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Is it ever OK to leave a sleeping baby home alone? Parents split on answer

A mom posed the question on a British parenting site, drawing fierce opinions on all sides.
/ Source: TODAY

You’re at home and need to pick up something at a nearby store, roughly 50 yards away. You’d be gone for only seven minutes. The catch? You have a 10-month-old baby sleeping in the crib.

Would you do it? That’s the question creating a stir on a British-based parenting site, Mumsnet.

The mother who posed the question said her child “reliably naps at the same time every day for at least an hour,” and sought the opinions of other parents.

It’s a scenario that crosses the mind of most parents, but reactions divided those who commented on the post, and more than 870 people did.

sleeping baby
sleeping babyShutterstock

Some said they would never consider it, no matter how alluring the opportunity.

“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!!” wrote one parent.

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“I'm sure the baby would be fine for seven mins in the cot, though seven mins is a long time to scream and no one comes,” said another. “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...Just not worth the risk. Either wake the baby and take him or ask a neighbor to sit with baby/run the errand.”

But just as many parents said they see no problem with the situation — and admitted they have done so. Several of those parents pointed out the situation is no different than going out in the yard to pull weeds or somewhere else around the home where it would be difficult to hear the baby.

“It's logically as risky as having a shower (where you can't hear sh--) or going in the garden to hang out washing when they're asleep,” said one parent. “You're hardly constantly monitoring them then either. It's irrational to think popping out for seven min is any different.”

And still others said while they personally wouldn’t do it, “I wouldn't think you were a bad mother if you did.”

Follow writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.