Until a few days ago, I didn't know Forgotten Baby Syndrome existed. It never crossed my mind that there might actually be a term all of its own for when a baby is left behind.
FBS, as it's otherwise know, is the medical expression for how a parent is able to walk away from their car without realizing they have left their baby behind.
While parents have left their kids in a whole manner of places - the grocery store, hotel lobbies, in their crib at home - the stories of which we hear most are of children left alone in cars. Every year in the US nearly 40 families have an experience with FBS. In most cases, their babies lose their lives.
A number of studies have proved that, as a result of our hectic lifestyles, we're becoming more forgetful. Researchers have gone so far as to label our forgetfulness as 'busy life syndrome.' Nowadays, if you haven't forgotten your baby at least once, you're one of the fortunate ones.
What's so terribly sad is that the great majority of Moms who do forget their children do it momentarily, and are, in actual fact, excellent caregivers.
There are instances however, where mom isn't blameless. Instances where the baby was, as inconceivable as this may be, left behind on purpose.
Here are fifteen eye-opening tales of moms who left babies behind. While a number are clearly innocent cases, there's a handful of incidents where the Mom acted so recklessly its unjustifiable.
15 The Baby Forgotten In A Shopping Cart
Cherish Peterson from Arizona, USA was hurtling around a Fry's grocery store, purchasing candy for her nephew's birthday. In the hecticness of everything, she drove away, forgetting one of her four children - two month old Huxton.
Two hairstylists were alerted by a customer who told them that there was a baby - still strapped into his car seat - in a shopping cart outside their salon. The police were called, and the mom and her other children were found in a nearby store. Baby and mom were soon reunited.
Cherish told the cops that she forgot to put Huxton in the car. Apparently 40 minutes passed before her three year old asked where the baby was.
The cops didn't charge the 27 year old mother, as the state of Arizona has a forgiving motto standing behind it 'no harm, no foul.'
14 The Baby Forgotten In A Park
When you go out for a bar crawl, you should not bring the baby along. Period. It really is just common sense. While you're heavily under the influence of alcohol, your capabilities of looking after your baby rapidly dwindle. If Mom can't find a sitter, then the responsible decision is just cancel the night's plans and stay home with the baby.
Sadly, Julie Gil a mom from Blackpool, UK didn't stop to consider this before she went on an all-night bar crawl with one of her friends, baby in tow. Julie ended up going home alone, leaving her baby in a deserted park for 8 hours. The child, which was less than a year old, was discovered in its upturned stroller in the morning by a dog walker.
The 43 year old mother admitted to child neglect and ill treatment and the child was removed from her care.
13 The Baby Who Didn't Make It To Daycare
Stress, multitasking, sleep deprivation - all of these factors can lead to parents making fatal mistakes. An upsetting example is the case of Jodie Kennemer.
The young working Mom from Texas, USA thought that she had dropped her son Jack off at daycare and so went to work. When she returned to pick him up later on in the day, she realised that she had never dropped him off in the first place.
She found her son where she'd left him in the morning - strapped in his car seat in the back of the car. Sadly, due to heat exposure the little boy was pronounced dead at the scene. Jodie had driven thirty miles from her work to the daycare, unaware that her son's body was in the back the entire time. Safety regulations require the car seat to be rear-facing for the baby's first year of life; maybe this contributed to Mom not realising that she wasn't alone in the car.
12 The Baby Left In A Walmart Parking Lot
One mother's hysterical reaction to discovering she'd left her 1 year old child in a hot car for almost an hour was caught on film and has received nearly 700,000 views on YouTube.
Many viewers of the video commented that her reaction to the news was unconvincing and entirely fake. The mom was caught red handed after leaving her child outside a Wal-Mart supermarket, so put on the waterworks. If she had really forgotten, surely she would have left the shopping cart behind and sprinted to see if her baby was ok.
