New Zealand Mom Locks Sleeping Baby in Car While She Shops


A New Zealand mother left her newborn infant alone in the car while she ran into the Pak'nSave Porirua over the weekend. A man pulled in to park beside the car with his family and immediately noticed the unattended newborn sleeping inside the locked car.

Soon, passersby gathered around the car to stand watch over the newborn who was fast asleep and snuggled in her car seat with a hand written note on the baby that read, “My Mum’s doing the shopping, call her if I need anything” and it listed Mommy’s cell number. One shocked passerby snapped the now viral photo of the sleeping newborn. But rather than calling the authorities, the bystanders felt sorry for the mother and called her instead; waiting patiently until she arrived.

The bystanders in the Pak'NSave parking lot may have been sympathetic and forgiving but the commenters on various articles about the story have not been quite so understanding towards the mother who made the questionable choice.

There is never any excuse to leave a baby alone. Period. Children are not a burden. If you're tired, suck it up, strap on a helmet and keep on truckin'. Sleep will be found soon enough. That child relies on you and only you.

I don't feel sorry for her. There are allot (sic) of tired mom's out there but you don't see them leaving their babies in the car alone. What if the baby needed something and no one happened to walk by at that time? Idiot parenting. Call the police.

Take the kid away from the mother and lock her up!

I would never leave my girls unattended in a vehicle or anywhere for that matter. It is completely insane to leave your newborn locked in a car alone. Anything could have easily gone wrong but luckily it did not.

Remember those first few weeks after giving birth? It’s a blur. I can barely remember anything from those days. I was extremely exhausted, hormonal and overwhelmed. 

Being a parent is hard work. It’s never easy and you seriously have to learn to exist on little to no sleep in the beginning. You are obsessed with your baby and their welfare. My second daughter was colicky. Anyone who’s ever had a colicky child knows that there are times when you will do just about anything, even insane, nonsensical, possibly risky things to get your child to sleep. You are miserable, they are miserable and you both are not in your right minds. Sleep deprivation will do that to a human.

I never left my children unattended but I also had a husband who had flexibility in his job and when he saw that I was getting too exhausted and overwhelmed he stepped in and took over the reigns. He was my locked car.


My guess is that this new mom just needed her baby to sleep and she may have also really needed some formula and nappies for her little one so she made a bad decision. Luckily, no harm came to the baby and hopefully, mommy learned a lesson and now her support system realizes just how much she needs help.

Do you think the commenters are being too harsh and that the bystanders in this case did the right thing by calling the mother instead of authorities? Have there been circumstances where you have left your child in a car unattended?

What do you think?

New Zealand Mom Locks Sleeping Baby in Car While She Shops

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood. She's a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Mommy who's trying to do it all well. She live in the Midwest with her 2 little girls and her husband. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She talks a lot. She ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. melani says:

    Irresponsible mother there is no excuse for a mother to leave their kid alone in the car especially not a newborn I’m a teenage mother with no support from anybody and I don’t do that

  2. verochka31 says:

    if you chose to have a baby, there are no excuses! I love shopping with my baby. I love the attention you get from people. I feel proud to be a parent. children are not a burden. they are life, joy and the reason of why life must go on.

  3. Kristi says:

    Tired is no excuse. You can’t trust others to not kidnap your child. Was it a hot day, a cold day…the baby could have died. My husband is gone sometimes for a month at a time and my baby has Type 1 diabetes, I would still NEVER leave my baby in a car unattended. I understand it’s hard, I get that sleep deprivation occurs in most new mothers, I understand that you don’t want to wake your baby up, and that they are heavy and seemingly more so when exhausted, but you brought them into the world. Be a good parent or put them up for adoption so they can get the live they truly deserve.

  4. Tarnz007 says:

    Yes it’s not acceptable to leave a child in a car for any period of time unattended but it is done a lot more than what people realize and not just in New Zealand, America is huge for this no doubt Europe, Asia everywhere else also!!! Moms who are sleep deprived, DEPRESSED, struggling with no support all have that ‘i will only be gone for 1 minute’ which turns into more like 5/10/30 minutes or longer. Or the ‘I only need diapers’ that turns into I need formula, wipes, baby food… There are people who leave their children asleep in the car to run into school to get their other child just because the little one hadn’t slept. It’s done wether people like it or not.
    I have never done this to either of my children but I have never been in a position of bad/ill judgement to do so. We are all so quick to judge – don’t forget no one is perfect including you!

