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To wonder how its possible for someone to forget about their baby [Warning: distressing news story]

(160 Posts)
foreverondiet Mon 15-Jul-13 21:01:39


3 deaths in 2 weeks in a tiny country. How is it possible to forget about your baby. Btw I don't think any of these were people who just nipped into the shops and left their babies in the car on purpose. But struggling to understand how it's possible to happen by accident?

DespicableYou Mon 15-Jul-13 21:04:34

These stories are always so sad sad

From what I've read of previous cases, it often happens when a parent has the child and they're out of their usual a parent who doesn't normally do the nursery drop off has the child in the car, forgets about them and drives straight to work.

I guess that would explain why it tends to happen to young babies who may well be quiet/asleep and also rearfacing and so easier to 'forget'.

PourquoiPas Mon 15-Jul-13 21:15:20

FWIW I a very intelligent, organised adult and I managed to forget about baby DC2 in the car once. As DespicableYou says, it often happens when you are taking part in a busy routine and your brain ticks off that the task has been done - in my case I left DD in the car when I went to pick DS up from nursery as she had actually stopped screaming (DD has been quiet in the car perhaps twice in her life) so my brain assumed she wasn't in the car as I could hear myself think couldn't hear her.

I realised after 5 minutes, but I can see how it happens. So sad.

gordyslovesheep Mon 15-Jul-13 21:16:48

well are you suggesting it's deliberate? Of course it's possible - poor babies and poor families

wharrgarbl Mon 15-Jul-13 21:19:16

[Warning from MNHQ: article is distressing]

Read [ this]. It won a Pulitzer, and opened my eyes considerably.

zoetstoffen Mon 15-Jul-13 21:19:48

[Warning from MNHQ: article is distressing]

Here is a fantastic piece of writing on this subject that explains exactly how it can happen.

wharrgarbl Mon 15-Jul-13 21:20:02

[Warning from MNHQ: article is distressing]

Crap. Read this.

zoetstoffen Mon 15-Jul-13 21:20:22

[Warning from MNHQ: article is distressing]

Apologies - crossposted with wharrgarbl, it's the same article smile

wharrgarbl Mon 15-Jul-13 21:21:10

Heh, strange coincidence.

DespicableYou Mon 15-Jul-13 21:21:10

Can I just explain that when I said 'forget' I wasn't implying that they it was deliberate (and I realise you weren't directing that to me, gordy, or at least I didn't think you were).

Rather, I meant that like pourquoi says - their brain has already ticked off the task, so they aren't 'forgetting' as such, or that's not what their brain is doing.

Oh, I can't explain it properly, but that's what I meant.

BrianButterfield Mon 15-Jul-13 21:22:42

I've read the article and it has stayed with me; makes you realise how easily it can happen and has certainly made me that little bit more vigilant.

I walk to nursery with ds and sometimes am amazes at how I've zoned out and missed huge chunks of the journey daydreaming or just on autopilot. If I was driving I can't be sure I'd never miss out a step.

phantomnamechanger Mon 15-Jul-13 21:23:59

how utterly sad, those poor families will never recover from these events, not only have they lost a child, but will have to live with their own guilt and the judgement of others

I do find it odd though to have such a cluster, you would think people might be more careful in the wake of a tragedy, it might raise their awareness that these things are possible. like when there is a spate of accidents at level crossings in this country, or kids drowning in family paddling pools, and you think - did they not SEE what happened just last week.

tragic, just tragic.

gordyslovesheep Mon 15-Jul-13 21:25:44

no it wasn't I am just trying to fathom where the middle ground is between 'I don't believe it' and 'not that I am saying it's deliberate' - surely it's one or the other (from the OP)

NinaJade666 Mon 15-Jul-13 21:27:44

I am crying and I don't want to read anymore.

RandomMess Mon 15-Jul-13 21:28:20

I once wondered why I could hear a baby crying in my house. I had completely and utterly forgotten that I had another child#4 in this case!!! Took me minutes for my brain to kick in and remind me that it was my baby crying and I wasn't a sleep deprived mum either.

I often forget to do things that were in the forefront of my mind on the way to work - a 7 minute cycle ride away.

Hmm in fact more than once I forgot to collect a dc from the childminder blush

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 15-Jul-13 21:30:28

I have forgotten about ds2 in the car before. Only for a few minutes but still...I always drop ds2 at my mums at 7.45am then ds1 at breakfast club at 8am, then to work by 8.20am. Always.

One morning ds1 nagged and nagged to go straight to breakfast club for some reason, so we did.
As I pulled into my space in work, ds2 asked me a question and I nearly crashed the car I jumped so high. I had completely forgotten he was there and I was miles away, mentally planning my morning meetings.

Ds2 was 3 years old and had just been unusually quiet since the school drop off...I do wonder though, if he had been a baby that was sound asleep...I don't think it's beyond anyone tbh.

It's a very very sad situation and I feel nothing but pity for the parents in most of the circumstances.


Itsaboatjack Mon 15-Jul-13 21:30:42

I nearly left dd1 on a bus. I was with dd2 in the buggy space, and dd1 (she was 6 or 7 at the time) went and sat down at the back. It was during the school holidays and I wasn't used to her being with me so when we got to our bus stop I nearly got off without her.

Nearly though, I'm not sure I'd actually manage it. Usually when I'm on my own I keep checking, thinking I've left something behind.

Really really sad stories though.

YoniWheretheSunDontShine Mon 15-Jul-13 21:33:15

very possible sadly.

Turniptwirl Mon 15-Jul-13 21:34:55

I expect babies get forgotten sbout in cars more often than we hear about. Most will be quickly remembered and retrieved. Hopefully most of the ones that do get left longer are normally ok but in this hot weather (and at the time of year when parents are rushing between sports days etc) it's more likely to end in tragedy than in a mild spring or autumn.

messybedhead Mon 15-Jul-13 21:39:31

I left my 8 year old DD on a bus in similar circumstances.

I felt so ashamed.

intheshed Mon 15-Jul-13 21:39:40

It's horrendous, but I could see how it could happen, especially with 2nd/3rd/4th children. Twice I have got in the car with the kids, been about to pull away when DD has said 'mummy you forgot to strap me in!' shock It's always if I have been jolted out of the usual routine, once it was when I had put DD in the car then suddenly remembered I needed something from the house, the other time it was when a neighbour had started chatting to me while I was getting the kids in the car.

I imagine there have been more cases recently as it is hotter than usual?

McNewPants2013 Mon 15-Jul-13 21:40:07

Poor families.

Perhaps lessons can be learned from this, and car seat manufactors could come up with a soltion.

These are tragic accidents and i do believe that the parents genuine forgot.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 15-Jul-13 21:40:32

my Mother left me in my pram outside a shop once and walked half way home before it occurred to her she did not have something she set out with!!! smile

SuperiorCat Mon 15-Jul-13 21:46:39

Friend did similar the other week - her DH normally drops off the DCs in the morning, but she took their toddler to drop off at nursery as the DH was staying for the older DCs school assembly.

Only she drove straight to work, only to get the fright of her life when the toddler said "wheee" going over the speed bump in the car park. An hour round trip back to drop her off. If she had been asleep then she could easily have been left all day.

Fluffyemenent Mon 15-Jul-13 21:51:21

What an amazing and chilling article.

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