of it this way....mothers experience such things, you keep an eye on him and when he's two or three and look back realize he's had lots of accidents. I disagree with one mother to some degree...that they will learn....NOT with 6 months old. They do learn when they get better. My sons climbed out of their pack n play and bumped their heads (I think) and from experience, I just watched them and they were crying and no vomiting and sometimes I watch their eyes to make sure and I check everything on the whole body for cuts, scrapes or rug burns, etc. From what you told us, he sounds fine and you ARE a GREAT MOTHER and guilt is not for good mothers like you. I'll pray for him and you and your man.

Don't worry.. it happens to most of us. Once they learn to turn over.... wow.. they really go. Wait until the baby starts to stand up... then they really get bumps. My brother had his son in one of those bouncy lay down things on the table.. and he moved a lot... and.. before he knew it.. the chair and the baby were on the floor... he had bruises all over his head and face.. since the seat hit a chair and then the floor... he felt terrible too. But things happen so quickly.. don't worry -- baby will be ok. Just keep an eye on the baby for a day or two.. and don't be upset.. things happen. give the baby a kiss.. and enjoy all the new things the baby will be doing!!

Dear YA

First of all Happy Holidays!! and do not beat yourself up about this it is the first of many bumps and bruises. My son was learning to walk at around 10 months old and fell into a Radio Flyer metal red wagon he received for Christmas what a bump he got on his head. That same night I went to bathe him quickly in the kitchen sink while I was holding his arm he slipped and hit the other side of his head on the edge of the sink another huge bump. He looked like he was in a boxing match I felt terrible and he looked even worse. I was standing there both times when it happened they are so quick to do things that sometimes we cannot anticipate what will happen next. As far as the head injury I am sure after the doctor assessed him and saw no imminent danger he will be fine. Having you monitor him for 24 hours is just a precaution. If he had a concussion he would probably be showing signs immediately. Usually vomiting, a dazed over look, wanting to sleep. The reason for waking him is just to see if he can come out of a deep sleep okay. The doctor would never have released him if he though there was anything serious. I had a friend who's daughter fell off the dressing table which is much higher and thankfully she was okay. I know you feel terrible but this could happen to anyone of us. We all learn from our mistakes. Just enjoy your day and your beautiful baby boy.

Just had to tell you that my 8 month old son just fell off the couch head first about 4 days ago... I so understand the guilt feeling but have been told by many that this is only the first of many accidents to happen and I believe it. As far as monitoring my baby I just watched him for the day to make sure he was as aware as usuall and playing like he always does. I tried to make sure he wasn't sleeping anymore than usuall and all that. Hang in there and don't get down on yourself, exspecially with having boys I'm sure there are lots of bumps, bruises and even broken bones and stiches in our future. Its the way of the child.


I know it's the first time but it will not be the last. If I could count the times my husband and I turned our heads and our 3 1/2 yr old rolled over and off something or into something (when she was an infant of course). It just happens. I wouldn't worry yourself too much about it. My son who's almost 8 months now has only rolled off the bed once so far. My daughter was way curious as an infant and used rolling as her main form of travel till she was about 9 months old and started crawling. To this day she is a major klutz. Just like me! You'll know if there is something really wrong if it happens again. Good luck, congratulations and Happy Holidays!


I am so sorry to hear about your son. My daughter, now 14 months old has falled off of her changing table once(6 months), the bed 2 times5 months, 7 months), and only this past Tuesday she fell in between the bed and wall. Thank god these didn't warrant going to the ER. But just follow the advice of the MD. I wanted to respond to this to give YOU emoitional support. Anything "out of the ordinary" that happens to our children terrify us. The guilt is natural and you wouldn't be the awesome mom that you are if you didn't feel guilty!!! Just keep in mind that kids are so resilient and things type kind of incidents effect us more than them.


Oh man, we've all been here. I walked to the other side of the room, and my five month old practically catapulted off the bed! Face down on the floor. I thought I was going to have a heart attack...

Babies are hearty- heartier than we give them credit for! Following my doctor's orders, I just held him a lot that day. Let him nap normally. (Kind of. I checked on him every 20 minutes at first!!! Then I chilled out, and let the poor boy sleep.) Kept his normal routine. Just waited to see if anything seemed "off."