  5. kelly says:

    to hot for me let alone the baby to worried about the baby in a cart with me shopping right there cant leave in car

  6. THERE IS NEVER AN EXCUSE TO LEAVE A BABY ALONE!!! In a car, at home, anywhere!!! What if a kidnapper saw the baby and toke him/her? What if there was a car accident involving that car? Or, a natural disaster? There are way to many WHAT IF’S to even consider!! That sweet little precious, helpless baby could of suffocated if it moved the wrong way, or spit up and choked, with NO MOMMY there to assist. Disgusting, neglectful “mom” should of been arrested and charged with neglect. Getting off so easy can ensure she may do it again!! And, may NOT be so lucky next time!!!

  7. Ami says:

    Not every mommy has a support system. Some of us have no friends, a husband who works fourteen hour days six day of the week, and parents who we actually have to protect our children from. Not ever baby was delightfully planned two years ahead of time. I would like to say that I would never leave my child alone in the car even for a minute, but I can’t know that because I don’t drive and even if I did I don’t know that woman’s situation. She could be a single mother or widow with no previous parenting experience and no family or friends to help her, she could have already exhausted her community or city or county’s resources and needed to go pick up formula and diapers for her baby without even knowing if she had enough to pay for them. She could have at that very moment been scraping the bottom of her bag looking for every last penny and wishing she had the luxury of breastfeeding at work so she could save on all that formula she has to buy now because her milk stopped coming in. Or she could be a selfish lazy drug addict, the point is I don’t know these things so I have no room to judge.

    • It’s not about judging, cause I believe that God is the only true judge, it’s about neglecting that baby! There is NO REASON ON EARTH GOOD ENOUGH not to simply carry the baby in its car seat and put in a carriage provided by the store. and calling someone a selfish lazy drug addict is passing judgment F-Y-I!!

  8. Kelly says:

    Wow! That lady is a sorry excuse for a mother. Her child should be taken away from her and placed with a family that doesn’t take life for granted and the people that gathered around the car and felt sorry for her should be ashamed. The first think they should’ve done was to call the police! There is absolutely NO reason in the world that a baby or ANY child for that matter to be left alone even if it was only for a moment. That poor baby didn’t ask to be born, so therefore it is the parents responsibility to keep their children safe!! Also, there is no reason what so ever that the mother couldn’t take her child into the store with her. From: Kelly a mom that would never neglect her child

  9. cassandra says:

    NO friggin way! I DO NOT believe these people are being to harsh. If anything they are being too nice. I mean come on how bad can it be, it was a newborn not a 2 yr old driving you nuts to wear you want a break. its a fricken newborn, that chick should have gotten that baby taken away and ya I would of waited for the mother but in the mean time I would of broke the front window taken the baby out then when the mom came out, set the baby down bat the shit out of her then called the cops. GOD why do people have kids if they want to sleep all the time, do what they want when they want to. well no that’s all of us women with kids but when we decided to have kids we knew what would happen and we were more then okay with it. Don’t have kids if you don’t want to take care of them 24/7. if you like kids but don’t want to deal with them all the time and you like to sleep all the time, open a baby sitting service that way you can give them back and you can sleep in on the weekend or whenever your hrs. are off.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I live in an area where it gets hot and quick regardless of how much you run your AC while the car is running within 15 minutes the car will be around 100 degrees. There has already been a case in the DFW area of a mother leaving her child in the car and that child dying because of its mother. I would love to say I would never forget my child in the car but people make mistakes I have seen in an article to put one of the toys in the front of the car to help remind you you have your child with you. But this mother didn’t forget her child she purposely left her child in her car with a note. If it was here the police would have been called and they would have broken into her car to save her child.

  11. Jackie says:

    I don’t think she should have children bad mother bad bad mum!

  12. Jasmine says:

    I take my daughter inside regardless of how long I go into the store. If she wakes up then just do what you can to put her back to sleep, its not impossible. You don’t leave a baby unattended in a locked car PERIOD.

    • Shelly says:

      My fiancee and I have been out and about on many occasions where our daughter woke up and started crying. We would NEVER leave her in a car. NO parent should. I agree, it is not impossible to keep the baby quiet or put him/her back to sleep.

  13. Brenda says:

    I think she made a bad decision at the time, and hopefully she will be smart enough to not do it again. She was very lucky that the passer-byers did not call the police and were nice enough to stand there with the baby until she got there. I don’t care how exhausted I am, my child will be with me and not locked in the car.

  14. tamie says:

    what a selfish parent

  15. Susan says:

    Whats the big deal, I know parents who does that all the time. As long as the car is locked and they go only for some minutes and the car isnt in the sun, everything is fine. Sure if you live in an area where is crime, no way. But if there is crime enough to take a baby out of a locked car, they also would break in if the mom would be in it and take the child.
    I even know a grandma who used to be a professor and as she had no one for her baby, she let it sleep in the car during her lectures.
    there are so many people who let their kids cry to sleep instead of snuggling them, but when someone lets their kid in a locked car for some minutes, cause it could wake up and cry for some minutes, you make a big scene out of it. Tz. Sure, when you are from dangerous areas, of course not, but in towns where they run after you when you lose your wallet, sure I would why not.

