73 answers

Leaving Sleeping Baby in Car

My good friend just informed me that she leaves her 14 month old in the car if he has fallen asleep. She only does this at home (not at stores, etc.) She said she leaves the garage door open and leaves the front door to her house open so she can hear him. She also leaves the window down. She said if it is hot outside, she leaves the car in the driveway with the motor running to use the air conditioner.

Am I overreacting by thinking this is very unsafe? I mentioned the possibility of someone kidnapping him or trying to take the car with him in it but she said she trusts her neighbors. (It's not really the neighbors I would be worried about.) I can think of all kinds of other reasons it's not good idea as well. I don't want to ruin our friendship by being "aggressive" about discussing this with her (she kind of made it clear that it's her decision not mine) but I also am concerned about her son's safety and even about my friend should something ever happen to her son. Any advice on what I should say or am I overreacting?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow. What polar extremes in the responses I received. You all either wholeheartedly agreed with me or vehemently disagreed with me. There really was no middle ground. Many of you who disagreed seemed rather angry with me for even considering saying something to her ("mind your own business" "her kid her problem your kid your problem" etc). To answer your questions, yes, my son was a very high-maintenance baby (WISH he had colic, but it was a dairy allergy undiscovered until he was 4 months old). He was a terrible napper, and he always woke up when I brought him inside from the car. So, yes, I do know what all that inconvienence is like. But it was worth it to me to keep my son safe.

Thank you for your advice. I'll take the advice of those who told me I have done the best I could by stating my opinion but not to pursue it further.

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I've left my kid sleeping in their carseat in the car... But with me in it with them (I find it a good time to read that magazine article or nap with them) or since my driveway is open to the backyard (or was before this summer), I'd be doing something in the yard.

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You aren't overreacting at all. You should never leave them in a running car or a hot car PERIOD. If it's cool and the baby is sleeping in the garage w/ it closed and the car OFF - maybe... but why risk it at all?

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Actually, if someone called the police she would be charged with child endangerment. Probably not something she wants. A sleeping child isn't worth the danger to them whether she likes it or not.

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Can you tell me why it's any different than her son sleeping in his own bedroom one or two stories away from his mom? Actually, I really don't think anyone is going to steal a car from a driveway, especially in broad daylight and when the car is obviously being observed. I think that worrying so much about that is a little bit high-strung.

If my son has fallen asleep in his car seat, I will leave him be. I will leave the car running to keep him cool/warm depending on the season, I will bring in the groceries and put them away with the house door open and the car in view while his brother hangs out with him and then I will grab a book and hang out in the garage with the car window cracked so I can hear if he wakes up. He's a terrible sleeper and it's impossible to get him back to sleep once he wakes up. We also live in a rural area. Our neighborhood is a little more spread out than some and we have a semi-long driveway so we're further back from the road. So I do a modified version of what your friend does. Yes I am more cautious than she, but to each their own. It's her child after all.

Since she made it clear that it's not your business, I wouldn't say anything else about it. She's on her own property handling her child as she sees fit. If you HAVE to say something, then encourage her to sit outside of the house in view of the car until he wakes up.

Oh, and I leave him strapped in his seat and the emergency brake on. Just so y'all know. Hope no one decides to call CPS on me!! What's with the "especially with the car running" comments? That's how you keep the car cool or warm to keep them comfortable... If you are worried about your car shifting on it's own (especially if the e-brake is on), then you need to go have it looked at by a good mechanic.

Wow, helicopter parent much??? You are allowed to be a few feet away from your kids, ya know! I don't think she should be out of sight of the car, but it's okay as long as she can keep her eye on the car. For goodness sake!

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I wouldn't ever leave my baby in the car alone for any reason, ANYWHERE. Even if I parked the damn car in my living room I'd still wake her up and move her to her bed and hope she went back down for a nap. And if she missed a nap for that day. Oh well! Better safe than sorry.

If she doesn't stay with her baby in the driveway when she leaves the car running and the air conditioner on... she's a nutjob. The KEYS are right in the car, someone could bust the window and steal the car, not even realizing the baby is back there. The car could sputter and die and the air conditioning would stop running, the car would heat up faster than an oven and then that baby would be heat-stroke dead.

What a dipspit! If you ever see her baby alone in the car, call the cops and let THEM tell her she's retarded so you don't have to.

