4 Things to Do If Your Baby Falls Off the Bed & Ways To Prevent

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It is not uncommon for babies to be prone to accidents despite the best efforts of the parents to prevent them. One such situation can be when the baby falls off the bed. Older babies who roll may often be more susceptible to falls from the bed, increasing the risk of injuries, such as head trauma.

The delicate skulls of the babies could be more likely to sustain injuries. Do not hesitate to consult a doctor if your baby falls from the bed, even if they appear alright. You must call the local emergency number if the baby shows signs of severe injuries after a fall.

Read this post to learn how to react when the baby falls off the bed, how to manage the situation for the next 24 hours, and when to seek emergency care.

What To Do First?

Sudden falls may cause babies to lose their consciousness. However, they quickly resume consciousness. Comfort the baby and check for signs of any injury. If your baby seems alright and does not display any distress, then they may not have injured themselves. You can still book a doctor’s appointment just to make sure your baby is doing fine. If your baby is less a year old, then it always best to call the pediatrician after the baby fell from the bed.

If your baby does not regain consciousness soon after a fall or develops a bleeding injury, it can be a medical emergency. You may observe the following steps (1).

  • Call emergency services, such as 911, for immediate help.
  • Let the baby lie straight on the floor and do not move the baby. If the baby has spine or neck injury along with head injury, then moving may worsen the injuries.
  • If the baby is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a gauze or a clean cloth on the bleeding area.

Try to comfort your baby if your baby has mild injuries until the emergency team arrives. Although the situation can be panicking, always be calm and observe the baby until they get emergency medical care.

When To Seek Emergency Medical Care?

Seek prompt emergency medical care if the baby shows the following signs and symptoms after a fall from the bed (2).

  • Unconsciousness
  • Vomiting
  • Blood or fluid from nose or ears
  • Bulging or swelling of the soft spot on the head
  • Bleeding or bruising of the head
  • Skull fracture
  • Seizure
  • Deformity on the body due to fracture

If any of the above signs are seen in your baby after a fall, do not pick them immediately. Call emergency services and let the baby lie on the floor or flat surface.

What To Do For 24 Hours After A Baby Fell Off The Bed?

You may have to closely monitor your baby 24 hours after a fall since symptoms of some injuries may appear after a few hours. If you suspect that the baby might be injured themselves, even if they have no signs of injury, see a pediatrician.

Many babies tend to sleep after falling off the bed even though they have a concussion. You may try to wake them up every few hours to ensure that baby can awaken from sleep. Seek immediate medical care if your baby has trouble waking up or sleeps unusually longer.

Babies may have behavioral changes after fall, such as being more fussy, irritable, or inability to self-soothe. Reddish tinge in urine color, refusal to eat, or development of a bluish-black spot on the skin may indicate internal injuries. Seek medical care if your baby has any of these signs and symptoms of injury.

How To Prevent A Baby From Falling Off The Bed?

The following tips could help prevent babies from falling off the bed (1).

  • Choose a baby bed or cot with guards on four sides. Use a baby bed no higher than 120cm.
  • The gap between guard rails should be less than six centimeters. Also, make sure the guard rails are high enough to prevent the baby from climbing over.
  • Choose bassinets and play yards with a low height or those that stay on the ground.
  • Do not let your baby sleep on an adult bed, diaper changing tables, or other surfaces.
  • Do not let the baby sleep in a baby stroller unattended. If possible, place the baby in their crib.
  • Do not keep hard furniture or sharp objects near the baby’s crib.

Babies should preferably have their tummy time and other play on the floor. You can place a soft mattress or quilt to provide a soft surface for the baby to play. Check for the weight limit of diaper changing tables and prefer those with guard rails or edge bumpers that prevent baby from rolling over. Always have diapers and other required items within reach before placing the baby on the diaper table.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can babies be traumatized after falling?

Yes. Babies can be traumatized after falling. Any incident that traumatizes older children and adults may also affect the babies. But it is not easy to figure out if they are in trauma as babies cannot express their feelings (3).

2. How to understand whether my baby is okay after falling and hitting their head?

If your baby has a mild head injury after a fall, they may have bruises on their head and vomit once. However, they will act normally, be alert, and interact with you. It is still advisable to seek your doctor’s advice to ensure they are okay (4).

Check with a doctor if your baby fell off bed and you suspect injuries or your baby acts fussy and does not respond to soothing. If they lose consciousness, show swelling, bruising, or bleeding from the head immediate medical attention is required. Choose the right sleeping environment for babies to prevent falls. For example, install guard rails around the bed and ensure the baby is not sleeping unattended in strollers or on diaper changing tables. Room-sharing can also help prevent falls and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Key Pointers

  • In the event of a fall, look for any symptoms of injuries and make sure the baby is awake.
  • If you notice signs of deformity or blood coming out, contact the doctor immediately.
  • Take extra care for the next 24 hours post the fall.
  • To avoid falls, don’t leave the infant alone on changing tables or adult beds for long periods of time.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. If Your Child Falls Out of Bed When Should You be Worried?
    https://www.samitivejhospitals.com/article/detail/if-your-child-falls-out-of-bed
  2. What to Do If Your Infant Falls Off the Bed or Changing Table.
    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-to-do-if-your-infant-falls-off-the-bed-or-changing-table/
  3. Head injury – general advice.
    https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Head_injury/
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Dr Bisny T. Joseph

Dr. Bisny T. Joseph is a Georgian Board-certified physician. She has completed her professional graduate degree as a medical doctor from Tbilisi State Medical University, Georgia. She has 3+ years of experience in various sectors of medical affairs as a physician, medical reviewer, medical writer, health coach, and Q&A expert. Her interest in digital medical education and patient education made... more

Pranjul Tandon

Pranjul Tandon joined the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA) in 2014 to become a Certified Childbirth Educator and began the journey of her venture Womb and Beyond in 2015. She became a certified Infant Massage Instructor with the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) in 2017. She has expanded her skills further by being certified as a Baby Sign... more

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