Say there is a single mother of 2. She has no family nearby and is too poor to afford babysitting above the cost of the weekday daycare. Now, she lives in a nice neighborhood, on a cul-de-sac. Well, she has an older child who is past taking naps. Then she has a 1-yr old who takes two naps a day. She is a really good sleeper, and once asleep the Mom can count on her to stay asleep for 2 solid hours minimum. She sleeps in a sturdy, safe crib.
The problem is that with the 1-yr old's schedule, on the mother's days off she can't do much with the older child. Except for grocery shopping or brief trips to the nearby park, the little family is usually home-bound and the Mom and older child get cabin fever. So, one sunny summer afternoon, the baby goes to sleep and the Mom takes the older child to a swimming pool for an hour. She unplugs the phone, makes sure nothing electrical except the AC is on, and locks her door. She and the older child have a great time at the pool and return home to the baby still sleeping and everything is OK.
Have you ever done this sort of thing? Would you do it? Do you think it's all right?
I think that it is OK. A long time ago, our grandparents supervised our parents a lot less than we supervise babies today. Now, I realize that if the mailman came by and saw the baby alone through a window, that would be a DHS report right there. But personally, I just don't see any harm in it.