He was fine, of course. And so will your little guy! The hard part will be forgiving yourself. But we've all been through this. Sometimes our best lessons just have to be learned the hard way!

My son was around a year old when he slipped off the side of our bed and crashed head first into a fax machine near the bed... the "crash site" swelled right up and he even had an indentation where he made contact. We rushed him to our urgent care. And they gave us the same advise while we tearfully listened. The doctor helped us over our guilt explaining that this wouldn't be the worst injury we would see in our child's growing up, and that it was only one of many to come. That made us feel better... - Hugs, J.

Hi Y A,
I did something similar when my Graciela was about 5 months old.
I had her on a drafting chair (almost 3 feet off the floor) on her stomach with my hand on her back so she wouldn't fall.
I took my hand off for only 1 second and she went face down to the floor. I Screamed, my husband came running and I was paralyzed for a moment when Graciela, stunned, took FOREVER to react to her fall! She screamed and screamed.
I immediately called the pediatrician who seemed unfazed by the news that I had dropped her. Turns out it happens to everyone at least once! She told me to let her sleep if she was due to nap and not to be alarmed unless the nap went over the usual time. The fact that she was screaming meant that Graciela was OK. There was no blood and hardly even a bruise. My guilt will follow me till I die, but she is OK. When I called my friend who has an 11 year old and 5 year old twins of what I had done, she laughed and said "congratulations you're a mom".
You will feel guilty for a while, but if your doctor says your baby is OK, then he is OK. I hugged my Graciela a little tighter that night and told her "I Love You" a few extra times, and now I make sure she is on solid ground before I turn away from her.
Take Care!

I honestly can't count how many times my kids have fallen and bumped themselves. Your not going to be there to protect him from everything. And he needs to fall down, how else does he learn. Don't beat yourself up over this. He hasn't even started walking yet. I swear my daughter must bump her head 50 times a day. At this age their made of rubber, and most of the time they bounce right back and forget it way faster then you do. Think about it this way...he needs something to tell his therapist.

My son tumbled down our whole flight of stairs (15 of them) when he was 1, and he was fine (I had called my doctor right after, who was not concerned at all; he said babies are so resilent and this happens all the time).

My friend's son, who was about 6 months old at the time, shot straight off their changing table when they had turned to get a diaper; they rushed him to the hospital, he got a scan, and was totally fine. I know it's hard but you probably don't have to worry about anything at all. Hope this helps.

Unfortunately, I think most of us have been there! It's hard, but try to forgive yourself. At least he's okay, and won't remember it.

Just wanted to let you know my now 18 month old daughter rolled off the pediatrcian's table when she was 5 months old because I turned around to look for her sock. She landed right on the back of her head on a tile floor. I STILL feel guilty, but seriously she was/is fine! It REALLY is okay. I have been worried about her all this time but as she gets older and she reaches all her milestones, i feel better and better. Anyway, if she can go unnaffected after a 4 foot fall on hard tile, I am sure your baby is fine.

Sounds like he is fine this time. The key now is to never put him on the bed again or any other tall surface where he can fall so it does not happen again.

My "baby" is 25 years old now, but I remember in detail his "rolling off the bed and onto the floor" event! Hubby and I panicked, rushed him to the hospital, but he'd fallen on a well-carpeted floor and there were no injuries--yet they seemed suspicious that we might be abusive parents. The very IDEA that I might hurt my son in ANY way infuriated me!

There were to be many future ambulance rides after our son was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, but that's another discussion for another day!

Oh, I hear you there about the guilt. My son fell off the changing table onto the hardwood floor once and gave himself a lovely goose egg on the side of his head. After rushing to the ER, we got the same diagnosis as you. Another time he slid off our very high bed with me right next to him! I think if you ask almost any mother, they will have some horror story to tell. Please absolve yourself of the guilt. Accidents will happen even to the most vigilant caregiver. I think all we can do is do our best and hope that their guardian angel is close at hand.

