or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Family Safety › Do You Use Child Leashes?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do You Use Child Leashes?

post #1 of 205
Thread Starter 
I'm very against them, but maybe I'm overreacting. Do you use one? Why? Is it compatible with attachment parenting principles? If you don't use one, how do you ensure your children's safety when outside, in crowds or near busy streets?
post #2 of 205
Ya know, when my aunt had her 4th of 5 children and the little girl started walking my aunt invested in one. This kid would be gone in a new york minute. No matter how many eyes were on her she would be gone at top speed. Seriously. The leash just slowed her down enough. (BTW, the fifth kid didn't need a leash either). I've not had any experience other than that, but it worked and she eventually grew out of it. My child follows rules and holds hands in public. Not allowed to not especially near busy streets. He is sorta clingy in strange situations or in a crowd so I am lucky and don't worry about it a lot.
post #3 of 205
My DD has one that we use in very busy malls or in airports. She loves it and it's much easier than trying to juggle her hand (especially for my tall DP), carryons, carseat, etc. She's perfectly content using it, whereas she sometimes freaks out about holding hands.

It's a bit embarrassing when she pretends to be a puppy while on the leash - the harness part is a stuffed puppy, but she takes it a bit far sometimes
post #4 of 205
Well, they're certainly more AP than forcing a child to ride in a stroller all the time just because they haven't developed impulse control.

They can be a useful tool for supporting a developmental need to explore before the developmental ability to not run into traffic starts.

I haven't needed one, but I'm a relatively healthy SAHM with a fairly laid back dd.

DD has been in a harness once when my mom watched her for me at a sport activity. I watched her in it and she didn't mind it at all (and dd is NOT a suffer-in-silence type), but she did seem to be aware of it and stay closer to my mom. She wasn't going to the limit of the lead and staying close because she couldn't go farther, the harness just seemed to cue her in that this was a time to stay by the adult watching her.

Oh, and my dd is also tall for her age and I'm average for mine, so it's more comfortable for us to hold hands than it would be otherwise. And she stays on the sidewalk when she plays the run-away-from-mommy game. If she was one of those kids who drifts towards the road (or goes directly into traffic) she would've been in a harness and lead a year ago.
post #5 of 205
I LOVE CHILD LEASHES! I never used one with my first, who would listen when out in public and LOVED being held. But my second was the opposite! He couldn't stand to be restrained (in arms or stroller) and couldn't listen when left to walk. Without the leash, we would have easily gotten hurt when I was the only other adult around (esp. when I got pregnant with number 3.) Now that baby number 3 is here, if I take all three kids to someplace like the zoo or aquarium, ds1 has his backpack (aka leash) on and I have it in my hands at all times. It's just not worth the risk of him getting lost because I have other children I need to keep an eye on aswell.
post #6 of 205
I used one when dd1 was about 18 months and I had a newborn. I see them the same as strollers, high chairs, swings, etc. They come in quite handy at times when used appropriately. I dont see the difference between strapping your kid in a stroller or to your back and using a leash. All are ways to safely contain your dc, and there will always be people who misuse it and give it bad rap.
post #7 of 205
I've always sort of chuckled about it and never used one myself but I've been considered one lately. I have this impulsive 5 yr old who takes off constantly these days. She also argues with me a lot in. It seems to be quite an independence phase and I'm fine with it. BUT after countless store employees and strangers return my daughter to me because she rounds them up to help her find me, it gets old. I know she is resourceful enough to ask for help finding me since she seems to have the worst most backwards upside down sense of direction, these kind, helpful strangers sure give me the dirtiest looks and act like I'm a horrible human being for letting my precious child out of my sight.
post #8 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmh23 View Post
I LOVE CHILD LEASHES!
Me too! My first was very cautious and never wandered more than a few feet away from me. And since she was my first I could watch her the whole time. DS1 however, total runner. He'd run 8 miles down a road before even thinking of looking back. So yeah, we have a monkey backpack and he loves it. Makes things so much easier. And now that DS2 is running we're going to invest in a second one.

And I agree with Sapphire that its much more AP than a stroller. My DSs can interact with their environment and get some exercise instead of being cooped up in a stroller.
post #9 of 205
If you had asked me a few years ago I would have been against them, but then dd2 came along. She'll hold her sisters sometimes but if I try to hold her hand she instantly falls to the ground screaming every. single. time. Principle kinda goes out the window when the baby is boneless and wailing in the middle of the crosswalk.
post #10 of 205
I used one with my first. He wanted to be walking (so no stroller), hated holding hands, etc. He was perfectly happy with his bear backpack leash on. Ds2 it was never an issue, he was happy in the stroller or holding hands. We'll see with dd...
post #11 of 205
I think they are weird. We have a dog and it jsut seems strange to have a leash on a child!

