A mother went shopping leaving her newborn baby in her car with a note pinned to the child, asking passerbys to call her if she was needed.
The sleeping baby was spotted in a New Zealand supermarket car park on Saturday.
A witness told the New Zealand Herald: “It was written from the baby’s perspective and it said ‘My mum’s in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything’, and it had the cellphone number.
The image of the sleeping baby was posted on Facebook and quickly went viral
“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’.”
The couple were joined by a further two people, and the child’s mother was eventually telephoned and summoned. A picture of the baby was later posted on Facebook and quickly went viral.
The same witness, who said the baby appeared well cared for, added: "As parents ourselves we know it is hard to get a baby to sleep, and once you start moving them they can wake up ... we thought it was just a silly decision by a tired mother."
Under New Zealand law, a parent can be fined for leaving a child alone without making reasonable provisions
In this case, police cannot start an investigation into the matter because nobody has lodged a complaint, New Zealand’s Stuff magazine reports.
It quotes Senior Sergeant Justin Rakena from Porirua Police as saying: “If they do call us, we’ll be acting on it.”
He added children are being left alone in cars quite frequently in the area.
"I don't know what the stats are, but anecdotally you might have a kid left in a car once a fortnight, something like that," Rakena said.
"This is quite common, and quite often there's an innocent explanation. At a guess I'd say 95 per cent of these things can be explained away."