She may think her neighborhood is good, but sometimes people who don't live in your good neighborhood come by to cause trouble. We had our mountain bikes stolen out of our garage when we were kids because my mom was bringing the groceries in. From the time it took her to grab a couple of bags and put them in the kitchen and then get back out to the driveway, they'd snatched the bikes and ran.

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I would not do this. Ever. I have found and am comfortable with a simple "rule" I've chosen to live by where my daughter is concerned. If something comes into my head (like, "oh, she's sleeping and I don't want to wake her maybe I'll just leave her in the car) I think about how I would feel for the rest of my life if something happened to her. I don't want to ever look back and say "If I had just done xyx" or "If I just hadn't done xyz". I understand that kids have accidents and there are times that you need to let go to allow them to grow and mature, but those are situations that you might feel badly about (i.e, getting hurt at the playground, etc.) if they got hurt. There are also times when if something goes wrong and you weren't there (like going to answer the phone while kiddo is in the tub) you'll live to regret it. Each time I'm faced with those decisions, I choose my daughter.

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Sometimes cars shut off. Like mine did yesterday without any apparent reason. I was letting it run so it would be cool when I got into it and it shut off. So no its not a safe practice at all. I am a nervous nelly when it came to my children , especially babies. Nope I would never leave a sleeping baby in my car no matter what.

Some moms feel its ok. I am not one of them. If you do talk to her tell her sometimes cars just idling do shut off. Like mine did.

As far as not wanting to wake a sleeping baby. So they may be grouchy for a day who cares.......better than having to bury your baby because you left him in a car.

I think its a stupid move to tell you the truth. JMO!!

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I've left my kid sleeping in their carseat in the car... But with me in it with them (I find it a good time to read that magazine article or nap with them) or since my driveway is open to the backyard (or was before this summer), I'd be doing something in the yard.

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No you are not overreacting.

I've done this, if I felt that moving my child would wake them up. However, I roll down all of the windows, and I sit on the front steps just outside the car, and ONLY if its a nice day. If it is hot enough so that its not comfortable to sit outside I wake my child up and pray she goes back to sleep once inside. Never leave a sleeping child in a car, and especially if it means that you have to leave the car running to keep it cool. That is just an accident waiting to happen.

I've seen this happen several times at shopping centers, and I have called the police. Even if the kids were as old as 5. I was told that it was child endangerment and if I wanted to file a report, the driver/parent would receive a citation. We've had 2 children in our area die from situations like this.

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I don't think you are overreacting! I think that is plain stupid, and she is not protecting her baby! Anyone could walk by and jump in and steal the car with the baby inside. All winter you hear about car thiefs who are looking for cars people have turned on and left. I know where I live it is illegal to leave a running vehicle unattended. I would contact the authorities and see what the laws are where you live. I'm pretty sure it would be considered child endangerment leaving a baby in the car running or not.

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You have obviously never had a colicky baby. I would do the exact same thing during my son's colic. Rides were the only thing that would keep my son from screaming all day. When he fell asleep in the car, there was NO WAY I was gonna wake him up by slamming car doors, jostling him around all around. etc. So I would leave him in the car. I wouldn't leave him in there with the car running, but in cooler weather, I would leave him in there with the door open or window down, with me right nearby- sometimes I would sit right in the car with him and take a little snooze myself. I think you are overreacting, and probably should just mind your own business. I am sure that if she felt her child were unsafe that she wouldn't do it.

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I have left my son in the car (not running) inside our closed attached to the house garage in the mild weather (not hot or cold).

If I did not have a garage attached to our house, or if it was hot or cold out I would not leave them in the car, especially if it is running! That makes me really nervous, what if the car shifted out of gear or something. I know that is highly unlikely, but I would worry too much to do that!

I'm not really sure what advice to give about talking to your friend. It sounds like you have already expressed your concern and she wasn't really accepting of it. I think if you approach it again you really do run the risk of having a pretty big disagreement as she already said it was her decision not yours. In the end, you are going to have to decide if this is something you feel so strongly about that it could potentially ruin your relationship. Because you are basically saying that you don't think she is a good parent. I mean, don't get me wrong, I agree with you, but I think she will take it as a personal attack to her parenting (which it is).

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Overreacting. She's not leaving him in the car in the heat, as stated. She is trying to keep him comfortable and asleep. Interrupt a toddlers nap and see how the rest of the day goes! When my car is on I can still lock it from the outside...I understand your concern and as long as you have voiced your thoughts, there isnt much more you can do.

