Skip to main content

Your baby fell off the bed! Do these things immediately to ensure proper care for your child

Have a little roly poly? Here's what to do if baby falls off the bed

A mother changing a baby on a bed.
Alina Troeva/Shutterstock

Believe it or not, it happens to the best of us. The baby fell off the bed. In fact, babies falling off beds is the leading cause of injuries for children. You happen to have your baby laying there — away from the edge, no less. You turn around for just a few seconds and then you hear that telltale cry.

What do you do? First, you’ll need to keep from panicking. Taking a deep breath and making some initial observations is a vital step to ensure your baby gets the right help. Once you’ve calmed down imaging your little one going over the edge, we have advice for you to follow in case this unfortunate accident happens to your child.

A baby laying down on a bed while still awake.
Hanny Naibaho/Unsplash

What to do to avoid further injury

Remain calm and gauge the situation

The first step poses a challenge to any parent’s natural instinct to want to pick up their child. However, according to the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most important pieces of advice for what to do if a baby falls off the bed is to not pick them up. In fact, moving your child could make things worse if they sustained a head or neck injury as a result of the fall. Unless your child is at risk for further injury, you should not move them.

But if your baby falls off the bed and immediately goes into a seizure or starts vomiting, gently roll the child onto their side to avoid choking, making sure the neck stays completely straight. If the fall resulted in an open wound, then you should apply gentle pressure and check for any bruising.

A baby on the bed with a parent making sure they don't fall off.
Daniil Silantev/Unsplash

Calling in backup

When to call 911

If your baby becomes unconscious, you should call 911 right away. If your baby struggles to stay awake or appears limp after the fall, call 911.

Aside from the loss of consciousness and vomiting, according to Healthline, you should call 911 if you see any of the following symptoms, as any of these signs indicate a fracture or a serious internal injury.

  • Bleeding out of the nose and ears
  • Swelling of the soft spot
  • Any other bruising or swelling on the head or around the eyes or ears
  • Sensitive to noise (even white noise) and light
  • Dilated pupils or one pupil being bigger than the other
  • Inability to stay awake regardless of the time of day

When to call the doctor

As for the bleeding, bruising, or a bump on the head, call the doctor to find out what to do next in administering first aid.

In fact, anytime a fall occurs, especially for a young infant, you should call your doctor no matter what. They may ask you to bring your baby into the office that very same day or go to the emergency room, regardless of the appearance and/or seriousness of the injuries. In this situation, it’s better to play it safe.

Along with the check-up, the doctor will advise you on how to control your baby’s pain level and recommend an over-the-counter medication like the infant formula of acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Baby laying down on flat surface
Charles Eugene/Unsplash

Keep a close watch on your tot for a bit

As far as what to do after your baby fell off the bed but sustained no serious injuries, you’ll need to keep a close watch on their behavior and other symptoms. After such an incident, babies tend to get rather sleepy and will want to rest more than usual. Your doctor might advise you to wake your baby up periodically to check for signs of a concussion and to make sure their condition is not getting worse.

When waking your baby, you’ll need to check for:

  • If they awaken easily
  • If they recognize you
  • If breathing is normal

If you see these signs, then all should be well within a few days. However, if you notice something out of the ordinary or one or more of these signs are not occurring, then call 911 or your family doctor immediately.

A mother and baby facing each other in the bed.
kevin liang/Unsplash

How to prevent falls in the first place

People without children might tell you to stop putting the baby on the bed, then they won’t fall off. We know that if a bed is where a baby is quiet and happy, a bed is where the baby stays. But there are precautions you should take to make sure a roll doesn’t equal a fall.

Helpful guidelines

  • No unsupervised time on the bed
  • Keep the bed clear of extra blankets and sheets
  • One hand on the baby at all times
  • If you leave, the baby leaves with you

Babies are ninjas. Two seconds to cross the room is more than enough time for a baby to roll right off the bed. The first step in what to do if your baby falls off the bed is to prevent it from happening. Eyes and a hand on that baby at all times if they are on a bed. This goes for any surfaces, including spots like the changing table or the couch.

You don’t want extra sheets and blankets on the bed as the baby could get tangled. If you leave the room for any reason — we know that coffee needs a reheat — take your baby with you. Whether you have a full roller or not, a baby is capable of taking a tumble.

You take all the safety measures to ensure your baby’s well-being, but there are times when accidents do happen. Staying calm and collected is the first step in what to do if your baby falls off the bed. Another crucial fact to remember is that if you decide to call emergency medical services, the doctor, or decide to go to the ER, no one will fault you for taking an abundance of caution. It’s always better to make sure your baby is okay.

Editors' Recommendations

Leslie Anderson
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Leslie Anderson is a freelance writer/writing coach from Roswell, N.M. She enjoys gardening, cooking, and helping students…
9 amazing sweet potato baby food combinations your child will love
Sweet potato baby food recipes your baby won't want to spill on the floor
Baby with sweet potatoes

When your little one is ready to start on solid foods, a whole new world opens up for them (and you). And sweet potatoes are a perfect first food for your baby to try. They’re inexpensive, easy to cook, and mash up well. They’re on the sweeter side, so most babies take a liking to sweet potatoes more than some other veggies. More importantly, sweet potatoes are filled with Vitamin C, potassium, beta-carotene, and fiber your baby needs as they grow and develop.

But if you’re making your own homemade baby food, there’s no reason to stick to plain sweet potato puree only. Combine sweet potato puree with a range of other foods for additional benefits to your child’s diet and a wider range of taste options. We have nine ways to bring plain sweet potatoes to life that your baby will love.

Read more
7 avocado-based baby food combinations your baby will love
These simple avocado baby food recipes are lip-smacking good
Baby in highchair eating avocado puree

Avocado baby food offers a nutritious first step in solid foods for babies. To begin with, avocados contain 20 vitamins and minerals, including folate, potassium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K, plus several variants of vitamin B. In addition, avocados are packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats without no cholesterol or sodium. Avocados are very low in saturated fat, too. Babies need omega-3 fatty acids to promote brain and eye development, and avocados are one of the fattiest plant foods that are a great source of oleic acid, an important omega-3 that's also found in olive oil.
Conveniently, avocados are also soft and easy for babies to gum and swallow. They're simple for busy parents and caregivers to mash with a fork or puree in a food processor. Plus, avocados are easy to combine with other healthy foods for simple baby foods. So, which avocado baby foods should you make at home? Here are seven simple recipe ideas for your little one to enjoy that are a snap to make.

Easy, fun-flavored yummy avocado/fruit puree
For a quick avocado baby food meal, puree avocado in a food processor or small blender with a sweet fruit, and your baby will gobble it up. Here are some fruits that make a tasty combination with avocado:

Read more
When is it safe for your child to sleep with stuffed animals? Count on waiting longer than expected
The risks that come with baby sleeping with stuffed animals
Baby looking up in a crib

It seems almost unfair that bedraggled parents should be denied the simple pleasure of watching their adorable little one snuggle up with an only slightly less adorable stuffed animal — especially if it's an effective solution in crib-training your baby.

Nevertheless, the truth is that the science is clear, and according to the data, it is simply too risky to allow stuffed animals in your baby’s crib or other sleeping place.

Read more