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