It’s the question firing up debate in parenting forums: would you leave a sleeping baby peaceful and “safe” fast asleep in her cot while you popped out for seven minutes?
She’s sound asleep.
The shop is 50m down the road.
And you just know she never wakes up this soon.
Is it ever okay?
Is it ever okay? Via IStock.
The question was posed by a mother to the parenting forums Mumsnet.
“Would you leave a peacefully sleeping 10m old home alone for 7 minutes? Baby reliably naps at the same time every day for at least an hour. The 7 minutes is going to a shop to collect something approx 50m away”
The response: More than 800 posts and a huge debate about whether its ever okay or not.
In it the mum was called “ really irresponsible” and “out of order.”
“If I knew of somebody leaving a 10 month old alone like that I would be making social services aware. Sorry.”
She was told it was risky and dangerous..
“Er, no. Even though it's super tempting, I quite often want to shift my car when it's parked 100 yards away and a space comes free next to the house. But I don't do it as it's just not worth it!!”
And told to consider the what-could-go-wrongs..
“The bigger danger is that something happens to you. If you get knocked down by a car and carted off to hospital no one will know about the baby in your house on his own. If your car gets bashed and you have to sort out details with the other driver then you'll be loads longer than 7 mins. If your tumble drier sets the house on fire then 7 mins will kill your baby.”
She was told it was risky and dangerous.. Via IStock.
Others though argued the point through what they saw as reason..
“It's logically as risky as having a shower (where you can't hear shit) or going in the garden to hang out washing when they're asleep. You're hardly constantly monitoring them then either. It's irrational to think popping out for 7 min is any different.”
“I totally get that something could happen on the way to the shop, but you could also slip in the shower, bang your head or something. I wouldn't do it but I don't think you are bad to do it”
"I know a mum who regularly left her sleeping toddler in the car whilst doing the school run. This toddler almost choked on her own vomit whilst sleeping. This same mum lets her eldest (six) play out till tea time. Some people never learn."
An older mum wrote her perspective:
“I also know I would have popped out very briefly whilst babies were napping to post a letter, or unload shopping from the car, possibly I may even have nipped into the doctors surgery (a few doors away) to pick up a prescription - that sort of thing. I wouldn't have questioned it and I certainly wouldn't have agonised with a friend over whether it was the right thing to do or not. I would never have even thought to mention it, it was such a non-event in terms of "risk".”