11 answers

Tile Floors and Infants

I know that I am an over-protective, first-time mom, but I am having nightmares about my baby girl cracking her head on our tile floor. Our ENTIRE house is tile. We used to love it because we also have two big, shedding dogs, and it makes cleanup much easier. But now that our baby is getting close to standing/walking, the tile terrifies me. It has absolutely no give, so if she hit her head, I think it could cause a really serious injury. I purchased some of those interlinking foam mats, but unless I cover our whole floor, they almost seem MORE dangerous b/c they are easy to trip over. I do think I'm going to buy a bunch more so that I can cover her entire bedroom, but that still leaves the rest of the house...

I just wanted to see if anyone else has raised a baby/toddler in an all-tile house. Did you have any problems? What did you do when they were learning to walk? If I am being overly paranoid, please tell me.

What can I do next?

More Answers

I know it's a little bit scary but it's not so bad. You can get some inexpensive area rugs for the rooms she crawls in and cover some of the floors or you can buy one or two walkers. They really slide well on tile floors and your baby can't fall out of them. Good luck!
D. T.

You could use the rubber mats you have already bought under the area rugs. I lived in another state with all hardwood floors. Also you can use baby gates. Baby walkers can be a hazourd if you are not careful with such a hard floor because of the tendency for the baby to move quicker. Her feet can get caught up under her. More than likely she will be okay though. In my experience my baby never learned to walk in a walker. It actualy prolonged his progress. Every baby is different. I have a two year old active boy. I have been babysitting for 12 years and i have a little girl due in a month. Yes, i would use extra padding around the furniture. I think as mothers we respond more than we should. Ur babies or children do respond off of our reactions and emotions. I was awful with my son. Every time i would see him fall or trip i would react and flip out. He would cry. He was not crying because he was actually hurt, yet he was responding off of my emotions. When i learned not to react and change the subject he would not cry. Now if he crys i know he is truly hurt.there is something different about our own babies. I would have died for any of the babies i kept and i loved them as my own until i had my own i did not realize how we react so different. Maybe it is the bond. I would get some knee pads though. My sons doctor suggested not to allow him to play in the kitchen on the hard floor without kneepads because it could cause later damage to the cartilage and muscle. There is no way to stop falls or accidets. Your house can be totally carpeted and be like my son. Every time he would visit my neighbor. He would crack his head on her real wood coffee table. Keep a couple of ice packs in the freezer. If she does hit her head apply the ice. As the other mother told you about the signs you may need to take her to the er. I hope this helps.

Hi L.!

Why not buy some thick area rugs? Putting some good shoes on her with rubber soles would help her from slipping! Make sure there isn't any paper or toys on the floor where she could trip over.

Tile is usually in every person's home somewhere (kitchen, bathroom for most people) you shouldn't worry so much. Bare foot kids are the best kids! Just don't put socks on her feet so much...

Kids will have accidents. My son has slipped on a noodle in the kitchen and hit his noggin' pretty hard, but he's still smart as ever. They aren't going to lose any SAT points if they hurt themselves.

Don't worry

I have a nine month old son who is trying to walk. Our whole downstairs is tile. I had a major problem with it when he was learning to crawl. I felt like everytime he hit his head he was getting a concussion or something. Finally we broke down and bought some remnant pieces of carpet, we didn't cover the whole floor just a portion. And it seemed to help, but either way they are going to have to learn how to "fall" correctly etc. My advice just try to be there when they tumble but ultimately they will bounce right back. They fall a couple of times they eventually find a way to fall easier. If that makes any sense. Your not paranoid I think most new moms feel the same way.

Area rugs will help. My house is mostly concrete floors. My little boy would hit his head often enough but never anything really serious. Nothing loving won't cure.

This was a problem for me too. After searching everywhere for a really good sock solution, I eventually made my own. You can find them at www.grippytoes.com. They really made a huge difference. Good luck!

I'd use the mats and a fenced in area with those baby fences and gates. We only have 1 carpeted room and my husband has nailed up wood to keep the baby in that 1 large room when we can't be right there with him protecting him from falling on the tile. It is short enough for us to just get over it, but my children are not able to clear it and my daughter is 4 and my son is almost 16 months. You'll figure it out. We always do when it comes to protecting our kids. Good luck because falls will happen. You are right in your worries. Mommy brain is a wonderful thing.


