There’ve been a few baby deaths recently relating to leaving infants in their rear-facing car seats in the blazing sun. By what I’ve read about 44 kids a year are left in hot cars by accident, one or two is probably willful murder but the rest are just exhausted parents and brains that can’t function properly.
Having been a parent who was exhausted to hallucination levels, I never did forget that I had Maggie in the car, but I also took some pains to come up with ways when I knew my brain was on hiatus to ensure there was no chance of leaving the kiddo in the car.
The first thing when coming up with a memory device to remember is it’s got to be easy to implement. There are suggestions of leaving your cell phone with the baby, but having to work an extra month to replace a slobber-soaked cell phone won’t go well to keeping you from being totally exhausted and more forgetful in the future.
The device needs to be simple, it needs to be easy to implement, and it needs to not make your life any harder. Anything that makes baby care more difficult will not be done by an exhausted overworked parent, so if you’re thinking of trying to spring a methodology on your significant other, make sure it’s absurdly simple.
If you’re a woman who carries a purse, put the purse in the floor underneath the car seat area with your baby in it, but only when you’ve got your baby in. It’s a lot more difficult to forget an infant when you have to wonder why your purse is back there.
If you wear a belt, after plopping baby in the car seat unbuckle it. You’ll figure out twenty or so steps later that there’s something afoot.
Keep cash, phones, lists that you might need for the store, anything possible in the back seat under baby. When you’re removing baby, you grab your stuff. When you’re putting baby in, you drop your stuff. Just don’t put the items back there when baby is not back there and you should be able to force yourself off of the automatic mode and into “oh, that’s back there because there’s a baby back there”.
Before I was this exhausted on a regular basis, the idea that anyone could forget their child for any reason was totally unfathomable to me. These days being able to pass out with a near-toddler beating on my face, I begin to realize the depths of exhaustion to which one can slump.
If you want to go really technical you could consider getting a Bluetooth tracker that sounds an alarm whenever you’re more than x feet away from baby. I’m not sure how well these work yet so I’m not going to really go out on a limb and endorse them as a solution, but if you had a tracker on the baby you could set your phone to go off if you were more than 30 feet away.
Whatever the method you choose, remember that it above all has to be absurdly easy to implement as if you’re in a situation where you’re exhausted you’re probably not going to implement it correctly, or remember to jump through a series of hoops to set it up.
Baby in back, unbuckle belt or leave purse and stuff back there as well. Seems to work as long as you remember you never reach back for the belongings, you always get them when unloading the baby.
If you’ve got any good tips, share ’em. If you’re not someone who’s been to the level of exhaustion where you could forget a human being, perhaps realize that you’ve not been in the situation of mental system failure brought on by exhaustion and hypnotic-like patterns associated with baby.