Is one allowed to eat food that was left in a basket underneath a stroller while the baby was sleeping?


The Alter Rebbe writes (Hilchos Shemiras Guf V’Nefesh 7) that one should not place a cooked dish or other foods or drinks under a bed because of the רוח רעה (evil spirit) then rests on them even if they are covered in an iron box.

With that said, there is room for leniency בדיעבד (after the fact) with food left underneath a stroller while the baby is sleeping in it for the following reasons:

  1. Some Poskim hold that the reason of the evil spirit resting on the food (underneath a bed) is only when the bed belongs to one who if they would touch food it would cause impurity to the food if they did not first do Netilas Yadaim. Since there is some leniency (after the fact) with the touching of little babies without Netilas Yadaim (see Alter Rebbe Orach Chayim Mehadura Basra Shulchan Aruch 4:2) to food, that rule would say the same here as well. (Note, that the Alter Rebbe in the parenthesis adds that it is proper to be stringent from the touching of a child from his Bris Milah.)
  2. The Darkei Teshuva (Yoreh Deah 116:137) brings that the problem of placing food underneath a bed is only when it is only the floor beneath it literally קרקע שתחתי’ ממש. This is not the case by a basket underneath a stroller.
  3. The Darkei Teshuva ibid:138 brings the Sefer Mili Dichasidusa who holds that the problem of placing food under a bed is when there is marital relations on the bed.

Additionally, there are poskim that are always lenient in cases of bedieved.

Based on all these three reasons the Minchas Yitzchak (4:117) holds one can even be lenient even initially. However, it seems that based on the wording of the Alter Rebbe in both places (Shemiras Guf V’nefesh and Mehadura Basra) that one should be stringent at least initially.

Also, a stroller is not an ordinary bed. Its primary purpose is for taking a walk and short naps.

Thus, there is strong room to be lenient even initially and certainly after the fact.