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Leashes for children? Yes or no? - Page 2post #21 of 1204/9/13 at 1:28pmI see child leashes as a safety device like any other safety device (carseat, baby gate, etc.). Can it be used incorrectly or overused, sure, but the vast majority of the time it is used to keep the child safe and I think they are great when needed either in tough situations or with a child that is a bolter. I am considering getting one for DD as I will soon have infant twins and I think having one would be nice for wrangling twins + toddler in parking lots and in crowded spaces (zoos, malls, etc.) and it may be nice to have one or two when I'm chasing two beginning walkers and also keeping track of a preschooler I also plan to use strollers and carriers to help too, but I'm definitely open to using a leash if needed.post #22 of 1204/9/13 at 6:43pm
before i was a parent i was vehemently opposed to one.
yeah i would have been the one coming here raising a ruckus.
but after i had dd - oh boy do i understand. however i never used one as dd was not a bolter. but i totally understood if another mom had to use them.
in my friends circle for many moms it was a godsend for the airport.post #23 of 1204/9/13 at 6:54pmI used one for a bit... Sometimes kids don't want to be worn, and it's safer to have them walk with something other than a hand that can be let go of helping out. I got my daughter a leash when she was 20 months and I was heavily pregnant with my son. We were at the mall, and in the split second it took me to swipe my card, she bolted. After that we went straight to Walmart and got one of the cute little animal backpack ones. We only used it as a back up to the stroller/baby wearing when out and about in big public places like the mall, zoo, airport, etc. I also used one while our and about in HI. I didn't know Honolulu/our surroundings, and last thing I wanted was to wrangle two toddlers who decide to run off.
As long as you don't use them to yank on or drag the child, they really are no harm IMO. My kids loved the backpack part of it and hardly noticed in addition to their hand in mine there was also the leash. I do find it odd the mom you encountered was in a play area and still had the leash on :/ I feel they should be used for places you aren't familiar with/they can run off in a second, not a play place, sort of takes the point of going to a play place out.post #24 of 1204/9/13 at 7:31pmI don't need one with DD but I can certainly see where a specific child might need one for safety in specific situations. For instance we live close to a beautiful big park but getting there requires navigating a very busy, very weird intersection where two main one way roads intersect and intermingle and both become two way. It's not uncommon for nonlocals to make a mistake and drive into a one way portion going the wrong way and it's a very very busy area. My 2 year old stays on the sidewalk nicely, then holds hands to cross the road. She doesn't run ahead more than 3 or 4 feet and never steps off the curb by herself. I fell completely safe walking this route with her. If she was a bolter, I'd definitely have a leash on her but only until we got to the park. Once inside the fence, I'd let her run and explore since the park is very well enclosed and fairly quiet. I try not to judge other parents based on a snapshot. Maybe the leash lets their child experience something that would be completely unsafe without it.post #25 of 1204/10/13 at 12:01amMy kids aren't bolters but I use them when traveling. We have the animal backpacks and while I hold their hand, I wrap the leash around my wrist. It's very handy when I have to momentarily let go of their hand when I have to get something from my purse, etc. I don't see a problem with them.
Edited by grumpybear - 4/10/13 at 12:46ampost #26 of 1204/10/13 at 12:20am
"Sure - they can be misused. So can carriers and slings. In most cases, it's not the tool that's the problem - it's the way it's used."
This is the crux of the argument for me.
I've known many, many parents in my early parenting days who who where exceedingly vocal about the evils of having a child on reins (is that a leash? Never heard that word). But their solution to having a kid who was a bolter was to strap them in a buggy (or put them in a carrier). So they would see it as preferable that the kid was confined and unable to run.
We live in an urban area and both my child's safety and his right to exercise were more important to me than what other people thought. When my son was not quite two, and we had a second child, we used reins on occasion. This was a kid who, you opened the front door and he just ran. (He's still like that but more philosophically nowadays ). He was pure energy at that age (he still is-its pretty much impossible to physically tire him out even now he's nearly 10). At the same time we worked a lot on road safety and a big advantage of the reins was that he was physically beside me, making road safety decisions, rather than in a sling or pushchair being passive. We aimed for situations where where could let him off the reins, of course, and talked to him about the whole thing. I'd say by around age 3, he had really good traffic awareness and was also prepared to hold people's hands, and at nearly 10 I'm completely happy for him to wander around the neighbourhood on his own.
