or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › To harness or not to harness...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

To harness or not to harness...

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
DH and I are comteplating a harness for our 14.5 month old. She is so active and has no fear...at all! She will run off in the blink of an eye and she is incredibly fast. Right now we basically follow her around constantly pulling her away from different situations dangerous or just not productive. It seems like a harness would be the best option; however, it just can't bring ourselves to purchase one.
We just can't get over the idea that it is basically a leash and if that is damaging to her psyche in some way? Also, I wonder if it will inhibit her curiosity? Sometimes I feel like we are just being lazy and should just get over it and follow her around like we are doing, but other times it feels like an absolute necessity.
I would love to hear some thoughts on the issue or if you use one what your experience has been.
thanks.
post #2 of 50
we haven't gotten one for DD, mostly because of lazyness on my part. but there are times I really wish we had one because she loves going for walks but there's enough traffic a toddler running into the middle of the road would be dangerous, and she's run away from me at the mall before. there are times when a toddler running off can be really dangerous, and little ones are too short to comfortably hold hands with an adult for any length of time. my mom used a leash with me (not a harness, but one that attached to the wrist) because there were a couple of times that she lost me in a store and it took several minutes to locate me, and I don't have any damage from being leashed.
post #3 of 50
I personally do not like them at all but it's a personal choice. I believe with patience and a firm hand holding children learn they can't run off. It used to be an issue with DD. She could either hold my hand and walk or in the carrier or stroller. It took quite a few back in the carrier or back in the stroller situations before she stopped trying to run off.
post #4 of 50
I think they are awesome, not damaging, and a great tool for kids to have autonomy, the ability to explore their environment, and remain safe at the same time.
post #5 of 50
and if you have a ring sling, you can use that as a harness - you don't need to buy a special one.
post #6 of 50
Get the harness. I think you'll regret not doing it. What else would you do? Would you put her in a stroller or sling her up in a crowded place? Harness is no different. I never had one, but none of my kids are runners- I know plenty of kids who are enough that I would buy one in a hot second.

I think if she runs so much it's making outings not enjoyable, go ahead and harness her. She'll still figure out hand holding when she's a little older. You could teach her now(though how long it will take and how hard it will be is wildly variable), but there's no harm in the harness, and if it makes everybody's life better, hooray.
post #7 of 50
i have a kid kind of like that in my class. now, i don;t deal with her running off in public places or for longer periods of time but when i do have to wrangle her i hold onto her by the hood of her coat. or is that bad???
post #8 of 50
We used a harness for our kiddo, probably starting around that age. We got a cute teddy bear backpack style. DS1 loved it, we loved it. It gave him much more freedom, because he could walk safely without holding our hands. He was able to explore his environment as well - we had the most fun hiking and going to the zoo with that backpack! DS1 is VERY independent, as soon as he learned how to walk he was done with carriers and strollers (unless he was too tired to keep walking). The harness was awesome. It was also fantastic in the airport.
post #9 of 50
I kept meaning to get a harness for dd, but never got around to it. Ended up strapping her into the stroller or carrying her instead. Which I think were worse than a harness would've been since they were so much more limiting.

DD was actually quite good at holding hands. Where a harness would've been handy was when I didn't have a hand conveniently free and she wasn't in a hand holding mood. Like every single visit to the library between a year and 24 months.
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
I think they are awesome, not damaging, and a great tool for kids to have autonomy, the ability to explore their environment, and remain safe at the same time.
Well put.
post #11 of 50
I wouldn't use one on a child, and admit to sort of cringing anytime I see one in use. Of course, I also admit that we're crazy babywearers and just wore DS2 everywhere all the time. Either he walked with us holding hands, or up onto someone's back he went. No ifs, ands, or buts.
post #12 of 50
I think they are a great tool, but we don't have one. Our kids never been ones to want to walk when we were are out at that age. If they do they must walk with us or they get held. I figure that if I have to use it to stop them from running off and they are yanking at the end I might as well pick them up. Now we have a friend with kids 13 months apart, and holding them both is just not a option. I would most definitely have a harness then.
post #13 of 50
the thought crosses my mind. i have twins and they both like to run away from me. when i see people with toddlers who actually stay with their parents, it totally blows my mind!

