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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Do you often check to see if things/people are dead?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23293 points ) June 2nd, 2011

What I mean by this is… when your pet or an infant or a loved one is fast asleep, or lying very still do you ever feel compelled to make sure that they are still alive?
I will often wake up in the middle of the night and shove my dog just to make sure that she reacts. Newborn babies get me the worst. I am constantly checking to make sure that they are breathing when they are asleep.
I have met other people who do this, so I know I am not the only one. I do wonder how common it is, though. I am also curious to know if it is more common among men or women.

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35 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

Yep. I’ve done it with pets, girlfriends, even my mum when I walk past her room early in the morning.

JilltheTooth's avatar

When KatawaGrey was a newborn, I prayed constantly for her to sleep quietly so I could sleep. Then, when she did, I was frantic and kept checking to see that she was still breathing.
Also, with various beasties I’ve had, if they’re too quiet and still I’ll poke them to be sure they’re all right. Sometimes they bite me when I do that. I don’t blame them, I’d bite me, too.

tom_g's avatar

Parent of 3. They all co-slept (no, I don’t want to get a co-sleeping argument going). Throughout the night when they were very young, I would roll over, put my hand on their chest and be able to go back to sleep knowing they were still alive.

MilkyWay's avatar

Yes, my most recent baby sister. I always used to check if she was breathing in her cot or not when she was a little tiny baby.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Sometimes I think babies should automatically come equipped with a monitor to just tell us when they stop breathing, so everyone can chill out.

mangeons's avatar

I often do this with my guinea pig, if he’s asleep or lying very still I give his cage a little nudge or kick just to make sure. Better safe than sorry :(

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

A lot of people do this around small children. I was watching my sister, mother, and niece do this last time my new nephew was around.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

At least I’m not alone in my baby/pet induced paranoia.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I think everybody feels the same about babies. Nobody bothers to do this when I sleep. I snore.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe : I’d make you sleep in the next state. Oh, wait, you already do!!!

zenvelo's avatar

I did until my kids were 6 months old.

marinelife's avatar

I actually don’t do that.

6rant6's avatar

I did when kids were kid-sized. I do it when pets get old.

I do it less than I used to. Now I think, “If he’s dead, he’ll still be dead in the morning.”

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@6rant6 lol, that’s very true. Never thought about it like that before.

wundayatta's avatar

I did that a little with my first born. I don’t recall doing that with her younger brother. I’ve never done it with anybody or anything else.

Stinley's avatar

It’s why I check on my kids at night – to check they are still breathing. I’ve also checked on other people’s kids and come back with the message ‘All is well, they are still asleep and still breathing’.

creative1's avatar

My youngest daughter has who has lots of medical problems when she sleeps soundly I have to make sure I see her stomach go up and down to make sure she is alive. I have been told multiple times I am luckly she is alive today so now I feel like an over protective mom having to check on her when she is too quiet.

Leanne1986's avatar

Every morning I tickle my tortoise’s foot to make sure he moves it. He tends to sleep longer than me in the mornings and I am paranoid he will die in his sleep.

ucme's avatar

When both my kids were newborns i’d do this as a matter of course, “new dad syndrome” was the excuse with my first. When I still reacted in this way with my second child, well….I guess over protective would be one motive. I rarely do it with the pets, although our wabbitt sprawls out like a bloody possum, best check him out just in case.

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Cruiser's avatar

There was this huge beetle laying on it’s back in the kitchen and thinking it was dead, when I grabbed it, it started wiggling it’s legs. He was dead and flat in an instant. I will not make that mistake ever again. They will be flat before I pick one up again!

Blackberry's avatar

I’m not a parent and I don’t have pets, but I could imagine doing this with a kid. Some of my neighbors heard a woman come screaming out of her house, looking for help. She went to get her kid and it was dead from that SIDS thing, so the feeling of caution is there for a reason I think.

creative1's avatar

@Cruiser whenever I see a bug I get a can of hairspray and a baggie and spray the bug then put it in the baggie for my step-father who is an exterminator to let me know what it is and if I should be worried about it. I hate bugs!!!!

Cruiser's avatar

@creative1 I should have done that…this thing was impressive!

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yes, I do this with family & pets. I’ve had quite a few pets that slept so still it was hard to tell…I would go up kiss their ears & gently pet them to see if they were still “with me”.

My son co-sleeps, so I check on him all through the night.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Yessss! It started at age 14 when I began babysitting. Nothing was going to happen to a child on my watch. One time, I fell asleep on the floor outside of a child’s bedroom while waiting for the parents to get home late one night. If there was a carpet imprint on one side of my face, they didn’t mention it.

creative1's avatar

@Cruiser Sounds like one scary bug…. keep the hairspray and ziplock baggie on standby for next time. lol

Seek's avatar

My son is almost three, and I still check him all the time. My husband has sleep apnea, so I check him whenever he’s not snoring.

And I check the obituaries every so often to see if my father shows up in them.

sliceswiththings's avatar

My cat was superold when she died. On New Year’s Eve I was getting ready to go out, and she was fast asleep in a place she doesn’t usually sleep. She might have been dead, but I opted not to check because if she was in fact dead I would have been super sad while celebrating that night. I even ran past her to get something and averted my eyes.

It turns out she wasn’t dead then, but actually did die about twelve hours later. Weirdddd

sliceswiththings's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr That’s really how you’d find out about your dad? Sorry to hear it :(

Seek's avatar

I’ve been looking for him since I was 16. This is what I’ve been reduced to. Unfortunately.

Your_Majesty's avatar

I do this to my grandma. She’s probably 96 by now. She is a kind woman that cared a lot about me when my parents left me and my siblings in her house since they’re busy all days. She gave us a money when we need it. Now her life has been consumed by the time and she’s getting more forgetful that she won’t even recognize me and my siblings. I don’t live with her anymore and can only visit her about once every two weeks since we live in different city. My parents doesn’t seem to be bothered by this fact. They’re probably careless or sentiment but refuse to show it around other people.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ve never done that until recent. I’m engaged to a very young but very unhealthy man who often stops breathing for a few seconds at a time and it seems to wake me every time even though we both snore LOUD. Also my little doggie is 10yrs old and I notice I check him all the time when it never occurred to me before. It’s a little twisted but my fiancée will often pat my hand in his sleep, he must know I’m checking him.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Hardly, very few times if it is really hot and one of my cats are just laying there I may check to see if the heat got them, otherwise I spend the time making dure I am not dead.

Plucky's avatar

Ugh, yes. I do that to my partner and my dog. I check my partner because she’s had medical issues. I check my dog because he’s getting old.
But the real reason I check them both is because I’m insecure and paranoid. :P

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