• Wed, Dec 11 - 1:00 pm ET

The First Time I Dropped My Baby, I Felt Like The World’s Worst Mother

highchairYes, that’s right, I said the first time. Meaning that I have accidentally dropped my baby more than once. And please don’t call CPS on me—I’m just a clumsy mumsy, as I like to call it.

The first time I dropped my baby felt way more dramatic than it actually was. I had read so many warnings about never leaving your baby unattended, always buckling them in, etc. But since it was my first kid, I had no idea how much he could flip around at such a young age!

My son was probably two or three months old, and I had him smooshed into a Boppy on the couch. He seemed secure, and my husband was on the next couch playing video games. As an “experienced” mother of two months, I figured why not go into the kitchen and warm up a bottle and leave him there? Seriously, I’d never even seen him roll onto his side before, but he chose that exact moment when my back was turned to tap into his superhuman baby strength and flip off the couch.

I, of course, ran screaming back into the room, freaked out, and cried for like an hour. He cried too, probably because I was crying so much in his face, but he ended up perfectly fine without a scratch since it was only a 2 foot fall. Since then, I know I’ve dropped him and my second son a few more times, but I can’t recall any memory quite as vivid as that first drop.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who suffers from baby butterfingers. According to a new study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics and reviewed on Live Science, roughly 9400 kiddos in the US are injured from falling off highchairs each year.

The study points out that these injuries are unfortunately on the rise and “increased by 22 percent over the study period, from 2003 through 2010.”

“Maybe even more concerning, the rate of head injuries has increased by almost 90 percent between 2003 and 2010, and I think it begs the question, what’s going on?” said study researcher Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Nearly all injuries associated with high chairs or booster seats involved falls. Most children fell as they were climbing or standing on the chair, suggesting that the chair’s safety restraint system was either not being used, or faulty, the researchers said.

Also, while highchair recalls are a regular occurrence, very few families turn in defective products. As a result, crazy kids being kids of forgetful parents like myself may be vulnerable to even more highchair-related injuries if they are already using a defective product.

If you’ve dropped your baby before, don’t beat yourself up because it happens to the best of us. Of course, always consult with your pediatrician to make sure your kid is A-Okay before you laugh it off. If you’re not sure whether or not your current highchair is a defective death trap that could eat your young, make sure to check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission for updates on product recalls. With all of these powers combined, your kid will make it to their first birthday! What a relief.

(photo: Getty Images)

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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  • kay

    When my baby was born we kept joking about who would drop her first. My brother wrote on the whiteboard in my hospital room “Days without dropping a baby: 1″

    The lactation consultant thought it wasn’t funny at all, and erased it.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Well, that made me LOL, sooo…

    • Paul White

      some people need humor.

    • Kay_Sue

      That’s hilarious. I think a “Days Without Dropping the Baby” sign is going to be my new go-to baby shower gift.

    • Mai

      I know I want one of those signs!

    • Shannon

      Aww, and this is how lactation consultants got a reputation for sanctimoniousness. I would’ve high-fived you and drawn a star on your whiteboard for doing a good job.

  • Kate

    My father let me roll off the changing table when I was a baby, and my step-brother fell asleep with my niece on top of him, who then rolled off and hit her head on the coffee table and required a visit to the hospital for a possible skull fracture. My niece is fine, as am I. I know to be especially careful to avoid those particular injuries, but I still spent the first several months certain that I was going to trip on nothing in my house and send my own son flying. I don’t know how I’m going to fail to prevent him from getting hurt, but I know it’s going to happen.

  • Kay_Sue

    This was one of my number one fears when I was pregnant with my oldest. It was kind of a relief when it actually happened! :)

  • AW

    I question whether more babies are actually falling. It seems more likely that the actual amount of babies falling hasn’t changed, but that mothers are more likely to report the falls and take the baby in to the doctor than before. Thus it looks like the number of injuries is rising

    • DatNanny

      I was going to say the same. I think previous generations were not as worried about falls and head injuries as current generations are – whether we’re more informed or more paranoid I can’t say, probably some of both.

    • AugustW

      My daughter has never needed to go to the doctor for a fall, but we always call the nurse on call. The best advice I ever got was “the bigger the bump the better because you would rather it swell out than swell in.”

  • Magrat

    When my boyfriend accuses his mom of dropping him when he was a baby, her response is, “I didn’t drop you, you jumped.” Babies are squirmy.

  • SusannahJoy

    My brother once fell out of his high chair. Through the sliding glass door. And landed on the concrete patio that was now covered in broken glass. No one is quite sure how that happened, but he still has a scar on his eyebrow.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Holy crap!! This strangely comforts me somehow. :)

  • Lena

    When my son was about 6 months old (he’s 6 years now), I was sitting on the couch with him, and when I got up to get a drink of water, I just plain forgot that babies shouldn’t be left unattended on the couch. He fell right off onto the hardwood floor and got a big nasty bruise on his head.

  • AnastasiaMcNally

    I needed this! I had my 4 month old on a towel on mums kitchen bench the other day to change her and I took my hand off her and turned for a second to check the time and when I looked back the bench was empty and she was flyyying through the air! I have never been so frightened in my life but after a visit to our hospital confirmed she was fine I stopped beating myself up about it (mostly!). It definitely upset me more than her!

  • Katie L.

