Now that your baby is at the beginning stages of moving around, head bumps are more likely to happen. Here's what you can do if your baby does get a bump, along with a few tips on how to avoid future ones.
What should I do if my baby gets a bump?
Comfort your baby, but try not to overreact –bumps are common for babies learning to get around, and most of them are minor and don't cause any serious injury. Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes to bring down any swelling. Try feeding or distracting your baby so he or she doesn't react too much to the cold of the ice pack.
If your baby loses consciousness, call for emergency. If he or she isn't breathing, give two minutes of rescue breathing or CPR first, and then call for emergency.
In general, call the doctor after a bump if your baby is not his or her usual self. You know your baby best, so follow your instincts and talk to a healthcare professional if you have any doubts.
More specifically, call the doctor if your baby vomits, appears unusually irritable or confused, appears drowsy or dizzy, cries or screams for an extended period of time, or has a significant bump, a deep or persistently bleeding cut, a bruise behind the ear, a soft area on the scalp, unexplained black-and-blue spots, blood in the whites of the eyes, or clear or pinkish fluid or blood coming from the mouth, nose, or ears.
How can I prevent serious head injuries?
You simply can't prevent every tumble and bump your baby is likely to suffer, but here are some effective precautions:
• Secure unstable furniture to the wall and remove shaky lamps from within your baby's reach.
• Supervise your baby carefully if he or she climbs furnitures.
• Consider applying corner protectors to furniture and placing skidproof pads under rugs.
• Keep a close eye on your baby when he or she is on any elevated surface (like a changing table) or in a grocery store cart. Use straps to keep your baby in place whenever possible, but remember that you can't rely on them entirely.
• Lower your baby's mattress as soon as he or she stands in the crib.