It’s a fascinating experience to watch your baby grow and learn new skills. I couldn’t wait for William to start walking on his own, mainly because it killed my back hunching over and holding his hands whilst he walked, (selfish, I know.) People would say to me “Oh you won’t be wishing he could walk by himself when he’s actually doing it!” or “You don’t know what you’re in for, when they can walk that’ll be it, they’re off.” or “Good luck getting him into the pushchair when he realises he can walk!” Like most others, I waved their comments off and thought, nah…William’ll be alright for me, he’s a good boy. And then it happened: William learned how to walk on his own. It was a joyous day and I was so thrilled for him (and my back..) It took a while for him to gain his confidence with it, but now he thinks he’s Speedy Gonzalez. Calm it, buddy. I didn’t want to admit it, but I really should have listened to what everyone was saying. Nothing is safe anymore, everything is now a potential danger. And he hates getting into the pushchair. *sigh* (They don’t realise how easy they’ve got it really!!)
Now of course, it’s natural for us to want to bubble wrap our kiddos and protect them from all potential dangers, but it isn’t always possible. Children will hurt themselves. It’s a part of their learning. But saying this to someone who’s child has hurt themselves does not help at the time. We don’t want to hear that “accidents happen” – we know that! We just don’t expect it to happen to our own, and when it does; we panic. It might not be the noticeable panic that you expect to get an A in GCSE Drama for, but your heart rate soars and you watch your little one with such intent you almost forget to blink.
Yesterday, William had his first “proper tumble.” I’m used to him falling over at home and toppling from being unbalanced – and this usually ends up being the sofa or the carpet he face plants. But yesterday I let him test his feet on “real ground”. I figured since he was such a whizz at home, I’d let him have a walk about on a new ground surface – and he was doing really well! I was super impressed with how well he was doing, he wandered about giggling away. He then started walking towards the grass when *boink* he lost his balance and fell over. This wouldn’t have bothered me so much had he not hit his head on the brick wall that was next to him. I tell you, I was like Flash. Now you see me, now you don’t. He was in my arms within a second of hitting his head. At first I had no idea what to do. I mean, I’d never really thought about reading up on First Aid for a baby, but in the back of my mind I kind of remembered someone once telling me if they make a lot of noise (and boy did he.) then that’s a good thing. If they’re quiet, then it could be time to worry. Through the screams and yells, I tried to soothe him by singing and rocking. Luckily a friend was able to grab a cold compress for him. After 10 minutes or so, we were back to happy, playful William again and off he went playing with the swimming pool floats. And then the bugger fell over again and his his head. Cue feeling like the worst mother in the room. Everyone stared at us whilst William screamed the room down (and it’s pretty echoey in there. Wonderful.) but within 5 minutes he’d gone to sleep.
This is where it got a bit tricky. Do you let your child sleep if they’ve had a bumped head? Part of me was thinking No, and the other part of me was thinking, well…He fell over because he was tired. After a few people telling me not to let him sleep I tried to wake him up. I say try because he was literally out of it. I tried everything, pinching his cheeks, blowing on his face, taking off his coat, cold hands down his back, speaking into his ear – even handing him over to someone else. Nothing. He whinged a little bit and scrunched up his face a couple times but for the life of me I couldn’t wake him. *PANIC* here we go, I thought. A trip to the hospital tonight for us it is! And then a lady came over (who happened to be a nurse!) and told us it was absolutely fine to let him sleep, so long as I poked and prodded him every half an hour to keep an eye on him. I then googled it to verify (why didn’t I do this sooner? you can read the article here) and my panic subsided a little.
Eventually on the way home from swimming, he woke up and was giggling and chatting away again, and once we were home he played with his toys and ate his dinner and went to bed all normally too. Phew. Panic Over.
Now I’ve experienced it for the first time, I know how to deal with it again in the future, because lets face it: this will happen again. I can’t deny it, and I can’t prevent it. All I can do now is read up on some baby first aid and prepare myself a mini first aid kit in my bag (other than calpol and plasters.) He’s now sporting a lovely bruise on the side of his head, but kids are a lot more resilient than we give them credit for.
If you are unsure of what to do if your child is hurt, in the UK you can call 111 for non-emergencies. Or if it is an emergency then call 999.
Here are a few websites you can check out!
What’s the worst thing that’s happened to your child under your care?