Terrible Mom: Incident #1

If you follow me on twitter you already know all about this. I still feel sick about it, but I guess if Ryan is 5.5 months old and this is our first incidence… that’s pretty good, right?!

We co-sleep. Last night I put Ryan down at 7pm. He woke up about 8-8:30pm and Steve went in there and put him back to sleep. Around 10:30 pm I decided to go to sleep on the couch because I didn’t want to go in the bedroom and wake Ryan up. I figured I’d go in there when he woke up next (because he never sleeps more than 2-3 hours in a row). Steve fell asleep on the other couch too, soon after me.

I woke up at 1am and realized the monitor had fallen between the couch cushions. We had white noise playing in the bedroom for Ryan and I could barely hear it (but even between the couch cushions, it was still right next to my head). Anyway, I pulled it out so I could hear it better, noticed the time and was amazed Ryan was still sleeping, and I fell back asleep.

The monitor’s battery was dying so it started beeping and I woke up again and got up to put it on the charger. I looked at the clock and it was 3:30am. WHAT?! 7 hours!! Ryan had been sound asleep for 7 hours?! He hasn’t done that since he was like a month old!! When I put the monitor in the charger, Steve woke up. I told him it was 3:30 and maybe someone should check on Ryan. I said I didn’t want to do it because if he was going to sleep through the night (hooray!) I wanted him to keep sleeping and was afraid if I walked in, he’d smell my milk and wake up. But Steve was half drowsy and mumbled something, so I ended up going to check.

The room was completely dark. I tip-toed in and was staring at his spot on the bed. In the middle of the bed. I was squinting because I couldn’t see him–it’s too dark, I thought. Then the corner of my eye caught his receiving blanket that we had swaddled him in………………….. on the floor. I turned to look and there he was – a lump of body and blanket on the floor. All I noticed was that he was on his belly. It was like a nightmare. A million thoughts ran through my head in the span of half a second–how’d he get there? did Steve put him there? is he hurt? Did he break his neck?! is he breathing?! is he alive?! I didn’t WANT to check him (for fear of bad news), but HAD to. I ran over and put my hand on his back. The second that it took his body to rise in his next breath felt like an ETERNITY and I thought he was dead. And when I felt his body rise and fall I was in disbelief. I ran out of the room and yelled to Steve, “did you put him on the ground?!” I sooo wanted him to say yes. He, of course, said no, jumped up, and ran in the bedroom. He picked up Ryan and laid him on the bed… Ryan opened his eyes, wiggled a bit and just stared at us, back and forth.

I got in bed with him, fed him and he fell right back to sleep. I, on the other hand, laid awake, unable to sleep because I kept staring at him… watching his breathing… making sure he was okay.

We checked him for bumps and bruises. We researched online and looked for signs of injury: vomiting, unusual behavior, different pupil sizes or poor response to light, drowsy, unable to focus. He seemed fine. But we remained worried because of the “drowsy” part… he slept in till 7:30am (is usually awake at 6am) and then just an hour later, at 8:30am, he took a 2 hour nap. Not normal. But he then skipped his next nap and otherwise seemed completely fine.

I still have a million questions. HOW did he get off the bed? It’s king size and he was in the middle. He fell off the END of the bed too, not the side. And he was lying perpendicular to the end, not parallel so it wouldn’t have been so easy to just roll off. Speaking of rolling… he was swaddled. And he can go from back to belly, but not so much the belly to back. I just have NO IDEA how he could have managed his way off the bed.

And did he really NOT cry from that fall?! He had no arms from the swaddle, he fell on his face. I know he’s fine from the fall and all is ok, but what is REALLY upsetting me is the fact that he probably DID cry, but my baby monitor was between the couch cushions (remember?) and I couldn’t hear it. So my poor baby laid on the floor, with no arms, face down, and cried and no one came. He cried himself to sleep. It’s killing me! And either way–if he cried or not–he slept for 7 hours! I have no idea what time he would have fallen, but… did he sleep so well because he 1.) was tired/traumatized after crying himself to sleep or 2.) he basically knocked himself out or 3.) because he was on his tummy?

