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Have you ever left your baby in the car, even for a minute or two? Read about the mom who left a "just in case note"!
March 25, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Mom Leaves Baby in Car to Shop But Puts Emergency Contact on Car Seat 'Just in Case'

by Mary Fischer

infant car seatIn what has to be one of the worst parenting fails any of us have seen in a long time, a New Zealand mom left her newborn locked in the car while she went shopping at the supermarket. (Wait, there's more.)

She also left a note pinned to the kid along with her phone number, you know -- just in case someone passed by and thought the baby might need her.

(You seriously can't make this stuff up.)

Oh yeah, did I mention that the note was written from the baby's point of view? It said, "My mum's in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything."

More from The Stir: Mom Who Forgot Baby in Hot Car Has Understandable Excuse for Tragedy

A couple noticed the child and told the New Zealand Herald, "We waited there for a little bit, wondering if the mum was just going to be two seconds and come back. And my wife said, 'I'm not going in without someone being here with the baby.'"

Long story short, a few more witnesses turned up, and the mom was eventually called to return to the car and her sleeping newborn. Then someone posted a photo of the baby on Facebook and now it's understandably all over the place.

And when I first saw it, I had the same reaction most moms probably will: "What the hell was she thinking? Who leaves their newborn baby alone in the car to go shopping?"

But then I thought about it a little bit more and tried to put myself in her shoes -- and that's when I started feeling a certain degree of compassion for her. Yes, leaving the baby in the car was a majorly dumb move, but come on -- how many of us made a really stupid decision or two when we were exhausted, overwhelmed new mothers?

I know my judgement was clouded on more than one occasion for sure in the first few weeks after I had my son. And while I never would've gone so far as to leave him in the car to go shopping, I can sort of understand why this mom chose to do so. I mean, she did leave a note, after all, so she must care about her baby's well being to some extent, right?

If I had to guess, one of two scenarios probably went down. Either the baby was fast asleep when she pulled into the supermarket parking lot and she was fearful of waking her, or she needed to run in and grab a few items, and she figured it would be easier without the baby and that she'd only be gone for a matter of minutes.

(Don't lie -- you've had the same thought before on occasion too. Granted, most of us would never actually leave the baby in the car, but if you say the thought never briefly crossed your mind, I don't believe you.)

Ok, ok, so I'm definitely not excusing what this mom did -- I'm only saying we should cut her a little slack, given the fact that she's a newbie. I'm sure that after a few weeks of that baby sleeping through the night, she won't hesitate to bring her into the store next time.

Have you ever left your baby in the car, even for a minute or two?


Image via drewgstephens/Flickr


  • kss12
    by kss12
    March 25, 2013 at 5:38 PM
    I have for a few minutes, my car was running in my garage with all windows open and garage door open while I got my groceries out of the car.. 2-3 minutes tops.. He was asleep. Other times I do this and stand in the garage if he's sleeping with my car running, windows open and garage door open until he wakes up, then I get him out. Never to go into a store or anything! I think every mom does this! If he is awake I simply carry him in and out with grocery bags!
  • abra
    by abra
    March 25, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Just when I'm filling up the car with gas, but I pay at the pump! 

  • HuggaBug1991
    March 25, 2013 at 11:45 PM

     Yup, I left my kids in the car when I ran into the station to pay for my fuel. But I haven't gotten diseal in a LONG time (my hubby does that now). But I would never leave them in the car while going grocery shopping!

  • DragonMother10
    March 25, 2013 at 11:56 PM
    The only time my son has been in the car "by himself" while he was sleeping, my husband and I were right next to the car while my husband smoked a cigarette and I needed fresh air parked at a park. We will take my son down even if it takes literally a minute or two. Not taking any chances.
  • pittymama
    March 26, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    only at gas stations but i'm always right there. a cranky half asleep baby is better then a dead baby.

  • Turtledoves
    March 26, 2013 at 12:59 AM
    No, ive never left the car at all with baby inside. Even just to retuen the shopping cart, baby goes with. But NZ is a very very different culture thats much more laxed, so once I saw this was from there I wasnt surprised.
  • lifetimelove
    March 26, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Yep, when I can see the car the entire time.  I leave it running. 

  • erikays
    by erikays
    March 26, 2013 at 9:26 AM
    Gas station but I'm right outside the car.
  • CelestialSong
    March 26, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    That thought honestly has never crossed my mind, and the farthest I have been from a car while my baby was inside was right outside the door. I have never run into a store or house or anywhere while she was in the car. People might do it all the time with no consequences, but there are stories of people doing it an in those couple of minutes their cars have been stolen with their kid inside. It's just not worth the risk to me. I'd rather have a cranky baby with me than a sound asleep baby in the back of my hijacked car.

  • KanPsMommy
    March 26, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Yep. Do it frequently actually. I live in a small town of about 100 people maybe less. So if anyone notices that my DD is the her seat while I run in to buy stamps they just wave at her, make a crazy face at her and continue on their way. One of my neighbors was actually playing with my DD while I ran oldest into her class room. Given I normally would have taken her in, but it was snowing and windy and the hassle of unbuckling her, putting her jacket on her, wrapping her in a blanket, dashing across traffic with two kids in my arms in bulky jackets seemed ridiculous. Call me a bad mom, but dealing with on coming traffic and ear aches from ice cold wind whipping in her ears seems worse than the 2 minutes alone in the car.


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