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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Hi

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.

K.

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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....

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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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don't be so hard on yourself! As you can see from all the p.p., things happen while under the care of loving, attentive mommas. Shall I tell you about the time I slipped on the ice and my 6 m.o.'s bassinet flew off the stroller, or maybe about my niece who was playing at the playground and knocked out 2 of her teeth. I guess I could tell you about my other niece who was jumping on the bed and hit the windowsill and knocked out 3 teeth (yeah, my sil and brother are pretty upset about these girls.) My son fell down the stairs and my dog knocked my daughter down the stairs (accidentally). My point is, it happens. Be thankful he is okay and just love that little tyke. That's all he wants, he isn't mad.

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For starters, sweetie, it is ok, babies fall down the stairs, they fall off of the bed while napping, the fall on the playground, it is just a part of life. I know how you feel, but don't cry and obsess over it. This will probably not be the last fall, unfortunately, so you are going to have to get a tough-skin about that. I agree with yur husband, in that he shouldn't have to live in a bubble, neither should you, or more importantly,, YOUR SON!! This is the time of life where they should be carefree, all the cares of the world haven't hit him yet, so allow him to be free. With that, you too, should enjoy this time with him. Don't stress over this fall. He was safe and sound, you saw to that, so all you can do now , is try and minimize the risk of him falling again. But I am telling you, it is more than likely going to happen again. You are not a bad mom, or a non-chalant mom ; the fact that you are requesting advice on this , states that. So just calm down , Mommy , and get ready. He is a boy, and trust me, once he becomes more mobile, he is going to have all kinds of bumps and scrapes. Just as long as he is healthy, that is what matters. So dry them tears up, pick your son up, dust him off, and live!! I usually don't respond to these , but I could hear it in the tone of the letter, and i felt for you. Been there, done that. My baby will be 2 in January, and already, he has had his fair share of falls. Anyway, take care , good luck!!

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Oh A.!! I can totally relate to you! Listen, first of all, focus on the fact the baby IS OK, not what could have happened. Thank God he's well!!

My 2nd child rolled off a bed when he was 8 months old, he was just learning to push his shoulders off the bed, I was visiting my sister and I put him on the bed while I changed clothes (I was right NEXT to him), and he rolled off, his his head and would not stop crying!

We took him to the ER because he was crying so loud and nonstop, and at the checkin, the lady was getting all my info, and by then the baby had dozed off. I was holding him, and she said his name, and he looked like his eyes were rolling back in his head. I was so freaked out! She said, "does he usually sleep that hard?" (not wake up) and I said "NO!" so they raced him to the CAT scan or MRI machine (I'm not a nurse) to check for internal bleeding, I was totally freaking out that he was brain damaged.

Later, while we were waiting for the doctors, we were in the little room in the ER and he was asleep on the gurney with a white blanket wrapped around him (the ER was freezing), a little old lady was wheeled to the next bed, looked at him, thought he was dead (he was asleep) and started bawling!!

Turns out he was OK, no damage, but what an ordeal. I felt the same way you do, (how could that happen? I'm a terrible mother! What if this? What if that?).

Trust me, there will be more bumps and bruises (I have 3 boys), but so far we haven't had any more ER trips. And most likely, your little one will be more afraid of the stairs now! Try to focus on the blessings you have, and not the what-if's. I read that 95% of what we worry about NEVER happens! That's a lot of worry for nothing.

Hang in there girl, you are a great Mom and your little ones are blessed to have a Mommy that loves them so much! Take a deep breath, we are all in this together. :)

V.

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I know that you've already had tons of similar stories, but I'm going to give you a couple more. My oldest son (now 14) fell down the stairs, not once, but twice. The first time, he went head over heels at a friend's house. I was standing at the top just behind him, but there was nothing I could do to reach him. He only hit the stairs about two times before he landed at the bottom. Thankfully, nothing was wrong with him. The second time, he was rolling sideways, so he stuck his arms out and that slowed him down enough for me to catch him halfway down. This same son also managed to get into a foil-sealed cold tablet at about 3 years old. I would never have known except that his lips were sort of blue from the coating on the tablet. We called poison control and we had to give him ipecac to make him throw it up. It was such a scary thing!
So, I just want to let you know that kids will do things and get into things, and as long as they are not seriously hurt, everything will be okay. Forgive yourself and give him a big hug knowing that you will do your best to protect him, but you will not always be able to do so.

