Poop-eating baby with dad nearby on phone amuses and enrages millions in China

A video of a baby eating its own excrement is watched more than 200 million times in China, triggering debate over parenting.
PHOTO: South China Morning Post

A video of a father in China distracted by his phone while caring for his baby son not noticing his child had been playing with his faeces has had more than 220 million views on Weibo.

The footage is from a surveillance video from Aug 4 in Changchun, Jilin province, northeast China, and shows the father at home using his phone while his nine-month-old son sits next to him eating his own excrement.

According to the baby’s mother, surnamed Huo, the child was left at home with his father while she was at work that day.

“When I got home from work, I noticed that all of the mat covers had been changed, and I was wondering why he was so diligent about doing laundry,” Huo said. “At first, my husband did not dare to tell me the truth, and only said that the baby pooped and soiled the mats.”

Many who saw the video were horrified and criticised the father for being neglectful. 
PHOTO: Weibo

Huo, sensed something was wrong and discovered what had happened after reviewing the surveillance footage.

“The baby was pooping, playing with, and even eating his own faeces right next to him, but he didn’t notice it until five minutes later,” she said.

“The baby kept looking at him the entire time, but he didn’t sense anything was wrong.”

One commenter noticed the baby’s reaction in the video said: “The child took a bite, frowned and shivered.”

While many who watched the video found it amusing, a lot of people were outraged, with many accusing the father of being “careless and irresponsible”.

“Couldn’t he smell the stench even though he didn’t keep an eye on the baby? It’s not funny; I only see a father failing to do his job,” said a commenter.

One person jokingly said: “It’s cheaper to change a husband than it is to change mats.”

While the baby was sampling its own waste the father is seen in the video playing on his phone.
PHOTO: Weibo

It also sparked a discussion about stereotypical divisions of labour between men and women, and deep-rooted ideas that women should be homemakers and handle child care.

“Dads who say they aren’t good at child care simply don’t believe it should be their responsibility; people who care will learn how to babysit in no time,” one person commented.

Another added: “That’s exactly why so many women nowadays don’t want to get married.”

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.