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6 month old nearly drowned in the bath

(140 Posts)
Anxiety44 Wed 30-Sep-20 22:42:33

This happened recently and my partner and I feel horrible. I was cooking dinner and making tea, she was watching the kids in the bath (6months and 2yrs). Wife then walks into the kitchen (which is next to the bathroom in our flat) and asks about the tea or something, I can't remember. I look up shocked because why isn't she in the bathroom? I mumble something like "needs milk" or whatever and half run to the bathroom whilst she goes in the fridge to get the milk. I'm still holding utensils at this point. I get to the bathroom and our 6 month old is submerged on her back and kicking eyes open, 2yr old is just playing. In a second I scream and snatch her from the water, she splutters a bit and cries, wife comes running in, I feel like I'm about to pass out so shove the baby at her and swaddle her in a towel. Daughter seems totally fine. This whole thing lasted only 10 seconds from my partner coming in the kitchen to me running in and grabbing our baby from the bath. We rang 111, went to A and E, got checked, all fine, we were worried about delayed drowning. Thank god though our baby is fine.
But now we both feel like crap I can't even explain. I thought I was scared when it happened but it seems as though the fear has gotten worse. I keep seeing her face underwater and thinking "what if". My wife is devastated, she was in floods of tears, then silent, then angry, then tearful again. She feels like the worst mother in the world. I feel like a horrible parent too. I've said to her she is not a horrible mother but that we sometimes make very bad decisions and I do mean that. But the feeling is stuck with us. I just cannot shake it and I know this failure is eating her up inside and she is torturing herself. I just don't know what to do to move past this and reassure her and ourselves. This has been the worst few days of our lives and I just don't know what to do. Our confidence as parents is destroyed. Her faith in herself as a mother is in shreds. We haven't told anyone else about this because we are ashamed. We now live under a cloud of dread I can't explain it any other way. Constant anxiety and worry and questioning ourselves all the time. How could this happen, how could we be so lax, how could we allow this, I dont know what to do. This is the only place I thought to ask this as I've had good support from here in the past when our kids were born and we were getting no sleep for weeks with cluster feeds. Also writing it out helped my realise how I feel a bit. Thanks if you read the whole thing.

OP’s posts: |
m00rfarm Wed 30-Sep-20 22:46:48

She left a six month old in the bath on their own. She should feel terrible. You don’t do that. Ever.

jakeyboy1 Wed 30-Sep-20 22:47:57

I think most of us have something like this that "what if" moment. It's awful but focus on the positive, she's fine.
Our "what if" was when we both thought the other one had the buggy and we left her outside a church hall fete 🤦🏻‍♀️

bloodywhitecat Wed 30-Sep-20 22:48:21

The terrible feelings will ease with time, you were lucky. Maybe your story will save a life. flowers

TownHallDesigner Wed 30-Sep-20 22:49:17

Very glad your little girl is ok.

Looking back, what reason does your wife give for leaving the baby unattended in the bath?

SisyphusAndTheRockOfUntidiness Wed 30-Sep-20 22:49:42

That's very constructive, @m00rfarm. I'm sure that's of great comfort to the OP. hmm

indemMUND Wed 30-Sep-20 22:51:21

You don't ever leave children in the bath unsupervised. Ever. There is no reason. 6 month old? Never mind the two year old... You were very, very lucky. With the level of shock neither of you are likely to let this happen ever again. I've come across several posts similar in the past.

EskSmith Wed 30-Sep-20 22:51:34

How is your wife generally? Mentally? As from your reaction leaving a baby (and tbh a 2 year old) in the bath is a complete no no. I'd be looking (gently) for this explanation.

DaughterX Wed 30-Sep-20 22:51:47

That was an incredibly dangerous thing to do as you have now seen. At least you won't do it again. I've heard stories about how even being in the same room as a baby in the bath, but turning away to talk on the phone, nearly ended in the baby drowning - it's absolutely essential to watch them all the time.

No wonder you feel awful, it must've been absolutely terrifying. I remember as a first time mum I accidentally tipped my baby over in the pushchair on an uneven pavement - took him to the doctors, obviously he was totally fine as had been strapped in, but I remember the distress I felt.

You obviously need to move on from it - you won't do it again, so that is the key thing that has changed, and that needs to be enough.

Divebar Wed 30-Sep-20 22:52:04

Errrr well we all make mistakes and that was a big one. I’m not quite sure what you want to hear - I dare say it won’t happen again and clearly everything has worked out ok. We all have times when we take our eye off the ball and miss major disaster by pure fluke. To be honest I don’t really see what you did wrong so I’m not sure why you’re feeling guilty ... you weren’t on bathing duties. Perhaps the two of you should invest in a paediatric first aid course so you have some confidence about anything else that might come along. ( preferably no more half drownings)

indemMUND Wed 30-Sep-20 22:53:36

I actually agree with @m00rfarm. It can't be taken lightly and from what OP has written it hasn't been.

CaptainInsensible Wed 30-Sep-20 22:53:42

Thank god your baby is ok. All you can both do is vow never to leave either your baby, or your 2 year old in the bath again. Did your wife just not realise it was dangerous, or was it a case of she didn’t know how quickly something like that could happen? You need to think about why she did that and if she needs any “training” about child safety/parenting maybe?
The main thing is both your children survived this though.