Today I put him in his “Mommy Loves Me” onesie just to be sure he knew. During his 2 hour nap, Steve and I must have been in the room checking on him like 5 times. We completely barricaded the edges of the bed. And you better believe the monitor is on full volume attached to my hip. And on vibrate.

Do you have stories to share of your lil one falling off the bed? Or couch or crib or anything? Lots of you responded on twitter that it happened to you as well and that did make me feel better. But… I still feel sick about him possibly crying himself to sleep on the floor after a scary fall 🙁 He sure was pampered like a spoiled little baby all day today!!! And I’m about to head to bed and cuddle some more! I keep replaying the moment when I saw him on the floor and the fear that ran through me… and picturing him fall and cry and have no one come. 🙁 🙁 🙁 My poor lil man!!!

13 comments to Terrible Mom: Incident #1

  • Even though I knew what happened & that he was fine (from Twitter), I still felt my chest get tight reading this story! I can imagine how awful you felt. I felt that way the first time my son took a 2 hour nap (alone on an adult bed) at 10 weeks old, after NEVER sleeping more than 30-40 minutes during the day. I went in and he didn’t move or stir at all. I touched him, nothing. For a split second I really thought he was dead. He was just in a really deep sleep but I didn’t know! And like I said on Twitter, Nicholas has fallen off the bed a few times, mostly while playing, once when I was literally RIGHT THERE, with my hand over him. They move so quick sometimes! But they are so resilient (and they don’t brace for the landing!) and are usually FINE. One more thing – my husband fell out of his bed when he was 3 or 4 and fast asleep and broke his arm. So you can do EVERYTHING right and crap still happens! *hugs*


  • Ashley

    Happened a few times to DS. Recently, DS fell down 3 steps, head first. FREAKED OUT! yep, and he has fallen into the pool with me right infront of him. Things happen.


  • OMG poor Ryan! I would’ve have been freaking out too! But really, it happens to the best of us! When Adam was like 5 months old I put him on the bed to go grab a diaper, I was walking back to my room when I heard a thud and then a small cry. I ran and found him on the floor 🙁 I was SOO upset. DH wasn’t home, Adam only cried for 2 seconds and I put him right on the bewb so he could calm down. I cried. and cried. I felt like the worst. mom. ever. I DID NOT want to tell DH. He came home a few minutes later and saw me sitting on the floor, crying, nursing Adam. He figured it out. He hugged me and checked to make sure Adam was ok, which he was, and then laughed. I was pissed that he was laughing and he said he’s a boy! they fall and get hurt, get used to it!” lol.

    But really, I think all babies fall. When they start rolling over and you forget you can’t leave them alone for 2 seconds, it happens! It makes me feel better when other moms tell me not to worry because it happens (I know, I’m mean) but at least it wasn’t just my baby! Maybe it won’t happen to L… lol! 🙂


  • The baby I nanny has came close to falling off the bed once. She was in the middle on the boppy and kept kicking her legs and pushing her legs against the bed and it was pushing her to the edge so he might of done that. I would be careful even with the pillows he could get across them or even push them with him.


  • Glade once scooted off the bed, but when she was halfway off, she let go with her hands, and just fell back and landed on the back of her head. She barely cried and was fine. She then proceeded to do this 3 more times that day haha.

    You are a great mom, and he knows it! He probably just did an acrobatic move, and when he got to the floor decided it was comfy and fell back asleep 🙂


  • My baby sleeps with me too and has woken me up by falling out of bed a few times. Not quite like this where I woke up and found her asleep on the floor though. I would have been scared too, poor baby!

    Does he go back to sleep easily when you are laying with him? Once my baby started rolling, I couldn’t leave her on the bed when I wasn’t right there. I put her on a blanket on the floor the few times I actually got her to sleep without me, which wasn’t and still isn’t very often..