    This post comes at a good time. My two year old fell head over heels off the bed today and hit her head on the wall. Then she fell off the step stool she sits on to “help” me in the kitchen. She’s now exacting her revenge on my crappy parenting by refusing to nap.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    I found out recently that my parents had to forbid my (half) sister from holding me when I was a baby because she kept dropping me….quite possibly on purpose. Apparently I’m fine…???

    • Bethany Ramos

      Okay, I lolled at this image too!

  • CrushLily

    I figure these falls are how you know how strong your kids bones are. My son was two when he was running down a steep incline and went face first on the bitumen. He had a pretty impressive graze but no real damage. Then, a few days later, up came the most enormous black eyes I had ever seen. It looked like we’d beaten the crap out of him. We were so embarrassed we barely left the house. And the worse bit was when people asked what happened, I’d say ‘he fell down an incline’ and it just sounded like a lie. And you could tell the person didn’t quite believe me and the judgement behind their eyes. Now the same people seek me out to tell me their kid now has a black eye from something. I interpret this as an apology without having to acknowledge the judgement passed!

  • Alicia Kiner

    I think some of the increase is people (not necessarily the parents) not following guidelines… Like Bumbo seats shouldn’t be used on table tops. And some of it is just, well, hell, we screw up. And kids fall down all on their own. My daughter rolled right off her changing table when she was about 18 months old. My son tripped running across the parking lot at our apartment and had a huge lump and bruise right smack dab in the middle of his forehead. And it wasn’t because we weren’t paying attention to them at the time… the just squirmed and ran, and did what toddlers do. No one is perfect. And hey, there’s 7 billion people in the world, of course the numbers went up!

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    Technically, I think if your husband was in the same room as the baby and you weren’t… he dropped the baby, not you. Scratch one drop off your list!

    • Bethany Ramos

      Zing! I’ll take it.

  • dcford

    When I was pregnant with my first son, my boss told me a story about when she was a new mom. Apparently she had her few-months-old infant laying on the couch. She turned her back for one second and when she looked back the baby was gone. Not on the couch, not on the floor. She looked around and couldn’t find her. Of course she was freaking out and thought she had gone crazy! Turns out the baby had rolled off AND UNDER the couch and was chillin under there nice and quiet. Her baby was perfectly fine and actually just graduated college and got married. Somehow that stories eased my worries of breaking my unborn child lol!

    • Samantha Wilt

      This literally made me lol in my office. Thanks for that image. :-)

  • DatNanny

    Babies are basically superballs. They’re made of rubber.

    Of course we should always be cautious, and know the signs of what could be a serious fall – anything resulting in unconsciousness, a fall from a height greater than their own height, disorientation or dilated/uneven pupils, crying that doesn’t end, or complete lack of crying.

    But most of the time, a fall is not serious. They’re bouncy little superballs, and the only lasting trauma will be to the frightened parent.

  • AugustW

    When my daughter was 18 months old, she was with my mom as it was my first day back at work. Grandma was putting the carseat in the truck, and let my daughter play in the front cab (doors closed). My 7 year old nephew chose that moment to open the far door, which my daughter was apparently holding herself up against. Baby tumbles out onto the driveway, Grandma freaks out, nephews freak out….I found out a few hours later when I went to pick her up. Grandma meets me at the door with “okay, don’t freak out too much…” HA

  • Afton

    When I was about 5 my mom set my youngest sister on top of the kitchen table still buckled into her car seat and quickly ran out to get the rest of the groceries from the car. When she got inside she found her 3 oldest daughters screaming and crying about how we killed Tess (the baby). She looked into the dining room and found my sister facedown on the floor still buckled into her carseat. She was totally fine, but for a couple weeks my mom made it a rule to not touch the baby without asking or a parent being in the room.

  • Karen Loethen

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    Carnival for Atheist Parenting

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    lol my little brother was in his baby carrier on the living room table while my mom ran to grab a cloth as he had spit up.
    he sneezed, so hard he shot off the table and somehow ended up halfway inside the fireplace (not lit)

    He teases my mom about it to this day

  • Timba

    I threw my (then 6-month old) son into a ceiling fan once, if that makes you feel any better? We had just moved into a new place, and the ceilings were lower, and well…

    Not my most shining moment.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Hahaha it does!

    • ted3553

      I turned around while carrying him and whacked my baby’s head into the wall. Right up there on the list of “not shining moments”

  • Janok Place

    I’m an accident prone individual. I cannot wear socks and do stairs, any stairs. I will inevitably end up falling. We have an old farm house with a narrow, steep stair case and no railings. As a consequence, I always have cold bare feet. Every day I count my lucky stars that I’ve never dropped our 17 month old. I think I’d die on the inside. My earliest memory was my mom taking a header down the stairs, with me on her shoulders. I’ve had an incredible fear of falling ever since…. She’d probably be fine, but I don’t think I would ever get over it.

  • Thyme Lord

    When I was a bit under two years old, my dad was getting ready for work and left me and my older sister (4 yrs) on the bed while he bustled about. Apparently my sister was jumping on the bed and I just kind of rolled off onto the hardwood floor. Long story short, I ended up fine, just a small scar above one of my eyebrows, but my father will never live it down, and my mom makes sure to bring it up whenever I do anything she doesn’t like.

  • Jo

    This is hilarious. It’s very nice when people admit their parenting f-ups because it makes the rest of us realize how normal it is!