Mumsnet user Beansonapost was inspired to ask other mums and dads for their opinions after reading a Telegraph feature about a woman who left her 11-month-old baby alone in a hotel room while she and her husband ate dinner downstairs.
Beansonapost said during a recent break to Edinburgh, she and her husband realised they would never have left their 10-month-old daughter alone.
Discussing the blog, she wrote on Monday 13 March: “I do think this was very irresponsible. There seems to have been no proper risk assessment, besides assuming the odds are very small.
“What are your thoughts on doing something like this?”
Opinions were divided. Some parents strongly felt leaving a child alone was “unacceptable”.
“No. No. And no,” wrote one person. “It’s never acceptable to leave a child on their own in a hotel room.
“Also, they didn’t have a baby monitor - yes, it was wrong.”
Another person commented: “I’d never do it in a million years. If I have no childcare, I don’t go out, end of. Any sort of accident could happen.”
And another mum agreed, adding: “I would never have left a child in a hotel room like this. Babies of that age can become ill very quickly without showing any sign of illness before.”
Others said they would be comfortable leaving their child in a hotel room to go downstairs for dinner.
“I would do it,” one mum wrote. “My son is 16 months and an incredibly reliable sleeper. I’d probably set up a FaceTime link between our phones.”
Another wrote: “I would if it was a small hotel and our video monitor had a good signal.”
One mum explained: “We do it, but only in small hotels that are basically like being in a big house. We always have a video monitor and my son isn’t big enough to escape a cot.
“I don’t think I’m wrong to do this, equally it doesn’t bother me that some of my friends wouldn’t (probably 50/50 split).
“Other than the risk of fire (and hotels have very sophisticated fire safety systems) I can’t really come up with any other risks that are different to him being in his room at home.”
Another mum explained she regularly does this when there is a video monitor and said she also goes to her neighbour’s house while her baby is sleeping.
“I genuinely don’t see it as any different from being in my living room,” she wrote.
One mum said she wouldn’t do it now, but she did it 20 years ago because it “seemed more normal then”.
“There was some kind of listening scheme at the hotel we had,” she wrote. “They would contact us if they heard the baby cry. I also went out to a neighbour’s house taking my baby monitor with me.”
What are your thoughts?