The 38 year old mom was arrested following the ordeal. The child endured internal temperatures of 120 to 138 degrees and was taken to hospital for treatment, and later released into the custody of its father. If Moms feel that they can't take the pressure of motherhood anymore, it's best to make this clear to someone who can help before taking such desperate measures.
11 The Baby Forgotten In The Bath
We all get distracted from time to time - but there are certain moments when Mom has to block or postpone everything else when it comes to ensuring her baby's safety. Going out of the bathroom while your baby is in the bath, even for just a moment, can result in disaster. Babies can drown quickly and without so much as a sound.
One 24 year old mother from Oxfordshire, UK left her 14 month baby daughter alone in the tub. What's sad and frustrating is that hours previously the same Mom had been told by social workers not to leave children alone in the bath.
Apparently the Mom had become distracted by something, and started to do the washing up while the baby was alone in the tub. She took her baby to a nearby doctor's surgery, but it was already too late. The Mom had drunk a whole bottle of cider before putting her baby in the bath.
10 The Baby Who Was Left In A Car For 7 Hours
Jodie Edwards, a professor and counselor from Cincinnati, USA was starting a new term at a private university, her 3 year old son was starting pre-school and her baby, Jenna, was going to a babysitter located near her office from Monday through to Friday.
After dropping her son off at pre-school, Jodie started the drive to the babysitter's, looking in her child-safety mirror she could see that Jenna was falling asleep.
Jodie visualized arriving at the babysitter's, getting out of the car, taking Jenna out of her baby seat and into the babysitter's place without waking her up. However, instead of driving past her work and continuing to the babysitter's, Jodie pulled in at her office parking lot and went into work. Temperatures reached 92F during the day, and when Jodie came back to the car seven hours later, little Jenna was dead.
9 The Baby Forgotten While Mom Shopped
Tatiana Deleao, a 31 year old Mom from New Jersey, USA forgot her toddler in a hot car with all four windows wound up while she shopped for almost an hour. To see an innocent dog roasting inside a hot car is horrible enough, but a child? It's the stuff that nightmares are made of.
The car with the one year old little boy inside was parked directly in the sun, with temperatures reaching 80 degrees. A good Samaritan called 911 and managed to flag down a passing fire truck.
Firemen managed to get inside the car and get the child out, but the toddler was unresponsive and wringing wet with sweat. Tatiana told the police that she forgot her son was in the car. She was taken into police custody, and the baby was rushed to hospital and was able to make a full recovery.
8 The Baby Forgotten In The Car On The Hottest Day Of The Year
Forgetting your baby in the car is a terrible thing but, forgetting your baby in the car on the hottest day of the year ought to be punishable by jail time.
A Mom from Watford, UK left her child in a baking car for forty minutes so that she could go shopping at NEXT. After parking in a disabled bay, the woman locked her car and disappeared into the store. Temperatures outside rose to 85F.
The staff in the store used the tannoy system for 40 minutes in a desperate measure to get the woman to return to her car. Panicked onlookers called the police who arrived at the scene before the Mom did. They managed to get inside the car and rescue the child. It was only when the child was in safe hands that the Mom finally made an appearance.
7 The Baby Left Alone In Car With Engine Running
It's one scene in many a movie - the part where the driver leaves the engine of their car running, then, when they come back, the car has gone. While some movies take a funny perspective on this - robber turns around to realise he just stole a baby - in reality, putting a baby into the equation makes things a hell of a lot more horrible than simply having your wheels stolen.
This 20 year old Mom from Massachusetts, USA clearly didn't think about what could have been when she left her tot strapped into a car seat on the back seat to go into the gas station to buy scratch cards and cigarettes.
Witness Bryan Amaral filmed the scene for three minutes before the Mom emerged. Following police intervention, she was charged with reckless endangerment of a child under the age of 18. Bryan's video went viral, and amassed over 3 million views.
6 The Baby Forgotten In The Hotel Lobby (Allegedly)
Do you remember the time when Kim Kardashian left her hotel in Paris without her 1 year old daughter North? She exited the hotel and made her way to an awaiting car where she looked inside, paused for a moment, then turned on her heels and made her way back into the hotel.