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You aren't overreacting at all. You should never leave them in a running car or a hot car PERIOD. If it's cool and the baby is sleeping in the garage w/ it closed and the car OFF - maybe... but why risk it at all?

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Tell her to sit her a** in the car with the baby!!!!! How seriously stupid can she be. I totally understand that she doesn't want to interrupt her babies nap and she might need to do something in the house, but does she seriously want her baby kidnapped or charged with child endangerment??
I don't get how people don't think things through. I know I don't at times, but those are the little things, like should I wear heels while shopping all day. But about a child's safety. ALWAYS think of every angle!

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I am sorry but I am not sure how this is any of your business. She is the mother and sounds like she has it all worked out and I am sure it doesn't happen all that often.

My child has fallen asleep in the car and I have left him in the carseat in the garage with the door to the house and windows open so I could hear him when he woke up...I would think it is none of my "friends" business where my child sleeps.

I do not think I would ever leave the car running...or in the driveway for that matter I would be afraid someone might steal him...but other than that I think you should relax and let this mom raise and worry about her own kids and you worry about yours.

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This is hard. You do not want to lose your friend, but this is very unsafe!! My son is 4 and when he falls asleep in the car I still stay outside until he wakes up, or move him. I would never leave a child of any age asleep in a car with that car out of my line of sight! I feel for you, I to would be so conflicted over this as well. In the end, it is her choice if she wants to risk her sons life and well being, but I understand it is a hard thing to watch. In the end, since you already mentioned it once, I would leave it alone and just pray she sees the light before something bad happens. It is illegal to leave a child alone in a running vehicle, so if that happens again you could make an anonymous call to the police, but be prepared for the fact that it will get family services involved in your friends family.

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You are NOT overreacting at all!! This may be the most ignorant thing I have ever heard of!! People steal cars all the time during the day, they snatch playing kids from their front yards....bugs bite, etc. You never know what is going on. I would risk my friendship rather than feel at ALL responsible if something were to happen to her son.

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You are completely not overreacting. Not only is it unsafe for baby as far as him being out in the open without her, but it is unsafe as far as his health goes too. Breathing in exhaust if the car is running or being in a too hot or too cold car is not good for him either. Also, I know a family who used to leave their kids in the car with the engine running while they ran in to pick something up or drop stuff off all the time. One day, the three year old got into the front seat and somehow got the car into gear and ran over his little brother and killed him. It is not a good habit to get into. Period. Although I know this child (your friend's) is not old enough to do this, there are other kids in her neighborhood (I am assuming) and you never know what can happen. I would bring it up again with her, and really stress that you are concerned for their safety. Waking the child up while you transfer them to the house is much better than having them be ill from exhaust or worse.

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I think it has the potential for too many bad things to happen and so I wouldn't do it.

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I don't like this, but i get that some mom's need a break or just aren't smart. What i would like to bring up is your friendship.

If she makes choices like this with her kids, would she make the same choices if she were watching your kids. I for one, wouldn't let this lady babysit or anything like that, even for a one hour errand. It doesn't sound like she had the same ideas about safety that you have.

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Recently I've learned that sometimes you have to put your friendship at risk to do what you think is the best thing for your friend.

You definitely need to continue to urge your friend to stop leaving her son in the car unattended. Suggest that she keep a book in the car for times like these... She can sit in the car and catch up on some reading, while her son continues his nap.

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You are NOT overreacting, I can't believe your friend doesn't think its a bad idea. It really depends on how close you are to this friend if you should be pushy about it. If she is a very close friend, you should really really try to convince her to stop doing this. If you are not so close, you should probably mention it once, and then let her make her decision.
Forward this article to her:

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This is beyond unsafe. It was just on our local news last week that--even parked in the shade w/ windows down 3"--the temp inside a vehicle can reach upwards of 200*. I would let her know that as well and strongly suggest she stops doing that. Good luck on her reaction!

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I would not care how I sounded, you have to say something to protect this precious baby. What is the point of her keeping him in the car? My son sleeps in the car, I bring his seat inside and let him stay in it until he wakes up (still buckled b/c if he wakes up and moves around, he could slide down and choke). If someone saw this, they could call the police and she would be in big trouble. I personally would be willing to lose a friend to possibly save a childs life. There are so many things that could happen. Please say something to her.

