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How young is too young to leave a child "alone"?

  1. #9
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    When I first read your post, I thought you meant your daughter was out in the hallway of your apartment--standing outside your flat! Yeah, if that happened, I would totally not be okay with it. But, within the home, I wouldn't get upset if my helper went into the bathroom and left my 18-month-old free to roam as long as everything was locked up and there wasn't anything dangerous lying around. What we tend to do, though is leave the bathroom door open. During the day--at least in the morning, there is no one else in the house except my daughter and the helper. I don't mind if she uses the bathroom with the door open. Usually what we would do is plop my daughter within eyesight outside of the bathroom if we are using it. I, like, genkimom, often take my children in with me if I'm going to be in there for awhile. I've even used the toilet before while carrying my daughter. And I'm close with my helper (like a family member) so I don't mind if she does the same. But, I'm not really paranoid. I think it's because I have two children and when I think back to when my son was this age and we DIDN'T have a helper and I was doing things solo I remember that A) I didn't watch my son every second of the day as I ran around the house doing things and we didn't have a playpen to conveniently leave him in B) our house isn't all that big and dangerous C) Considering some of the crazy stunts my son pulled and happened to survive from gives me great hope for my daughter. :) Personally, these types of things don't bother me that much.

    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #10
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hong Kong

    I agree with Thanka2. I had a similar experience in that I had my first in Australia without a helper, and I needed to do chores around the home, so could not watch my LO every minute of every hour. I child proofed the rooms where she would be when I went to the toilet, into the kitchen ect and she would be okay for 5-10 minutes when I had to go grab something. Of course you are never going to be able to avoid the bump into the wall or into the couch ect, but as I see it, these are minor scrapes and bumps and are kind of a right of passage for toddlers.

    In terms of your friend whose child almost was strangled by a blind cord, this is a KNOWN child hazard and should have been dealt with. We have all our blind cords wound up high on a hook.

    I honestly think keeping an eye on a 1 year old 100% of the time is pretty much unachievable unless no other work was expected of the helper.

    satay sue and carang like this.

  3. #11
    Biggie is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Hong kong island

    I think there is a certain stage when a kid is more "accident prone" depending on your kid's personality and your home environment. Our first was a very cautious boy since a baby so we don't really have to watch him too closely -- but our home had stairs so we needed to make sure he is kept away from stairs. Our second one is more adventurous so we are a bit more cautious, especially for the few weeks when he just learned to walk and he liked to climb or grab all the things that he couldn't reach before. Slowly we taught him how to get off the couch safely, what he can't touch etc and we became more relaxed. Since about 16mth we wouldn't mind leaving him alone for a bit here and there, or when he was playing with his older brother (older by 2 yr)

  4. #12
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    Hi all, thanks for all your stories and suggestions!
    No, we don't keep an eye on her every second. That would be insane, especially since my helper doesn't live in, and I work full time.
    Like you ladies, there are many times -- esp. in the mornings before my helper arrives -- that I am making coffee, warming up baby's food, getting dressed, answering the phone, and my kid's just running around.
    I just meant when the helper's alone at home and going to the bathroom with the door shut.
    When I go, I put baby in her playpen for a few minutes. Sometimes she complains, but usually she just plays by herself.
    Recently she's been hurting herself alot. Tried to climb up her stroller and leap off. Tripped over something, cut her lip and bled everywhere.
    So, personally, if I'm just around it's fine.
    But if I'm in the toilet / shower with the door closed -- and there's nobody else here -- I put her in her playpen for a bit.

    shwetakhanna likes this.

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