(Closed) Question about leaving baby unattended

posted 6 years ago in Babies
Post # 46
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

polarbee:  I used to do the same thing when I was a kid, and so did a lot of other people. I really didn’t think it was a big deal, especially since I knew what I should and should not do. Now, I guess I wouldn’t do it with my own kids since I’m sure someone would call the cops.

Post # 47
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

hspw714:  I work for CPS, so I’ll answer from a perspective of legal abuse/neglect. I would absolutely not leave a baby in a car unattended for any period of time. You could be ticketed for child abuse and get CPS involved, no matter how silly it may seem. But in all reality – cars get stolen with kids inside or kids get taken out of them. Not a safe idea. I think you’re fine to put the baby in a swing or pack and play right outside the door while you shower 🙂 

Post # 48
412 posts
Helper bee

I get that you are asking (obviously you aren’t on here saying I plan on leaving a baby in a car for hours’). From a dog-owners perspective where as I can roll down a window and run in a store and trust that no one will steal my old mutt and that she can hang out the window on an fall night.  But babies are allowed EVERYWHERE. It would be so much easier to grab the baby and run in. Far more then stressing out or craning your neck. So while it seems like ‘i’ll just run in a second’ it would be easier to just leave the baby, it wouldn’t. A lot of car seats you can pop out of the base and carry the whole thing. Might not even wake up the baby. 

Post # 49
1983 posts
Buzzing bee

Truffle-hunter:  and how exactly does her attitude stink? Her question was valid as well! How would you feel if someone took the car with the baby in it?!

Post # 50
982 posts
Busy bee

I know you’ve already got a lot of “hell no’s” but I don’t know if you’ve ever sat in a car without the air on/car running – something you can’t do when getting petrol. It gets sooo stuffy and hot in as little as 2 minutes. Id suggest that you fill up your car when you don’t have your baby with you. If that means ducking out at 8pm while dad is home to look after the bub then so be it. Then you’re in no real rush anyway. it just requires a bit of forward thinking. People have also given great suggestions re restaurants running the food out to you. 

There are really simple ways to avoid leaving your bub in the car. It’s so not worth the risk. 

The same goes for showering, just make sure you choose the right time and that baby is in a safe spot. I’m sure once you get a routine going things will get easier. 

Post # 51
923 posts
Busy bee

I never would have left my daughter alone in the car when she was a baby, but showering is fine. She is 5 now and I’ll leave her in the car while I run into the gas station to pay for gas, oagin the parking lot while I pick up the boy I babysit. I also live in a super small town, and I wouldn’t do weather if those things anywhere other than in the very small town I live in. 

Post # 52
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

No baby in the car alone. Too much could go wrong. 

In your house, I think it’s a different story. If they’re that young and are in a safe place like their crib, bassinet or travel cot, I would have no qualms about taking a shower while they’re in another room or nipping quickly to the mailbox at the end of the driveway, monitor in hand, during naptime (provided your driveway isn’t super long!). 

I suppose my rule of thumb is that if a stranger could have access to my baby without my knowledge or if I wouldn’t be able to respond quickly if there was a problem with the baby because I’d be too far away to know/hear, that’s off limits. 

Have you thought of babywearing? My girls used to sit happily for ages in their slings and would often fall to sleep in them, which would free me up for sometimes several hours between feeds without so much as a peep… you can even breastfeed in them! That way, you can have your hands free and do what you want without having to worry about proximity, bulky pram, etc. I could wander around the shops or even get a coffee with a friend without having to worry about a grumpy baby, which made those slings worth their weight in gold. 

Post # 53
12618 posts
Honey Beekeeper

As PP have pointed out at length, absolutely under no circumstances is it ever OK to leave a child in an unattended car. Frankly, it’s upsetting to hear the question. 

As for showering, any lengthy showers were either done early before H left for work or at night when he got home.  Otherwise, in the early months, quick ones, either  during a nap with baby monitor or with the baby in the bouncy seat in the doorway of the bathroom with the door open. 

Post # 54
882 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

hspw714:  I don’t have time to weed through all these replies so sorry if I am repeating another poster.  I know it is ilegal in my state to leave a child unattended in a car.  Period.  Some poeple are saying it is ok if X, Y or Z is occuring but the bottom line is that you need to find out your state laws pertaining to this before you make that decision.  Once you know the law, I would then ask myself the question, “Is it worth it?”  Is it worth it to leave your baby unattended in the car for five minutes to get take out if the consequences are your arrest and baby being placed in protective custody?  Probably not.  Is it worth it to leave baby in the car for five minutes and risk kidnapping?  No.

Trust me, I understand not wanting to wake baby from their nap but if it such a big problem that you would leave little bit in the car to avoid it you probably just need to stay at home and order a pizza.


As for showering, as others have said, put baby in their crib, free of strangulation and choking hazards and take a shower.  You can’t sacrficie all of your time to thos child.  You have to pee, you have to shower, you have to eat and you have to sleep.  Period.

Post # 55
1088 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

The world has changed, and the car is a no. I like the suggestion of the curbside delivery, that’s actually great advice. 

Post # 56
1570 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

When my son was a baby I would take him out of the car and bring him in EVERYWHERE…Even to just pay for gas. Now that he is 4 I will leave him in the car to pay for gas (locked.) but will stil not leave him in the car while I run into our apartment because I forgot something. For showering I used to do it either while he was sleeping or when someone else could take him for 5 minutes. When he was a newborn he would go in the craddle in the bathroom but as he got older I just waited for a convenient time. 

Post # 57
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

JenGirl:  Thank you so much for your rational response. It’s a serious shame that this happened. Instead of immediately calling the cops, our society should encourage people to keep watch if they see a baby in the car and help the mom out, not villianize her. Or call the store and have them intercom the mom to come out.

Get creative in this situation. Call the store and ask if a worker can come out and watch your baby for a few minutes while you run inside and make your quick purchase. Wait for another reasonable person to pull into the lot, explain your situation (baby sick, hasn’t slept for two days, afraid to wake her), and ask if they can take watch for a few minutes. Or, see if said carry out place will bring your food out to you if you are ordering food. Also, baby wear, everywhere. Don’t kill your back carrying a baby plus car seat. Just carry the baby. 


Also, lol to everyone saying “what if your car gets stolen!?” No one wants a car with a baby inside (and a kidnapping charge) unless its a non custodial parent. Lets be real here. 

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