but i can't shake the feeling that i'd feel like a dog walker.....

also, i feel like they'd just get annoyed with it and pull like an untrained dog....

sorry about all of the dog analogies! i think it's kind of funny

i guess what i'm getting at is that i have absolutely no problem with it, as long as the kid is happy with it. but i still can't quite bring myself to do it. the peculiarity of it just gets to me. but if you can get past it, by all means, do it!
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightmommy View Post
Now we have a friend with kids 13 months apart, and holding them both is just not a option. I would most definitely have a harness then.
Mine are 14 months apart, and DH isn't around for a bit. I picked one up last week. I'm letting DS 1 wear it around the house just for fun, and hopefully he will not mind using it in public. He is two, but does not understand that he can't run off in parking lots etc. The 1 yo is usually worn, and while I can gold his hand much of the time, it's much more comfortable for both of us if he has a little space when he wants it, the harness will actually allow him more freedom to explore than he has when I hold his hand.

I used to cringe at them as well. Now I see them as a tool- they can either be used properly or improperly.
post #15 of 50
We bought one for ds1 because mil requested it. She didn't feel comfortable walking with him on a busy street even though he was never the type to run away. We never used it, not once. I kept it in case we wanted it for a crowded area. But I didn't think it would work. I imagined he'd fall to his knees as soon as it was on, cursing the the thing not sure if it was going to be like that or not but I just never felt we needed it. We bought it on sale for $6 at a kids store so we din't really waste our money.
We have a ds2 now that is 18 months, but I actually just gave the harness away. I just can't see myself using it. I really don't have too much against them, I just don't see my kids functioning while attached to one although I haven't tried
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by dividedsky View Post

sorry about all of the dog analogies! i think it's kind of funny
i have one dog and one kid. i've worked at a doggy daycare and a real kid daycare....trust me, there's alot more than the leashes that are analogous.
(except the dog usually listens to me...)
post #17 of 50
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input everyone.
For those of you with very active children and didn't/don't use a harness, what was the age they began to grasp the whole hand holding thing? DD will hold our hand(s) for about 10 seconds then squirms and pulls away. Is it just my LO? I thought girls were supposed to be calmer?
post #18 of 50
i give the choice that he can hold my hand or come up. I do this for crossing streets or if it's a crowded area.

He often will go limp if I make him hold my hand, so he comes up. If we have the stroller then that becomes an option too.
post #19 of 50
I didn't read all of the posts, but I will tell you it is one of the best things we ever got

We originally got it bec we were flying. DS was a fast 17mo & I was 7mo pg. I knew it was going to be tough. It has been worth every penny. We got one that looks like a back pack. It was also great at the end of the pg to use for walks since I was slow at that point.

DS is almost 27mo now & on occasion will still want to wear his 'pack' if we go for a walk & will even wear it around the house. it also has enabled his grandparents to walk him around since there is no way they could keep up with him otherwise

DS is just now getting good at hand holding. I think it started around 25 - 26mo.
post #20 of 50
Quote:
I used to cringe at them as well. Now I see them as a tool- they can either be used properly or improperly.
I feel the same way, though we have never used them and don't plan to.

I guess in your particular situation, OP, it seems a bit silly and unnecessary to me to get one. You mention you and dh being places with her. It seems to me that two healthy adults (I know I'm making an assumption here) should be able to keep up with a toddler.

In a situation where it's a single parent with two little ones, or a pregnant mama who can't move as quickly, or a parent who for some reason isn't physically as capable as he/she needs to be to chase a toddler.... then it seems like a harness is more necessary or could be extremely helpful.

I'm not saying that harnesses are wrong or immoral or damaging or anything like that. They just seem silly and unnecessary to me in some cases.

Also, my littlest isn't walking yet, but I cannot imagine her "allowing" us to put a harness on her. Oh the tantrum she'd have!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Life with a Toddler
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › To harness or not to harness...