A woman has been arrested on suspicion of child neglect after a toddler walked into a shop alone.
The boy, who had not been reported missing, entered a shop in Belle Green Lane in Higher Ince, Wigan, at about 16:20 GMT.
He was looked after by police while officers searched for his parents or guardians.
Greater Manchester Police said his mother had been located and the boy was "safe and well".
The force said a woman had been arrested and was being interviewed by officers.
The boy, aged about two or three, had been "appropriately dressed for the cold weather" when he walked into the shop, police said.
Earlier, Insp Nicola Williams said: "He is currently playing in the police station after having a little nap. He obviously must be scared however and just wants to go home."