Can a Baby Sleep After a Fall

How to Deal With a Hard Fall: Save Your Worry and Observe

Keep toddlers and babies awake after a fall to check for signs of a concussion. If you see no signs of a concussion, you can let your baby sleep—serious falls can take a lot of emotion out of a little one, and they can benefit from a quick nap to take the edge off. If your baby vomits, appears lethargic or shows other signs of a concussion, contact your doctor to assess the situation.

Concussion Symptoms

Close Up Of Baby Girl Sleeping In Nursery Cot

How to Tell if Your Child Has a Concussion

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Concussion symptoms vary in type and intensity, but you can rarely ever “miss a concussion”; if your baby gets one, he will not act normal. Some signs do take a few hours to present themselves, though. Symptoms for both toddlers and babies include:

  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • headache
  • sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • stunned, dazed appearance or behavior
  • dizziness
  • slow responses
  • drowsiness and or/irritability
  • pupils of unequal size
  • drowsiness
  • difficulty sleeping

Most of these symptoms can also apply to a normal, uninjured child, which makes diagnosis tough for a parent. If your baby has a serious fall and he shows one or more of these symptoms, call a doctor. But first determine if your child’s fall counts as serious.

Serious Falls

You can consider any fall from 3 feet or higher a serious fall, especially if your child hits his head. If you weren’t present for the fall, check for signs of swelling, bleeding, bruising or other trauma in the head area. Pick up your child after you suspect a hard fall; if he seems to experience more pain when you pick him up, check his body for bruising and potential breaks. If you did see the fall, did he twist his neck or land on his head at an awkward angle? If so, call the doctor straight away, especially if he appears injured.

A child can show symptoms of a concussion in the days that follow a hard fall, so keeping her awake might only make her irritable. Instead, observe your baby over the next 48 hours, and if you notice any aberrant behavior, such as not waking up as readily as usual, take her to the doctor or call emergency services.

How to Prevent Falls

Close Up Of Baby Girl Sleeping In Nursery Cot

Should I Let a Baby Sleep If He Hits His Head?

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“Babies are gonna be babies”— no way around it, so you can expect some falls. As a parent, the first few falls can shake you up, but you can prevent most dangerous falls at home with primary prevention measures, including:

  • Install stops in windows that prevent them from opening more than 4 inches.
  • Don’t leave little ones unattended on balconies and porches that pose a safety risk.
  • Look into installing safety rails if your little one makes a habit of falling off the bed.
  • Keep stairs clear of clutter and install safety gates, if necessary.
  • Forgo the use of baby walkers. Alternatively, use stationary walker centers or an activity center to encourage standing.
  • Use bathmats to help prevent bathroom slips.

After a hard fall, check for:

  • broken bones and swelling
  • bleeding and bruising
  • soft, swollen area on the head (can indicate fracture)
  • vomiting or excessive sleeping (concussions)

If your baby takes a hard fall and comes out of his crying spell in a good mood, you have nothing to worry about, and he can sleep as usual. If he loses consciousness, slurs, stumbles around (more than usual) or vomits, take him to the doctor for good measure.