I don't see how allowing a kid a small amount of autonomy (leash) can be worse than allowing them none at all (sling, stroller). I'm totally getting a leash with the next paycheck. My kid loves
to walk on his own, but he is not a fan of holding mommy's hand. AND he is also a street darter. Walking with him requires such a heightened level of awareness from me that its incredibly stressful. Plus I'm missing out on the world since I can only look down
I think it is probably something that will vary with every child, much like in the carrier-vs-stroller debate. There are lots of mamas that do fine with not having a stroller, but my kid could never handle the carrier for long periods of time either. Now he can't handle the carrier or stroller for long...he just wants to walk, walk, walk...on his own with no hand holding! He is very
stubborn about it. I love the fact that he is likes walking with me, but he has no danger awareness
. So I've weighed the options and I think a leash is a great compromise. Oh, and he just turned 16 months.