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You are a great Mom! Know how I know? You got upset that your child was hurt... you are thinking ahead to how you can prevent it in the future... AND you called the doctor to make sure you were taking care of what had occurred! GREAT MOM!
We all have accidents. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not being truthful or they forget their own mistakes. Who hasnt had the baby crawl off their bed when the baby starts crawling just because they didnt know the baby could move so much yet? IT HAPPENS. Or how about the kiddo that coughs up a coin from your laundry room that you didnt know fell out of Daddy's pants pockets???
The good thing is your peanut is OK and you did everything you were supposed to do after the accident. But- Mommy Guilt is awful! And we all get a case of the Mommy Guilt sometimes and it will tear you up. Just know that your worst critic is yourself right now.

Deep breaths... I am afraid this wont be your last fight with the Mommy Guilt... but I am glad your little one is A-OK! ;-)
Big hug!!!

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You are not a bad mother. My son did this when he was 9 months and he just got right past me when I was washing my hands right outside the unlatched gate. I cried and panicked too (and I'm a nurse) and I still called 911. Kids are tough and are made that way. We just learn from our mistakes and don't do it again - they are fast. BTW - one friend with 4 kids told me she would always have a house with a landing on the stairs so if there were any falls, they would only go half way - haha. Hope this helps, you are not the only one!

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it's true you can't protect him from everything also the best lesson is life. Actually you prob. don't even need the baby gate anymore... he won't play on the stairs anymore he is quite aware they can hurt you now.. my sister one time kept trying to tell her son not to touch the little candle on the table but he just wouldn't stop trying so she went you know he just needs to know that i am stopping him from hurting himself. So he made sure he had a short sleeved shirt and the next time he tried she let him. You know he never touched it again. Really candles can't hurt your finger more than pain. But now he didn't touch it ever again. it hurt..
Some things have to be learned like that. that just how it is sometimes. They don't understand why you are making them stop. surprisingly enough not having your child not hurt isn't necessarily isn't a good thing. That means he's not getting do things that teach him LIFE lessons. You can't guard him from everything and shouldn't.

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Stop beating yourself up. And don't become a helicopter parent because of it. They all fall. They all get bumps. All we can do is hope to protect them from the worst of things...

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The same thing happened to me, although my 18 month old feel down a FULL flight of stairs and landed on her head on the ceramic tile. She never lost consciousness either but I took her to the hospital and it turned out that she had a slight skull fracture (hairline). They kept her overnight for observation and I felt so horrible because it was my fault ... she was crawling up the stairs and I didn't stay behind her the whole time, I was distracted by my son who is three years older for a second and that was all it took. My daughter is now 6 and she's just fine ... there were no adverse affects to her brain, she is very bright and does well in school. I know that you feel horribly guilty, but you need to forgive yourself. You made a mistake, all mothers do, and the only thing you can do is learn from it and move on. I still remember that day my baby fell down the stairs, but I don't beat myself up about it anymore ... and neither should you.

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Stop beating yourself up! Accidents happend, and you will only stress out your child by being terrified that he will get hurt any time you blink your eyes. You know you will be more careful about that particular hazard from now on, and you'll deal with others as they arise. Be thankful for your good luck both in the results of the fall and in having such an understanding husband. Mine would be scolding me as I cried!

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You poor thing. I know you feel awful, but please stop beating yourself up. Kids fall, they get hurt, that's just a fact of life. You are not a terrible mother. We simply cannot protect our children from every danger out there. My two boys took many falls and spills over the years (I even dropped one of them). I would cry harder than they did. It's okay. Your husband is right. The kids can't live in a bubble. Pain is a part of life and while we want to protect our little ones from every bad thing out there, we can't, and even if we could, it is not what is best for them. They have to experience pain in order to appreciate joy. Give you baby love and attention and enough room to grow.

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Your'e a human being, oops you made a mistake. If it happens again, then your a terrible mother, but I'm sure you wont ever let that happen again! My son fell down the stairs at the same age, I felt horrible, then I got over it. Dont worry, there will be plenty more episodes in your childs life for you to question your parenting skills! everything will be ok!

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A., the same thing happened to me when my son was about the same age. He was only starting to walk, and not moving very fast, and I was not yet in the habit of closing the gate at the top of the stairs. At least you tried to latch the gate!! My son was also fine and barely cried. I felt terrible also, and still do to this day that I could be so negligent and let something like that happen! Know that you are by far not the only loving mom in the world to whom this has happened, and you should try to just feel lucky that he was okay. I'm sure it won't be the last time something like this happens, and I just try to take it as a lesson to be as careful as possible, but as your husband says, know we can't protect our children from everything. They are pretty resilient, and are going to get hurt sometimes. Don't be too hard on yourself; it happens to everyone.

