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Have you ever left your child/children alone in the house or car?

(122 Posts)
SuperAmoo Thu 08-Oct-09 08:27:05

The other day, my 3 month old DD2 was finally asleep after having been awake since 4.30am and I couldn't bare to wake her to take my other daughter to preschool so...I left her at home sleeping in her cot. I locked the house obviously and I was only gone for 12 minutes. But I would NEVER do it again because I spent the whole time so panicked I could hardly breathe with worry about the house burning down or being delayed by a car crash or being reported to social services. Have you ever left your child alone in the house or car. Sometimes I park outside the corner shop and run in for some milk and a paper leaving the children in the car (with child locks on) - it's only for 1-2 minutes but since this nursey worker paedophile thing I don't think I should do that anymore. Any thoughts

FlamingoBingo Thu 08-Oct-09 08:30:24

I would never leave them in the house like you did. I would just have not bothered with preschool though grin.

I didn't leave just little ones in the car ever, but I do leave them all in now the oldest is a very capable 6yo and her next youngest sister is a very capable 4.5yo. One of them is more than capable of coming to get me if something happens. I wouldn't lock the car either, in case they needed to get out in an emergency.

I only ever do this in shops where I can keep checking on them though, through the door or window - where the till is in sight of the car.

Why does the nursery paedophile thing make you want to stop doing it?

troutpout Thu 08-Oct-09 08:33:55

No
Well ...not till ds was 11 years old

MrsFawlty Thu 08-Oct-09 08:34:42

I left my 13m old son in the car yesterday - but I was 10 feet away and could see him through the glass at all times. Would never leave my kids out of sight/reach at this age. I was left all over the place as a child and there is nothing so hideous as not knowing where your parents are and when/if they will come back. So for that reason (and many others) I never will.

kidfromdegrassi Thu 08-Oct-09 08:37:22

i would think most people have left the kids in the car the though of dragging the DC across a petrol station everytime I fill up shock Must say i would be too worried to leave them at home alone as you never know what can happen as you have said

cory Thu 08-Oct-09 08:38:01

Well, mine are 9 and nearly 13, so that is a bit different- I would and do leave them alone for hours on end (but then they also abandon me and go off on shopping expeditions wink)

When they were little- no, afraid I took them. Didn't have a car, so that problem wouldn't arise. The CM trained ds to nap in his buggy, so that made life easy.

Bluebutterfly Thu 08-Oct-09 08:45:48

I don't leave my small children alone in the house or the car while I go somewhere. I would be too worried about a fire, or a break in and I see keeping my kids out of harms way as my primary responsibility. Having said that, I am less concerned about roaming paedophiles than about fire or accidents or even a small child hurting itself and having noone there to help because, whilst I think it is necessary to be wary, I hate to live life believing that there are predators around every corner. In any case, most cases of child abuse are committed by someone known to the child.

sarah293 Thu 08-Oct-09 09:05:47

Message withdrawn

purepurple Thu 08-Oct-09 09:08:13

Madeline McCanns parents obviously thought it was ok.
It's not something I would do.

MmeGoblindt Thu 08-Oct-09 09:17:43

I did not leave the baby asleep in the house when taking my DD to kindergarten.

Nothing to do with paedophiles or house fires though. Just basic common sense.

If I am gone 12 minutes and DS were to wake up after 1 minute then that leaves a baby to cry and fret for much too long.

I do leave them in the car when I pay for petrol and now sometimes pop to the shop down the road for a pint of milk but they are older now.

Tillyscoutsmum Thu 08-Oct-09 09:21:09

I've left dd in the car to pop into a shop/to pay for petrol and I've nipped next door and sat in the garden (with baby monitors) whilst dd is asleep in her cot

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 08-Oct-09 09:22:07

I once left dd in the car while I popped into the post office. I could see the car which I had locked using the spare key and had (stupidly) left it running so the a/c would work. When I came out of the PO, i couldn't unlock the car. Hysteria becomes her would be the name of the film if it were ever made. I had about 20 men doing their level best to open the bloody thing and one ended up breaking a window to get in. so, to answer your question, I'd never do it again.

