We’ve all been there. The baby is on the changing table, diaper wide open and full of something that could make your eyes, nose and throat bleed just from being in the same room, when you realize that the ONE thing you desperately need in this moment—baby wipes—are nowhere to be found. What do you do?
That blowout of a diaper is not about to touch your floor and make a bigger mess, and you know that there is a full package of wipes in the bathroom—just 12 steps away. If you run fast, it’s really only like, four steps. You distract the baby with absolutely anything you can get your hands on, and—in your sprinting pursuit to the bathroom and back—seriously question why mommy-races aren’t an Olympic event.
It may be scary to admit, but there are some cases where every parent has done it for a “just a quick second.” Nobody intentionally leaves their child on a changing table. It sits higher than any piece of furniture your infant will ever come in contact with, and the chance of them falling off is horrifying. But for that split second post-blowout, it happens on rare occasion.
Parents Laci Lynn Taylor and Don Taylor lost their 3-month-old baby girl in September to a changing table accident. The sudden death of baby RemmeLyn still gives the couple nightmares.
According to the Des Moines Register, Laci had left her sleeping daughter on the changing table while she left to warm up a bottle. Granted, warming a bottle isn’t quite the same as racing to the next room and back, but RemmeLyn was asleep, so Laci wasn’t as nervous about her wiggling off.
In the short time that Laci was apart from her daughter, the infant rolled over into a position that cut off her air supply, and ultimately killed her.
Earlier this week, police charged Laci with child endangerment, a Class B felony.
Sargent Paul Parizek says it’s clear that the mother had no intention of killing her child, but the fact that she left her daughter alone for an extended period of time is what makes it criminal. He says that her actions serve as evidence of “significant failure in parenting,” which ultimately could have prevented RemmeLyn’s death.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, sleep-related deaths are one of the most common causes for infant mortality. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that more than 3,500 babies in the U.S. die each year as a result of unsafe sleeping environments.
The AAP advises parents to always place infants in a crib with a firm and approved mattress. Babies can sleep in the parents’ room for up to a year, but never sleep with the infant in the parents’ bed. They also say less is more—meaning, all the baby needs is a fitted bed sheet that covers the mattress. Soft items like pillows, blankets, plush toys or crib liners can be dangerous to a sleeping infant.
Laci is currently being held in prison for leaving her child unattended as she slept on a changing table. Her bail is set at $100,000.
“Idk how I’m gonna make it thru the days without her,” Laci Taylor wrote Sept. 29 on Facebook, less than two weeks after RemmeLyn’s death. “She is always in my heart, mind and in every thought that I have day in and day out. I go to sleep and her smile is the last thing that I see. I wake up in the morning feeling guilty that I had slept at all with her face and cry in my head.”
“I have no ounce in my body that blames my wife at all,” said Taylor’s husband, Don. “She was actually getting my daughter a bottle, and that’s what happened, and that’s why she wasn’t in the room at that point.”
The baby was left unattended for about 15 minutes, according to Sgt. Paul Parizek, a spokesperson for the Des Moines police.
Our hearts break for the couple’s loss, and we pray that RemmeLyn’s tragic story may serve as a caution to other moms who often make this same mistake.