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Hi, A. - We all want to be perfect parents, but unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world. Accidents happen - that's why they call them accidents. When my friend's son was 4 months old, she had him in his car seat, not yet strapped in, and was walking down the stairs with him. One minute she had the car seat, the next minute she didn't. He tumbled down the entire flight of wooden stairs and landed on his head on a concrete floor, fracturing his skull. The good news is, he is FINE! 25 years old, very bright, successful, etc. I know you feel awful, but try to get past it. We all have our moments. They are more resilient that you think! Take care.

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You are NOT a terrible mom!!!! Kids have accidents no matter how much we put in their path to prevent them! and yes.. my daughter fell down stairs too. There are tons of moms (and dads) that have had babies fall from changing tables, or down stairs or off the bed (my first born did that!) and I am sure there are a number of other typical accidents out there. We should and do try to prevent them.. but it is still a good possibility and not a shameful happening. Stop beating yourself up over what could have been... it wasn't.. so Thanks! and move on. you are a great mom!

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ah yes, break out the sack cloth and ashes. if the worst
thing that happens to a child is a fall down the stairs,
you should count yourself lucky, houdini had nothing on
a small child who figures out how to open a baby gate,
or climb over it or even under it. and then they learn how to climb like chimps on acid. my younger sister was in a car seat beside me during a car wreak when she was seven months old ( she had one small scratch, thats it), then at nine months she ate a christmas tree light bulb, and promptly bit me when i took it way from her ( again a trip to the emergency room, but no damage done ) . dont take the sackcloth and ashes comment seriously,being a parent
( or in the case with my sister, the stand in parent)
comes with a big load of guilt, but most of it is self
inflicted . every fall, every scrapped knee that the child
endures is going to hurt you more than them, trust me
K. h.

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1. Breath
2. it's ok
3. there will be more tumbles, scrapes, stitches, casts, tears!
4. you are a great Mom...and I am sure the gate will never be unlatched again!
5. pat yourself on the back honey. you are gonna be just fine!

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You are not a terrible mother...accidents happened and it has happened to a lot of other mothers!!!
We do not have ANY gates on our house. The thing that we did was to teach our kids how to come down the stairs. We make the spin around at the top to get on their belly and then one stair at a time come down. We live in a townhouse where we have lots of stairs. It has worked GREAT for us and we never worry about them on the stairs.
Good Luck!!!

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Hon, this sort of thing happens to EVERYONE. Everyone. As a matter of fact, when my daughter was 11 months old, she did the same damn thing. I didn't think she had the wherewithal to climb stairs at that point, had looked away from her for a minute, and when I look back, she's half-way up the stairs. I freak and run over, she freaks and loses her balance, falls, and lands right on her head! I wanted to die. She was fine- came out of it with just a wee bump, and actually took her first step later that day. Even so, I felt like the worst mother in the world.

Babies are more resilient than we realize. Please try not to beat yourself up.

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Okay, take a deep breath. You've done your crying; your son is okay. Now it's time to laugh.

Babies are amazingly resilient. When we brought our first child home from the hospital, my husband carried her in the door in the car carrier, put it on the boot bench inside the door and turned around to help me (I'd had a C-section). The carrier wasn't balanced and toppled off the boot bench. A four-day-old baby!! She screamed, I almost tore out my stitches getting to her...but she was fine. (She was still strapped in, naturally.) When this same child was about 18 months old, she also fell down a flight of stairs (I'd opened the baby gate for her and myself, then realized I'd dropped a sock). I heard every thump on the way down and saw my life pass before my eyes. Again: she screamed, but basically was okay. Today she is a 12-year-old honor roll student...and still loves her mom and dad, despite all we've done to her!

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We've all had a moment (or more than one!) where there's been an accident that we wish we would've done something differently. I can certainly understand your sadness & feelings of guilt, but you have to get out of that place & be thankful that your baby is ok. I know - you've probably already done that to a degree, but what I'm saying is that it isn't going to do your baby or you any good to continue to chastise yourself...make this your wake-up call that you will be sure to check/fix the gate as well as any other things that need attention around the house. You know how they say that most accidents happen at home, right? Well, when you have lil ones, that's gotta increase by like 200%! Just know that we've all been there - whether it's been the baby fallin' off the bed, swallowing the ear piece from your phone's headset or getti a finger burn cuz you didn't put the incense up high enough (by the way, these are all things that have happened at home with my son!) - as long as you are doing the best you can, that's being a mother...and sometimes along the way, we're reminded that there might be a few things we could do even better. Now go hug your children! =)

