Would you leave your baby home alone?

Filed under: Just For Moms, Babies, Health & Safety: Babies

I've been reading lots of stories lately about bad things happening to children who have been left alone by their parents. Madeline Mcann is making headlines, but there are others. In two separate incidents in Houston, a three year old and a five year old both died after being left alone by their mothers. In both cases, the oldest child in the house was six years old. Obviously, 6 years old is way too young for that responsibility and I have a hard time understanding why a parent would do it.

I believe most parents wouldn't leave their young children home alone, but yesterday I saw something that made me wonder. Ellie and I went to our neighborhood pool for a swim before dinner. As usual, the pool was packed with little kids swimming and mothers supervising. One of the mothers has 5 children all under the age of 8, but only four were at the pool. The baby wasn't with her and I assumed he was home with dad. But then I noticed she was carrying around a baby monitor -- clearly the baby was home sleeping while she was at the pool.

Her house is directly behind the pool area and you can see her back yard clearly through the wrought iron fence. She was getting up every 15 minutes or so and walking closer to her house with the monitor to her ear, obviously listening for the baby. Eventually, the baby woke up and she gathered up her kids and went home.

Having five young children is a tough job and I understand why she would want to leave the baby sleeping at home while she took the older kids to the pool. But I don't understand why she would actually do it. Even though her house was in sight, she couldn't see her front door and because of the fence, getting back home would take her a few minutes even if she ran. The fact that we have had a rash of break-ins in our neighborhood lately makes it even more risky. Am I paranoid or was she being irresponsible?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.