For us it was a tool to extend his interactions with the world, to allow him to do things he couldn't otherwise do. The easiest thing in the world would have been to have put him in the double buggy and I did sometimes (I have 22 months between my older two) but the best situation for everyone was for him to be on reins in traffic / river areas and his sister in a sling and he and I walking.
I guess I'm trying to say that I think, usually, there's a reason for what people do. Honestly the only time I've known them used for older kids would be for a serious behavioural infraction (I wouldn't do this but I don't think its the end of the world, if what you're doing is making a kid stay with you rather than letting them go off and beat up littler kids, say) or where there is SEN.post #27 of 1204/10/13 at 2:47am
I have never used one but its more because every time I try to help ds be mobile I always cause more harm than good. If he looks like he is going to fall and I try to help him somehow 80% of the time he ends up worse than when I intervened. I just Imagine me knocking him over constantly with one of these things.
post #28 of 1204/10/13 at 6:16am
Considering my choices, when my daughter was about 18-24 months, were:
A) Child screaming bloody murder and thrasing, while contained in a stroller or shopping cart.
B) Child screaming bloody murder and thrasing, while contained in backpack/sling carrier.
C) Child screaming bloody murder and alternately thrashing/dropping to the floor limp-noodle style, while holding my hand and "walking".
D) Child darting wildly between other pedestrians, potentially being injuredby or *causing* injury or damage to others or objects around her, and me having to chase her around/apologize/fix messed up things while also tending to 3-yo older sibling.
E) Child happily walking along while wearing stuffed bear backpack with tether...
Guess which one I'm going to pick?
I actually only used it a few times in that agespan (and probably should have used it more). But it was worth every.damn.penny and nuts to anyone who thought badly of me....I would suggest *they* were welcome to figure out a way to supervise both of my children, in my stead.post #29 of 1204/10/13 at 4:14pm
mamazee, I love answering simple questions and sharing my terribly important opinion:-)
I have no problem with a leash (I think they are also called harnesses) )because it is so much better than a stroller and still contains the child if used correctly. My son is ripe for a harness being almost 2, and I don't think I have to explain the multiple locations where a stroller is inconvenient and deprives a child of the exercise and holding hands and expecting a child to cooperate is just unrealistic.
I would probably not use a harness through a busy street with moving cars or other hazards because of the risk of it breaking.post #30 of 1204/11/13 at 1:08pm
I cannot judge anyone that uses them because we all do our best to manage our children in this society which has changed a lot from the one our parents or grandparents lived in. There are more crowds, traffic, and dangerous streets and I could see how they may be useful. For my first born I usually wore her or sometimes used the stroller but like many mothers that have posted here I now have an early walker and it is so different. She dislikes being worn and to be on a stroller she is very independent and likes to wonder or dart on her own to explore so I am highly considering buying one. She often pulls away from me and wants to dart into the street. For my sanity and her safety I think I should buy one. Actually thank you for this discussion because I didn't even think of buying this item before but reading all the comments above I think it is just what I need for my daughter. All children and parents are different and have different needs, so it is what it is. I believe the name "leash" seems kind of negative comparing child to dog but otherwise it seems like a useful item, as long it is not overused and of course there are safe spaces where a child should be free to explore on his/her own and there will time where my daughter is aware of her safety and I probably wont have any use for it then. It is about balance and moderation and options :) now I have one more. Thank you.post #31 of 1204/11/13 at 1:16pm
I used one of the goldbugs ones, a cute little froggy. They still love it.
DD is spirited, was a bolter, and had severe atopic eczema at both arms and hands, so not a place for secure holding, really. We were very happy with our little backpack, and she never minded. I was able to let her walk, and everybody was happy.
We got strange looks though, but I so don't care. :)post #32 of 1204/11/13 at 1:28pmpost #33 of 1204/11/13 at 2:36pmFunny I should see this thread now, I ordered a froggy backpack/"harness" myself a couple days ago, and pre-toddler I was vehemently anti! My kid is a big time bolter and he's only getting faster, plus my neighborhood lacks sidewalks. I've had to drag him away from traffic one time too many. Airports are a nightmare too. People can give me all the dirty looks they want!post #34 of 1204/11/13 at 3:00pmQuote:Sure - they can be misused. So can carriers and slings. In most cases, it's not the tool that's the problem - it's the way it's used.
