Originally Posted by Llyra
Actually, I'm not really sure WHAT he thinks the danger is. DH went over last night to chat and kinda feel things out (because of the CPS thing) and my neighbor told him that I'm a crazy hippie freak who's warping his children. He talked about how I let DD1 dig in the dirt and play with bugs and go outside without shoes, and how he can't understand why she's not in some kind of organized activity so that she doesn't "waste all her time outside getting dirty". He mentioned the other day when DD1 was lifting her dress up outside and had on no panties (we're potty learning). He mentioned how my babies are never bundled up "properly"-- jeez, it's 68 degrees out there and they're in cotton sleepers and cotton swaddling. How bundled does he think they need to be? He thinks I'm going to "suffocate that baby" with my Mei Tai, and he thinks it's a "trashy" that I put cloth diapers out on the railing to sun out the stains. He also mentioned the garden being "a mess" and complained about how I dress and how I really ought to "get my hair done". So I think he just doesn't like us, and that my babies sleeping outside is just another "hippie" thing. He's really strait-laced and religious and generally a crank, I think, but DH says he doesn't think the guy would ever call CPS. I've decided to think of something really outrageous and over-the-top to do to really freak him out, and then he'll forget all about the babies.
First things first, your neighbor is a nut! You mustn't mind him or think that others view your family as he does. What a nitwit!
Personally, I'd be uncomfortable leaving a baby on the porch while I was indoors, even if I was generally right by the screen door. ITA with everyone who has said the chances of kidnapping, animal attack, etc are minute, but I'd still worry. DH left DD1 alone in the car for ~1 minute to bring my keys into my yoga class a few weeks ago and I nearly had a heart attack when I realized what he'd done! (Yes, you can call it American paranoia if you like, but that's how I feel about it.) If you have the option of putting them somewhere less visible while still being able to watch them effectively, I'd use it. If not, I'd try to lure your toddler outside. The fresh air is good for her, too!
And it can't hurt anything for your presence to be obvious to neighbors, passers-by, and wildlife alike.
That's JMO, of course. If you feel good about what you're doing, then keep doing it. You're certainly not "wrong" to do things the way you have been. And let us know what you decide on to shock your neighbor. It should be a good story!