CaptainInsensible Wed 30-Sep-20 22:57:44

The “training” in inverted commas probably sounds a bit weird/sinister! What I actually meant was a parenting course. I was thinking about it from a work POV, as in ‘a training need has been identified’ which it sounds like it has been

SisyphusAndTheRockOfUntidiness Wed 30-Sep-20 22:58:27

I agree with what you've said @indemMUND - but the OP is already blaming themself & aware they need to make changes. I really don't see the point in people putting the boot in.

saraclara Wed 30-Sep-20 23:01:28

Sorry, but you both need to calm down. You both being in this sort of state is not good for your children.

yes, it was terrifying for you, but she's fine and I'm sorry but you both need to get a grip now. It's done and you're both going to be more careful now.

Every single parent has had a near miss or two. I remember mine in shocking clarity. But being in the state you're both in shouldn't last more than a couple of hours. Yes you'll remember it decades later, but only as a brief shudder.

It's almost as if you're both winding each other up into a huge drama. And it isn't doing your children any good at all.

liverpool1981 Wed 30-Sep-20 23:02:49

This makes me so sad reading this
You sound like a lovely caring parent and so does your wife. She had a lapse of concentration it happens everyday in every job. You both have to move forward. Parenting is a very very tiresome job I had a lapse of concentration whilst minding my nephew in a play park once he was two and I wasn't paying attention and he toddled in front of a teenager on a swing and got knocked down I will never ever get over the fear. I thought he was dead and all I could think of was I am going to jail, he was fine thank goodness. I am sure your family is the best little family ever. I think it's just pure shock and horror it will leave you both soon and you can enjoy parenting again x Good luck

TenShortStories Wed 30-Sep-20 23:04:44

I think we all have our moments of off the ball near misses whilst parenting. It may not be the bath, as most have the dangers of drowning drummed into them, but there'll be something. None of us our perfect parents.

Take a while to assess whether your (as a couple) risk assessments are generally about right, or if you need to tighten up on being vigilant in other areas too. No point torturing yourselves. You're cut up because you care so deeply about your children - channel that into improving things and not wallowing.

The shock of that moment of watching something dreadful happen to your child does fade over time flowers

TerryChoc Wed 30-Sep-20 23:06:37

As scary as the initial story is, it’s abundantly clear that it was a sheer lapse in thought from your wife and will be something that obviously never be repeated again. It’s not ideal in the slightest but I’m sure all parents will have some event where they have done something without thinking which could have caused catastrophic consequences. Luckily in your case baby is safe and well and lessons learnt!
Take it easy on yourselves if you can going forward.

Bol87 Wed 30-Sep-20 23:10:19

Was your 6 month old in a seat or anything?! I’ve got a 6 month old & she uses a sit up bath seat (like in the photo attached) that would make it pretty much impossible to drown in. The water comes up to her belly button at most and unless she climbed outta the seat, there’s nowhere for her to go! She’s slid down a bit when tired but there’s no room for her to go very far!

An awful thing to happen to you but what’s done is done. You can’t go back. You can only go forwards with thankfully no harm done. Learn from your mistakes but don’t dwell on the ‘what ifs’. You had a lucky escape. Allow it to encourage you to enjoy as much as you can of each day & remember that the horrible things can happen to anyone, anytime. Don’t think it won’t be you. So try not to take the chance next time.

Bernardstolemywatch Wed 30-Sep-20 23:12:46

I’m failing to understand why this happened. why did she leave the children alone in the bath?

jakeyboy1 Wed 30-Sep-20 23:13:25

@Bol87 I always used seats like that but I know they are now out of favour because they can tip so do still be very careful (I'm sure you are this isn't meant to sound patronising.)

AllTheUserNamesAreTaken Wed 30-Sep-20 23:17:39

That feeling of utter dread at ‘what if’ will fade with time. It’s absolutely awful until it does though.

I have two of those moments, one would be too outing to share as it’s very unusual but the other was when I turned my back on DS when not all that far from the open park gates. There’s no safety barrier or anything before straight on to a busy road.

He ran and was quick, I chased him which he thought was fun. I screamed as I was rubbing as didn’t know if I was going to get to him in time. I reached him just before the road.

Still makes me shudder when I think of it four years later

Try not to dwell on it. We all make mistakes including dangerous ones at some point flowers

Dontstepinthecowpat Wed 30-Sep-20 23:18:29

Everyone has been very kind and I know accidents can happen but honestly with a lapse of concentration like this I wouldn’t leave her alone with the DC again, no one leaves a 6 month old in the baby, surely you would have to walk out and leave them lying down as very few can safely sit up at 6 months?

Strawberrypancakes Wed 30-Sep-20 23:19:18

As others have said... why on earth would you not supervise children in the bath?? I have a 7 and 9 year old and I still don’t leave them. I can’t imagine what goes through someone’s mind to leave a 6 month old to chat. That’s not okay. (Happy to be flamed.)

Isadora2007 Wed 30-Sep-20 23:25:02

@Bol87 your child would be very quickly submerged and drown if the front suction pads went loose due to mould. Please never assume anything makes it “pretty much impossible to drown” as that’s when people get complacent around water.

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