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To harness or not to harness... - Page 2

post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by candelaria80 View Post
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?
DD held my hand quite young, but she's on the taller side. When she'd want to walk around holding hands before she could walk alone, it didn't hurt my back nearly as much as it had with her cousin because I didn't have to bend over as far.

Same cousin also was more reluctant to hold hands after she walked independently. Part personality, part just having to stretch more.
post #22 of 50
I`ve thought about one as DD is a runner but they make me squirm although the logical part of my mind thinks they`re great, I have no idea why I feel so hesitant. MIL used them for DH but I still can`t wrap my head around it and we do use a stroller which logically seems worse. So far DD has never tried to run into the street and stays on the sidewalk so I just let her walk by herself and follow her. I carry her kicking and screaming and tantruming across every single street.
post #23 of 50
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.
post #24 of 50
I've seen the harness used very well in conjunction with other techniques. When the babe is old enough for some impulse control The parents wean the babe from the backpack.

I think its great, but again I'd hold hands even if she is, to teach that skill and not rely on it as a solution but rather as a safety net.

DS isn't old enough for it yet, but I wouldn't hesitate to use one if he needed it.
post #25 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by greeny View Post
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!
For the most part I do agree with you, especially when it comes to her letting us put one on her (she hates anything binding). We can and do keep up with her for the most part and we are hoping that she will soon learn to hold hands and stay close; however, in crowded situations, which we are in often (we have passes to Disneyland, the zoo, the aquarium and go the the farmers market twice a week) we are starting to worry a bit.
Like I said before, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I think we have decided to hold off for a bit and see if we can wait the running like a crazy women through the store thing out.
post #26 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
DD held my hand quite young, but she's on the taller side. When she'd want to walk around holding hands before she could walk alone, it didn't hurt my back nearly as much as it had with her cousin because I didn't have to bend over as far.

Same cousin also was more reluctant to hold hands after she walked independently. Part personality, part just having to stretch more.
The height thing may be part of the reason she doesn't like holding hands, she is only 29", pretty small for her age. Also we never actually had to hold her hand even when she first started walking. At 10 months when she took her first steps, she was a 100% stable walker, maybe she just needs to get used to it?
When my DH can we each take one hand, she seems to like that a bit more, but probably because we do
swingies.
post #27 of 50
Thread Starter 
A couple of people made a point I had never thought of, a carrier (which I use often) and a stroller (which we use occasionally) seem a lot more restrictive then a harness.
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by candelaria80 View Post
A couple of people made a point I had never thought of, a carrier (which I use often) and a stroller (which we use occasionally) seem a lot more restrictive then a harness.
That's how it was for my son. He never rode in a stroller (really, from the time he was born he would scream like someone was killing him if you put him in one. He was a high needs kid!) and once he learned to walk, he would only allow me to sling him if he wanted to nurse or was very, very tired. He was a big kid, and there was no safe way to sling him (even if I could handle the screaming) if he didn't want to be slung. He really, really loved the harness and picked it every single time over hand holding/stroller/baby wearing.
post #29 of 50
OP, I would absolutely get one if you end up deciding that your DD needs it. It is a safety issue! Certainly it's good to teach her to stay with you; but there are some situations where if she ignores you and runs off anyways, it's ok (like at an uncrowded park), and other situations where she could get really hurt if she runs off for even a second (like near a busy road). It seems like a good idea for the latter kind of situation, at least until she is old enough to understand why she needs to hold your hand. I definitely see why you're having a hard time getting past the "it's a leash" thing, but it seems it would be OK as long as you don't have her in it constantly, which I'm sure you wouldn't.

On a side note, reading this makes me appreciate my own toddler. My 17 month old DS clings to me all the time, so I've never even considered a harness. Sometimes it feels a little suffocating having him cling to me so much, but this thread made me realize there is both good and bad to having a timid child like mine, and both good and bad to having a bold child like yours. They have such distinct little personalities already at this age! Anyways, good luck with your DD!
post #30 of 50
We tried a harness and my DD rejected it. With ferver

She walked at 10mo and has always been small, so at that point holding hands wasn't even an option because you would have to bend over to do so. We got her one of the animal backpack harnesses and she would wear it, but if the tail tugged on her even a little bit she would lay down on the floor and scream her head off. Always a joy in the middle of a store.

