Yesterday a mother brought her 7 month old child to my clinic with complain that the baby fell from bed. Baby was fast asleep so the mother went to kitchen to fetch something. Suddenly she heard a loud thump and when she came to the room she found the baby on the floor howling loudly. Baby was alright but naturally the mother was very worried.
In my clinic over the years, many a babies are brought with the same complaint. Most of the time they are all right, sometimes they get a bump over the head which subsides on their own but occasionally some serious problem can occur, so one should be careful.
In our culture, babies sleep with their mothers on the family bed. Cots are many times bought but hardly used. In the beginning parents do try to keep baby in the cot, but she cries when ever shifted from bed to cot so eventually the attempt is abandoned. The problem arises any time when baby is between 5 to 6 months of age. At this time the babies learn to turn over. So when left alone on the bed, she turns over and falls. So do not leave the baby on the bed unattended even if she is fast asleep. Either put her in the cot or if not possible then let her sleep on the floor on a thin mattress. This is safer as long as they are no cockroaches or any other pests inside the house.
Dr Raj Rani Mitra
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