    • Erin says:

      The “big deal” is that, even if the temperatures are mild, infants die every year from being left alone in cars. Many parents assume that if it’s not hot outside the car, it won’t get hot inside of the car. That is a false assumption. It takes only minutes for the interior of a car to reach dangerous levels for an infant, especially a new born. Their bodies are not yet able to fully regulate temperatures, and it is easier for them to get overheated. I am sick of seeing news reports starting this time of year where an infant NEEDLESSLY dies because mom was too lazy to take her kid inside. And that is totally aside from any dangers of kidnapping, the baby waking up and needing something, etc…

      I have four kids six and under. Is it sometimes cumbersome getting them all buckled and unbuckled? Yes. Would it be easier to shop if I left them in the car. You betcha’. Have I ever done it? Nope. And I won’t. It’s called being a parent. I’m not all for being the martyr, but this is one of those issues where it is never acceptable to put yourself first. There are too many risks involved. If it’s THAT HARD to carry your baby into a store… then you probably don’t need a baby at that point in your life.

      • Joann says:

        I can see clearly that the car is WET! The baby has double the layer of clothes AND has a warm blanket! I betcha it’s COLD! Nobody’s perfect! The baby was fine so GET OVER IT Erin!!!!!!! No biggie!

  16. Jules says:

    The first week of having my baby, my mom was with me so if I went anywhere, I either left her at home with him or she stayed in the car if I had to run in to do something. While running an errand with her, we stopped off to get something to eat at Jamba juice- and of course, I took my child in with me because there was no way i was leaving him in the car. but when we came back out to our car, parked just 2 spots away was a car with what looked like a little girl about 3 sitting alone in the back of the car. I can’t remember now if she was awake or asleep, but I do remember she was alone. I was so upset that the mother thought it was okay to run in to get a Jamba juice and leave her little girl in the car alone. I don’t care if she thought this area was safe, that’s no excuse! The only thing I regret is not staying there until the mom came out and yelled at her for being irresponsible and leaving her kid alone in the car, regardless if she had line of sight.
    I do think this move was very irresponsible of this mother, no matter her age. It’s apparent the day was not hot, there is water on the window (so it was obv raining)- but that doesn”t matter. While I can say I’ve left my baby in the car while I had to run back inside the house to grab something I forgot- the car was in the garage and I was gone for less than a minute. When I get back from shopping, I take him out first and put him in the house and then bring in the stuff, never the other way around (I don’t care if I’ve got frozens, he’s more important to be put in a safe place- esp as the weather heats up, better to get him out of the car quicker than leaving him in there as the last thing to retrieve from the car).
    I think it was very nice of those people to want to speak to the mother first instead of just calling the police, she’s lucky there were people that felt the need to protect the child in that moment for her, but I hope she learned her lesson and someone gave her a piece of their mind and made her feel so guilty and afraid of losing her child (either to the authorities or something worse) that she never ever did that again! I don’t care where you live- large city, small town, different country- don’t leave your kid in your car, it’s just stupid.

  17. H says:

    I think it depends on where you live. I come from a tiny rural town where you can tell if someone is from out of town because they lock their car doors. There isn’t any crime beyond the odd high school prank and everyone knows everyone through someone. I can tell you in the town I come from, no one would look askance at someone leaving their sleeping baby in the car for a minute to run into the local grocery store (all 6 aisles of it) and grab some things. Heck, no one locks their doors and a lot of people leave the keys in their cars so they don’t have to search for them.

    HOWEVER I now live in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX and in no way would I consider that acceptable for this area because of all the nasty things that could happen.

  18. Robin says:

    Wow There is no reason to leave your child in the car unattended!!!

  19. Monica says:

    HORRIBLE..! Everyone isn’t meant to be a parent…

  20. Melissa says:

    Silly mom. Take the kid with you . OMG!

  21. jessica says:

    nope, I do not believe people are being too harsh! this “mother” (if you can call her that) is absolutely a head case, perhaps there is a better person to raise this child.

  22. Rene says:

    I absolutely believe that under no circumstances is this okay. I do believe the bystanders did the right thing by calling the mom and waiting until she arrived. It is always better for the mom to learn a lesson and take better care of her child then sending the child off to child services. There is no guarantee that there would be a better situation awaiting the child there. God bless those that helped them out instead of judging them. Horrible move on mommy’s part. Everyone makes mistakes, but pray that she will not make any more horrible decisions like this.

  23. Timothy says:

    You should NEVER leave a baby in a car for even a second.. let alone go shopping… what the f…..

  24. tanimarie22 says:


  25. uyanga says:

    what stupid as hole mom

× Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date

By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend