Heartbreaking story of 4 month old death with peanut butter reference

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 3:23am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

This is just so sad.

The parents didn't check on thier baby for 9 hours after taping a pacifer to his mouth and feeding thier 4 month old peanut butter.


Tape holds in pacifier; infant dies
The infant's mother taped a pacifier to his mouth before a nap and bound him in pajamas to calm him, the parents tell police.
By Jackson Holtz
Herald Writer

LAKE STEVENS - The mother of a 4-month-old boy found dead Monday told police she had taped a pacifier to the baby's mouth before putting the infant down to sleep.
Bonnie Desmond, 19, said she woke up around 11 a.m. Monday and discovered her son, Noah James Petersen, had stopped breathing, according a police affidavit.
On Tuesday, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Mark Roe charged Desmond with first-degree manslaughter. An Everett District Court judge ordered her held on $500,000 bail.
The child's exact cause of death remains under investigation by the Snohomish County medical examiner.
The Lake Stevens woman called 911 about a half-hour after finding Noah unconscious, police said.
Rescue crews arrived but the child appeared blue, a sign he was dead, court documents said.
"The only thing I can think of is I taped the pacifier to keep it from falling out. I didn't know it would hurt him, or I wouldn't have done that," police said Desmond told them.
Using anything to hold a pacifier in place in a child's mouth can be dangerous, pediatricians said.
Desmond and the baby's father, the woman's fiance, 20, cooperated with police, Lake Stevens Police Cmdr. Dan Lorentzen said.
Desmond told police the boy's arrival placed a strain on the couple's finances and relationship, according to court papers.
On Monday morning, the father left for work without checking on the baby because he was "running late," according to the documents.
Police do not plan to arrest the father, Lorentzen said.
A swaddling blanket had been used to calm the infant in the past, the father told police. He referred to the blanket as a "baby strait jacket," court documents said.
On Sunday night, the mother apparently couldn't find a swaddling blanket. Instead, she tied the infant's arms close to his body using pajamas, the father told police.
Desmond told police she had fed the child peanut butter on Sunday. Police found peanut butter and a large soup spoon in the kitchen of the home.
Most pediatricians recommend waiting until a child is about 2 years old before feeding them peanut butter, said Dr. Agnes Wong, of the Children's Clinic of South Snohomish County.
Many children have peanut allergies, she said. They also can choke.
Using tape or any other device to hold a bottle or pacifier in place in a child's mouth is dangerous, said Dr. Carlos Villavicencio, pediatric medical director at Providence Everett Medical Center.
On Monday, police searched the boy's home, a rental apartment in the 2600 block of Lake Drive. They seized baby clothes, adhesive tape and pacifiers, according a search warrant.
Roe said he expected Desmond to return to court today to argue for a reduction in bail.
If convicted as charged, Desmond could be sentenced to between 61/2 and 81/2 years in prison, Roe said.
A child's death is always difficult, and it is especially hard when he is this young, Wong said.
"Any time any child dies it's a tragedy, it's devastating," she said.
Herald writer Jim Haley contributed to this report.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:20am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

I would blame this on being young parents. I wish each state would provide new parents with parenting classes. To become foster parents I had to take a parenting class over a weekend as well as CPR/First aide, get a home inspection, back round check and finger printed...they don't require any of that to become a natural parent, and that is who needs the most education and preparation(IMO). It's sad, I bet she didn't even know not to feed him pb either. Because we are educated on these things, we would know not to attempt that(probably until they are 3 or 4(or older)....it's sad, but if the parents didn't know any better, I feel for them as well.
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)
Foster Mom to
Cody-10 (seasonal/environmental allergies)
Jordan-6 (also seasonal and environmental)
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited June 20, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:22am
SallyL's picture
Joined: 02/20/2006 - 09:00

Disgusting. I hope she spends a long time in jail. Taping the pacifier in?? That alone is horrible. And seriously, don't tell me you don't know not to give your 4 month old peanut butter - even apart from the allergy issue. At that age my DD hadn't had anything but breastmilk.
So horribly sad.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:25am
SallyL's picture
Joined: 02/20/2006 - 09:00

I replied before your post popped up! I agree - education could be a part of it. But I just can't get over the taping the pacifier in. I can't understand how a parent would think this is okay, no matter how uneducated.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:32am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I can see it happening. At 19, I would never had known what I knew by the time I bacame a mother (at 30). I can imagine a teenager, not knowing any more than I did at that age, frustrated at lack of sleep if the baby wakes during the night when losing the pacifier; coming up with the "bright" idea of taping it place so the baby doesn't lose it and wake. I also wouldn't have known when I was 19 not to give a baby PB. Of course, part of the reason I didn't become a parent at that age was that I knew that there was so much that I didn't know. That is why young parents (OK, any parents) should have access to a parenting class.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:47am
Spoedig's picture
Joined: 09/17/2004 - 09:00

