July 02, 2015

Q: When can I leave my child alone in a room for a few minutes?

A: There is no hard-and-fast rule for leaving your child alone for a few minutes. Before making a decision to do so, you need to carefully think about the overall safety of the child and your own comfort levels. It's usually fine to leave a young baby alone in her crib while you take a quick shower, for example, but this doesn't apply to swings and bouncy seats, which aren't as safe. (If you're really nervous, you can always tote baby in her car seat into the bathroom with you.) Once your child's around 2 or 3, she can probably safely play alone in a childproofed room for a few minutes (as long as you're within earshot, not across the street). While you're out of the room, listen for the normal babbles and squeals of your child playing. If things seem too quiet for too long, go back in to check on her and leave again if you need to.

Of course, this also depends on the room -- never leave a child alone somewhere that's not fully childproofed or with access to a pool or water. You should also never leave your child alone in the bathtub until he's at least 7 years old. (A kid who slips and hits his head could drown in as little as an inch of water in minutes.)

Updated 2009

Answered by American Baby Team

Comments (2)

February 28, 2019
omg my frist time being left alone as a kid was so scary
December 2, 2018
My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website >>SleepBaby .org<< - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! >>SleepBaby .org<< - sorry, you can't post links here so you'll have to turn it into a normal link :) Best of luck to you and your family!