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Actress Eva Amurri's talks 'biggest parenting fail': Her infant daughter rolled off the changing table

Every parent has a moment they wish they could re-do, and for mom of 3 Eva Amurri, that moment happened when her oldest, daughter Marlowe, was 4 months old.

In a new interview with People the actress and blogger behind Happily Eva After recalls the moment when she experienced her "biggest parenting fail" and Marlowe "rolled off the changing table".

A lot of parents can relate to this. It happens so much. According to the CDC, about 50% of nonfatal injuries in babies under a year old come from falls. Amurri is hardly the only parent to have this kind of "parenting fail" happen.

Amurri remembers exactly how it happened, telling People: "I literally turned my back for a second to grab diapers out of the closet, and that's all it took."

According to Cleveland Clinic Pediatrician Dr. Ei Ye Mon, parents should try to avoid multitasking and keep their hands on the baby, but, understandably, Amurri made that (very common) mistake as a first-time mama.

"I was the first person in my family to have kids, the first in my friend group ... no one had told me," she says.

Luckily Marlowe (who is now 6 years old) was totally fine and Amurri gives the new parents in her life the advice she wishes she'd received, because she knows that while most babies are totally fine, like Marlowe was, sometimes babies can be seriously injured in a fall. Marlowe's little brother Major suffered a serious head injury when he was 5 months old when a childcare provider dropped him on hardwood floor.

According to Amurri, "he suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on his brain, and was transported by ambulance to Yale Medical Center," but after receiving expert medical care for a couple of days Major came through just fine with no lasting damage.

In both cases Amurri felt guilt and fear and that's why she wants new parents to understand fall prevention and what to do in an emergency.

Here's what you need to know if your baby falls:

1. Don't pick them up immediately

Dr. Ye Mon says if a baby falls check for these signs before picking them up:

  • Obvious skull fractures
  • Bruising or swelling along the head
  • Discharge or blood coming out of the nose or ears
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Obvious broken bones in other parts of the body

If any of these things are happening call 911 and don't move your baby. The only exception is if your baby is having a seizure, in which case you should gently roll them onto their side. If they're not having a seizure, but do have one of the above injuries, don't move them.

"With head traumas, it's possible that they've also injured their neck or spine, and you don't want to possibly worsen the injury by moving them," Dr. Ye Mon explains.

If none of the above signs are happening and your baby is conscious and crying, go ahead and pick them up.

In a case where no injuries are obvious "you're probably much more upset than the baby is," Dr. Jen Trachtenberg, author of The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids through Check Ups, Illnesses and Accidents, tells Fatherly.

2. Console your baby + get medical advice 

If there are no signs of injury and your baby is crying just pick them up and offer comfort.

If the baby stops crying and is quickly distracted by play or toys they're likely going to be like Marlowe was—just fine. Still, you should keep a close eye on them and don't hesitate to seek medical attention.

According to Diana Spalding, Motherly's Senior Education Editor who is also a midwife and pediatric nurse, it is important to keep a close eye on the child for any concerning signs, even if they seem to be okay immediately after the fall.

Worrisome findings might include:

  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Pain when they move their head
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in their behavior
  • Changes in their sleep pattern

"If parents have any concerns at all, it's never wrong to have them evaluated by a doctor to be on the safer side, especially at that age," says Dr. Ye Mon.

Spalding agrees. She always tells her patients to remember that health care providers exist for this exact reason! "Please don't worry about 'bothering us'—this is our job, she says. "I would so much rather you reach out to a provider because you suspect a problem and find out that all is well, than the opposite. It is okay to trust your gut, when your gut tells you something is up."

If you are having trouble deciding whether to seek medical attention consider the advice of Dr. Bianca Edison, the attending physician at Children's Hospital Los Angeles' Children's Orthopaedic Center.

Edison says the height of the fall matters and suggests seeking medical attention if a child is less than two years of age and sustains a fall more than three feet, or if a child is over two years of age and has sustained a fall more than five feet.

3. Forgive yourself 

Knowing your baby fell because your hand wasn't there is hard, but don't beat yourself up if it happens to you, mama.

The statistics and the experiences of parents like Amurri prove that these things do happen. Guilt trips are not going to help and a fall doesn't make you a bad parent.

As Amurri says, "I think we all have moments where we wish we were paying attention more—that we knew better when we didn't...You just really have to forgive yourself and move forward."


The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

Gracious Gobbler

I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

I'm ready to crank the thankfulness up a few dozen notches and reboot our family's gratitude game so we can usher out 2020 on a fresh note. So, I've called in some reinforcements.

Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

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This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

Stylish storage cabinet

Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

White board calendar + bulletin board

With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

Bamboo storage drawers

The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

Laminated world map

I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.

Letterboard

From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

Expandable tablet stand

Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

Neutral pocket chart

Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

Totable fabric bins

My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

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100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

From Adelia to Ziggy.

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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