61 answers

My Baby Fell down the Stairs!!!

I don't know which category to put this in -- "terrible mother" isn't an option. Yesterday my beautiful, sweet 11-month-old fell down an entire flight of stairs because I didn't latch the gate right and wasn't watching him closely enough. He was fine after 30 seconds of crying, but I felt (and feel) AWFUL. I called our pediatrician, the 24-hour nurse line, and a doctor friend, all of whom said not to worry because he didn't lose consciousness, his pupils were fine, he wasn't dizzy or throwing up, etc., but I can't get past the fact that my baby could have DIED because of me. I am crying again just thinking about it. What can I do (besides fix the gate)? I went around the house last night super-babyproofing everything in sight, but my husband pointed out that I'm not going to be able to protect the baby from everything, and he can't live in a bubble. Just the thought of him being hurt again -- oh, now I'm crying again. I don't know what advice I'm looking for. I guess I am just hoping that someone else has been through this and can help me feel better.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I am overwhelmed by all of your responses - thank you, thank you, thank you. Really, you have helped me so much. I am going to stop beating myself up (or try to) and look at the positive - my baby is OK, I did the right things after the accident, and I learned a valuable lesson. And as a couple of you pointed out, I am lucky to have a supportive husband who didn't make me feel worse! I will definitely be checking and double-checking the gate from now on, and I'll teach my son to bump down the stairs on his bottom just in case. Again, thank you all for your support and advice.

Featured Answers

Try to move past this. In a day or two you'll start to feel better. And just a thought, almost every parent I know has had something similar happen to them. My child has fallen down the stairs a few times, but i don't consider myself a neglectful parent. Accidents happen, and that is exactly what it was- and Accident. Feeling terrible is what makes you a great mother.

2 moms found this helpful

Darling it happens to the best of us I promise!!!
I watched frozen as my 2.5yr old tumbled past me,
head first. His little hand just slipped out of my grip.
I still cringe when I think about it he doesn't even remember.

1 mom found this helpful

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Hi, when my son was 2yrs old My 4yr old took the stroller out of my hand and was pushing for a minute the next thing I knew the stroller was out of her hand and flying down the side walk I tried to ran and catch it but was kind of a down hill it ran right in the street and under a park vehicle, he busted his nose and mouth still strap in his stroller and with the alarm going off he was just shaking and can you imagine me??? OMG I was terrified, for days I felt guilty he could have died, what if there had been another vehicle coming a million thoughts went through my mind...and you know what I got down on my knees and I pray, I thank God for his intervention he procted my child so thank him and love and cherish every moment with your baby/children, for me this was a wake up call I love them even more now and even though we can't prevent everything from happening because it's beyound our control the heavenly father watches over us all so don't feel guilt he was protected pray about it and thank god for what he has done, trust me you'll feel alot better.

2 moms found this helpful

Try to move past this. In a day or two you'll start to feel better. And just a thought, almost every parent I know has had something similar happen to them. My child has fallen down the stairs a few times, but i don't consider myself a neglectful parent. Accidents happen, and that is exactly what it was- and Accident. Feeling terrible is what makes you a great mother.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm a mother of four (my oldest is now 26) and my kids have experienced: two sets of stitches, two sets of broken bones, 6 badly sprained ankles, two concussions, one spinal cord injury, and teenage car accidents!! And that's BEFORE the more "normal" stuff like scarlet fever, mono, etc.!! So all of that to say --

Sweetie, you need to lighten up on yourself. Accidents DO happen -- that's why they're called "accidents"!! Even with the best of safety-proofing and child oversight, children will manage to get hurt. While I fully understand that feeling of "it's all my fault", it's also VERY important for kids to learn how resilient they are. Yes, run over to him (as calmly as possible), kiss the boo-boo's, make sure he/she is all in one piece -- and then let him toddle off and LET IT GO. Maybe a statement like "Wow, you're VERY brave", or "Looks like everything's OK -- let's go play with ___ or get a snack" or whatever. Your child needs to learn that he can pick himself up after most accidents and keep going -- AND THAT HE IS BRAVE AND CAPABLE.

My neighbor has an almost 15 year old daughter who has been treated like glass her whole life. This girl was in front of my house playing basketball the other day, got bumped by another kid and fell on the pavement, scraping her knees. She let out howls that could've woken the dead -- unbelievable -- and her mother heard her from THREE HOUSES AWAY and came running, hanging all over her, nearly carrying her home. My eleven year old sat there watching the whole scene (and believe me, it WAS a real scene!), and after they left, she said, "Mom, what was THAT about? It was only a scraped knee!"

