Woman Bashed for Leaving Baby for Hours Because She Didn't Agree to Babysit

A woman who decided to ignore her sister's baby after he was dropped off for her to babysit without her consent is being bashed online.

The original poster (OP), u/Top-Yogurtcloset-313, shared her story to the popular Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole, and earned 7,300 upvotes and 3,600 comments before the thread was locked for her post, "[Am I the A**hole] for not caring for a child I said I wouldn't care for?"

OP is childfree and says she doesn't "even really like kids." However, her sister, "Amber," recently had a baby. She adds that everyone else in their family has been helping Amber with the new baby, and so she's "pretty used to everyone pitching in."

Though OP hadn't had anything to do with the baby yet, Amber recently hoped she would. Amber was already visiting to pick up a package that was delivered to OP by mistake—she says they have very similar sounding addresses. But when she arrived, she had the infant in tow, and thanked OP for watching him. OP was confused, saying she never agreed to watch the kid and wasn't willing to.

"She said 'we're sisters, family helps family' and ended up leaving," u/Top-Yogurtcloset-313 wrote.

OP says that she kept her word and left the infant in his carrier in the entryway, and ignored him until Amber returned. Though OP didn't leave the house, she didn't do anything to take care of the child either. Amber returned after four hours to see her child exactly where she left him, crying with a full diaper.

"I told her I said I wasn't watching her kid and she's lucky I didn't call the police, but Amber said that not wanting to babysit doesn't mean you don't do it," OP wrote.

Amber says that she's cutting ties until u/Top-Yogurtcloset-313 apologizes. She also told the other family members about the situation, who are also condemning her. But OP says she was clear that she would not babysit, and thinks that it's on Amber for assuming she would.

In a comment to Newsweek, u/Top-Yogurtcloset-313 pointed out that her house was not the ideal place for a child.

"I'm truly sorry that it has come to this, and I'd like to add that my house is in addition not babyproofed and my sister knows this, further adding to the negligence on her part," she said.

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A woman who left her sister's child in his carrier for four hours without checking on him is being slammed online. iStock/Getty

While it's common for people to tap family members to babysit sometimes, if it happens a lot, it can become an imposition and cause rifts. Babysitting can be expensive—$18.36 per hour is the average rate, according to an Urbansitter study—which makes the possibility of free babysitting via family members more enticing, but the downside is that family members will not always appreciate the request.

That said, refusing to change a baby's diaper promptly can cause a number of issues. Wet waste left on a baby's skin for too long can cause diaper rash, and solid waste irritates the skin, according to diaper manufacturer Pampers. In addition, bacteria in the waste could lead to infection. And, of course, there's always the risk that the diaper can leak spreading the mess around.

In comments, OP estimated the baby's age as about 1 year old. Babies at this age need to eat about every two to three hours, according to parenting site What to Expect. Parents magazine says that while babies can be left alone "for a few minutes," only when the child reaches ages 2 or 3 can they be left alone in a room, as long as it's within earshot—but even then, not for long stretches of time.

Reddit agreed that while Amber shouldn't have left her son with the OP, the OP was much more in the wrong for refusing to take care of the child.

"[Everybody Sucks Here]. You left a baby unsupervised for 4 hours ?!?!?! No matter what point you were trying to prove, are you really willing to risk the life of a baby to make it ?!?!?!" u/MaybeAWalrus wrote in the top-rated comment with 23,700 upvotes. "The only good solution here was to tell her you wouldn't take care of the kid and tell her that if she leaves, you'll call the police. THEN YOU CALL THE POLICE WHEN SHE LEAVES.

"You don't let a kid unsupervised for 4 hours. Even if your sister sucks. You don't let a kid unsupervised for 4 hours to prove a point," they continued.

"IS OP nuts? You would not leave a puppy out there like that. It can literally die. By all means, call the police or CPS to teach her a lesson... but risking a kid's life to prove some sort of point is 'WTF mate?' territory," u/gordito_delgado wrote. "The only one even more insane is the mom. How in the world does she leave her OWN BABY alone like that without an adult explicitly taking responsibility? Truly a lot of people in this world should not breed."

"Former CPS worker. We had a case where a child died because the babysitter left him in a child car seat unsupervised. She thought he would be fine because 'well he was strapped in the seat, what could happen?' Asphyxiation and death, apparently," u/UnicornSpark1es wrote.

"[Everybody Sucks Here]. Sister sucks for leaving the baby, OP sucks for not taking any action. Only one suffering here is the child and this could have gone TERRIBLY," u/ILikeSealsALot wrote.

"Exactly. This was abusing a child too young to fend for itself so OP could prove a point. [Everybody Sucks Here], but OP's solution paints her as a bigger [a**hole]," u/Accomplished_Two1611 wrote.

"[You're the A**hole]. You punished a tiny baby for the actions of an adult," u/Early-Light-864 wrote. "Punishing the innocent is ALWAYS an a**hole move. Doing it to a literal infant in diapers is unconscionable. You should be ashamed of yourself".

Update 8/1, 4:30 p.m.: This article has been updated to include comment from the OP.