I've used a leash for all of my children. We hold hands but they are also attached to the leash and the leash is around my wrist. It isn't rainbow and butterfly land out there, and kids can be impulsive----so if a few people give me nasty looks I'm soo willing to take that over a kidnapped kid or kid that is run over.
If I can't carry, a leash is where its at in our family.post #35 of 1204/11/13 at 6:57pm
Depends on the kid. I know some kids are really impulsive and tend to bolt--so if you have one like that, well, that's why they invented the leash. My younger brother ran off one time on a family vacation overseas (where he did NOT speak a word of the language), and somehow found his way 5 miles back to the hotel we were staying at--needless to say, my mother needed a leash with him. I knew a kid once who was an outright "runner" (as we call them in Special Education), and his parents had him wear an upper body harness because he would just RUN out of nowhere, and there was no catching him!!! He was like a combination track star/Houdini.
So I don't judge people who use them. Not all kids listen. Not all kids have even a speck of sense about personal safety. Some kids could give Usain Bolt a run for his money...yeah.post #36 of 1204/11/13 at 7:05pm
I carried my two oldest when they were toddlers. When my 3rd was born I had mobility issues and mostly had to use a wheelchair. "Leashes" are great for disabled moms, moms with lots of kids, grandmothers, and other caretakers in special situations. I think it is important to not judge people using "leashes" because the the reason may not be obvious. It is always better to give the person the benefit of the doubt then to be critical of a disabled person doing the best they can in a difficult situation.post #37 of 1204/11/13 at 8:23pm
I had one for my son. When he first began walking he would dart off without a care in the world. He was all about exploring with no awareness of danger in the world. It did take some getting used to when using it because initially it did knock him off balance, but once he figured it out I think it gave him a lot of freedom to safely explore. I know people judge them, but I really found it gave him more independence to explore in any way he wanted in a safe way. We went on walks with it often and had a nice, relaxing time together. I see parents chasing their new walkers in public place who dart off over and over and they just look stressed, frazzled, and miserable. Once my son figured out the distance it allowed and how to keep his balance, we both truly enjoyed our outings together whether it was a big, crazy place like the zoo, or a nice walk around the block. At that age, he didn't have the understanding to make safe choices. I could have spent our outings together chasing him in frustration, or we could use our "leash" and have a nice time that included him leading the way to safely explore. I really think it provided a space for him to explore independently in a SAFE way, and I could pay attention to what he was interested in the moment because I wasn't worrying about what he was going to do next.post #38 of 1204/12/13 at 8:58amMy daughter refused to sit in a grocery cart or stroller between the ages of 13 and 20 months so we used the leash it went from her wrist to my wrist with a long piece of elastic in the middle while we would grocery shop and in the parking lot. she was allowed to explore to a certain extent without me having to go running after her and I could get my shopping done without worrying about somebody taking her or my purse. I do remember one time I got a nasty look from some other shopper who probably didn't have children and another time I had a mother asked me where to get one.post #39 of 1204/14/13 at 10:51am
I'm definitely open to it. I have six month old twin girls, and I can tell that they are really wanting to move move move. It wouldn't surprise me if one or both turn out to be early walkers. If they are able to walk with me, holding my hands safely, great. But if not, I will definitely get a tether if needed. Anything that lets us get out and about, safely, in the world and enjoy the day :-) I have stayed home a lot with them the first six months of their lives (especially during flu season, as they were 3 weeks early). But now they are really enjoying experiencing being outside and seeing new things and people.post #40 of 1204/14/13 at 1:52pm
I thought about it with my daughter because she went through a phase where she was walking well but just wouldn't hold my hand. But then overnight she started to be willing to hold my hand. And she is pretty cautious. I wouldn't rule it out if the situation called for it.
This came up on a friend's Facebook recently and I liked the reply that said "You leash a dog because they won't listen when you tell them not to stray from your side and you don't want them to be hurt or lost. Why wouldn't you do the same for a child?"
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