Rules for the Mom and Tots parking bay in South Africa

So what are the rules for the mom and tots parking bay in South Africa anyway?


Do you know that amazing feeling when you drive into the parking area of a mall and find that the mom and tots parking bay is empty! Immediately I hear a stadium full of soccer fans cheering on. This has happened to me about 10 times, in my entire mom life.


That bay is never empty. It’s always taken.


And don’t let me find a car parked in there without the baby on board sign on the car, then I almost feel like hunting the person down to check if they actually have a baby/toddler. My mom vibe truly comes out.


The rules of these bays are not generally advertised, and unless you make the effort and personally go and ask the mall management team, you most likely will never know. It can be especially confusing for new moms. Hence me writing the rules for the mom and tots parking bay in South Africa.



Then, in those 10 times that I have managed to get a mom and tot parking bay, I enter the bay with so much fear of been harassed. All eyes on me. Everyone looks at you suspiciously. Because they all want to know, do you really have a baby in your car.

The questions surrounding this specific bay are: What is the maximum age. Do you need to have a baby on board sign. Do you need to make use of a pram/stroller. Is it for dads too. Are walking children allowed.



Rules for the Mom and Tots Parking Bay in South Africa

I took it upon myself to check the websites of a few of the big malls in South Africa to find their policy. Because I too wanted to know. Unfortunately I could not find any information. I then contacted Canal Walk in Cape Town, who were happy to share their policy on this:

We have the designated parking bays as a courtesy to moms with babies and toddlers. The age limit would be 5 years old or up to the age that the child no longer uses a car seat.


A regional shopping centre in Port Elizabeth commented:

Best practice pretty much dictates that you should only be allowed to use the moms and tots parking IF your kids are with you and only when they are between the ages of 0 – 3 years of age! You need to make sure you have the relevant “baby on board” signage on your car as well.


They further explained that ‘some shopping malls are actually looking into the formal issuing of permits to better regulate the hassles around this’.

As there is no standard policy in place for this parking bay for all malls. Therefore, if you would like clarity on this policy for YOUR preferred mall, visit their information desk at your next visit.


PS, Have you downloaded my free meal planner yet?

Tata for now

Tracy xx



4 thoughts on “Rules for the Mom and Tots parking bay in South Africa”

  • I get super annoyed when I see someone getting out the car with no baby. Having said that, I have NEVER had a baby on board sticker on my car because I personally just don’t like them. So NOT having one doesn’t mean you don’t have a baby. I just liken them to the stick family stickers. I feel that they offer no benefit to me personally. I do however think that you don’t get to use them anymore when your child can safely cross the road (navigate through a carpark). It’s still hard with a toddler trying to get into a mall. Interesting post! Thanks

  • I agree, more respect needs to be given for these parking bays. I must admit, in the 10 months of having a baby, I have to admit that when going to Cape Gate, I often manage to get one of these parking bays.

    On the subject of Baby on Board signs – these are actually for first responders to see that there is/ was a child in the car during an accident – might be a good idea to get one for this reason – then you are also covered for the parking spots.

  • I get so annoyed when people who do not have kids use this parking . Drive me crazy. However I also don’t have a sticker so i don’t assume. But if I see them without a baby it’s irritating. Or with preteens. Heaven knows I need ALL the help I can get when out with my girls.

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