Dexy Leigh Walsh thought she was preventing her 18-month-old daughter from falling out of her bed by stuffing it with teddy bears. Tragically, this well-intentioned decision actually led to her little girl’s death.
Connie Rose suffocated in her sleep after rolling under a large teddy bear in her bed at her family’s home in Dundee, Scotland, sometime before the morning of March 6.
Her grieving mother has since begun an awareness campaign through Facebook to help warn other parents of the dangers of keeping soft toys in cots and beds.
"On the 6th March 8.01am 2018 my life changed, I woke up to get my oldest ready for school to find my youngest baby had passed away," Dexy wrote in a post on her Facebook page 'Connie Rose Awareness'.
The mum explained that she blames herself for the death because she "packed down the side of her bed with teddies and placed a big one on top of the smaller teddies to stop her from falling down the side of her bed".
"And she did exactly that but as it was all teddy bears she went under the massive teddy and fell asleep with the angels" she wrote.
"She had a bed guard at one side and the smallest gap from her wall to her bed and that’s where I had put all her teddies, my biggest regret in life.
"All I think about now is what if I just left it empty she would still be here maybe with just a small bump on her head."
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Dexy said she has now learned that she should have kept her cot empty, as it is a known risk factor in infant death.
"I really hope my little princess's tragic story can save someone else's baby's life," she wrote.
"I want every parent to see and be aware of this. Let them fall don’t try to stuff small places up with soft things just leave it empty," she implored.
"Please move everything off your kids' bed and away from the sides."
Recommendations from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome charity, Red Nose, for babies sleeping arrangements is that pillows and soft toys should not be kept in their cots.
"Soft toys should never be placed in the sleeping environment of an infant under seven months of age. Soft objects in the cot can be a suffocation risk," advice found on their website states.
"Pillow-like objects have the potential for asphyxiation and have been used as a prop to keep babies on the side, and infants have subsequently rolled onto their stomachs."
While Connie Rose was closer to two years old than seven months, Red Nose does not recommend large soft toys and pillows be kept in cots with babies and toddlers.
The charity only suggests one small toy may be used to comfort babies aged eight months and older, though this is not always necessary.
Correction: A previous version of this article said Connie Rose died in her cot on March 7.