Although he normally did not enjoy films which show children or infants in danger, Gene Siskel gave this movie a "thumbs up" while Roger Ebert disliked the movie and told Siskel he should be ashamed of himself. Their sharp disagreement has since become a popular Internet video.
This was the first film of John Hughes' three picture fifty-million-dollar contract with Fox, which produced Baby Day's Out, 'Miracle On 34th Street', and 'Home Alone 3 (1998), all of which were box office failures.
In a 2009 essay published after the death of John Hughes, Roger Ebert included this tidbit about a trip to India: "Once when I was visiting the largest movie theater in Calcutta, I asked if 'Star Wars' had been their most successful American film. No, I was told, it was 'Baby's Day Out,' a Hughes comedy about a baby wandering through a big city, which played for more than a year." An Indian remake, Sisindri (1995) was released the following year.
The majority of the film was shot on sound-stages at Fox Studios, especially for the major shots in the film such as the Cotwell mansion (which was redressed several times for other shots), the Chicago Zoo and the construction site, the film's major set piece.
At one point in the film, Laraine Cotwell (Lara Flynn Boyle) tells FBI Agent Grissom (Fred Dalton Thompson) that he can't possibly know how she feels since he has never lost a child. Also, Eddie (Joe Mantegna) says that he'll never have any kids of his own. In reality, however, both Thompson and Mantegna are fathers, while Boyle has no children.
Originally Academy Award Winning composer Jerry Goldsmith was slated to score this film, but had to bow out due to scheduling conflicts with The Shadow (1994). Bruce Broughton was hired and subsequently hired to score the remake of Miracle on 34th Street (1994) later that year, both written and produced by the late John Hughes. Broughton had only three weeks to score the film.