Let He Who Hasn't Dropped or Bumped Our Baby (or Failed to Prevent a Fall) Cast the First Stone

There are lots of things to feel guilty about when it comes to parenting — screen time, veggies, exercise, socialization, and on and on  — but one new dad on Reddit has passed a parenting milestone of guilt. He did the one thing that pretty much all new parents do at some point, the one thing that will make you feel worse than just about any other parenting mistake you could make, especially in the early months. He dropped his baby.

“I went to put my child in her pack and play so I [could] continue working, and her little 9-month-old weight shifting, wiggly self moved in a way in which I lost control of her body,” wrote Redditor Yaboibigmoist, “And she went face-first into the bottom of her pack and play from maybe 3ft up.”

Oh, if there is a worse feeling than that pit-in-the-stomach-oh-my-god-what-have-I-done-did-I-just-kill-my-baby feeling you get when baby accidentally takes a tumble, we don’t know what it is. And so many of us know that exact feeling, because pretty much all of us have at some point or another inadvertently hurt our babies. We can baby-proof the heck out of our homes, but all the baby gates and foam corners in the world won’t help the guilt we feel when that wiggly baby slips out of our hands or rolls off the couch.

Caveat time: It does not seem like we are not talking about serious head trauma here. Those accidents do occur, even though concussions in infants and toddlers are rare. If you think your child has injured their head in a fall or bump, you should always call your pediatrician, who will tell you the the warning signs to look for. (We’re not certain whether this dad did so.)

“She definitely cried out of being scared, and maybe reciprocated my anxiety over my absolute fear that I hurt her,” Yaboibigmoist continued. “It’s been an hour or so, she doesn’t have any signs of bruising, and is seems to be back to her normal, playful self, but fuck man, I feel like a total piece of shit.”

Babies are tough and definitely bounce back after an innocent, clumsy parenting mistake, but the guilt definitely lingers.

This poor dad didn’t feel bad for long, though. The parents of Reddit came to the rescue.

“Congratulations, this is a rite of passage that new parents go through,” wrote UnsocialablySocial. “Another is hitting their head on the edge of the car as you put them in the car seat, not catching them in time when they fall while learning to walk, and not catching them in time in the bath which results in them going underwater. Given how helpless babies are and how clumsy us parents are, it’s a bloody miracle our species survives lol.”

Another supportive, yet clumsy parent wrote, “And hitting their little melon heads on doorways when passing through them. I’ve done it on more than one occasion with both my kids. I always feel bad about it, but damn! My kids do not cling when I hold them,” wrote WrightButAlwaysWrong. “They like to lean outwards and let their legs dangle. You’d think they would learn.”

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that thankfully our kiddos are built of strong stuff. They can take the accidental head boop or the inadvertent tumble to the floor and usually come out safe and sound. It’s our poor parental hearts that take the beating.

We feel bad for OP but also offer him a big, warm “Welcome to the club!”

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