Dear Y A

Relax, that is the first of many falls. I'm sure your son will be just fine. As he learns to walk he will undoubtedly fall countless times. Oh yeah and he's a boy, so as soon as he figures out how to climb he will also fall numerous times. I have twin boys 18 months old and if they're not falling on their own, they're falling because of the other one or they run into each other and both fall. they climb up onto chairs, couches, beds, etc. and then inevitably fall off, roll off, step off, etc. In other words, don't feel guilty. It's normal. You can't put him in a padded room or in a bubble. I try never to leave them unattended and I do catch them quite often before they actually hit the ground. Don't worry, it'll be just fine. RELAX!!

Hi Y A:
I had a similar experience- my son was 2 weeks old. As I brought him into my dark room to nurse him in bed, I triped over/into the bassinette, which was moved to a new place. I crashed into it very hard, it went crashing into my nightstand and made a loud noise. It was actually a really bad fall. I completely freaked out because I'd had the baby in my arms and with the impact he fell out of my arms. Luckily, into the bassinette, but I was terrified that he hit his head in the impact. We rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night and I was in such a panic we had an MRI done. He was perfectly fine and in retrospect, I don't think he was hurt at all, I just panicked. He's 9 months now and I still shudder to recall the feeling of him falling out of my arms like that. It was soooo scary!! But thank god he's perfectly fine. I was cautious before but then became paranoid- that's probably not healthy but I can't help it!! I will relax one day...

It happens to the best of us. My infant fell off the table
in an infant seat 16 yrs ago with no problems. relax he will
be fine it was an accident just enjoy him

My son did the same thing only hit his forehead, and our bed is really high off the ground and we have hardwood floors. You would be surprised at how tough the little guys are. Mine also has run into corners of coffee tables, bumped his head on doors, etc. As they get older, they bump their heads more and more - just a part of the territory! Dont worry - unless he starts vomiting or is dizzy, you probably dont have anything to worry about. Also, as he gets older: if you make a huge deal about it, so will the kid. Roll with the punches!

The same thing happened to me the other night. My 9 month old rolled off our bed and landed head first on the hardwood floor. I turned around just in time to see her in mid-air. I keep getting flashbacks of the crack I heard and watching her crumple onto the floor. It's literally haunting me as I write this. To make matters worse, my husband got mad at me and made me feel even worse. He eventually apologized, but the damage was done for both of us I guess. She had a slight lump on her left temple and a couple days later it's barely a bruise. I just can't get the event out of my head.

We called up her pediatrician and they said to wake her every 2-3 hours to see how she responds. Watch her closely for 48 hours. In VERY VERY VERY few cases sometimes something can arise a couple weeks down the road but the Dr. (who has been working for over 35 years) has never personally seen that happen.

You did the right thing by taking him to the hospital, so focus on that, and hey lesson learned...they're called accidents for a reason...if it makes you feel any better when my son was about 20 months old I put him in the van leaned down to get my newborn and my lil one fell out of the car head first on the parking lot pavement...he walked around with two black eyes and a huge mark for about a week or so...anyone who asked what happened he'd say "mommy caught me"...(obviously I didn't catch him)...by the end of the week I could laugh when he said it, but I did feel guilty at first. Kids get hurt, we've all seen that commerical where the mom wraps the kid in bubble wrap before he rides the bike, no matter how hard we try to protect them we will fail every once in awhile...and that's okay..we learn and move on, and always try our best!

Yeah... I remember that happenning when my son was younger. My son is now 22 months old. But, before he was a year old, he fell off of his change table onto the hardwood floor in his room. Naturally I was extremely guilt ridden, feeling, I wasn't a good Mommy and how could I let this happen to my little guy. The thing is...we're human, and these little guys are quite fast. I did take my son to the doctor and he advised me that my son was fine...just a little bump on the head. The doctor told me because he hit his forehead area, there is a lot less to be concerned about than if he hit the back of his head (which would still have been soft and not fused together). Also, the fact that my son was alert, and was still eating well was good. There was no "glazing" over of his eyes.... I have now learned that these little ones will bump their heads no matter how careful we are...My guy runs around and when he gets tired, he sometimes loses his balance and has hit his head. He now comes to mommy to kiss it better.... We also make a game at telling the floor, table, etc. (whatever he has hit his head on) that it is bad....