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I had this happen as well and I felt awful for weeks. Most of this was due to the fact that my hubby was only making it worse by saying how it was all my fault. Our son was not allowed upstairs by himself but managed to sprint up there once when my brother was in town. We have a split level and I was downstairs and came up to the middle level where my brother was and asked where my son was. He said he was upstairs. I flew upstairs and saw him in our study and he was happily looking at books. So I took a second to put some clothes down in the bedroom, which is right next to the study and when I turned around he was already down the first couple of steps. It was like it happened in slow motion and we did have carpeted stairs. It took all I had not to throw myself down the stairs after him and my brother caught him at the bottom but he did flip and I was so upset. He came out of it with just minor bruises and cried for a while but was fine, I was horrified. I did get past it though and so did he and thankfully so did his father. He has had scrapes and bumps and bruises and I'm sure he will have his share of other things that I'm not looking forward to at all. He is now able to transit the stairs on his own and I was very adamant about making sure to teach him the sit and scoot method as I called it :) I still keep a close eye on him though and I'm sure from now on I will pay very close attention to the stairs with any child. God bless!

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you could teach him how to go down the stairs. we taught our son how to do it, and he picked it up really quick. he never fell down while crawling. now he goes up and down easily and all by himself. there's no carpet on the staircase. he is so jazzed when he goes up or down by himself.

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A.,
I let my 2 year old slip in fall while taking a shower with me because I didn't purchase a non slip pad for the bottom of the tub. She whacked her chin on the bathtub and needed an ER visit with stiches. She has recovered.

Forgive yourself because your child already has.

You will never, ever forget to latch that gate ever again trust me! But, I also guessing your little one will remember that scare and be careful around stairs.

In a few months consider teaching him how to go up and down stairs safely.

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Yes, this has happened to me. When my daughter was about 1, she fell off the bed once and she fell down a whole flight of carpeted stairs once. I was right with my child on the stairs too! I usually cross the gate first so I can be under her going down the steps but she was impatient, pushed me and lunged forward!
After she turned 2, she was sitting independently in the bathtub and I turned around to get her towel like I've done dozens of times when she slipped underwater! It was only for a second but she choked on the water and threw up. But I know how you feel about being responsible about the fact the baby could have died. The tub incident was the one I have a hard time forgiving myself for. I mean, I KNOW BETTER than that!
With my husband, she has cut her lip on the side of the bathtub when she slipped (that bled A LOT!) and she has also fallen down one step outside and actually hit her head on the concrete. With my mother-in-law, they were playing outside and my MIL fell while carrying her, resulting in a deep scar that's still visible on her hand. My child cried for days every time she looked at the scar and remembered what happened. My throat is choking up as I write this because I feel bad too. But I can't blame my husband or my MIL just as much as I shouldn't blame myself for accidents.
It's ok to super baby proof your house if you feel better about it. Don't compare accidents with your husband. Accidents happen but take them as opportunities to be a source of strength and comfort for your child. This fall will one day be just a little boo-boo compared to other things he's going to face. You're a good mom and you're going to be the one he turns to for future falls, heartaches and disappointments.
Take care of yourself and make sure you rest well. I hope you feel better soon.
BTW, I myself fell down a concrete flight of stairs when I was 8 months old, over-ambitious and tried to climb down stairs by myself. I required stitches on my chin so I have a scar there but didn't affect me otherwise. :)

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First of all - YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOTHER!! This has happened to a lot of mothers (myself included). Your son is fine.
Don't go overboard either. Having a child that is 3 you should know that no matter what you do, kids are kids and they do get hurt. Just take things in stride, be more vigilant with the gate (I am). I went through in vitro to have my daughter and i completely understand the feeling of you little one getting hurt because of something you did or didn't do. However this is a learning experience for both of you.
Take a deep breath and relax. Enjoy your little ones.

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I understand what you are feeling but what your husband said is correct, boys can't live in a bubble. Any child for that fact can't live in a bubble.

I know you feel horrible but it is the normal reaction. Yes it scares the living hell out of you and you feel horrible and you want to do everything to fix it but the point is: you can't stop accidents from happening ALL the time. We can prevent some but we can't prevent all.

My son will be 3 in December. He has fallen down the stairs, because he climbed over the gate. Or he thought it was funny to slide down the rug that was placed there.