Rubyrubyruby Thu 08-Oct-09 09:23:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

buy1get1free Thu 08-Oct-09 09:25:13

NO. You would never forgive yourself if something happened ie: fire, choking. If it happens again, take your dd into pre-school later - no big deal. I understand the temptation once they have fallen back to sleep, but honestly it's not worth the worry. Left my ds alone for 10 mins at around 10yo.

Poledra Thu 08-Oct-09 09:25:23

I always leave them in the car when I'm paying for petrol but I can see them all the time (and usually try to pay at the pump these days). I once left DD1 in the house while I drove our car round from the back of the house to the front (we're in a terrace, so it took me about 4 minutes) and was hyperventilating all the way, so never did it again.

I do leave DD1 (sensible 5.5yo) in the car with her 1yo sister while I pop into the local shop, but take 3.5 not-very-sensible DD2 with me.

cory Thu 08-Oct-09 09:25:33

I think I was probably thinking something along the lines of what MmeGoblindt said: it was the thought of the baby being awake and fretting in a lonely house.

Poledra Thu 08-Oct-09 09:28:22

Yes, cory, that would worry me too. My mum talks about when my two older sisters were little, they lived in a small block of flats with a lot of other young families. The other parents were quite happy to party in each other's houses of an evening, popping back every 30 minutes to check on their children. My mother wouldn't do it because she felt that, if you closing your door on the way out woke a child, they would be crying for 30 minutes before you went back and that is a lifetime to a toddler.

Pitchounette Thu 08-Oct-09 09:29:05

Message withdrawn

HolyBumoley Thu 08-Oct-09 09:29:31

My goodness. No, I did never and would never leave them in the house on their own (they're 5 and 7 now, and there's no way I'd leave them in the house alone).

It wouldn't occur to me that there might be a paedophile in the wardrobe - but it would occur to me that a baby might immediately wake up and be distressed; that the house might catch fire; that the baby might be sick and choke on their vomit. I am actually a bit flabbergasted that anyone would leave a baby in the house on their own.

I did drag mine to pay for petrol when they were a baby and a toddler, but don't now - though I do leave the car where I can see it.

Pitchounette Thu 08-Oct-09 09:31:50

Message withdrawn

purepurple Thu 08-Oct-09 09:33:27

rubyrubyruby, I don't think so.
It was just an example of what happens to children left on their own.

Pitchounette Thu 08-Oct-09 09:36:18

Message withdrawn

MintyCane Thu 08-Oct-09 09:39:20

No I haven't - not until they are nine anyway.

Bramshott Thu 08-Oct-09 09:48:09

There is no right or wrong answer to this - it's up to you as a parent to weigh up the options and make the appropriate choice at the time.

I think most people agree, as you felt yourself afterwards, that 12 minutes and a car journey away is too far, for too long. However, I would, and did leave DD2 at home while I walked DD1 across the road to pre-school because luckily the baby monitor range stretched that far!

I am also quite laissez-faire these days about leaving the DDs (2 and 6) in the house while I pop to the postbox, or to hang out the washing, or to feed next door's chickens. I also leave either or both in the car if the shop I'm popping into is very close by - generally within eyesight of the car. I guess as they get older I will relax even more - that's part of letting them grow up.

Personally I don't subscribe to this "you mustn't leave them for a minute - what if the car / house spontaneously blew up?!" feeling, but some people are obviously happier if they are being super careful at all times.

vbusymum1 Thu 08-Oct-09 10:00:01

I leave my DCs in the car and have always done so.The risks of anything happening to them while you pay for petrol/pop into the Post Office or similar are so tiny and the effort or getting them out/waking them up etc isn't justified IMO. I have also left them in the house for short periods (minutes) for various reasons and in various combinations (I have 4 DCs).
Everyone will have different comfort levels with this and I've seen highly charged discussions on here before on the same subject.
Do what you feel is best and keep a realistic eye on the actual risks involved. Peadophiles likely to almost zero in most situations, DCs taking off handbrakes, breaking stuff, getting themselves into trouble much more likely but still manageable in most situations

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