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Leashes for children...yeah or nay. - Page 6

Poll Results: Leashes...yeah or nay?

  • 24% (68)
    Horrible devices of evil.
  • 22% (62)
    Necessary evil for child safety.
  • 47% (132)
    A good tool that gives greater freedom to child and parent.
  • 5% (16)
    Cool....I always wanted another pet.
278 Total Votes  
post #101 of 211
Originally Posted by DestinysMama
and I said this on the other thread but just in case anyone missed it. for the moms who use the leashes that go around the wrist, do you realize if your child jerks away from you they can pull their arm out of it's socket? it's called nurse's elbow and it's extremely painful.
I don't use a leash, but couldn't this happen just as easily when a toddler decides he (or she) doesn't want to hold hands anymore and throws himself (or herself) to the ground? My ds does this. I used to just lean down with him, but then my infant almost toppled out of the sling.
post #102 of 211
yup, like I said I only have one to worry about right now, at the rate we're going she'll be 5+ years old before we have another. With the leash I think the danger is greater though because they're further away so you can't grab them like you described.
post #103 of 211
To the OP, I have never used them and they aren't something that would work for my family. But, I don't judge when I see them on others, and figure there is a good reason for there use. For us, when it is a safe space to explore, my kids explore unhindered.The rare occassion when it isn't safe, they are in arms, holding hands or old enough that I can trust them to stick with me. A lot of this has to do with how we have spaced our kids (by the time one is walking, the older child is able to stick with me), the temperment of my kids, where we live and where we choose to go. I don't go to huge malls or grocery stores for many reasons, but a huge one is that I choose smaller places like our co-op where everyone knows my kids and it is small enough and not crowded so my children can safely have free-reign. If we are going to a busy fair, we plan accordingly, dh comes along, and one of us carries our little one on his shoulders until it is safe to roam. If we had a leash, he could easily be stumbled over or stepped on in a crowd. To me this isn't a safe place to explore. In a parking lot it is the same thing. I don't feel it would be safe to let my child roam a few feet from me when there are cars around. My children have ample oppurtunity to explore their world, and the few times it isn't safe to explore away from me doesn't phase them.
post #104 of 211
that's what I was thinking with the spacing, but for us it's not a choice, infertility has a great way of spacing kids
post #105 of 211
I've used one when necessary for safety. And I never think twice if I see someone else using one... like a pp said - what works for each person is their choice.
post #106 of 211
Are there any other mamas of twins or other multiples that have weighed in on this issue??

If so, I missed it.

Just curious.
post #107 of 211
Chiming in way late...I might have thought they were horrible until I met my friend's dd. She wasn't just a runner, she was a sprinter. Seriously, she would be gone before you realized she let go of your hand. My ds has always been this mellow, easy going guy. Always listened, always held hands, never went to far away. Not this girl! She would have done better with a leash I think. Enough room to be on her own, but still anchored safely to mom or dad.
post #108 of 211
well seeing how I feel this thread is a spinoff of me defending myself in the other thread..I guess its time to weigh in.
First of all I voted a necassary evil. but I would like to change my vote to a wonderful device for freedom and safety. I have been programmed to think it was a necassary evil and be somewhat ashamed when I use it... but I will not be ashamed ever again..so many brilliant loving mamas make wonderful points in here for the good use and appropriate safety features a leash has to offer.. and I also understand the people that do not like them ..thats fine..but please do not judge me until you have walked in my shoes..and by no means is a leash a substitute for good parenting..I think of it more as an extension of my arm..but I don't jerk my ds around on the leash..but too many times his sweaty lil slick hands have slipped out or pulled out of my hand and he has gone a running..I also purposely put him in sandals and me in running shoes to even out the odds at picinics and such..I generally do the 100 yard dash about 7-8 times an outing..this is not an option when we go to the zoo and he needs to stay near me. he is a big boy nearly 40lbs at 2.5yo, ( too heavy to carry with a bad back) and detests the stroller and the sling..times are a changing for us and maybe one day he will be fine with holding mommy's hand but as of now..he does not want any parts of that at least not for more then 15mins..so if I "force" him to hold my hand I will be judged as the evil mom that is "dragging" her poor child around by his wrist..I cannot seem to win. so you can sit on any horse you please..but I am ok with my decision and my sons safety harness..which btw he adores..he will actually pull it out of the diaperbag and say "now mama"..when he is tired of holding my hand.. and lift his arms up for me to slip it on..yeah I must be a bad mom.
post #109 of 211
Originally Posted by DestinysMama
my dd sometimes throws a tantrum when she's strapped in her car seat.
this is true in my house too. my ds would scream in the carseat, but if we had to go somewhere, he went in it. HOWEVER, if there were another option available that was less distressing for him and just as safe, I would certainly have gone for that. That's why we used the sling as a "leash" - less distressing for him than handholding, stroller, or being carried, and just as safe.
post #110 of 211
I have one, use it when necessary, and have no problems when people use them. My DD will only hold my hand sometimes, but it makes her little arms tired after awhile, so the harness is a good option for her. She also prefers to walk/run to being held or in the stroller. If we're in an everyday place, I don't use the harness, but in really crowded places, or in situations where I have my hands full (like unloading groceries -- DD loves to run out into the street and it's too hot to leave her in the car, and there's NO way I'm letting her roam free in the house while I onload!), it's a really helpful tool.