This January, I was visiting my husband on the main naval base here in Norfolk. We had cooked him breakfast and took it too him and whoever he was on was on watch with. My son started playing and my husband wasn't paying attention (after I asked him to watch him) and I was getting breakfast out of the bag. The next thing I know I'm hearing blood curderling screams and I turn around and my child is face down on an end table with the edge between his eyes. We flip out and we pick him up only to find him with blood pouring down his face from it. One trip in a 'big truck' (ambulance) from NOB to CHKD later we ended up with 3 stitches in our forhead and he now have a big scar between his eyes.

Point is accidents will happen. Because he's a boy they are going to happen more and more as he grows up. Just kiss his boo boo's and tell him you love him and keep in hope that he didn't break any bones at all when growing up. Everything will be okay. Just remember while you may feel like super-mama some days you can't do everything and that while we want to wrap them in down feather blankets, pillows and rubber to prevent anything from happening to them, we can't. Everything will be okay though.

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A., give yourself a break honey!

I too had an incident where my baby got hurt because of me. My 6 WEEK old baby was in the carriage and the dog pulled on the leash causing the carriage to bounce down 3 steps and flip my little baby into the dirty, gravelly sidewalk. I called the ambulance and then called the pediatrician and then cried all day. So I know what you're going through.

Your are NOT a bad mother. Forgive yourself, because your heart is in the right place and you are, after all, human. Comfort yourself with a little extra vigilance, but you know you just made a mistake and it won't happen again.

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Accidents happen so don't beat yourself up. What about closing the door to whatever room you are in as an extra precaution. Don't let him wander in the hall way.

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Hi A.,
I am glad your son is okay. You should not feel guilty, these things happen to all parents everyday. Atleast you put gates up at the top of your stairs, we haven't and I keep telling my husband to hurry up and do it. My baby fell off the kitchen table while sitting in his carseat, rocked the thing right off. My neighbors child did the same thing while her son was in a carseat and sitting on the dryer. I felt horrible to, but felt better after knowing it happened to her too. Just be happy he is okay and learn from it, you are not a bad mom, just human. God bless you, L. Z.

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My baby fell down the stairs at that age, too. Now she is 5 and super smart and healthy-no harm done. Use this as a learning experience and move on. Forgive yourself. You are not a bad mother! But, I think every normal mother will beat herself up mentally when something like that happens. It's nature's way of training us.

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I feel your pain! My four year old fell down our stairs this morning. I was right beside her and she tripped. She cried for a bit but then got up and is ok. I did exactly what you just did. I called the doc and they told me the same thing yours did. So far, she's fine! Kids fall down and they get hurt. It was not your fault that he fell!!! Don't beat yourself up about this. He is ok!! My mom once told me that babies bounce. i thought that was a horrible thing to say until my four year old rolled off my bed when she was a few months old. I cried that whole day. She was fine! If you didn't worry then you wouldn't be a good mom.

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Dear A.,
Its okay to cry and feel bad but then your child grows older and you'll laugh at this incident eventually. You can tell your teen that they were dropped on their head as a baby and it'll be funny.
My daughter fell off the highchair when she was about 5/6 months old because I was tired and totally forgot to strap her in. She's no worse for wear and totally fine and is healthy.
And you did everything you could after the fact in contacting the nurseline and doctor.
Cheer up :)
P.

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I can imagine the shock seeing your kid fall down the stairs. It sounds like he's fine- you're right he can't live in a bubble. Perhaps you can't prevent every injury but you responded well afterward- making sure he's OK, calling the doctors, etc... You're keeping a close eye on him. You're not a terrible mother! :)

Perhaps one thing you can do is teach him (even if he doesn't seem ready but you never know) the best way for him to scoot down the steps should he find the gate ajar again. Go down feet first, not head first; bump down on his bottom, etc. If it doesn't stick to his mind, it still is entertaining for mom and dad. It was for me.

H.
Mom of 2 (almost 5 and 3 1/2). "Returning" SAHM, after 2 years of working and being a SAHM before that.

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Things happen and you can't protect them from everything. If you ever go to a chiropractor I would take your son in to get checked out. A fall like that can pull back muscles even if he seems fine and since this is a critical time of learning to crawl, walk etc. It is good for his back to be in order. But other than that there is nothing you can really do. I am pretty sure we all have fallen down the stairs at one point or another. I have memories of falling down at least 3 times and I was always fine. Maybe some rug burn, but nothing major. Watch him a little closer, fix the gate, but seriously let it go. Being all uptight is not going to help anyone. My son rolled off the bed when he was 2 months old and i didn't catch him in time. I was there the instant he hit the floor but not to catch him. I felt like a terrible mother and that I didn't deserve my wonderful little boy and how the hell had I let that happen? You get past it and just try and be the best mom you can be

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If it makes you feel better, both of my kids (now 5 and 4) have each taken a turn falling down the stairs at least once. My son took two and one of the times he was old enough to run up and down them he just slipped in the process. The stairs can be scary (even for us adults who have fallen.) Your husband is right. Kids get hurt and your job is to do the best you can to keep them safe. Hey, my son broke his hand just by running and tripping one day at school. Accidents happen.

