This Mom Is Warning Other Parents After Her Toddler Was Smothered to Death by a Teddy Bear

toddler smothered by teddy bear
Connie Rose Awareness/Facebook

As parents, we're constantly on the lookout for things that might pose a serious risk to our kids. The obvious things like electrical sockets and knives are easy to spot, but there are tons of things our kids see, touch, and play with every day that most of us don't view as risky at all. After her baby girl was smothered to death by a teddy bear, one mom is speaking out to warn other parents that one of the things we think of as the most innocent could prove to be the most dangerous. 

  • On March 6, mom Dexy Leigh Walsh woke up to find her 18-month-old daughter, Connie Rose, unresponsive in her bed.

    "I got up to get my oldest ready for school, and I went over to get Connie and she was under a big teddy [bear]," the Scottish mom told BBC. Walsh said that when she couldn't wake her baby girl up, she called out to her partner, Murray, in a panic. "I put Connie on the floor and started CPR. Murray took over and he tried. My sister was on the phone to the ambulance people, explaining what to do."

    Once emergency responders arrived, it only took them two minutes to realize that little Connie Rose was dead. "I just ran back into the bedroom and grabbed her and cuddled her. They let me cosy her for a good half an hour and I kept hugging her, still hoping she would open her eyes, or grab me or something," Walsh said. 

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  • In a Facebook post, the mom later revealed that Connie Rose died due to suffocation in her sleep.

    "I have been blaming myself as she passed away due to suffocation..." she wrote. Walsh was hoping to stop Connie Rose from falling down between her mattress and the wall and hitting her head while she slept, so she stuffed a bunch of stuffed animals on the side of the little girl's bed to fill the gap. 

    While the 18-month-old didn't hit her head on the wall, one of her teddy bears fell on top of her and smothered her while she slept. "... [A]ll I think about now is what if I just left it empty, she would still be here maybe with just a small bump on her head," the mom wrote, sharing her heartbreaking regret. Later in the post, she referred to her decision as "my biggest regret in life." 

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  • Walsh is clearly still struggling to come to grips with her daughter's death, but she wants to raise awareness for other parents.

    Walsh says that parents should avoid filling their kids' beds with toys and teddy bears at all costs. "I want every parent to see and be aware of this," she wrote on Facebook. "Let them fall, don't try to stuff small places up with soft things, just leave it empty." 

    "Please move everything off your kids' bed and away from the sides," the devastated mom pleaded. She even suggested that kids shouldn't have anything on their beds at night but a blanket, "even a pillow isn't needed." 

  • "I really hope my little princess's tragic story can save someone else's baby's life," Walsh wrote.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics seems to agree with Walsh wholeheartedly about keeping stuffed animals out of kids' beds at night. Their 2016 Safe Sleep Recommendations said that parents can reduce the risk of SIDS avoiding soft bedding like crib bumpers, pillows, blankets, and soft toys. Obviously, SIDS advice is most important for babies under 12 months old, but the death of 18-month-old Connie Rose shows that these recommendations have merit for older kids too.  

    Walsh told BBC that her one-woman campaign to raise awareness of this issue has been going really well. "When I see all these messages that people are moving things from kids' beds, it really means something to me and I am so thankful for them reading my messages," she said. 

health & safety death baby sleep