You can raise a child who is strong, independent, self-sufficient -- or you can raise a drama-queen (or whatever a boy would be called!) -- by the way you react to these day-to-day happenings. Give your child the gift of self-sufficiency and allow him to learn to cry, recuperate quickly and move on with his toddler life. And give yourself a break!!! Be kind to yourself, learn whatever life lesson you need to learn and MOVE ON. The accidents will get bigger and maybe even scarier at times as they get older. Please consider that if your initial reaction is ALWAYS panic, and then you can't let go of that panic, that it might be helpful to take some class, talk with somebody, get some counseling, take up yoga, or SOMETHING that will help you learn to calm that anxiousness inside of you that won't go away. Your children will definitely pick up on that throughout their lives -- either that you think they're strong and capable, or that they are weak, vulnerable and always need mom/dad to pick up the pieces of life's problems.

Good luck, and I hope some of the advice folks have given you will help. I'll pray for calmness for you.

2 moms found this helpful

This kind of thing has happened to me a million times. 99.9% of the time they will be just fine. It is just part of being a kid, esp a toddler, and there is no such thing as babyproofing. They're tougher than you think. You are doing a great job. If you have more kids it will slowly become less stressful bc you'll be used to it. My 20 mo old already knocked out his front teeth falling down when I was standing right next to him. A friend of mine had to take her baby to the ER bc the thermometer she'd been using was broken and her baby actually had a high fever for two days...she's fine now of course. Unfortunately this type of thing will probably happen lots of times, so just get treatment when you need it and try to give yourself a break.

2 moms found this helpful

The more you shelter them the more it hurts when they do something. You need tp relax and realize that babies fall and run into things and get hurt all the time and they will be fine. Don't stress so much. Just a quick note, when I was a baby I crawled through my grandfathers legs and fell down 22 cement stairs and I am now 33 and still kicking it!

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I was in the same posistion in early August , I always make sure the gate at the top of the stairs is closed but for some reason on this occasion I didn't and she fell down 6 wooden stairs onto hard tiled floor inside of the front door!! She was 13 months at the time and I felt awful , she had a nose bleed & a visible bump on her forehead , she screamed and cried for about 5 mins and afterwards was fine yet I was still worrying incase she had some kind of head injury and I didn't want to put her to bed. Like your son her eyes were fine , she wasn't vomiting and had no other obvious signs of injury.....she was absolutely fine and has no memory of it but I still do. These things happen and there will be many more accidents that your little one will have , your husband is right , you can't protect them from every little thing or wrap them in a bubble , all you can do is double check things like gates , or pan handles hanging over the edge of the cooker etc as they can move very quickly when they want to & once they can stand up you then have to rethink safety again as more things are now a hazard to them.

Try now to worry he is fine.


1 mom found this helpful

Please don't be so hard on yourself! The important thing is that your kiddo is fine! My son fell down the steps too - he was over a year old and I had taught him to go down on his belly. I bet he'd been down the steps on his own at least a hundred times, but this once his shoe got caught and he fell backwards. I was right there, following him down so I saw the whole thing but there was nothing I could do to reach him.

When I got to him at the bottom he looked up at me - as if to say "what just happened"...I laughed at him! and he laughed right back at me! He was not hurt, but he looked to me to see if he should cry or what he should do. I cried plenty afterwards - out of his site - and I always make sure I went first after that so if he got stuck I could help. But, these other posters are right - you can't protect him 100% of the time.

You are a good mother - a bad one wouldn't have given a second thought to this and wouldn't be feeling guilty at all. Trust your instincts, do what you can, and enjoy your kids! In the end that's all that matters....

1 mom found this helpful

A. - you got a lot of responses but I just had to add that when my now 8 year old was 13 months she climbed to the top of the stairs by herself. I just noticed her when she reached the top and turned around to face me (I was at the bottom) With a huge happy grin on her face she took a step, as if to walk down the stairs, but of course she tumbled all the way down. It was one of those moments where I knew it was going to happen, but I was just frozen, could not move fast enough to get her. I felt just like you! But, this IS NOT the first time your little one is going to get hurt. Just yesterday I was in the house and my 5 year old came running in screaming - with a HUGE bruise and broken skin on her shin. She had fallen in the steps of our deck. It just kills me to see them hurting, but it's all part of it. Do what you can to keep them safe, and then try to remember that they'll get boo boos all their lives (and you'll still be considered a good mom!!!)

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