Don't beat yourself over it too much. I'm glad your son is Ok.

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Oh wow, sweetie don't beat yourself up..your baby is going to be fine. Accidents happen, even to the best moms! It would be wonderful if we could keep them safe all the time, but we can't. I had it happen when my son was 18 months too. We had just moved into our house, baby gate at the top and bottom of the stairs, but my husband forgot to latch the top and he tumbled down. Thankfully, they were heavily padded, and he was okay, but I was still scared to death.
He's seven now, and I know someday he's goin to want to venture out and roam the neighborhood, and that thought sends me into cold shivers. We have a tough job as moms.

I hope your feeling better, hugs to you both!!

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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.

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When my boys were younger--the older (30mon) wanted to see if the younger could fly like Buzz lightyear, down the stairs, my boys have hit each other and drawn blood on several occasions. My daughter decided to have a "tea party" with the laundry detergent on top of the dryer-I had left the door open and she climbed right up. If I had not been using healthier and SAFER products, she would have died from the amount she had ingested. Instead, she got some hiccups and hiccupped bubbles for a while. The second day of school this year, she had to go to the ER because she got hurt on the playground at school. I guess my point is like everyone elses, including your hubby, that you need to let them explore without the bubblewrap. You will have several heartpounding moments as they get older, you will ALL survive. Enjoy the fun times, even if they end up a little dented.

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Hello A.,

I first want to say, I know the feeling that you are feeling, but from reading your e-mail, you are a good mom, you just made a mistake. Please stop crying and be thankful that he is okay. I bet you do a wonderful job watching your child but as your husband say you can't watch him every second. Please don't be to hard on yourself. Always remember that when you child proof, we also have to double check ourselves. Take care and stop crying.

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Give yourself a break. Your husband is right, we can't always protect our kiddos. Just take a deep breath and thank your lucky stars (or God or whatever) that he is alright. There is bound to be more accidents in the future and they aren't always preventable. And as far as being a terrible mother, I think I can win the worst mom of the year award. On Easter Sunday my little boy was in his room napping, he was a little over 2 1/2. DH and I were tired so we all layed down for a nap. I was awakend by a knocking at my front door. I went downstairs to find no one there. My back door was open to the back yard which backed to the park. I went outside and no one in sight. So I went to check on my son and he was gone, panic set in and I was yelling his name and calling for him. Then another knock at the front door. A neighbor was there asking "don't you have a little boy?, I think he is at the park". Turns out my son had gotten out of bed in his t-shirt and diaper, put his shoes and his hat on and went to the park to enjoy the Easter egg hunt my neighbors were having. Apparently he had opened the back door and gone outside in the backyard and saw them playing and then decided he would join them. Our house is just on the corner of the park so we always walked out the front door around the side of our house and so he knew which way to go on his own. Needless to say I had a locksmith installing deadbolts at the very top of my front and back door the next day. Talk about heart failure, terror and guilt all rolled into one.
All in all though he is fine and we learned a valuable lesson, we keep all of our door locks out of reach of children.

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Don't worry - it's normal to be paranoid as a mom - no matter how old the kids are...but tell yourself it's not your fault! Everyone makes mistakes...and that is par for the course in parenting. When I was a baby (back in the 70's), they didn't use car seats like they do now...I was in a baby seat on a bench front seat, sleeping, perched in between my mom and grandma...a dog ran into the middle of the road and my mom had to slam on the breaks not to hit the dog...and I flew out of my seat and my head went under the gas pedal of the car!! Talk about panicking...my mom screamed and my grandma woke up too and grabbed me...no permanent damage (that I know of yet!). I'm sure my mom felt horrible about it because she still recounts the story today and I have heard it more than once...but it's even harder on moms of today because we have all these neat gadgets and safety precautions and we feel like we need to be perfect at using everything...which is really not practical. The best we can do as parents is to try...and kids are VERY resilient!! You can't keep feeling bad about yourself - you have 'learned your lesson' when it comes to the gate...and no harm, no foul. He is fine! Also - when my step kids were younger, they lived in a carpeted townhome. They were taught how to do 'bumpy butt.' LOL....they would sit at the of the stairs and slide down and bump their backsides on the way down...they loved it! It doesn't hurt their cushioned fannies...of course I would not be able to do it...but they made their way down the stairs just fine and did not fall or have many accidents (those came later when they were older and we had wooden, very slippery stairs we couldn't carpet in our rental home - VERY DANGEROUS - and we all took spills down those...but of course I was not as hard on myself for the kids getting hurt because they were old enough to know how to walk and use the rail, etc...but accidents still happen! My DSD split her elbow open in that house and I freaked out - thank God my mom was there to patch it up...but DSD is completely fine now...and toddlers are even more padded!). Now that this incident has taken place, it will make yourself feel better as a parent to teach your child how to navigate down the stairs....and you will get some of your confidence back! Good luck and let me know if 'bumpy butt' works. :)