I was 35 and 40 when my kids were born BUT I SURE AS @#$% knew not to tape anything in an infant's mouth (or any age human!!) at 19!
****Mom woke up at 11 a.m. Monday*** She taped the pacifier and gave the baby pb on SUNDAY!
Truly disgusting -- and this is one reason I am pro choice -- what a horrid life that baby had.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 5:11am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Maybe someone could tape this mom's mouth closed and see how she fares. Completely disgusting. The dad didn't check on baby b/c he was late for work. The mom waited 30 MINUTES after realizing something was wromg before calling 911.
Something is truly wrong with people. If the baby was not wanted and was straining the lifestyle, how about dropping it at a hospital (no questions asked), putting it for adoption, asking for help. The answer is not to be so NEGLIGENT as to cause harm or death....babies are people, some individuals just don't get this concept.
I hope she sits in jail for a long, long time. I think that even a child would realize taping a mouth shut is dangerous. I'm shuttering thinking about it now. Imagine how that poor baby felt. Even if the PB didn't do him in...imagine breathing through your nose all night...at some point crying with your mouth taped shut, pacifier in your mouth... enough...just utterly disgusting.
Poor baby.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 5:29am
Lindajo's picture
Joined: 10/14/2003 - 09:00

C'mon! Was she trying to silence this child? Giving a 4 month PB and then taping a pacifier to his mouth. Not only did that poor baby choke, he probably suffocated. At 19, she should have known what she was doing. In my opinion, she was just too lazy to care for this child 100%. I don't mean to sound harsh because she is probably grieving, but it just doesn't make any sense. Its like taping that poor baby's mouth shut.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 5:53am
Jen224's picture
Joined: 05/22/2006 - 09:00

Ugh---this is so AWFUL. I just keep shaking my head. Seriously? PB? 4 months old? Come ON--allergy issues aside! I've heard of teenage moms putting chocolate syrup in formula, ice cream for teething, and a bunch of other crazy things, but never PB!
I'd be interested in following this.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 5:53am
Christabelle's picture
Joined: 10/03/2004 - 09:00

Just an extreme example of the deep pity I feel for babies every day - babies of complete idiots, cruel, abusive people, neglectful people, and people who don't want them. Sickening... poor little critters. If only all of the good people didn't just stand by and do nothing.
The Darwin way of nature is one mean, nasty thing.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 6:07am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

I haven't really processed this yet....when I heard about the pb it just struck me so hard and really it's probably not even relevant. I was already so upset by it.
But living in the general area of these people I have to say that we have so many resources and information available to us. They make you take a class at the hospital while you are pregnant, they give you gobs of handouts on feeding, caring, etc, at the hospital they walk you to your car to make sure that you have a proper car seat installed properly, we get mailings at the milestone developments listing where your child might be developmentaly - feeding, caring, safety proofing, etc.
My dh and I joked many times about the "baby police" and wondering when they were going to knock on our door to make sure that our mattress was the proper stiffness and that our laundry detergent was acceptable. Seriously we felt that people were looking over our shoulders all the time - giving us tons of information and advice - it was kind of creepy. But not unappreciated.
But my point is that there is simply no excuse for this - not here. And while I am not 19 and my DH had his AARP card before DS's birth - still the amount of unsolicited information from our state was amazing. I had a little trouble breastfeeding at first and man those lactitions were calling me every day and then every week to make sure that every possible question I had was resolved and they made sure I got DS weighed. And you can get infants weighed for free at breast health centers so you don't need to pay your pediatrician.
I think you would have to be pretty self involved and bullheaded to not know the basics of baby care or where to get help or answers. I think my 3 year old would know better than to tape a pacifier to a baby.
As for the peanut butter. I don't think that the doctors do a good enough job advising parents not to give wheat, eggs, peanut/nut, etc. It seems like some people get that information and some people don't. I am very glad that we waited until ds was three - and there are people in ds's circle of friends who also waited and knew to wait and others who had no idea. Why is that?
I think the father should be prosecuted too.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 7:11am
elmh23's picture
Joined: 05/24/2007 - 09:00

I found out I was pregnant with dd the day before my 21st b-day. I don't buy age as the cause to these parents. People of all ages do stupid things with their kids. Heck my mother-in-law was 40 when she had my sister-in-law and she would leave her home alone starting at age 5, for up to an hour with no one checking in on her (no cell phones back than!)
I just think these people didn't want a kid and didn't know what to do with one. I wonder if the grandparents were involved in their lives?
Erin, mama to Sarah (11/29/04) allergic to peanuts and soy, and to Simon (2/26/07) who has no known allergies

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 7:58am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

I can agree with the above poster as well, some parents do get the proper info and still make stupid decisions. I am paying for the many stupid decisions my SIL made, her 3 kids were removed 5 times for neglect.....and who pays, either the child, with their life...or a relative by opening their home. It's sad, it's heartbreaking. To become a parent there should be a list of things you have to do and prove(like getting a license)...if not, no baby. But we can't control that, never will...and stupid people will continue to have babies.
I hope that doesn't come across the wrong way, just some people shouldn't have kids(and many who can't, should be blessed)
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)
Foster Mom to
Cody-10 (seasonal/environmental allergies)
Jordan-6 (also seasonal and environmental)