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No, that's not safe. At all. I wouldn't ever do it.

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Well, the only thing you can do is stay out of it and hope that she doesn't do it much longer. At 2 years and some odd months, my friend's child woke up in the car, got in the drivers seat and drove the car through a building.

I wish people could be a little kinder in answering these posts! Good grief! It's natural that you would be concerned.....the tricky part is when to speak up. People make crappy parenting decisions all the time, but it's their right.....

I have to agree with Toni V!

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you are NOT overreacting, And this is the kind of situation that required you to be pushy. Im not one to tell a parent how to 'parent". but if the action is possibly damaging to another human, blatantly obvious there are ways around it, and ignorance is being allowed to rule, something has to be said.

if my toddler falls asleep in the carseat....i quietly unlatch the carseat, recline it and haul her heavy little butt into the house to be among the rest of the family, there she sits in the dimly lit, air conditioned room in her cr seat. yes its lazy, but reasonably lazy

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I would never do it. When my son fell asleep in the car, I'd pick him up, take him inside and put him in his crib - he almost always slept right through the move. When he got too heavy for me to pick up, my husband would carry him inside to his crib. On a hot day, even in the shade, a car acts like an oven. Leave the car running with the AC on? Not without me sitting right there with him and when you're at home this makes no sense. If she's not listening to you, don't try anymore - just call the police when you see her do it and have them explain it to her. Kids die horribly in over heated cars every year. A child s life is nothing to gamble with.

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Leaving the car running is my only problem. Too tempting for a car theif and most theives lay low in a "safe" neighborhood becasue people let their guard down when they think they are in a good area. But she sounds like she is being cautious and in the end she is the mom.

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This is against the law. Period. If she wants the baby to sleep (as I have done before) get a few magazines and she needs to put herself in the car with the child. What is more important... her child sleeping securely or the risk of getting her child taken away? By police or by strangers? I'd go grab some magazines....

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Never leave a helpless child so far from you. It is totally different than leaving a sleeping child in their crib/in their room. From your description, it even sounds like a detached garage?! Sheesh! I know they say "never wake a sleeping baby" but I don't think this is what they meant.

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If you feel you cant talk to her then I would still try and also cut out newspaper articles that show how children have died from being in a hot car, how children are kidnapped in their front yard etc.
I would risk losing the friendship if it may save a child's life.
She could get mad and get over it too.
Good luck.

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Yikes! You should do whatever you can to stop your friend from ever leaving her son alone in the car again- anywhere! This is so unsafe, I'm worried for her little boy. I would hope that anyone passing the car and seeing a baby in it alone would not hesitate to call 911, and in that case, your friend could easily have a lawsuit against her, not to mention DCFS taking away her son. If you can't get through to her any other way to get her to stop, mention of the police and DCFS might work. Yes, we love when our kids sleep, and it's a pain when they wake too early, but please remind her that someday it may be a choice between having a crabby baby or no baby at all. There are too many dangerous, sick people out there!!

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in this heat, even with the windows rolled down, it is still too hot for a baby!!!! I read online how an infant can die in a car in 10 minutes, their bodies heat 3x faster than an adults. I have a friend whose daughter has brain injuries from this happening when she was small child. The parents didn't even think it was that hot out. And with the window up and air running, how are you gonna hear him. You get stuck talking on the phone and forget to check as often.....
Anyhow, it is something I won't do!
In our safe neighborhood the other day we were warned of an unsafe man in the area and to watch our kids extra close. I was like, "not around here!" If my babies go outside, I watch them like a hawk!

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I don't understand. She leaves him because she forgot something at home and she ran to get it or she just leave him there so she doesn't wake him up or what ever reason?
I will say one is a stupid mistake that can lead to an awful ending the other ones is that and illegal.
You are not overacting. However it sounds like what ever you say she will take it as if you are offending her. But if I was you I will try to show her some news about kids die in the car for actions like that.
If you type in Google "baby die in car" you will find lots, you can find better ones (my English is not that good).

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Actually, if someone called the police she would be charged with child endangerment. Probably not something she wants. A sleeping child isn't worth the danger to them whether she likes it or not.

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When my daughter was younger I left her asleep in the car too. But only at home, and I would get a lawn chair and physically sit right beside the car with a book or a magazine. I never walked away from the car. Never! Someone could kidnap, car jack, anything. I think its extremely negligent to do what your friend is doing. I don't care how much you trust your neighbors, I would not gamble my child's life on it. I don't really know what you can do about it though. She already made it clear that it's her decision, so I would just let it go. You might lose a friend if you push the issue.

