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Father helping son learn to walk at home.

Learning to Walk: Bumps Along the Way

The second night my baby was home from the hospital, I bumped her precious forehead against the headboard of my bed. At our three-day well check, I felt so guilty I mentioned it to our doctor, just to be sure she was OK. Like most new moms, I worried often about keeping this seemingly fragile little person safe.

Now she is a toddler who is walking (and sometimes running) all over my house, and no matter how vigilant I am— head bumps happen. When she was learning to walk, she fell, crashed, and careened into everything. Even when my husband or I were holding her hand, sometimes she would still manage to hit the floor.

As a mom who is predisposed to anxiety, I have had to learn how to rein in my “worst-case-scenario” thoughts after she falls. Thankfully, we have not experienced any serious injuries (and I hope we never do). But here is what I have learned to help me cope with the frightening process of watching her learn to control her little body.

Safety proof as much as possible: This is something that is so important for preventing all kinds of accidents that can occur in the home. When it comes to falls, cushioning and covering as much as possible has brought me a greater peace of mind. Pool noodles cut down the middle are a good sharp edge eliminator, foam floor mats or even an area rug can lessen the impact of hitting a bare floor, and our fireplace is covered in packing materials. The house might not be its prettiest, but knowing she’s safer is worth it.

Spend time outside: As my daughter has been figuring out this whole walking thing, I’ve found it easier for me to manage outside. Our backyard provides open space without the threat of pointy furniture and has plenty of soft grass to break her falls. As a bonus, we both get some much-needed sunlight.

Know the signs of serious injury: There are times when a fall is cause for concern and medical attention. Understanding what to look for and when to seek professional treatment helps me avoid overreacting and spiraling into an anxious tailspin every day.

Falls are part of the process: No matter how hard you try, you can’t prevent every tumble or spill. I do my very best to provide a safe environment and physically support her when it’s needed, but bumps and bruises are going to happen. I have to remind myself that she is supposed to go through this learning phase, she is strong, and I am still a good mom even when she falls.

Your child’s pediatrician should be your primary source of advice about your child’s health.

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About Danielle Vigueria

About Danielle  Vigueria Danielle Vigueria is a new mom, step-mom, wife, and freelance writer. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Virginia and a Master of Professional Studies in publishing from George Washington University. She recently traded her beach life in coastal Virginia for the mountains of Idaho. When she isn’t writing, Danielle relaxes by hanging out with her family, reading lots of YA fiction, and watching the deer wander in her backyard.