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 9:55am
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by elmh23:
[b]I found out I was pregnant with dd the day before my 21st b-day. I don't buy age as the cause to these parents. People of all ages do stupid things with their kids.
Oh, I agree with you on this. I was barely 21 when Jason was born, and it would have never occurred to me to do something that stupid.
I hated that people assumed that I was stupid or had no sense because I was young.
Cheryl, mom to Jason (9 MFA including peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, coconut, sesame, squid)
Joey (7 NKA)
Allison (4 milk allergic, suspect shellfish, avoiding PN/TN for now)
Ryan (1) nka *knock on wood*

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 12:44pm
Jana R's picture
Joined: 02/09/1999 - 09:00

unbelievable. I don't have much sympathy for her and her age. I have a 19 yo boy but I asked my 10 yo dd in a light hearted tone if she thought taping a pacifier to a baby would be a good idea to keep it there and she scoffed and said "of course not!" Yes, I'm sure she was tired. Enough to where she slept from 2AM-11AM - 9 hours??? Who got that kind of sleep with a four month old?
Here is Noah's photo
[url="http://www.komotv.com/news/8060622.html"]http://www.komotv.com/news/8060622.html[/url] along with video of the story.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 2:35pm
MommyMegan's picture
Joined: 12/07/2005 - 09:00

I don't blame the parents AGE for this, I blame the so-called human being for this. I was a "teen" mom, at 18, and I didn't do anything nearly close to this stupid. I always checked on my DD and was terrified to leave her with anyone, I was SO overprotective.
This girl needs to rot in he...well you know.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 10:49pm
momll70's picture
Joined: 09/26/2006 - 09:00

Peanut butter is sticky and babies can choke on it even if they don't have a reaction. This is so sad. And tying up the arms with pajamas, and taping the pacifier. Very sad and heartbreaking.

Posted on: Thu, 06/21/2007 - 8:11am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

This entire incident is ridiculous. Anyone with common sense would know better, regardless of age.
Also, this is where grandparent support and coaching comes in when young parents have their first child.

Posted on: Thu, 06/21/2007 - 8:13am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

This entire incident is ridiculous. Anyone with common sense would know better, regardless of age.
Also, this is where grandparent support and coaching comes in when young parents have their first child.

Posted on: Fri, 06/22/2007 - 4:27am
Edinview's picture
Joined: 08/25/2003 - 09:00

Such a sad story. I feel badly for all involved -including the EMTs that had to come and clean up.
The references to the "baby-straight-jacket" seem like the media was trying to sensationalize the story and make it into an extreme case of child abuse. If what they are describing is swaddling the baby(I think that's what they called it at the hospital) then it doesn't seem like "cruelty". Have you ever seen the newborns wrapped up like little Egyptian cat mummies and placed in their basinets in the hospital? Our nurses in the Special Care nursery taught us how to wrap a baby up properly (fairly snug -alarmingly snug to us first time parents). The purpose was to calm the baby, because they said newborns miss the crowded feeling of the womb. We did notice that swaddling helped our son calm down and sleep and leaving him loose made him agitated. Anyway, I believe that swaddling is common practice that is beneficial to both child and parent.
The other practice of taping a paci to a baby's mouth I've only heard of in Russian orphanages where they are so understaffed that that is the kind of timesaving measure they take.
However, I'm sure that given enough sleep deprivation my judgment would go right out the window and I could come up with something equally bizarre and dangerous, and I thank God that I never got to that point (as it seems this young mother did). But both of us got pretty close to the breaking point many times during the first couple of years.
Tough situation.

Posted on: Fri, 06/22/2007 - 5:49am
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

I am sorry but age is not even a concern to me. She is plenty old enough to know how to take care of a baby. I was 20 and I did just fine and never ever would have done such a stupid thing to my baby. My mom was 17 when she had her first of 4 babies and never treated us in the wrong way. Maybe my parents would have had more money but they gave plenty of love.
My dd is 16 and she wouldn't even think to do that to a baby.
Being a mother is an instinct that we are just naturally born with in most cases and this girl is just plain rotten.
I think she was a selfish rotten mean person. I had a baby that cried and I never thought once of how to fix a pacifier in his mouth so I could ignore his problem.
I am amazed. A 4 month old baby with a spoon full of peanut butter is just horrible. She knew what she was doing in my opinion and needs a long time behind bars.
Think about how frightened that poor helpless little guy was [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] God Bless him

Posted on: Sat, 06/23/2007 - 5:52am
Samber's picture
Joined: 06/22/2006 - 09:00

I guess what bothers me even more is the fact she didn't check on the little baby for 9 hours. 9 hours is quite a while for a 4 month old to sleep without fussing. I don't really get that part of it either. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 06/23/2007 - 1:09pm
AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis's picture
Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

So many people should not have children. They are much too selfish. Very sad!

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