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I have left my son in the car, too. If it was cool in the garage, I have pulled in, shut the garage door, turned off the car, left the doors open, and gone inside to use the bathroom, put the groceries away, etc. But there are some clear issues here that concern me.

I NEVER leave the garage door open. If it is too hot to shut the door, it is too hot to leave the child in the car. Leaving a sleeping child in an OPEN garage is just scary. That child could be gone in minutes, and no one would be the wiser.

I would never leave a child in a running car, even if that car is locked. Once again, it would only take seconds for tragedy to strike. Someone could break the window, have the doors unlocked, and be driving away before Mom could even get outside to see what the commotion was.

However, besides asking her to talk to CPS, as another poster suggested, I don't know what you can do about it. I can understand why this would bother you - it would terrify me. But since it isn't your child, I don't think you get a say. Sorry, and good luck.

I have left my kids sleeping in the car, on a pleasant day with windows down. . . however, I sit there with them and read a book and never leave them. I wouldn't stay friends with someone who was that careless with her kids. You should bring it up to her. Doubt it will change her behaviour, but it might. If you lose her as a friend so be it. I wouldn't trust her with my kids anyway,

I myself have done this. Never when it is hot or cold, only in mild weather and in someplace where I can easily supervise. I don't do it often, as my kids get regular naps, but on the occasion we are out during naptime and someone is sleeping when we get home, I have allowed it (usually in the garage, car off, car windows open).

I do the same....in my house-my couch is looking right at the open garage door. So I can see it...sometimes you have to do what you have to do. All of my friends are doing it too. Especially if you have 2 or more kids...there is no other way. The percentage of the possiblity where you child could be kidnapped is very low.

It is against the law in all states to leave children in a vehicle unattended. Motor running or not. If the wrong person see the toddler in the car alone, your friend could be arrested for child endangerment. You need to stress to her the repercussions of her actions.

If I get home and my toddler has fallen asleep...if I have time I leave car running and nap with him...or if we don't have time I bring in and if the nap takes in the house great...

At home is where I would not do it, just because it was always very easy to bring my sleeping child in and put her to bed. I feel sad that we live in a world where 1- bad people do exist that may kidnap your child or steal your car with her in it and 2- where so many "good samaritans" would call the police or break into a car to help a baby that may not need helping. It is these good samaritans that kept me from leaving my daughter in the car when she would otherwise have been perfectly safe. There are times when due to weather, the child is TRULY at risk, there are a million other times where, the weather is temperate, you are running into a store for one item (i.e. milk or diapers) and it would be wonderful to leave him in the car instead of waking him/her up for a 3-minute shopping spree. Many of our parents regularly left us in the car while they shopped, common sense prevailed then, and it should prevail now, unfortunately we have so over-safeguarded our lives that we are convinced parents that don't parent as we do are harming their children and should be prosecuted for it.

Don't judge your friend without experiencing the conditions she left her child in the car in first hand. But please do raise your concern with her in a healthy non-judgemental way, maybe you have valid concerns she never considered. Obviously a child's safety is everyone's first concern, but just because she makes choices that are different than yours, doesn't make her a bad or dangerous parent. Everyone of us has our own set of risks that we consider fine that other people would be hysterical about.

Well you may not like my answer but my kid, my problem, your kid, your problem...

It is her choice, not yours.
...and it would take a lot more than that for CPS to "yank" a child from their home
I wouldn't risk ruining the friendship as that is your opinion. This is her child, not yours. Sorry just being straight with you.

I think that it is illegal in most states. As a mother, I can't even imagine doing this. The baby waking during the move is far less to worry about than if the baby got injured or taken.

In my parents magazine they had a very eye-opening article about leaving kids in the car. Now I am by far the "alarmist" and I am all for letting moms be the "mom" but one stat from this article stuck out to me like a huge red light. On a 73 degree day, it takes 15 minutes for a baby to overheat and die in a car. I was stunned. I literally had no idea. The article goes on to explain the physical differences in the infant body temperature control versus an adult. Just food for thought, perhaps you may want to give her that stat.

