I read the saddest story on the front page of ajc.com this morning – a 9-month-old baby boy died after a neonatal nurse who was caring for the boy TAPED A PACIFIER TO HIS MOUTH, authorities said. It was his foster mother in South Carolina.
The Associated Press reports : “Investigators say neonatal nurse Angela Dukes was in her first day caring for the boy on Feb. 8. They say she tried to quiet him but the taped pacifier blocked his breathing and he died that day.”
“State Law Enforcement Division spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons says the 30-year-old Dukes of Columbia was charged Wednesday with felony unlawful conduct toward a child.”
“Officials say Dukes is in the Richland County jail awaiting a bond hearing. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney.”
“A woman identifying herself as Dukes’ mother said she didn’t want to talk about the arrest.”
Holy cow! My heart is broken!
I know it can be frustrating and hard when a baby cries a lot, but people don’t tape a pacifier to a baby’s mouth! I bet this baby boy was upset and missing his mother. He needed extra patience, extra care and extra love.
My first baby cried all the time. She was very difficult to settle especially in the first few months. We did A LOT of baby wearing in a sling to help calm her. She didn’t like pacifiers or even her own thumb, but she did like to suck on our fingers a lot. The lactation specialist recommended taking her outside during especially fussy times. I can remember putting her in the sling and walking her outside around the house to calm her down at all kinds of hours. That really worked well. It’s supposed to be the change in temperature, noise and just air in general that calms them. They stop crying to notice their new surroundings. (These Wubbanub Plush Pacifiers at left sold on Baby Dagny help babies put their own pacifiers back in their mouths.)
Michael used to do these crazy up and down movements with her in his arms – kind of like calf lifts or knee bends. She seemed to like them. Michael also used to carry the rocking chair downstairs from our bedroom so we can watch TV together, and I could rock her in the dark.
What are some of your best tips to deal with a baby that cries a lot – maybe colicky, maybe tired, maybe just a sensitive baby? Would you/have you taped a pacifier to a baby? (They do make these super neat pacifiers now that I used with Lilina. A stuffed animal is sewn securely to a pacifier so even relatively young babies can get their own passies back in their mouths. Don’t try to make your own! They need to be very secure to be safe!)