I hold ds's hand, or wear him, we dont use a stroller except for theme parks, and mostly he walks.
I play 'red light green light' a lot and he knows what 'red light' means.
He has also been taught how to safely cross the road, which at his age involves holding hands, so he wont cross the road without me.

In parking lots he rides in the cart or holds hands, no exceptions allowed which he knows.

I've never had a reason to put him on a leash!
post #12 of 205
No personal experience, but most kids I've known with leashes love their leashes. I knew a little boy who wanted to wear his monkey one to bed because he loved it so much (he didn't get to though).

I think it's better than being forced to be in a stroller, and easier than holding if the child doesn't want to be held or hold hands.
post #13 of 205
I think you're over reacting. I used one with one of my three kids (not really a "leash," but a Maya Wrap looped around his waste. He learned to run at 10 months old and would run in a straight line until he ran into something - it was like his legs were going before his feet even hit the ground. He was also fiercely independent and would scream incessantly if in the sling when he didn't want to be, and he thought strollers were the equivalent of prisons laced with caustic acid. Handholding was a no go too. Without the sling as leash, we would have been house bound for a good two years. There was no way I could safely chase him when I was pregnant with DD or when DD was a newborn in the sling - no way. The leash reminded him that I was behind him. He would get to the end of it and feel the tug and it would remind him to slow down.
post #14 of 205
Yes. Because over the age of 2 I want my kids to walk, and I think it's cruel to hold their arms at a 180 degree angle.
post #15 of 205
Eclipse, your kid sounds like mine!

OP, I've had eight kids. Some do great on their own, stay with me, never run off. I have two that were seriously scary. My second could get out of a stroller (high chair/car seat) at the drop of a hat...and be gone in ten seconds. That wasn't something I wanted to deal with, and the strap would help set that boundary without forcing her to be MY extension. We were connected.

My fifth loved the maya wrap, until he was done. Then he was DONE. So the wrap made a great strap!
post #16 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by leighi123 View Post
I think they are weird. We have a dog and it jsut seems strange to have a leash on a child!

I hold ds's hand, or wear him, we dont use a stroller except for theme parks, and mostly he walks.
I play 'red light green light' a lot and he knows what 'red light' means.
He has also been taught how to safely cross the road, which at his age involves holding hands, so he wont cross the road without me.

In parking lots he rides in the cart or holds hands, no exceptions allowed which he knows.

I've never had a reason to put him on a leash!
I feel the same way but I have three children four and under. I do not like strollers or leashes , tbh.
post #17 of 205
I have never used one, and probably never will (my 4th child is 3 - so he is past the toddler stage for the most part). That said, I now DO see how they can be helpful, and can look back and recall times when a harness would have been nice to have (like at a crowded festival, etc).TBH, it was past threads here on MDC where I may have argued the un-necessity of them that in turn were what changed my mind and made me see it from another perspective. I do hope to have another kid, or two - so I guess I can't say never now that I view them as a useful tool, 'cause I may just try one someday.
post #18 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by leighi123 View Post
I think they are weird. We have a dog and it jsut seems strange to have a leash on a child!

I hold ds's hand, or wear him, we dont use a stroller except for theme parks, and mostly he walks.
I play 'red light green light' a lot and he knows what 'red light' means.
He has also been taught how to safely cross the road, which at his age involves holding hands, so he wont cross the road without me.

In parking lots he rides in the cart or holds hands, no exceptions allowed which he knows.

I've never had a reason to put him on a leash!
Honestly, this is all because you have a compliant child. My first was that way and it's great. My second loves "red light, green light" unless we're out in public and and then "red light" turns in to "run faster light." It took until he was almost 3 for him to understand that he is not allowed to go in the street unless a parent is right next to him. Parking lots are my personal hell for similar reasons (though it's slowly getting better now!)

ETA: Our leash is a bear backpack harness that ds LOVES, so very un-dog like.
post #19 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Yes. Because over the age of 2 I want my kids to walk, and I think it's cruel to hold their arms at a 180 degree angle.
This. We're going to the zoo Friday and I don't want to have to force DD to sit in a stroller for 3 hours or hold her arm over her head. With the leash she has more freedom than with either option and I don't have to worry about her bolting into a crowd.
post #20 of 205
I used one with my first child because he was a runner. He could also climb out of any restraint system (except his car seat) by 18 months. With my second, I haven't had a need. He stays by me when we are out and about and actually prefers to hold my hand.

As long as you are using it correctly (ie to let your child explore/walk independently) then I think they are fine. However, there are people who yank their children around with them (I even saw someone dragging their child with one once!! ) and I think that's part of what causes the intense reactions to them.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Family Safety
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Family Safety › Do You Use Child Leashes?