A mother uses an idling car to put her child to sleep: a neighbor in Angers

Drivers let cars idle for a variety of reasons. Many people warm up a vehicle in the winter before driving it, while others idle while waiting to pick up a family member or friend. Also, sometimes people have no choice but to let a vehicle idle when stuck in a traffic jam. Also, recently, there was controversy when a mother used an idling car to put her child to sleep during nap time.

The hum of an idling car helps a mother’s child fall asleep

Baby in car seat | Alexander Gray on Unsplash

Young children need lots of sleep. For parents, however, it can be difficult to get their children to sleep – so that they get the necessary amount of sleep. A mother from Sydney, Australia encountered this problem with her son and chose an unusual method for her child’s nap: an idling car.

The mother claims that under normal circumstances it is impossible for her son to have uninterrupted sleep. However, she found that the hum of her idling car did the trick for sleeping. When he is in the car, his son easily dozes off with constant sleep.

A neighbor writes an angry note to his mother about using a vehicle for her child’s nap

A neighbor of the mother vehemently voiced her opinion of the unusual nap method with a note of anger. In the digital age, many people express their options in emails or on social media. However, the neighbor communicated his frustrations the old-fashioned way: a hand-delivered letter, as Mirror reports.

The note is very critical of the mother:

“I like most of your [neighbors] drive past your house several times a day and notice that your car is constantly running on some days. I see your child and sometimes you in the car. While I understand that you use the car to soothe or put your child to sleep, I’m sure you need to understand the damage you are causing to the environment.

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The critical letter then asked if the mother cared about her children:

“Having a vehicle like yours running for hours a day for no acceptable reason is beyond belief. If you really cared about your kids, you’d care about the environment you’ll be leaving them in the long run, not just your convenience. /short-term comfort.

After this teardown, the neighbor expressed her opinion on parenthood while reiterating the damage an idling car does to the environment:

“I raised three children and never had to drive or use a vehicle to put my children to sleep. I understand parenting isn’t easy, but taking shortcuts that damage our planet (the planet you leave to your children) is not an acceptable course of action by any standard.

The neighbor then signed the note, writing: “From a [neighbor] who cares about the environment and our future.

Mother defends herself after receiving the angry note

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Instead of ignoring her neighbour’s criticism, Sydney’s mother clapped back in a follow-up response. She wrote: “When I find out who it is they will seriously regret starting a war with me!”

The mother then defended her by letting her son sleep in the idling car: “We haven’t had a single night of uninterrupted sleep in almost six years, so we are doing what we have to do to have a well deserved break.”

She then explained that her child easily fell asleep in the vehicle “for an hour and a half – but would wake up instantly if she turned off the car”. The mother also said that when her son is at daycare three days a week, she does not use her car.

Is it harmful for a car to idle for a long time?

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We will not cover the ethics or morality of letting a child sleep in an idling car from a parent’s perspective. We will leave these opinions to you. However, as a car site, we can determine whether or not it is harmful for a car to be idling for a long period of time.

Idling your car once in a while won’t usually cause any problems. However, as detailed by JD Power and WBTV, excessively idling a car for long periods of time has negative consequences. This includes:

  • wasted gas
  • burn the oil
  • impairs performance by deteriorating a car’s spark plugs, head gasket, or cylinder rings
  • Drains a vehicle’s battery
  • Harm the environment by producing unnecessary emissions (for petrol cars)

However, there are circumstances when idling a car is appropriate. This includes warming up a car for a short time during the winter, waiting at a red light, and when stuck in traffic. Additionally, it is appropriate to leave a vehicle idling when it is low on gas and trying to reach a gas station. In many cases, a car uses more fuel when starting the ignition than leaving it idling.

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