Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Keeping Your Preemie Safe

Bryce Falls“Be Careful, Baby”

The three little words that come out of my mouth at least a million times a day.

But when your almost four year old doesn’t yet walk – and still struggles mightily with motor planning – falls, bumps and bruises are an all too often occurrence.

In the last two months Bryce has fallen walking with his walker and split his chin open – luckily we were walking into the doctor’s office where they put in 7 stitches.

Then he tumbled head first off the couch onto our wood floors – despite being repeatedly told not to stand on the furniture.  Which though he doesn’t talk, I know for a fact he does understand.

That same day he rubbed a hundred tiny splinters into his right arm while playing in the garden but never complained that anything was wrong because his sensation on his right side is greatly diminished.

Last week he fell off of our bed while trying to get to my phone, cutting his ear on my nightstand, because his CVI skews his depth perception, he lacks good core strength and balance and did I mention he struggles with motor planning.

Yesterday during breakfast he pushed his chair over backwards, which he does anytime he has bored of that particular meal, despite my pleading with him not to.  His chair and head hit the buffet behind the table, leaving a nasty bump and small scrape.

I shake as I type this, recalling each event vividly.  It’s not as if all parents, whether of typical kids or special needs kids, don’t deal with the bumps and bruises of toddler-dom.  But when your time as a mother began with a trauma that lasted 150 days with little relief, you’re gut reaction is often to relive that trauma.  I’ve worked hard to confront and deal with the PTSD that lingered after Bryce’s birth but sometimes it just sneaks right back in.

The feeling of having absolutely no power over a situation, of panic at the possible outcomes, of anger and frustration, overwhelming fear and anxiety – no matter how long it’s been or how well things are going, it’s always right there.

I’m lucky though.  I have real friends who truly understand, a supportive family and a doctor who knows our story well enough to know when I need to buck up and when I need some help.

But the real question is, do I forgo his independence in the name of keeping him safe?  After all, ultimately my job as his mother is to just keep him safe.

Or do I continue letting him learn to sit in a regular chair at the dinner table, climb up onto the couch and explore the garden, where he may hurt himself again but also may learn and grow from his experiences?

What do you think?

Katrina Moline About Katrina Moline

Katrina A. Moline (TX) is a special needs mom to her micropreemie, Bryce. He was born at 24 weeks at home, where she and her husband gave him CPR until medical responders arrived. He spent 150 days in the NICU at Dell Children's in Austin, TX. Bryce has hydrocephalus with a VP shunt, is legally blind with glasses, has mild cerebral palsy and severe, global developmental delays. In July of 2012 she gave birth to her second child only one day shy of 37 weeks and with no complications. She posts regularly on her personal blog about life with a micropreemie, her struggles, accomplishments and family.


  1. Have you considered bubble wrap?

  2. jennifer collins says:

    My son was a 25 weeker. He is now 2yrs old. Though he doesn’t have many of the issues your son has, I still am a major “worry wart” because he is still so small (21lbs 31″tall).
    My husband has taught me to just let him be. He is a little boy who needs to explore and get into stuff. He will eventually learn what is ok and whats not. He may get hurt sometimes, but if you keep him in a bubble he will never learn.
    I feel your struggle and all I can think to say is….breathe. The fact that our little guys have the strength to do all those things we worry about, means they have come sooo far and that they can handle anything.
    Good luck to you!

    • Jennifer,

      Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. It is difficult to see him hurt himself over and over again but I do have to let him learn – even if it’s slowly 😉

      Good luck to you guys as well!

  3. jennifer collins says:


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