Mom Who Forgot Baby in Hot Car Has Understandable Excuse for Tragedy

Heartbreaking 410

baby on boardNo mom ever thinks she will be the one who leaves her baby in a hot car all day. But we have another sad and tragic story today out of Nashville, Tennessee, where a 5-month-old baby boy died in the back of his mom's minivan. It will break your heart, Moms and Dads, but keep reading. There's a lesson in here that could save your baby's life.

Police say Stephanie Gray arrived at her son's daycare on Tuesday afternoon to pick him up. Only little Joel wasn't there because he'd never been dropped off.

According to the cops, it appears the boy spent the entire day in the back of his mom's minivan. The baby's death has been described as "heat related."

But get this. Tuesday would have been baby Joel's SECOND day at daycare. You know what that means? This was not a routine for this mom of four. What was probably routine was taking her three older kids to school -- which she did on Tuesday before driving home, seemingly forgetting little Joel in the backseat and never making it to the daycare.

When you're a mom, especially mom of a baby, routines are everything. They keep us functioning when we've had so little sleep we can barely stand up. The little stuff (ahem, showering, washing the dishes), might not get done, but as long as you've got a routine down for the big stuff, your body can function on a sort of auto-pilot.

But when the routine is changed, big things can happen, disastrous things. Just look at what happened for Stephanie Gray. The cops say she was rushed to the hospital after the discovery of her son's body. It doesn't sound like she was some uncaring idiot. It sounds like she genuinely forgot. And I'm going to wager it's because the daycare drop wasn't routine yet; her body couldn't guide her to get it done.

It's a tragic mistake. But you're kidding yourself if you think it could NEVER happen to you. Routines change. We forget things. Whether it's a baby in a hot car or turning the coffee pot off, it's human.

Moms! Dads! If your routine is going to change, please be hyper vigilant with your kids. It could save their lives!

Have you had a routine change in your busy parenting life? What has fallen through the cracks?


Image via jurvetson/Flickr

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abbie... abbie.alder

That is tragic. But how did she not notice her child in the backseat? Was she in too big of a hurry? What made her never think about where he was?

Taisie Taisie

No, I'm sorry, your babies location is not something "falling through the cracks" ever... routine or not...

nonmember avatar Cass

Oh please- if this was a dad's mistake, you'd all be crucifying him. There is no excuse for losing your baby for that long. A child is not a purse that occasionally gets misplaced. If this woman had realized her mistake an hour later, then I'd be more willing to write it off as a horrible mistake. This is negligence, plain and simple. She had experience, not only with her other kids, but with this poor baby. I'm sorry for her loss, but it's not the least bit excusable.

nonmember avatar Nicole

Okay what doesn't add up here is that she just went back home. And spent all day at home. Without her baby. She wasn't at an office where babies usually are not. She was at home, where her baby is usually with her. Why was the baby in daycare if she doesn't work? It doesn't make sense. I could understand um, the "excuse" as you call it, if she was a busy career woman but she's not. And having to juggle three kids going to school in the morning doesn't count as a hard days' work...

Zyva Zyva

I was going to say the same thing that Taisie did... Sorry, your child is not something falling through the cracks.. 

Venae Venae

And one more thing.....she went into her driveway, got into the van w/her dead baby, drove to the day care and asked where her son was.  Really, lady?!?!?!

Shelia Ruth Vanecek

God bless her, I can not imagine the absolutely unbelievably pain, grief, sadness.......I hope people will not judge, we are not in her shoes living her life. It is a horrific tragedy, I pray for all involved.

banan... banana-bear

NO excuse. Ever.

I *always* check my back seats - even if my kids aren't with me. Now that's a habit to learn, keep and use.

nonmember avatar Erica

Not an excuse. There is no excuse for forgetting your child not ever.

mamma... mamma1993

39 years ago I used to put my new born in bed with me to sleep.What does this have to do with what happen to that baby in the mini-van?Only that for the grace of god go I.Who am I to say she could not have made a mistake?Everybody at sometime or another make a gut wrenching mistake.My stomach still turns every time a baby is found dead while sharing a bed.I will not judge.

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