I believe you are overreacting a bit, UNLESS you live in an UNSAFE area of town. Otherwise the chances of something like that happening are VERY VERY slim, and her sanity and mental break of keeping her child sleeping (as a mother of 3) is very much needed. If there are other reasons you feel shes being a lax mother, I understand, but shes taken every step to ensure the safety(windows, air, etc) and seems to have a handle on it. I don't think its as big of a safety issue as much as one would like to think thanks to media.
I think its understandable(especially in today's society) that you are concerned but would you like if someone was doing the same to you over things they didnt agree with, right or wrong? Most likely not. Its her kid, she will deal with the consequences if any, and I can attest that a mental break from kids who wont sleep elsewhere is a must to make it through the day some days.

If something ever happened to her child in her care she is the one who will have to deal with it.As far as you being a friend speak your concern but she is the mom as you are the mom of your own kids.I personally wouldn't do this nor some other stupid things others do.

Horrible idea! It is very neglectful, stupid and lazy parenting! Pick the toddler up, put him in the home to finish his nap. If he wakes up, oh well! Much easier than having him be harmed, stolen, or worse, killed!

Yes, you should tactfully and gently say something to your friend. I would also be very concerned allowing her to watch my children if that is the type of decision-making.

Not over reaacting at all, we have too many kids die every summer form a preant leaving or forgetting their kid in a car. Also if the car is running it is so easy for someone to hop in steal her car and her baby. Just too scary to even risk!!! And whats worse waking them up to bring them inside and them not going back to sleep, or having something happen to them that could have been prevented. Not worth it in my eyes.

you don't have to be aggressive but what she is doing is very unsafe. anything can happen to anybody and she is not obselete! Murphy's law happens just because! she needs to stop and you really need to talk to her especially for her baby's sake!

We live in a suburban area, but we have 2 acres and our house sits far back from the road. I would leave my son sleeping in the car occasionally on a nice day with the windows down and where I was in sight of him at all times. I don't see how that is a problem. However, I think it depends on the environment: I wouldn't have done this if my car sat right off the street and it was a busy area. I only did it on a perfectly beautiful day, when it was comfortable in the car - in the shade - to sit with the windows open. Letting him sleep in a carseat in the garage on a very cool day, with the garage door closed, I don't see as being a problem either. However, I would never leave a child in a car with the car running - that is asking for trouble, whether from an opportunistic car thief or mechanical issues (no one should sit in an idling car for long without opening the windows, especially a baby). I think that you are right to be concerned, and perhaps you can show her some of the stats that others here have mentioned. If in the end that doesn't do the trick, however, there is nothing that you are going to be able to do to change the situation except call the authorities if you feel that is warranted.

Ok now I have to admit i have done the same.... BUT the difference is theres boundaries. One you don't leave your car running in the driveway nor do you leave a child in hot weather. nor cold weather. I have done it occasionally when its like 70 65 or nothing below 45 degrees or higher than 75 and it also has been breezy. I would never leave the child while the car is running nor too hot of a day. Not saying it is right than either. but sometimes if you unloading and you need a break for 10 mins i can see. my kid has never been in the car for more than a half hr. while the kid is int he car i check on them ever 10 mins to 5 so i never leave them completely or i will send one of my other kids outside to play to listen for the other. but after 20 mins or so i come get the child take them in. I won't let them stay bearly a half hr outside mostly they wake up anyway. if my hubbies with me its easier because he carries them in. if not i do but its hard sometimes i just wake them and make them walk in to get back to bed or go on the couch. its a preference and opinion of each i think some are appauled by it some aren't i would never leave and infant or up to a 2 year old in the car but one who is 3 and older i feel won't get hurt but like i said never in extreme heat nor cold and its been to warm for anything to be left. i actually take the child in first and than come back for everything in the car. I haven't done any of what i described in over a year or so. I kinda stopped just really don't know why just because maybe it bothered me and i felt not right. Like i said its controversal You are you she is her I can't tell you how to raise your kids like you can't her and if you try it a will ruin your friendship or b she will blow you off anyway if she s haopy with her decisions.