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I'm sorry that happened, and I'm glad he's okay. Clearly, you are not a terrible mother. You made a mistake and were lucky he is okay. We all make mistakes once in awhile, and be glad your's ended up okay. Take some good from the experience. The best way to look at this is it's a lesson learned, and it will make you more vigilent as he gets older and more ambitious.

I also think it's great you are posting here beacause anyone who reads this will look more carefully at their stairs and baby gates over the next few days. Just recently, a mom asked about a baby gate receommendation, and a couple people said they taught their toddlers to go up and down and didn't even use a gate. Well, clearly toddlers have no judgement regarding stair safey, and maybe your story will remind osome moms of that.

I never forgot the first time each one of my kids bled - both took falls and bit their tongues/lips badly around 12-18 months. It was memorable to say the least, and made me more wary which is a good thing. He will have more bumps and brusises regardless of what you do. That doesn't mean to let him get hurt - you don't need to toughen him up!! Babyproof and supervise. Butyou can only do your best and enjoy him. And you will one day tell his bride the story about how you "let" him fall down the stairs. And you will laugh about how he was okay 30 seconds later...

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A., my son fell down just a few stairs and hit his head on a concrete slab b/c I didn't think he'd try to walk down the stairs! Ugh...I was a wreck! You've already had a ton of responses giving similar accidents, so now that you know you're not alone, and while none of us are perfect, it doesn't make you a terrible mom. It was an easy mistake that led to an accident. Doing it on purpose would mean there's a problem... I think you're focusing on the wrong thing here. An accident happened: what did you do? You called not only the pediatrician, but ALSO a nurse line and ALSO a doctor friend. You monitered your child for any symptoms of a more serious condition. You also went through baby-proofing again, which is good! It's good to make adjustments for your child's safety. You cried-it's okay to feel bad when a child gets hurt-they're your baby! But focus on what you did that was good-the actions you took after it happened. And realize that they will fall again, and get scrapes, and it's okay. But you took a lot of great actions after it happened, and that makes you a great mom, not a terrible one! Be thankful your child is fine, and know you're definately not alone in this type of situation. We all make mistakes-it's what we do after them that tells what kind of character we have. May God bless!

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I have been through it. I babysit an 18 month old. WHen he turned a year old he fell down the entire flight of stairs at his house. His mom brought him over to my house the day after it happened. She took him to the doctor's and they told her he was fine. He didn't seem fine to me. The bump on his head was the size of a golf ball and black and blue. He had developed a fever of 103. He had trouble taking naps and eating and drinking his bottle. He wouldn't walk or smile. Day by day it got a little better and after 2 weeks of this going on he finally walked again and started smiling and laughing and cooing. At 18 months old now, he is still doing great and smiley and funny. He seems like a normal 18 month old.

I know you feel awful. You are not a terrible mom.

I don't know if you took him to the doctor already but I would still take him, if you haven't, just to be on the safe side. Keep an eye on him. Hold him a lot, that seems to help them heal. He may have trouble taking naps and sleeping at night due to the pain he might be feeling in is little head. Give him tylenol or children's motrin. Make sure he drinks and eats at least a little bit so he doesn't get dehydrated.

I hope this helps. Hang in there. Trust in the Lord. He will help you through this. Blessings to you and your family.

R. K

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Hi there, stop beating yourself up. Praise God that the baby is fine...situation could have been really bad, and he is just fine! This is what you call a lesson learned! This will never happen again by fault of your own, and your hubby won't make this mistake either, he learned through you!
Count your blessings, and take it as a lesson learned!
I am sure that you are a good mommy, this was an accident.
God bless!

