Tragic Baby Death Is Nothing to Be Scared Of

There are certain stories of babies' deaths in swings, in cribs, and in slings that should make us all think and wonder if we should be doing something differently. And then there are some that, while tragic and painful, shouldn't scare us or make us do anything differently.

The death of a 10-month-old in Connecticut is the latter kind. The baby and her babysitter fell asleep on the bed, and the baby somehow became lodged between the mattress and the headboard and died.

It's tragic and unimaginable and, as a parent, I would certainly want to understand why my baby was on a bed instead of in her crib. But the fact is, almost every new mom and dad have the photo of themselves asleep next to their infant. It happens all the time with almost every baby, and even though this death is as tragic as they come, it is, ultimately, a fluke.

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This doesn't mean babies should never be in beds and it doesn't mean caregivers/parents should never nap with their babies.

The sanctimommies will surely be out in force on this one, and I feel for the parents of this baby. They didn't really do anything unusual. Most of us, if not all of us, have done the same. It was just that one time out of a million when something went wrong. It's a time to feel for them, not to say what they did wrong. 

Because this could have easily happened to any parent. But more than that, it still could. Every time you leave the house, you run the risk of your child getting hurt. It's an off-chance, but still a chance, nonetheless. No one is perfect and no one is above this happening to them.

OK, so maybe the next time you fall asleep with your baby on the bed, you will make sure there are no cracks. Good. Then you have learned something. But changing behavior or condemning these parents or these caregivers won't bring the baby back and only makes you look insensitive and scared. We all want to believe this couldn't happen to us. After all, the truth is much, much scarier.

Do you think this is the caregiver's fault?

 

Image via CHRISTOPHER MACSURAK/Flickr

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