If DD protested against it in any way ever, then we wouldn't use it.
post #111 of 211
Originally Posted by mamadawg
Are there any other mamas of twins or other multiples that have weighed in on this issue??

If so, I missed it.

Just curious.
I saw at least one. if I remember right she had either used one or was thinking about it.
post #112 of 211
I have a high needs daughter & have never thought about using one on her or my son. No way, no how!
post #113 of 211
I suppose I always used a backpack as our leash.

I don't like the idea at all but understand how they can be useful in crowded & chaotic areas.

What sticks in my head is the time, last year, I saw a woman dragging her toddler through the store by a leash. She had 3 kids. 2 walked and she literally dragged the other one, a little girl, down the aisle while speaking harshly to her.
post #114 of 211
Originally Posted by kiahnsmum
My mum used a harness for my younger sister, it was great in the sense that she was never out of sight but as soon as the harness was off so was she. It just looks so degrading to me. I used to work with mentally disabled adults who had the mental age of 2 year olds imagine if I had put one of them on a leash!
Thought I'd join in on this discussion (me being the younger sister on whom the leash was used)

As a former 'leashee' I would not put my ds in a leash. Like a previous poster said (sorry, can't remember who) he needs to learn boundries on his own, and I don't think putting him on a leash would do that. It also just looks weird to me.
That being said, if somebody is seriously concerned about thier childs safety, and a harness will give them piece of mind, then I could understand why they would use one.

What I can't stand is seeing people use them in places where it is unneccesary - eg. A woman had her ds on a leash in a church hall, where there was no possible way he could run off, nowhere he could harm himself. She just was sitting down talking and the poor kid had to stand 2 feet away from her and watch all the other kids playing.
post #115 of 211
What I can't stand is seeing people use them in places where it is unneccesary - eg. A woman had her ds on a leash in a church hall, where there was no possible way he could run off, nowhere he could harm himself. She just was sitting down talking and the poor kid had to stand 2 feet away from her and watch all the other kids playing.
ITA. As someone who weighed in earlier considering using one during certain times for safety (baby and young toddler, "leash" toddler across things like parking lots, etc with baby in sling.) I too have my my views tainted by the misuse I have seen of these. Bottom line, I think (as PP have mentioned) they can be a useful safety device that can be helpful, but they have a great potential for abuse. I remember seeing one woman in an airport with an approx. 2 year old on a leash. She was sitting there, chatting with her friend, not looking at her toddler while he walked to and fro on his tether..that irked me. Maybe she did need it earlier (ie perhaps he was a "runner" like PP described and she had lots of stuff to lug) when she was negotiating through the airport or something, but once the safety use portion has ended, it's time to take the poor kid off! KWIM?
post #116 of 211
I have a harness for Talia, though I've only ever used it twice, in airports. Honestly, she got such a big kick out of it. It's a leather harness with bells - I think it was intended as a toy, but I loved it when I saw it at a toystore so I bought it.

I very rarely see anybody using leashes, either the wrist kind or the harness kind. So, maybe they're not so appalling to me because I haven't seen them abused.

Originally Posted by DestinysMama
If we're crossing the street though she has to hold my hand. Carrying your child all the time is stifling? Do you really belong on this board if you believe that?
Oh, please, did this really have to degenerate into insults?

Yes, carrying a child who doesn't want to be carried all the time can be stifling. How is it AP to force a toddler who wants to be down exploring to be carried? Sometimes that may be neccisary, but in what way is it respectful of the child's needs and desires? AP is about respecting a child's needs. For a baby, that means keeping baby close as much as possible. Thus, slinging instead of using strollers and other devices. But, a 2 or 3 year old doesn't *want* or *need* to be attached to Mom's body 100% of the time, and it's hardly respectful to force that.

And, in the case of many toddlers, how is it reasonably comfortable? I occasionally sling my 35 pound three year old to keep her from running off on me. She sometimes enjoys it... and other times she fights the idea of being carried. It's hard enough on my back to carry/sling her when she's complacent. When she doesn't want to be up, there's little chance of my keeping her up there. And most of my friends consider me to be a workhorse for slinging her in the first place. I don't think most people could sling/carry a 35 pound toddler for, say, 1/2 mile from the ticket counter to the gate at an airport, or four blocks from the car to the museum, or all the way through the grocery store. I certainly don't think most of us could keep up a 45 pound 4 year old like that.

If your toddler is happy being carried all the time, lucky you. Mine isn't. She is too free spirited. And it's awfully difficult to carry a baby in a sling and a diaper bag on my back while carrying a 3 year old. Add in a car seat and another carry on bag loaded onto a luggage dolly in an airport, and the fact that the 3 year old wants to check out every giift shop in the concourse and go rip open the sugar packets at the tables in the Starbucks, and suddenly travelling with that three year old is vaguely reminiscent of many old Hollywood farces.