A. - you poor thing! My baby took a tumble down the stairs at about the same age, she also fell off the bed when she was an infant (I didn't kow she could roll so early!), and (when my husband was on duty) she fell off the kitchen counter from her car seat (not strapped in - he learned quickly you can't just sit her in the car seat, and he felt MUCH worse than she did!). She's fine, almost 9 now, and falls off her bike!
As moms, we often "catastrophize" and picture the WORST possible scenario. It's a built in mechanism that keeps us on our toes, I guess. BUT it can lead to extreme anxiety and worry if you're not careful!

I've found that it helps me tremendously to remember that GOD is on control and we are not. We can't be everywhere all the time, we just can't! When I find myself beating myself up for being a "bad mom" or getting anxious about all that COULD happen to her (and the dangers just get more numerous and scary!) I pray for God to watch over her and to calm my heart.

It works! He takes care of all that I can't, and even then, He takes care of that too.

Peace sister.
K.

Well I am just glad your baby survived its great you checked fell better its not your fault BLAME THE GATE!

my child just fell down our stairs as well. i feel so guilty and horrible!! i was so scared. luckily he is okay.
i have been threw it too and i promise this wont be the last time they hurt themselves.
:/

A.,

I wasn't paying attention the other day, and when I was putting my 4 month old in the car, I whacked her head on the car door. I was hysterical. I took her to the ER and everyone was calm. I was not- I told them my poor little girl had a head injury and needed to be seen NOW. lol. She was fine. I cried more than she did. Oh, and it didn't even bruise, but somehow I convinced myself I was going to brain damage her. Now I know to be more careful, but it is all part of the learning process.
J.

Dear A.,
Please don't be too hard on yourself. This sort of thing, horribly scary as it is, does happen all thye time. I'm just so happy that your baby is OK. That is the MOST important thing. To make yourself feel better, focus on what you learned, and realize you will be an even better parent by having this experience because you know how quickly an accident can happen. I was the parent on duty when my baby fell off the bathroom counter. My husband was on duty when she fell off the bed. Both time no injuries. My husband was playing chase with my daughter (while she was wearing flip flops and on concrete stairs) when she fell and cut open her chin requiring 5 stitches. I was sitting with my son in the LR when he jumped to me unexpectedly (for a hug) and fell, hitting himself on the corner of a trunk, requiring 5 staples. So as you can see we've been through accidents, and the most important thing is, no permanent damage. I'm cautious but not overly protective. You are undoubtedly experiencing intesnse emotions, guilt, fear, relief, right now. It will fade. Just keep reminding yourself, the baby is OK and you did nothing intentionally harmful. In fact you did the very best you could after an accident, seeking advice from professionals. I hope you can forgive yourself, and that your husband can help ease your feelings of guilt.

Hi A., it is very common that babies fall down stairs. My daughter, Elsa fell down a friends stairs, at least it was only 2 stairs, but after that she would not go near them again. Well we just moved into a 3 story townhouse and she is now up and down them all the time. A couple weeks ago I was holding as I was going down and my boyfriend's daughter from a previous marriage was coming up and tripped me and needless to say I fell with Elsa in my arms down the stairs. It could have been way worse, I just thank God it wasn't and that the girls were not seriously hurt.

Hi A.
How's ur LO doing. I see this post is from back in 2009 so she must be a beautiful big baby now.
I am tearing up reading your post because this happened to my 21 old son just this morning. An hour ago. He woke up all happy and we were heading downstairs for milk and all of a sudden I lost grip of his hand and he fell whole flight of stairs. I just can't get the image out of my head. I screamed and my husband came running down. DS landed on the wooden floor (stairs are car petted thank God) on his face. He cried loudly withhis nose bbleeding and a bump on his head. I asked him about milk a minute after holding him and he said yes. He also drank his whole bottle and acted normal after that. I have taken an appt with the Dr. To show him tomorrow but I feel SO BAD..... how could I let this happen!!

Updated

Hi A.
How's ur LO doing. I see this post is from back in 2009 so she must be a beautiful big baby now.
I am tearing up reading your post because this happened to my 21 old son just this morning. An hour ago. He woke up all happy and we were heading downstairs for milk and all of a sudden I lost grip of his hand and he fell whole flight of stairs. I just can't get the image out of my head. I screamed and my husband came running down. DS landed on the wooden floor (stairs are car petted thank God) on his face. He cried loudly withhis nose bbleeding and a bump on his head. I asked him about milk a minute after holding him and he said yes. He also drank his whole bottle and acted normal after that. I have taken an appt with the Dr. To show him tomorrow but I feel SO BAD..... how could I let this happen!!

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