    She can get off the bed on her own now so I let her nap there, but she still falls off sometimes. She just did a couple days ago! I usually sleep with her towards the wall, but that night I fell asleep watching a movie so I was on the wrong side of her in order to face the movie 🙁


  • When Jack slept in bed with me, I went to bed with him so he was never alone in the bed. Plus I was super tired as a new mom, so going to bed early wasn’t a problem! I moved him to his crib when I went back to work. He now comes in to bed with me sometimes when he wakes up in the morning, so I have a bed rail on his side of the bed. I only have a full sized bed but I always put him in the middle and I lay on the side. He is a rolling machine now, so I have to have the bed rail up just in case he decides to go on the move. Jack sleeps on his tummy now and hasn’t been swaddled for a few months. I always find in weird positions and weird places in his crib! Just this morning, I put him on a blanket on the floor and went to make my lunch for work. I went to check on him and the blanket was empty!! He was close by, but it freaked me out a little. I guess the time is over when we can just leave them anywhere we want and not be worried about it! I don’t know how big your house is, but I’m sure if the fall really hurt him, he would’ve cried loud enough for you to hear him even without the monitor. He’s obviously ok! Can you put him in his crib to start out, then when he first wakes up, take him to bed with you so that he’s not all alone in a giant bed? If not, I would definitely invest in a couple of bed rails. I feel silly sleeping in a bed with a rail, but safety first! Oh, and Ryan is probably ready to sleep on his stomach. I know you had some problems with him in his crib, but I bet if you tried putting him down on his tummy, he’d sleep great. Jack sleeps so much better on his stomach. I was nervous at first, but once they are rolling on their own, it’s completely fine and he now rolls both ways very easily. Sorry this is so long! Good luck!


  • You are NOT a terrible mom but I would be equally as devastated as you are! How sad :(:(:(


  • Luke fell off the couch. He was probably Ryan’s age. I had him laying on his boppy right next to me, he was kicking his legs, next thing you know he fell. It was like in slow motion, and he looked so lifeless. He hit his head on the coffee table too. I felt horrible too.


  • First, I just want to say that you are not a terrible mom. Being a mom is a very demanding job and when you’re tired sleep comes so naturally and you forget that you have a sleeping baby in the other room. All children take their worst falls between ages 0 to at least 10. We try to protect them as much as we can, but the truth is we can’t protect them from everything. He could have just as easily rolled off the bed while you went to the bathroom.

    So, don’t beat yourself up over this. Trust me, I did after Moo took her first fall. But once I made sure that she was ok, I claimed down. Now, I just make that if I’m off doing something and she’s sleeping, I put her down in her playpen or her rocker which doubles as a sleeping chair. But even that has protected her from taking nasty falls. She took one a few months ago when she first started walking and ended up with a contusion.

    I’m sure he knows that you love him. And if you’re still worried about him rolling off the bed, Babies R’ Us sell these wonderful guardrails that fit in between the mattress and the box spring that protect kids from rolling off the bed. Just keep doing what you doing and take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. Motherhood is never perfect. You have to take the good with the bad.


  • You probably would have heard it if he was crying! We are built to do that and you haven’t reprogrammed yourself to ignore it, he might have whined a little and then fallen back asleep.

    K has fallen off the bed at least 3 times. We have our matresses on the ground & pillows around the bed, but the pillow is thin and he still went THUNK. He scared himself one time and i definitely heard it from across the house! Another time he did it while my ILs were watching him, didn’t make a sound. MIL came to check on him and he was missing.. he had fallen in the blanket (!!! almost had a heart attack when she told me this!) that she shoved up against the bed.

    I’ve woken up several times with Killian down at my feet. babies are weird! It’s super impressive that he was swaddled, though! is he able to sleep without a swaddle? If he’s into the wiggling phase I would consider letting his arms be free.

    He also bonks his head when he tries to sit or stand and we are just a millisecond not quick enough. He’s always fine. I find that babies heads are impressively hard!


  • Accidents can happen to anyone! But this is why I have my baby in the crib, and also my 2 year old in a big boy bed with rails. I think it’s the safest thing to do. I make sure I cuddle my boys during the days plenty but we go to sleep separately.


  • Jessica

    It’s so odd that you posted this because twice in the last week I’ve had dreams that DS fell off the bed and stayed asleep on the floor. In the dreams, I watched it happen – both times. I would see him start to fall, run to him, but not get there in time and he would just topple of the bed and stay peacefully asleep on the floor, completely unharmed. Maybe that’s what happened to Ryan? Poor little guy! I’m glad he’s okay. Try not to be too hard on yourself.


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