Perhaps the most disturbing scene in Trainspotting is when Allison and her friends find Allison's baby dead in its crib.

What was the cause of death for the baby?

It seems clear that Allison had neglected the baby due to her heroin abuse, and it might have died from starvation, suffocation, dehydration or something like that. I have tried searching the web for this question, but I've only found people speculating, like myself.

3 Answers 3


Official version

I took a look to the script (which you can find here)

Renton lies as before. Around the room are Swanney, Allison, Tommy, Spud and Sick Boy. Allison begins screaming and wailing. Slowly, the others rouse themselves to varying degrees.

RENTON (v.o)

I think Allison had been screaming all day, but it hadn't really registered before. She might have been screaming for a week for all I knew. It's been days since I've heard anyone speak, though surely someone must have said something in all that time, surely to fuck someone must have.


What's wrong, Allison?

Allison points toward the bundle of dirty blankets in which her baby is wrapped. Sick Boy follows her directions.

SPUD Calm down, calm down. It's going to be all right, everything's going to be just fine.

RENTON (v.o)

Nothing could have been further from the truth. In point of fact, nothing at all was going to be just fine. On the contrary, everything was going to be bad. Bad? I mean worse than it already was.

Sick Boy stands over the bundle. The baby is dead.

SICK BOY Oh, fuck. Sick Boy reaches out to Allison.

and looks like the death cause it's not specified.

Although, since Trainspotting is based on the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh, I took a look to the synopsis of the novel (on Wiki here) and found that in the novel too the exact cause it's not specified, even if something about that is said:

Narrated by Renton. Lesley's baby, Dawn, has died. Though it appears to be a cot death, it could also have been from neglect.


Even watching the movie you can easily think to a vast spectrum of causes form which the baby might have died, but more probably it was for Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) which is actually cot death, or from undernourishment - as it is said by Renton they might have been under the effects of heroin for days:

She might have been screaming for a week for all I knew. It's been days since I've heard anyone speak, though surely someone must have said something in all that time, surely to fuck someone must have..

  • 4
    I have personally seen it referenced as "malnourishment", and SIDS definitely depreciates the guilt characters later experience, given that it is far more easy to prevent malnourishment. I am having trouble finding a source of the original book, at this time, but when I do, I will be posting my own answer.
    – Gnemlock
    Jul 12, 2017 at 0:21
  • @Gnemlock I'm looking forward to your answer.
    – Fiksdal
    Jul 12, 2017 at 9:25

Somewhere I read that the baby overdosed because of heroin in Alison's breastmilk. But in the book in which the film is based on, the characters blame the girl's death on SIDS.

By the way, in the novel baby Dawn is not Alison's daughter. Her mother is another character, named Lesley.

  • 2
    Your English is fine with me. However, this answer could be improved greatly by adding where you read that.
    – Fiksdal
    Jul 24, 2018 at 21:51
  • Ok. I think I read it in a Wikipaedia article about the film. In the spanish version. Anyway I think the reference to the transpotting book is more reliable. Check my previous post, i've just edited It to add some more information.
    – user65399
    Jul 24, 2018 at 23:53
  • Here the link to Wikipaedia article es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trainspotting_(pel%C3%ADcula)
    – user65399
    Jul 25, 2018 at 0:04
  • Feel free to edit any addtional clarifications and context into your answer.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 25, 2018 at 8:34
  • That Wikipedia article does say that that is the cause. However, it itself has no source, so I am not sure how credible it is? @NapoleonWilson
    – Fiksdal
    Jul 25, 2018 at 9:04

Look at the baby’s nappy. It’s full of crap which means the baby isn’t changed on for days. She probably have been crying for days and died of exhaustion due to starvation.

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