Hunter Jones was charged earlier this month with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of 2-year-old Matthew Bolinski.
A criminal complaint said Mr Jones called 911 on 27 March to say the child had jumped out of his playpen and hit his head.
The complaint also said Mr Jones was on the phone with a dispatcher for four minutes before he revealed the child wasn’t breathing.
Katherine Bolinski, the little boy’s mother, told local news outlets she feels like she is living in an “ongoing nightmare”.
“I still pretend like he’s sleeping in the other room,” Ms Bolinski told WITI.
“Now it’s just like an ongoing nightmare of waking up and there are moments where I just wish he could be with me still.”
Mr Jones’ wife, an in-home day care provider, told investigators she left the child and others in her husband’s care while she went out to pick up dinner.
An autopsy listed the cause of the child’s death as undetermined, but also said the toddler had 18 contusions on his head and likely died of asphyxia.
“That day I dropped him off, he threw a fit like no other fit and I obviously regret having to do that now because of the outcome, but that’s my last memory of him alive,” Ms Bolinski told the local news outlet.
The mother said she was “confused,” “hurt” and “angry” after her son was found to have multiple injuries to his neck and head.
Mr Jones did not have a defence attorney listed in court records.
Additional reporting by AP