As others have said, this is illegal. I'm a teacher meaning I'm also a mandated reporter and would have to report this. fyi, it is anonymous and even if it weren't or she "guessed," it would be worth losing a friend to save a child's life imo. A running car also has CO2 as another responder mentioned. Our CO2 detector once went off in the house from my husband warming up the car in the garage for only 10 minutes. The fireman made comment that if me/baby hadn't already been awake, it was saturated enough that we might never have woken and died. Doesn't take much :(

wow, yeah i do the same thing as the person prior to my message said. if my baby is asleep i bring the whole car seat inside with me. that is very dangerous. but listen, regardless of what you say shes going to keep doing her thing until something happens (God forbid) sorry but that is teh truth. ppl hate to be told how to handle things especially parenting, even if its a good advise. this is a hard one but try your best. good luck

Oh boy, this is a tough one. I do not agree at all w/ what she is doing, however, in order to keep your friendship "in tact" you probably should not say anything. Especially if, as you've stated, she's made it pretty clear that this is her decision and not at all yours. We want to protect our own children as well as other peoples children that we know, but the truth of the matter is, we can only do what we think is right with in our own families. My kids have fallen asleep in the car plenty of times but I've never left them, I always pick them up and it's great if they stay asleep but Oh well if they don't, I'd never take that chance and just leave them in the car.

Suggest if she wants to leave him in the car, she should stay REALLY nearby, meaning... if he's in the driveway (NOT WITH THE CAR RUNNING - THAT'S JUST A BAD IDEA) she should be outside nearby in the yard. Or, if she leaves him in the garage, she should be outside doing something while he sleeps.

That way she doesn't have to wake him, but he isn't left unattended.

I've left sleeping kids in the car in the garage or driveway on a COOL day, but I stay outside (not in the house) and work in the garden or clean up the garage or something.

You are not overreacting. She is using poor judgement. Suggest somethings to her that don't make it seem like she is a total idiot... but would put her close to her baby.


I think it depends on 1. The Weather and 2. Is the Child safe?

Is the kid in the garage, or in the driveway? I don't have a garage right now, so would NEVER leave my kid in a driveway, with or without the car running, as it is too hot and the child is not locked away from predators. When I'm at my inlaws and the baby falls asleep, we park the car in the garage, leave a door or window open to the car, leave the door open between the garage and living room, and sometimes put a baby monitor close by. (They live in much milder weather than Texas, and he's never woken up the least bit sweaty).

As for your friend and what to say. Perhaps "I would never do that to my kids. Is it really worth it? The risk of having someone come by and swipe them up while you are inside or while you're checking the mail? I guess we have a difference of opinion, but I am very worried about your son and him being taken from you. I think having an longer nap isn't worth it." Being nearby doesn't even matter if a predator has a gun.

And maybe she should get her son home earlier if he fell asleep. My son at 14 months old - I'dmake sure I was home in time for his nap so that I wouldn't have issues with him falling asleep in the car.

Never would I do that! No matter what! It amazes me how many parents do that!

WHAT!!!!! Are you serious? Even if the window is down there's no air flowing through the car no. 1. no. 2 what if he starts chocking or something or tries to get himself out of the carseat and gets stuck in the belts (it can happen). no offense please I know it's not you, but your friend needs to go back to parenting school. This is unsafe and if an officer of the law were to see that happen they may report her to the DCFS.

couldn't she just remove the car seat with him still in it and let him sleep in the house in the car seat. this is what we use to do when my son fell asleep in the car.

I don't think leaving baby in the car in her garage is a terrible idea, but certainly in the driveway with the motor running wouldn't be good. At 14 months, he could get out of his carseat and "take off". THAT would be dangerous. My daughter sometimes leaves hers in the CLOSED garage with all car doors open, but not in this kind of heat. I don't think anything you say will change your friend's mind, but depending on how your relationship with your friend is would determine it for me. Is she the friend you can say anything to and still be friends? Good Luck!

it is dangerous. I used to leave a book in my car so if my DD fell asleep I would sit IN THE CAR w/ her doors open to cool if necessary. it gets hot in the car seat too so they are more hot then you are sitting up frount reading a book, think about that too. I dobut you will change what she will do, but maybe not, you should inform her that at the very least you are worried about her saftey and how they can overheat so easily! good luck

So she can't really fathom that her car's a/c could suddenly stop working? It CAN happen.
Or someone could get inside her house through the garage. Or...what about kidnappers? There are many things that can happen and she's just asking for trouble.

If you don't do anything about it, rest assured, someone will for sure notice and call police one day.

