My 8 month old is all. over. the place. I'm exhausted. He is not walking yet but he thinks he can run. I imagine this is probably normal for a lot of baby boys his age, but I swear, the days that I work are 100x more restful than my weekends! He likes to climb the stairs, he pulls himself up onto furniture and jumps in place because he wants to haul himself over it, etc. We haven't baby-proofed much, a) because one of us is always with him, and b) any baby-gate or anything like that will likely just give him another thing to try to climb up on, so I'm not sure I see the point. We mainly have hardwoods in the house, which scares me considering how active he is. I spend all day when I'm with him "baby-wrangling", and lately he has started to actually cry when I pull him away or off of stuff because he wants to get to it/climb up on it so badly. Diaper/clothing changes are a huge battle too.
Last night, he was climbing up the stairs and I was right behind him. He went up two steps and then decided to come back down (he will just go back down the way he went up, feet first). He lost his balance, fell to the right and smacked his head into the corner of the moulding of the staircase, where it meets the floor. He was only one step up when he fell so I wasn't hunched down to the ground ready to catch him like I should have been. He screamed for about 1-2 minutes and then settled down because I nursed him right away, but a huge black and blue goose egg appeared between his eyes. He wouldn't let me ice it. Ultimately, he is fine, but I am completely freaked out. He has fallen a few times now where he has ultimately banged his head- two times were falls off of our bed. I just don't know how many more of these head-hitting accidents he (or I) can take. He has never had anything more than a little redness, if anything, but this goose egg really scared me, not to mention the mommy guilt I'm feeling.
He is small for his age but is very strong, which is even scarier because it just makes him appear too little for all of the things he is attempting to do. Any words of advice as to how I can better handle this? I don't take my eyes off of him, yet he still gets hurt. I want to let him explore, develop his motor skills, etc. but I am so worried about a head injury, etc.
i feel your pain and we're only at 6 months! but my little one is determined to be on the move...he's pulling up to standing and has had many head bumps (from sitting and standing). we're on hardwood floors too and at first i covered with a blanket but now that he's on the move, i obviously can't cover the whole house. i try to do as much common sense things as possible i.e. put away the unstable chairs, put up foam on the edge of the very sharp brick fireplace...but even when i'm right there he's taken a few knocks. as you said it goes very fast when it happens and my instincts don't catch him quite in time.
i'd just focus on keeping the place as baby-friendly as possible that way you have to take away as little as possible and wrangle as little as possible...but basically i think it's his job right now to climb everything! :) hugs mama. it's hard to watch for me too!
Baby proof. Even if it's just one room. Put up good gates and remove anything that you have to repeatedly say "no" about and your life will get soo much easier. My daughter is into/onto/over everything and I've noticed that my stress level is MUCH lower when we're in a well baby proofed room vs a not-so-baby-proofed room. A properly installed permanent gate (or even a properly used pressure mounted gate on a non-stair area) is really, really sturdy. My daughter pulls herself up on ours and shakes the bars all the time, but there's no way she's getting past it. My other daughter was less adventurous and the baby gates were less of a necessity but we still had them and she couldn't outsmart them until she was also old enough to have SOME impulse control/caution (20 months IIRC). Removing non baby safe objects/furniture, eliminating window blind cords, putting physical barriers in front of cords, and installing the more "permanent" outlet covers are all also helpful things too. It's not soo much a safety thing as a sanity saving thing... I can read a book or play a game with my 3 year old while the baby cruises around our living room it's so baby proofed at this point.
Baby proofing imo is all about setting things up to work for your individual dc. Ds started going up the stairs shortly after crawling. He would go up the stairs hundreds of times of day. When I put a gate at the bottom of the stairs it made life much less stressful (oddly, I never needed to put gates at the top).
As for the bumps - you get less concerned about them as they become more frequent. Awful, but true. You just start to know what is a normal amount of bumps & bruises & falls & become less fraught with each one.
Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).
Just wanted to second what a PP mentioned about SAFE gate placement. DD attempted to scale a pressure mounted gate at 9 months, wrenched it out of the doorway on top of herself, and knocked out her two bottom teeth. If your LO is super active, he will DEFINITELY try to climb a gate, so get something permanent, tall, and without a lattice that he could stick his toes in to climb.