OK. It's happened to many of us, but it still doesn't make me feel any less rubbish a mother. My eight-month-old fell off my bed the other night.
We were co-sleeping until fairly recently when I got him a bedside cot. It is flush against the wall with our bed pressed right up to it. I left the side down for ease of nighttime breastfeeding (yeah, yeah, I know he doesn't need it at night anymore) and was simply piling our superking-sized duvet in front of the opening to block him in if he woke up.
As he was calling out each time he woke up, I figured I'd be in the room having heard him on the monitor well before he was able to get over the giant duvet wall. And I was right until the other night.
I had just finished brushing my teeth before bed and was right outside my bedroom door when I heard *fluddathud* and my son started to cry. I rushed in the room to see him on his stomach on the floor (wood) next to my bed.
I picked him up, shhhhed him for a bit, then breastfed him to see if that would calm him down. I figured if he was genuinely hurt, feeding wouldn't help. Despite having a red mark on his forehead, he quieted right away. I took this as a good sign.
I went downstairs to phone NHS Direct http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/ (0845 4647). The person who answered the phone asked a few questions, then referred me onto a nurse who phoned me back within 10 minutes.
By this point my son was awake and happy and playing, I knew he was fine, but wanted to make sure. The nurse talked me through loads of things, asked a lot of questions and gave some advice. I'll pass on some of it in case your baby ever falls.Serious concerns which may be obvious immediately:
1. If your child loses consciousness from a fall, phone the emergency services right away.
2. Baby's bones are very soft, so it is rare they would suffer a broken bone, but if you suspect a break, take your baby to accident and emergency right away.
3. If one your baby's pupils is larger than the other, phone emergency services.
4. Is there clear liquid coming out of the baby's ears or nose? If so, call 999.
Things to watch out for over the next few hours and days:
1. Projectile or repeated vomiting is a serious sign. More than the usual spitting up after a feed. Phone your doctor.
2. Soft bumps anywhere on the head, especially behind the ears. This is not the same as a hard 'egg' that babies and children often get when they've had a head injury. If the bump is soft it means there could be a skull fracture.
3. Physical regression. If your baby takes a step back developmentally, she was sitting and now can't, for example, she must be checked by a doctor.
4. Odd movements. If it looks like your baby can't move one side of his body properly, get to the doctor.
My son had none of these signs at all, so I was relieved. As it was now after midnight, I was worried that the nurse was going to tell me I had to keep him away for hours to prevent a concussion. No such thing.
I was able to put him to sleep, I just had to wake him every two hours. I didn't have to wake him fully, just stroke his cheek or his tummy until he moved or rolled over, anything to see that he was responsive and moving properly.
After a relatively sleepless night for me, he woke the next morning ready and raring to go.
Needless to say, I've learned my lesson.