After that we would only let her walk when one of us was available to shadow her, and we felt it was safe. Like in an uncrowded mall or something. If I was doing groceries on my own, we were someplace busy, or somewhere unsafe she would be in arms, in a stroller or in a cart. We still let her walk on her own a lot, she just had an adult focusing on her while she did so.
post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
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.
*shrug* I also refused to use a stroller. So I don't think the stroller is "ok" where a harness is not.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness View Post
*shrug* I also refused to use a stroller. So I don't think the stroller is "ok" where a harness is not.
But you did say you babywear and hold hands - no ifs, ands, or buts. So obviously, you think those things are "ok" when a harness is not, no? Why is that?
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
But you did say you babywear and hold hands - no ifs, ands, or buts. So obviously, you think those things are "ok" when a harness is not, no? Why is that?
Sure, because babywearing and hand holding are natural, biologically derived practices. Strollers and harnesses are not. There were options for transporting a child, namely babywearing, so we used that.
post #34 of 50
Well I would call baby carrying to be a natural, biologically derived practice. Babywearing is as invented as harnessing or strollering (is that a word?) or riding in a car. Slings are carriers are for convenience, just like strollers and harnesses. Sometimes they're even for the convenience of the child.
post #35 of 50
My DD hates the grocery cart, only tolerates the stroller for brief sessions, and though she used to love being worn now thrashes around trying to get down. She wants to walk. If I try to hold her hand she yanks and tugs and I swear if don't let go she is going to dislocate something. She wants to run! That isn't safe in a store with carts quizzing around.

Yesterday we put a little monkey back-pack on her and I held the monkey's tale. We had a tantrum free shopping trip. Only once did I have to redirect her from
Something breakable. It was night and day. Everyone was happy and had a fun outing. She got her independence without being able to dash into the main aisle or sprint half-way across the store

I was anti-harness when DH bought it. I am now a huge fan..
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post #36 of 50
To the PP who said that your toddler wouldn't "allow" you to put a harness on her? What if she tantrummed about the carseat? And, say, you had to go somewhere----would you let her ride free?
post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzylogic View Post
To the PP who said that your toddler wouldn't "allow" you to put a harness on her? What if she tantrummed about the carseat? And, say, you had to go somewhere----would you let her ride free?
There's a huge difference here. The idea of the harness is to make your walk/shopping trip/trip to the zoo more pleasant (and easy) for both the parent and child. If you put the child in the harness and they hate it so much that they throw themselves on the ground and refuse to move, it sort of defeats the purpose, no? What's the alternative, drag them? A harness is not required to safely go on walk - there are alternatives that are equally safe and might be more pleasant to the child. If a car trip is required, a carseat is required, and there are no safe alternatives beyond making sure the child is as comfortable as possible. A screaming, tantruming child also doesn't interfere with the operation of a carseat the way it does with a harness. It's impossible to effectively use a harness with an uncooperative child - not true with a carseat.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Well I would call baby carrying to be a natural, biologically derived practice. Babywearing is as invented as harnessing or strollering (is that a word?) or riding in a car. Slings are carriers are for convenience, just like strollers and harnesses. Sometimes they're even for the convenience of the child.
Babywearing is an ancient practice. There is speculation as to how it came about, might have been humans mimicking other animals, who knows? But it goes back thousands of years. There's a reason for that. A carrier is just an extension of my arms, a stroller or harness is not.
post #39 of 50
Hmmm. . .well, I considered the harness to be an extension of my arm, and my child's arm. Just like using a carrier allows a mother to carry a child for longer than arms alone would and gives her more freedom to work, a harness (or, in my case, a baby carrier re-purposed) allows a mother to to keep track of her child more easily for longer periods of time, as well as gives the child more freedom to go about their work. An ancient practice doesn't make it a natural practice. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it - I'm a babywearer myself. I just think it's a weird arbitrary line to draw between natural and not natural. In any case, since the dangers and obstacles and problems that are faced by parents and children growing up in the modern world are hardly all natural, I don't expect that the solutions to those problems to be entirely natural either. I use plenty of tools in my everyday life that are designed to navigate the modern world more easily and I suspect that most people do - whether they are baby wearers, harness users, or stroller users, or completely free range parents.
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness View Post
Babywearing is an ancient practice. There is speculation as to how it came about, might have been humans mimicking other animals, who knows? But it goes back thousands of years. There's a reason for that. A carrier is just an extension of my arms, a stroller or harness is not.
It came about for the sheer convenience of the parent. All baby containing contraptions are for the convenience of the parent (and the safety of the child). The fact that some methods allow greater physical contact is simply happenstance.

I'm harness user. I have a runner who will not hold hands, or be worn any more, and we live in a very busy urban area. I'd rather have harnessed kid than a free-ranging kid with a tyre print on her head.
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