Hello! Just as all the other moms have said, do not feel guilty! Something of this nature happens to every parent at one time or another. My mom still to this day tells me how she turned her back on me in the grocery cart and I fell head first onto the cement floor! And I turned out (relatively)normal, ha ha. All joking aside, just keep an eye on him like the Dr. said and all will be fine. Good luck with your wonderful baby boy!

First - don't beat yourself up with guilt. Whether we admit it or not this has happened to most of us.

My daughters pediatrician (who I did call in a minor panic)had the same advice, with the addition of watching for unusual behavioral changes along with excessive sleepiness.

Good luck!

Don't worry too much, the same thing happened to me with both my kids. Look away for a second and they just roll away!! I didn't take my kids to the ER or anything and they were fine. As others have said, given the nature of children they are naturally made to be extra resilient.

Don't panic. You did what you needed to do and got him checked out by a Dr. immediately. I am sure the doctor instructed you on what signs to follow up on (like lethargy, vomiting, difficulty waking up, change in pupil size, etc.). Usually a short fall (lower than waist hieght of an adult) is not enough for a serious injury. Once a baby is on the move there are a lot more bumps and bruises on the way. Sometimes you are standing right there and can't stop them from getting hurt. But kids are amazingly resilient.

As a note to the mom who was upset when the ER staff questioned her about her child's injury--that is their job. I worked for child protective services and much as the questioning might bother me as a parent I know that the people asking questions are looking out for my child and every other child that they see. The injury needs to match how it was described to happen or it could be an abusive situation. Most parents would never intentionally hurt their kids but there is still a small percentage of parents who are abusive or just don't provide enough supervision. Babies and toddlers can't really tell anyone what is happening and can easily get hurt. I know I would rather be questioned (even by someone rude or insensitive) than see another child die or get seriously hurt because no one asked any questions. Obviously, I feel strongly about this issue. But we are all parents here and we need to help each other think of the well being of all children as well as our own.

No need to worry!!! It's has happened to me and i'm sure many others! If there is no bump, i wouldn't worry and if he seems to be alert.

Don't panic and relax. You had him checked, if its been more than 24 hours your good. The doctor was obviously concerned with a concusion. If there is no vomiting or other problems your good. Learn from your mistake and move on. As Moms we are NOT perfect and it is a daily learning curve. Ask any mother and she will tell you that if there was a Mother of the Year award they would have lost it by the end of the 1st day!!!! At least I would have and my friends all say the same thing. Enjoy your precious baby and have fun. Time flies!!!! A.

I think you are doing what you need to do. When my son was about 6 months old he fell out of a highchair at daycare on to a ceramic tile floor. He hit his head so hard that he had a golfball sized goose egg on his forehead. It was awful. The babysitter never even called me to tell me!!! By the time I picked him up he was fine(not crying or anything), so I didn't take him to the hospital. That was 9 years ago and he's fine today. I'm sure your baby will be ok too. Kids are very resilient.


Dear Y A, Hi, I am an older mom of 5 and now have 3 Grand children. You are not alone. When my 4th child was jusr a few months old I wanted to take a shower and decided to bring him into the bathroom with me. No problem. What posessed me to put him on the toilet seat in his infant seat is still beyond me. Yes, he fell and got a bump on his head. We went to the hospital and to add to my guilt and feeling like a fool the staff asked many questions the led me to believe they thought I was abusing my baby. It may have been routine but I was mortified. I too kept a close eye on him and woke him every few hours. I also now know how to check for concussion. The pupil stays dialated, so if you shine a flashlight and the pupil does not shrink there could be a concussion ( which is many times when you dont feel a bump the swelling goes in instead of out) So there is my story, we are all moms and not perfect. Your baby will love you anyway, forgive yourself and be well. Grandma Mary (Happy New Year, too)

I am sorry you had to experience this accident. I have had children fall on their heads. The doctor told me to look at the pupil of their eyes and if they dialated they did not have a concussion. Then when I put them to sleep I had to touch them on th bottom of their feet to see if they stirred. If they did all was well.

First thing is not to panic. And forget guilt. Really. There is no way to avoid all accidents at this age. Probably, not his first bump, and (unfortunately)not his last.
Babies' heads (bones) at this age are made the way (they're sort of flexible)to "respond" to all those small hits. Just watch him closely. But, really, only he won't start crying and vomiting there is danger. Otherwise, he's fine.

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