Talia was happy with the harness - she loved making the bells jingle. She liked that she could explore, and I liked that I could keep her within a few feet of me. I liked that I didn't have to literally chase her and pray that eventually we'd make it to our gate, or take her by the wrist and drag her crying to get there. I liked not having to worry that if I looked up from her to keep from bumping into somebody or to adjust her sister in the sling, she wouldn't disappear into the crowd just that fast. It's simply not possible to literally keep my eyes on her 100% of the time in a situation like that, and she is a bolter. In the three seconds it would take me to apologize for running into somebody because I was busy watching her... she'd be gone. Heck, even if I *do* keep my eyes on her 100% of the time, there've been times when she's decided to take off through a crowd that I couldn't navigate quickly because I'm much bigger than her, especially with a baby slung on front of me and a diaper bag strapped on back, and I lost track of her quickly.

Boundaries? What kind of boundaries can you expect a three year old to have learned? Go read the GD forum some time. Kid's don't develop impulse control until somewhere between 4-5 years of age. Yes, all that while, we're busy teaching them the rules that we hope they will apply readily some day. But, we can't count on them applying those rules until they're a bit older. Sure, Talia knows she's not supposed to run from me in a crowd. Sometimes she'll even be in a mood to stay close to me. But, do I really want to count on her being in a complacent mood when we're in such a crowd? Sometimes I do. Even though I know it'll be stressful for me, I let her run freely in most places because, as was said above, I do need to teach her those boundaries. But there are certain places where it is simply too dangerous to be working on those lessons. And in those places and with my particular child, a harness leash is a very reasonable option.

I do not disagree that leashes can be abused. So can anything. Honestly, so can a sling, when you consider that sometimes a toddler doesn't want to be carried. Just because some people could and probably do use leashes inappropriately doesn't mean that it's not a great tool in appropriate situations.
post #117 of 211
Thread Starter 
Some great posts on here!

Zaxmama- yes, you were my inspiration. I wanted to point out that different tools are AP- what is more AP than knowing your child, listening to their needs, and making decisions based on what can be (safely) done to fulfill those needs.

To the PP's who said they think they are bad because they don't like the way it looks....I can think of some AP practices that lots of people don't like because of the way they look.

To the PP's who are supporting their dislike of leashes with horrifying tales of abuse and neglect....please try to bring something well thought out to the table. I could go to a mainstream board and post a "co-sleeping yeah or nay" and I would get lots of stories of dead babies. When we discuss co-sleeping here we are not talking about ignorant parents who puts tons of blankets/pillows on the bed, drink/take certain meds before co-sleeping, leave space between bed and wall and place baby on that side, etc. I think it is pretty obvious that none of the people who posted that they use a leash are yanking their dc around, using it to keep them from playing, or lazily neglecting their childs development.

I will not impose my will on my dc any more than is necessary and when there is a tool that gives them the space they need I will use it.

It is not safe to carry a flailing toddler while slinging an infant.

It is impossible to grocery shop while slinging an infant and holding a toddler. It is also unsafe (and impossible to shop) to keep a child in the cart when they are trying to climb out. If you need food you can't go home without it. Before suggesting a family member or dp assist...remember that many of us do not have that option.
post #118 of 211
I voted cool tool. I said I'd never use one, then I had my DD. HA! She was practically born walking - FAST - and there was no way I could keep up with her. We had to fly to Atlanta once and I was taking no chances on her getting lost in the Atlanta airport, since I had to keep track of her, her stroller, her car seat, and our luggage. I got PG with my DS when DD was under a year old, and the leash was really handy, since I totally couldn't chase her when I was super-preggo.

I used a harness, not a hand leash, since I heard that kids can hurt themselves if they fall with a hand leash. I got a few dirty looks but I couldn't care less. I kept my DD safe and kept my sanity, and that's all that matters to me.
post #119 of 211
I never thought I'd use one neither, hated the way it looked on a child...and then I had my DD. She was a runner and came up missing a couple of times. There is nothing more frightening in your life than to have your toddler come up missing.

So I voted a necessary evil.

BUT...I didn't have to use on on my older DS. He stuck right to me (when I wasn't carrying him) and I never had a problem.

We shall see with the babe. It helps to have older "helpers" who help out with him in stores.
post #120 of 211
When my older dd was a toddler, she was lightning fast and started walking early. I was in a knitting store once, she was happily playing in the corner with the toys. I looked at a tube of buttons for a split seconds and she was out the door, heading for the [very busy] street. Someone caught her before i got to her. We had similar scares. She had moments where she didn't want to be in a stroller, didn't want to be in a back pack, just wanted to be on the ground walking.
I never actually got a leash or a harness, but I would have. I cut my trips short, and went to the high risk places without her. It was an acceptable solution for us, but I did bring a sling with us with the idea that I would tie it around her chest if I needed. I think slings and wraps are a nice alternative.

Poopy diaper, gotta go.
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