Baby Colton’s mom and dad were away from home and were in a pinch at naptime. It forced them to improvise, as all parents do from time to time. Now Colton has brain damage and they want you to know what happened so that it doesn’t happen to you.
It’s always painful to write about a child who is injured or sick. But this baby safety story needs to be heard by every parent of an infant.
Colton’s parents were visiting a friend when their sweet boy fell asleep. Since they didn’t have a place to put him down for his nap, they put the 6-month-old in the center of their friend’s big bed and then placed pillows all around him to keep him from falling off.
The barrier didn’t work. Colton fell 2 feet off the bed.
Baby Safety When Sleeping In An Adult’s Bed
Right after it happened, Colton cried for a bit but it didn’t last long. His mom says he was alert and smiling.
However, she knew she wouldn’t feel okay until he was seen by a doctor.
“We thought for sure they were going to say he hit his head, has a bump, and he will be fine,” she said in a Facebook post.
The ER doctors delivered a very different diagnosis. “He fractured his skull and bled half of his entire blood volume into his brain,” they told the parents. They warned he may not live, and if he did live he would suffer severe brain damage.
His mom wants you to hear her warning, and I’m thankful to her for being brave in a world of internet trolls to tell his story.
“Please take any hit to the head seriously,” she warns. “I need you to hear me…get your kids checked out! Please. The old tale of “if the bump is outward you’re safe.” is NOT true.”
Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advise against letting kids sleep in an adult bed – whether with someone or alone.
They say parents should NEVER place a baby to sleep alone in an adult bed.
Likewise, Healthline warns
“Babies shouldn’t be placed on adult beds unsupervised. In addition to risks for falls, babies can become trapped between the bed and wall or bed and another object. Adult beds often don’t meet the criteria for safe sleeping that a crib often has, such as a tight-fitting mattress and bottom sheet.”
In a recent interview with Good Housekeeping, Ferguson had a bit of good news to share about Colton’s condition. He has been released from the hospital, but depends on a feeding type and needs multiple medications for seizures.
So what do you do when you’re not at home and your little angel needs a nap?
I know that in the real world, this kind of issue comes up all the time. Whether we’re visiting a friend or relatives or just out and about, baby naptime can present challenges.
Moms everywhere have all sorts of hacks they use that are safe and that work for their baby. Sometimes it boils down to sitting and holding the baby until it wakes up. Fun? Nope. And some babies refuse to sleep in a parent’s arms.
Portable Sleeping Baby Products
There are lots of portable beds and products that will help keep your infant safe when you travel – even if it’s only across town to a friend’s house.
Do an Amazon or Google search for “baby travel sleep options” paying special attention to user ratings and safety ratings.
Look for products that are lightweight and easy to assemble. If it’s too big, heavy or hard to put together, you won’t use it.
Let’s all send little Colten and his parents our best thoughts.
I want to say thank you again to the family who shared their story. I’m glad we’re talking about this. I hope you will share this post with anyone who cares for a baby – a grandparent, babysitter, friend, and for sure other moms.
What are your tips for safe baby sleeping when you’re not at home?