Four-month-old baby dies after being left in adult bed at Northampton home

The coroner has overseen numerous inquests recently about similar situations to this and subsequently warned parents about the dangers of sleeping environments for babies

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 2:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:34 pm

A four-month-old baby from Northampton died after being left unattended in an adult bed for between 20 and 25 minutes, an inquest in the town centre heard today (June 30).

The inquest heard how the baby died in the early hours of July 22 last year after its father went for a cigarette and chatted to a friend outside their home in Wellingborough Road.

The father said in a statement read out at the inquest: "On Tuesday, July 21 it was a normal day, he was asleep in his cot and then he woke up.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The inquest was held at Sessions House in the town centre today (Wednesday, June 30)
The inquest was held at Sessions House in the town centre today (Wednesday, June 30)

"I picked him up to make him stop crying. I took him from his cot and onto my bed.

"I thought he was asleep so I went out to smoke. I opened the window a little so I knew if he was crying.

"Every once in a while I would check he was not crying. I was outside for about 20 to 25 minutes. When I went back I saw his eyes were open so I went to pick him up but he was not responding."

An ambulance was called and the baby was then taken to Northampton General Hospital at around 1.40am. He was pronounced dead a short while later.

The doctor who performed the post-mortem was unable to find a specific cause of death, which is frequently the case with deaths such as this due to medical science not being advanced enough, the coroner has previously said.

Coroner, Anne Pember, said at the inquest: "I know it's hugely unsatisfactory for you as a father, not only has your baby died, but after months and months of tests they were unable to find a cause."

Ms Pember recorded an open conclusion.

The coroner has overseen numerous inquests similar to this one this year and has previously warned parents about the dangers of young babies' sleeping environments.

Ms Pember said at a previous inquest: "I have seen several inquests in recent weeks where young babies have died in relation to co-sleeping.

"Parents with young babies should be aware that co-sleeping is not a safe environment for them.

"I would want the public to know about the very real dangers of carrying babies to bed in this way."