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

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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Heather Thornton Wiles

I've noticed that I forget a lot of very important things in the course of a day sometimes when I'm stressed out. Getting to a place and not remembering the trip there, or totally forgetting going into a location during the day. It sometimes happens to sleep deprived, overly stressed people. Maybe she is sending her child to day care for a short time everyday to get it ready to spend an entire day for when she does go back to work.

What happened was a TRAGIC mistake. I feel so sorry for her, as well as for her now dead child. Such a horrible thing to have happened. It's not like she did this on purpose. And its not like she's a total idiot. She just sounds very busy, and very confused when stressed along with forgetful. We should pray for her and her family.

Leslie Leon-Cremeens

Sorry, when my routine changes I may forget to get up on time, or I may forget that I have to do this or take that road---I don't forget my kids.  Ever.  I have 6 kids ages 6-24.  The youngest is Autistic, other have had other issues---so our routine has changed often over the years.  But I never forgot I had a baby in the car.

Melanie Brideau

leaving your child in a car is not a mistake , and no i am not kidding myself b ysaying this will never happen to me , because i am constantly talking to them or checking in the mirror for them, i have a 17 yrs old, a 2 1/2 yrs old, a 9 month old and soon grandma to be, believe me when i say a good parent does not forget a child in the car, i could forget to drop him off  or pick him up , but never leave him there for a whole day, and to say this wasnt part of her routine yet, well that is not an excuse its even worst, when it isnt a routine that is when you are stressed out thinking of implying that routine , driving to daycare everyday ( wich was new to her) should of been  freshly in her mind not the other way around.forgeting to drop him off caus you do it everyday.... 


Stephanie Gaittens Naas

Okay, it may have not been routine to go to the daycare but prior to starting daycare - WHERE was the baby while mom was taking kids to school? Wouldn't the baby have been in the car with her? And wouldn't it have been routine to go home, take the baby out of the car, and go in the house?

nonmember avatar wilma

It don't matter have many childern, u have u don't forget then, ther no reson to ,How can anyone forget a child ..

nonmember avatar Victor

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Brenda Stell Scott

I think it bs How could you forget your child??? I bet they didn't forget their cell phone...

nonmember avatar Tammy

There is absolutely NO excuse for this. Even when I go somewhere WITHOUT my kids, Im constantly 'checking' on them before I remember they arent with me. Im raising my grandchildren now, and its still the same. Even if someone does 'accidently' leave their child in a car, a good parent would realize it before too long. Not 6 or 8 hours, no way.

Wendy Smith Williams

Ok, so she forgot to take him to daycare, she didn't forget he existed, i mean come on even if it wasn't routine for her to take him to day care, it was routine for her to get him out of the car when she got home from taking her others to school...u don't forget u have a child, no matter how tired u are!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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