Let’s Get Ready to Tumble!

When my son started to pull himself up to stand, I knew this was going to be the start of his falling stage. He didn’t know how to stand on his own so holding on to that table was his lifeline. Sometimes he would forget and all of the sudden I would just hear THUD followed by his hysterical cry (IYKYK).

I felt like a terrible mom. I didn’t like that he was falling so much, but everything I researched and read said that it was normal for babies to fall and it actually helps them learn. I kept thinking, How was falling helping them learn?

GIF of baby sitting on the couch and falling face forward without catching themself.

When he was learning to sit he’d always fall backwards or to the side and cry. It took a him a few days but eventually he learned how to hold himself up in a seated position. Then he learned that when he fell backwards or forwards and it wasn’t followed by pain that he was fine.

Falling helps them learn how to fall correctly.

Baby falling face down onto the floor while parent’s hands are reaching towards them.

I used to freak out and grab him every time he fell. It caused him to react in a frightened manner, as well. Then I read that every time you react, it makes him learning to fall harder. So I stopped. I had to tell my parents to stop reacting. When we did, he stopped crying, rolled over and got himself back up.

He soon started pulling to stand and that came with a handful of tumbles as well. Then he started squatting back down to his bum instead falling forward or sideways. When he did fall forward he had his arms out to catch him instead of just face planting on the floor. And when he fell backwards it was a fall on his bum and then onto the back. I was impressed. Did he really just pick up these skills from taking those bad tumbles?

After a few tumbles I noticed he was confidently pulling to stand more and walking along furniture or his playpen. He soon started squatting down to move things out of his way so he could keep cruising along the perimeter. I was amazed.

I didn’t realize how much I could have been holding him back had I stepped in often to “help” him. Yes, he still had bad tumbles and got red mark hurt a few times that we had to have mommy comfort cuddles afterwards. But, he was always ready to get back to playing the same way he was before the tumble — lo and behold, he didn’t fall like that again.

My personal takeaway

Graphic of wooded path with the words “The best part of falling is getting back up again” — David Belle written on it.

At the end of the day, I also took this lesson and applied it to myself. It’s okay if I make a few stumbles and mistakes on my writing journey. I just have to pick myself back up and learn from it. If my baby didn’t quit learning how to sit, crawl, and walk after he fell, then I shouldn’t quit after one bad article.

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Emi Sano

Emi Sano

Emi Sano is a self-published author of “Voices: a short story collection” and YA novella “We Don’t Talk About That.” She freelances as a writer/blogger.