Dealing with that First Tumble

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I saw it happen in the post office in El Paretón once. Mum sits baby, who is around 6 months old, on the chair whilst she fumbles the money from her purse. Baby does what all kids that age do.. tries to move, rolls over and falls head first on to the floor. Happily, no real damage was done, although the Mum was of course in floods of tears and looked like she could use a stiff drink, but it did take me back to my own experiences of those first baby “rolls” and how to avoid them.



With Cameron, I had laid him on a King Sized bed surrounded by pillows, whilst I cleaned my teeth in the en-suite. Thud. Waaaaaaaahhhhhhh! There he was on the floor, having managed to roll about 3 feet in the space of a nanosecond. That first time, panic ensued, although he fell all of 18 inches onto a sheepskin rug! Call to the doctors surgery, where I was told “It is very common, all babies do it, don´t worry. Just keep an eye on him for signs of discomfort, excessive drowsiness etc.” Doctor seemed very blasé. New Mom felt like the gong for World´s Worst Mom was a dead cert to be hers. I worried all that day, all that night, and only calmed down when after 48 hours all seemed to be normal.

Fast forward to baby number two. You´d think I would have learned my lesson. But sleep deprived mom once again sets baby in middle of giant bed. And true to form, baby once again rolls off. Three years of mothering down the road, we don´t call the Doctor. Just ring the health worker who predictably says “It is very common, all babies do it, don´t worry. Just keep an eye on him for signs of discomfort, excessive drowsiness etc”.

Vow if I have any more children I will never, not ever, leave them on the bed.

Well, hands up everyone out there who has done the same thing? Lack of sleep, the desperate need for the toilet, shower, or some other basic right that you forfeited months ago when Junior was born all add up to the same thing. The desire to just “put baby down somewhere safe” and actually get to use both hands for a change.

My advice now, well, just don´t do it! If you have to lay baby down for a moment, try the following methods:

  • Get a travel type pop up crib (Samsonite has a good one) and lay them at your feet.
  • Make a nest of pillows on the floor. That way the worst that can happen is that the Small But Demanding One rolls onto his face. A bit undignified, but a lot safer.
  • Try a baby sling (OK not in the shower!), leaving both hands free to accomplish simple chores.
  • Use a bouncy seat or baby bouncer to keep them occupied
  • Rope in some help from Gran, sister or even DAD!
  • Wait until Junior has a nap and use that time for “me” time, if you can resist the lure of the bed yourself.


There are lots of ways to avoid that tumble. Find the one that suits you best, and whatever you do, don´t sit baby down at the post office!


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Avatar of Liz EdmistonAbout the author: totanaliz (34 Posts)


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