There's a lot of debate over whether she really did 'go to check if the car seat was there,' or if she was so busy making sure she looked flawless for the paparazzi that she forgot to pick up her baby girl.
From what I can see, this is one woman pausing and thinking 'shit, ok, I've forgotten something. What was it, what was it, what...? Ah yeah, the baby! Crap, now I've just got to look all chillaxed and walk back in there like nothing happened.'
5 The Baby Left On The Car Roof
You see stuff left on car roof tops all the time, but mostly it's coffee cups, purses or cell phones. Rarely is it an actual baby.
Catalina Clouser, a 19 year old Mom from Arizona, USA was high on marijuana when she left her five week year old child inside his baby seat on top of her car.
She didn't notice right away, as you'd expect. Oh no. Amazingly, Catalina drove for 12 miles with the baby on the roof before he tumbled off. It was only when she got home that she realised her child was missing. She retraced her steps to find her son, but was arrested by police who had been contacted by a passerby who had found the little boy.
Incredibly, the little boy was found unharmed on an Arizona intersection. Catalina was spared jail, but was sentenced to 16 months supervised probation.
4 The Newborn Baby Left At The Hospital
Being able to leave the hospital after giving birth, and taking your baby home has to be one of the most exciting moments of a new mother's life. Leaving without your child seems inconceivable, doesn't it? Well, not for one new mother.
35 year old Anna Chudy gave birth to a healthy baby boy on a Thursday morning by caesarean section, but the following day was seen leaving the hospital where she gave birth without a word to hospital staff and without her newborn son. Leaving hospital so soon after having a caesarean would have meant Anna was probably in pain and vulnerable to infection.
Anna's disappearance prompted a police search, but she was found safe in the early hours of Sunday morning. No charges were pressed against the new mother because her son's welfare had not been put at risk.
3 The Baby Left Home Alone For A Week
Most mothers shudder at the idea of leaving their baby alone at home for a minute. How one Mom could leave her baby alone for a week is beyond my comprehension.
But that's what one 20 year old Mom from Brecon, Wales did. Every day between Christmas and New Year, she left her baby in her cot while she partied at a friend's flat.
She'd return twice a day, once to give the baby breakfast cereal and again to give her a microwave meal.
Neighbors heard crying and called the police, who arrived to find the house freezing cold, dark and messy, with empty wine bottles and dirty diapers all over the floors.
Despite the Mom's claim to have returned twice a day, when the police found the baby she'd been alone for more than 24 hours.
The Mom admitted neglect and was sentenced to fifteen months in jail.
2 The Baby Left Screaming For Help While His Mom Went Clubbing
I didn't think of things like this happening in real life, then when I encountered it, and the photographic evidence, I found it incredibly difficult to remain composed and not scream at my computer screen.
A toddler was left in hysterics after being abandoned in a locked car in Schaffhausen, Switzerland while his 25 year old mother went clubbing with work colleagues.
The toddler's anguished crying was heard by passersby in the early hours of the morning. Upon discovering that the child had been left alone, they called the police. A mechanic was called to open the car, with the Mom returning to the scene 20 minutes later. She was, apparently, more concerned with the damage done to her car than she was about her traumatized child.
1 The Baby Forgotten While His Mom Shopped For Donuts
Donuts are great and all, but forgetting your baby because of a craving? Madness.
One Mom visited Golden Donut in San Diego with her 5 month old baby and cousin, in the hope of getting her hands on her favourite donut. When she was told that they were out, she headed for another shop with her cousin and without her child, who was left in a car seat on a table.
A customer alerted store employees, saying 'she's left the baby on the table.' While the Mom was hurtling towards Yum Yum Donuts in Spring Valley, the Golden Donut employee contacted 911. It was only when the hungry Mom arrived at her second destination that she realised she was missing her child.
She rushed back to Golden Donut and was reunited with her little one, claiming that she and her cousin were confused about who was watching the baby.