You are not over protective. I am the same way with my two girls 27mths and 8mths when we visit my in-laws whose house is all tile. Tile is not forgiving. When my daughter is crawling and tries to reach for something I put my hand in front of her chest so if she falls I can catch her. All babies and toddlers will fall and hurt themselves. Yes tile is a lot harder and you need to take more precautious but children's heads are hard as well and a fall while crawling wont be that bad because they are close to the ground. What worries me more is my toddler. A child that is running or jumping off of something can get hurt a lot more because they will be hitting the ground with force. I would buy rugs for the living room and bedroom so she has some soft area to play. You are doing everything right and need to be more cautious and pay more attention to what she is doing especially when she starts to pull up and walk. Good luck, because I sure wouldn't want to have my kids in an all tile home. I was like you too I have a dog and always wanted a tile home as well. Now I still like them because then my daughter wouldn't be getting hair in her hands when she crawls but I would rather that then a serious injuries. Also, the rug might help your daughter to crawl quicker because tile is hard on the kneels and not very comfortable to crawl on. Just remember no matter what you do or how you child proof your home your child will fall and get hurt, that is what they do. My oldest will find anything to climb on or jump off of. She tries to stand on her cars that obviously roll away when she does it.

Hi L.! First, you are not overprotective, you are concerned about your child's safety! Nothing wrong with that. We also have an all-tile house except for the one room... the living room... that is carpeted. In our experience, my youngest son was injured much more often because of the carpeted floors than the tile. He tripped himself up crawling and walking on the carpet. Yes, it did happen on the tile as well. And yes, the times he clunked his head on the tile were not fun. But the phase was short-lasting. He learned to move quicker and more smoothly on the tile than on the carpet. And we really had to learn that our reaction to him hitting his head gauged his reaction. Even if it was a bad bonk that was going to leave a bump, he definitely got over the initial shock and tears much faster if we maintained the fake smile and just talked calmly to him rather than freaking out along with him. Falls happen, bumps and bruises happen. We were very careful about following along with him until he really knew what he was doing. I caught him mid-fall several times.
And keep in mind that kids are mentally and physically very resilient. I have seen cuts, scrapes, and lumps on both of my boys (now 5 and almost 3) that would have kept me down and whining for a lot longer than it kept them. They really do just shake it off and move on... even while we as parents are still reeling and wondering how they're not covered in blood and unconscious! It's not overly paranoid or over-protective to be afraid for your child's safety. Just keep in mind that you can protect your daughter by being nearby and preventing forseeable accidents than by padding the whole house and letting her off on her own. Just down be so worried that you forget to enjoy what's happening. There's nothing more exciting, especially for a first-time mom, than watching the crawling/standing/walking/talking milestones. Good luck and best wishes!

Hi L.,
It's so natural to worry about these things, especially with your first! And maybe you are being a tiny bit paranoid :) Kids are going to fall from time to time, this is the bottom line... my little girl, 19 months, just fell backwards last week outside on the sidewalk and hit her head, pretty hard it seemed to me. And even though she cried, she was fine 10 minutes later, with not even a lump afterward. I, of course, was a wreck, thinking that she'd cracked her skull open. Babies are much tougher than we think they are (remember how the nurses handled your newborn in the hospital the day she was born - I could have sworn they were going to break her in two!). I think tile will make for much easier cleanup in lots of ways (food, eventually crayons, playdoh and paints) and I think you should let her begin to walk in her bare feet at first so she gets used to the feeling of the tile and the lip of the mats. Besides... when they first learn to walk, you are holding on or very close by all the time, so I doubt she's just going to keel over. It's even scarier when you have to teach them how to get down off the bed or the couch... but they learn really quickly and accidents are rare as long as you are attentive, which is sounds like you are!

Don't worry... she's going to be just fine!

Our house is half tile and half carpet, so I know your fear! I kept him in the carpeted areas as often as I could. His play area has the foam mats and I love them! You will find that things get scarier when she is 2 and loves to jump and spin all the time! They are very resiliant! We have had a couple of falls and some nasty bruises, but he has always been fine. We went to the ER once for a nasty fall to the check. The ER doctor said that if they do not loose consciousness or act funny after a fall, you can just give tylenol and ice (if they allow it!).
In you situation, I would focus on the couch and bed areas. Maybe have a thick area rug next to those areas? This are prime areas for climbing and exploring in the next year! She will fall eventually, but if you are there watching, she will be fine. It is amazing what their heads can withstand!!
On the plus side, I would LOVE to have tile in my dinning room, you are lucky!

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