Bumps and Bruises Are Inevitable With Toddlers

Your baby will go through many stages in life but perhaps one of the most challenging will be when they learn to stand and walk and this can be a time of many bumps and bruises. I have seen parents naturally barricade their infections in an effort to protect them from yet another bump.

My baby granddaughter started standing at 6 months and walking from one piece of furniture to another. She was lucky; she got up and down the very first time-so no major collisions. This is not true of all babies. Some will attempt many times and fall, even getting bumps or bruises before taking a step. It is a parent's inclining to protect their baby from any harm but I have learned this much-it is a rite of passage for your baby.

Just as we can not take those first steps for our baby, we can not stop them getting getting any bumps or bruises, much as we may wish to. I think the most we can do is provide a safe environment and guide our babies away from dangers.

My granddaughter McKenna went right from a quick crawl to a squat and was perfectly balanced immediately. Although I knew she would walk early, I was unprepared for how soon and how fast she could get around. Now, she has quite a few little bruises and a couple bumps, not to mention a small cut. Seems bumps and bruises are taking over my little baby.

I would suggest a few guidelines to make the transition from crawling to walking a bit less hazardous but no one can prevent all injuries-bumps and bruises will happen-regardless of how much we try to prevent them. As I mentioned in a past blog it is impossible to avoid all accidents but we can make our baby's environment a bit safer for them to learn and grow in.

Suggestions for Safety:

• Remove any coffee tables (they tend to have very sharp edges)
• Remove area rugs, these are major "trips" for new walkers (and some of us older walkers too)
• Have plenty of "pushable" items around to help your baby with their first steps (McKenna loves the wicker baskets and toy bins)
• Let them go barefoot as often as possible, their toes are what they use to balance themselves
• If and when they do need shoes, it is best to purchase a well made, sturdy shoe. McKenna toes in quite a bit so those 'pretty' shoes are not enough support for her feet.
• Help guide your baby by holding their hand and if they need, place their feet one in front of the other
• Be sure doorways thresholds are tight and secure (little toes can get caught and cut in them)
• Secure cabinets and wall units, these are potential dangers as toddlers often pull them over
• Keep a close watch on your new walker especially around wood or hard surfaces. Even when we think they can not possibly hurt their heads on one, they find a way.
• Try to keep them off of concrete or tar surfaces until they are steadier on their feet. Even when they are, trust me, they will fall and bump their head or breeze their legs, it just happens to most kids
• They have wonderful toys that help baby with their first steps-Little Tyke, Playskool and Vitech to name a few
• Keep oils like Lavender and Frankincense on hand-these oils work amazingly well in preventing scarring and help for bruising as well as healing cuts.

I repeat-Keep a close watch. Kids are adept at finding a way to get those bruises and bumps. I refer to them as boo boo magnets.

McKenna has hit her head 4 times in the last 24 hours. First she tried to climb in a dolly stroller and fell into the wood doorway. Then she went face forward from a squat on the neighbor's concrete. Next she hit her face on the wooden rung of our chair as she was chasing the cat under the table. And last, somehow she managed to cut the corner of her eye when she raised herself next to my desk shelf.

Why do I share all this? Because, she is right here, within a few feet of me and I still can not prevent the falls and the bumps and bruises that result. The only way to do that would be to put her in a plastic bubble and how restrictive and sad would that be for a growing toddler?

Bumps and bruises will happen. As a parent, all we can do is try and prevent as many as possible. Today, McKenna looks like I lost the war against bumps and bruises.