Babies cry

On Fri. they took the infant Elijah Llanos to the doctor for being “cranky” and having “bumps” on his stomach. The doctor wrote perscriptions, but the baby continued to cry during the night.

On Sat. Irma Llanos, 18, had to go to school so she left her 4 month old and her 18 month old with the oldest child’s father, Cano Lopez. Lopez evidently had been the one to get up with the baby at 2:30 am. Llanos left for school 7:30 am. The baby woke again about 8:00 am. Lopez fed the baby, but it was awake again about 10, crying. Lopez states that he just wanted some sleep. He had been up with the baby the night before. He shook 4 month old Elijah, until he didn’t whimper any more then laid him back down. He states that he cleaned the apartment and didn’t check on him until about 4 when he noticed that the baby’s lips were blue and his body limp. He called a neighbor who performed CPR and called an ambulance. Elijah died about 2:30 pm on Sun. when they took him off life support. Elijah died of bleeding on the brain as a result of shaking.

Lopez is in jail, facing 1st degree murder and is being held without bond.

 There is one quote I wish to include from the article:

Elsa Pena, the apartment manager, said she often spoke with them since they moved into the complex in November. “I can say that I really believe it was an accident,” Pena said. “They are hardworking, honest people.”,0,6108934.story?coll=sfla-news-palm

Caring for one infant is hard. Two babies would be even harder. And a sick baby can be very difficult. Sometimes you just have to call a friend, a relative, a neighbor. Sometimes you just have to walk away for a few minutes. Sometimes you have to tough it out. A baby cries because that is the only way they have to communicate. And though the cries can be piercing, they don’t cry to get back at you. They cry because they need something or because they don’t feel well and sometimes they just cry. If he had called someone, they might have offered the idea of putting the baby in a swing or in their infant seat and sitting it on the dryer. They might have offered the idea of removing the babys diaper. They may have come up with a suggestion that may have worked. Or just talking to someone may have helped.

Instead, there is a mother who has lost a child. An 18 month old child who has lost a sibling they won’t even remember and who’s father is facing a trial and prison. A father who won’t be available to his child. Somewhere out there, there may be a father who cared about his son (the article doesn’t say) and there are grandparents who have lost a grandson. Likely Lopez has relatives who will worry about him. And a 4 month old who will never see his first Easter, his first birthday or the first day of school.



  1. Steve said,

    February 20, 2006 at 4:39 pm

    Very well written, I know first hand how difficult young babies can be, my own son just turned 17 months on Feb 17, 2006. He was a preemie, one month early and they say preemies can be more fussy than other babies.
    He has his moods, sometimes he just wants to be with daddy and other times he just wants mommy and when he wants attention he can be very demanding. Since birth he has been 100% breast fed which does make it tough on me as a father since I can not breast feed him. We allow him to sleep with us and sometimes during the night he wakes up and other nights he can sleep through the night. The thing about young babies is you really never know one day to the next, they can have five great days followed by two fussy days in which they cry a lot.

    I wonder about that trip to the hospital and the bumps on the babies stomach, sounds suspicious to me.

    Good advice

  2. February 20, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks Steve, Babies are cute, but not always easy to care for. But there are often tips that another parent, or medical professional can offer when things get tough. I know of a mother whose baby wouldn’t sleep unless she turned on the vaccuum cleaner and let it run.
    With difficult babies, it is just like with older kids. It is often a search for what will soothe them. I think of it as parental training for facing down an upset 16 year old and staying calm.
    And above all a parent has to remain calm, because if a parent gets too upset the baby won’t settle down. And sometimes for your sake and theirs, you have to just lay them down and let them cry until you calm down or they settle.
    One of my children would start crying at the same time every night and nothing would soothe her. I finally learned to put her in her bed and she needed something touching the top of her head. So I would place her near the headboard and she would cry and squirm until she found the headboard, then she would go to sleep. Every kid is different.