WHOA!!!!! No you are not overreacting. I am shocked by this. I will leave one of mine in the car for like 2 min, while I am carrying the other one in the house if they are both asleep, and I don't even like doing that, but hey I am one person. Of course I am in Houston and it is super hot! But really, someone could totally pass by and snatch her child. Or what if she makes a mistake one time and doesn't leave a window down and turns the car off, that is her child's life on the line. I mean she is putting a lot of faith in people and herself and leaving her child possibly in harm's way. It is her child, but I think that is crazy. It isn't hard to carry a sleeping child to their bed so I find this borderline negligent. If it were my friend I would probably be honest about it for the sake of the child. Even if my friend were mad, even if we didn't talk, maybe what I said would nag in her mind and she would change. I think I would actually risk a friendship in a case like this and I am a super live and let live type, but to me this is dangerous. Good luck and you are so not overreacting!

Wow is all I can say! I don't care if you can "see" the car!

"heat in vehicles can cause dehydration and death in less than half an hour.
Twenty children have already died this year from overheating in hot cars in the U.S., the most deaths in the first half of a year since researchers began tracking such deaths in 1998, according to Safe Kids USA."

I guarantee you if you called CPS that child would be yanked from that home in a heart beat!

What she is doing is careless, lazy, dangerous, and if her child dies because she falls asleep or "forgets", she should be charged with child endangerment and manslaughter.

You are not overreacting. My son falls asleep in the car sometimes and I would never leave him in the car even if we are at home. i always take him out and bring him into the house. I know your friend probably don't want to wake her son up from his nap but I think it is very unsafe for her to leave her son in the car even though she lives in a good neighborhood.

Sounds like you already told her your opinion on this matter and she didn't seem to receive it well. Unfortunately it is her son and you can't really tell her what to do other than telling her how you feel about it and you just have to leave it at that. As long as you told her how you feel about it and the danger of leaving her baby in the car, hopefully she will come to her senses and stop leaving her baby in the car while he is sleeping.

I live in a very safe neighborhood, but those are the neighborhood where the thieves like. Just this weekend our neighbor’s house was broken into between 6:30 pm and 8 pm, so it was still light out. If she is so worried about not waking her child up during their nap, she should plan to be home for nap time. I have also left my son in the car to sleep, but with the garage door closed and only long enough to go in and go to the bathroom. I would then go out and get him and bring him into his bed. I would never leave my child out in the car with the car running, especially in the drive way. There are too many weird people in the world today.

I can't believe anyone would do this or think it's ok. Leaving a child in the car without your supervision is dangerous and just not smart. It has to be your decision to confront her or drop it. You know what the consequences will be if you report her or keep pressuring her to stop. You'll have to weigh that against the danger to her son. Good luck!!

You are not overreacting. Sounds to me like she doesn't want to wake the baby up but what is more important? The baby waking up, car getting stolen with baby in it, or the car could roll into the street (always a possiblity). She needs a wake up call.

Did you ask her why she doesn't bring him in the house? Or does her husband know she does this? If not, maybe you could bring it up somehow in front of her husband. I know it doesn't seem honest, but really it is the safety of the little boy that is first and foremost.

Good luck!

You are not overreacting, however you have talked to her and she knows where you stand. In the best interest of your friendship just back off. Bringing it up (even from a new angle, nicely) again would just cause tension. I have a very dear sweet friend who loves to give me the same advise repeatedly, and she'll even preface it with "You do what you want, I'm not trying to push you", but then she gives it again. I've made it clear to her that I'm not going her direction but she won't let it rest. Its ANNOYING. I love her dearly and know she means well, but I'm sick of hearing it and it causes tension in our normally good relationship.

Best wishes!

There are many good points here. We are each the parents of our own children. Put the shoe on the other foot and imagine what it would feel like to have a friend say you are a bad parent. Find the right words to express your concern and maybe bypass her being defensive. Our friends and family should be able to communicate concerns to us to help us not have a total train wreck in our lives. Emphasize your concern and caring.

I used to let one or both of my kids nap in the van while I unloaded groceries or other bags and then took them into the house. Then, I started taking them into the house first because they are the most precious thing in the van. If the child woke up while I took them out of the van then they were likely almost done napping and ready to wake up. If not, then I put them in their bed where they would be more comfortable. Now that my kids are a bit older (6 and almost 9) I wake them up so that they can help carry bags into the house. They like to do that. I'm not sure that would apply to other kids.

Good luck.

It all sounds very unsafe. Leaving a vehicle running?... Leaving a child unattended? ..Leaving your front door open??

Sounds like she's asking for it.

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