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#31 of 50 Old 11-06-2010, 09:59 AM
 
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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.
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#32 of 50 Old 11-06-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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*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?
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#33 of 50 Old 11-06-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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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.
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#34 of 50 Old 11-06-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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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.
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#35 of 50 Old 11-06-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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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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#36 of 50 Old 11-06-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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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?
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#37 of 50 Old 11-06-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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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.
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#38 of 50 Old 11-06-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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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.
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#39 of 50 Old 11-06-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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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.
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#40 of 50 Old 11-06-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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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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#41 of 50 Old 11-06-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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We babywear and don't own a stroller (however, I also think that kids in harness backpacks are funny, not The Worst - feel free to revoke my AP card now), but I'm always perplexed by the "babywearing is ancient/traditional, ergo more natural and better" argument.

IMO, there's a bit of cherrypicking when it comes to what AP lore counts as a "traditional culture". Lots of ancient, traditional cultures do things with their babies many parents reading this thread would find kind of startling, just in terms of carrying them and/or restraining them. See: cradleboards. And did you see Babies? Mongolian culture is very ancient and very into breastfeeding. But the mama also ties her kid to the yurt.

Traditional cultures developed in very different environments than the ones most of us are raising our babies in. I babywear, breastfeed, and co-sleep, but I also live in a big city with a lot of cars zipping around. A tribal mom from the early ancestral environment didn't have to worry about her baby getting run over by a Ford if it darted off.

Different environment, different challenges. Everyone's doing the best they can.

Science-loving mama to one little guy (11/09).
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#42 of 50 Old 11-07-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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Okay, well this is an opinion I share with few moms out there, I did realize that as I read all the other responses on this thread but I have to weigh in here and say that I really dislike seeing a harness on a baby and I cannot believe that they have become popular. I guess I have seen to many people walking around with harnesses on their kids, sometimes jerking them back and speaking harshly to them. I just can't stand it, it makes me cringe just like seeing a mom yelling at their baby in the supermarket to stop crying....

My DS is two and is into running away..all the time!!!!! so I have been there (many times!!) He runs away when we have to change a diaper or put on socks and more extremely unsafe times when we are out shopping or walking near the street. He is too young to have enough impulse control to walk near me or stay with my in a store so I don't let him go - I carry him (he doesn't like the Ergo anymore...) or I hold his hand and walk slowly or, when we're out somewhere where I can't carry and have to pay attention to other stuff, like in the supermarket, I put him in the stroller and give him a book to read or a snack and he does fine. I don't use the stroller that much, sometimes we go weeks without using it. But it does come in handy. When we're in a safe place - like at the zoo or in the park - I encourage him to walk by himself and explore (and run!). When we're at the super market I don't expect DS to stay near me, I think that would be an unrealistic expectation. I think it's a good lesson for DS for me to carry him and engage him and then try hand holding for a while and practice staying near and safe. I think putting a leash on him, besides being sort of like leashing a pet, is just as bad as the baby who rides in the stroller all the time and has no freedom.

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#43 of 50 Old 11-07-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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I think putting a leash on him, besides being sort of like leashing a pet, is just as bad as the baby who rides in the stroller all the time and has no freedom.
Except that many kids who are on a "leash" have tons more freedom than kids in a stroller, a carrier, a shopping cart, or holding a hand.
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#44 of 50 Old 11-08-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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Except that many kids who are on a "leash" have tons more freedom than kids in a stroller, a carrier, a shopping cart, or holding a hand.
I disagree. The baby is harnessed and cannot get father than a few feet. I don't find any freedom here, just a harnessed baby unable to really go where they want. Isn't it better to stay close to your baby and chat about what they see and what they're doing? Leave the harness off and let them have real freedom or pick them up and explore together.

Mommy to one beautiful boy, born 9/28/08
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#45 of 50 Old 11-08-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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When my toddler wore a harness, he could get much further from me than he could while holding my hand. He could also lead me much more easily and have both hands free to explore his world. As well, he wasn't screaming and trying to dive out of the carrier the way he was when I tried to sling him and he didn't want to be in the sling or go all limp as a noodle toddler like he did when I tried to hold hands. And, since "real freedom" in the case of my son was really freaking dangerous, I'll take fake freedom, thank you very much. When you have a child that has no sense of danger, that throws themselves into bodies of water, who can run faster than you, who will run into the street, who won't stop until someone physically stops them or they get hurt, who doesn't respond when you call them back - well, you do what you have to do. I just wish people could step outside their own experiences with their own children and acknowledge that it could be different for someone else.
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#46 of 50 Old 11-08-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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Isn't it better to stay close to your baby and chat about what they see and what they're doing? Leave the harness off and let them have real freedom or pick them up and explore together.
You are right, it is. For those of us with only ONE baby. Many Moms IRL have more then one baby and many have several. And many of those Mom's live in places where traffic and bikers and joggers and dog walkers are everywhere and are a real danger to small kids.

We use our Kelti backpack all the time. I am a huge walker and go five-six miles with my son. He can't walk that far, and I hike where strollers aren't equipped to go, or are simply impractical. And a sling is not comfortable on my back for that kind of distance. The Kelti is weighted and my boy sits up high enough to be able to look around and enjoy our walks.

I do not need to use a harness because we aren't by traffic, but would in a heartbeat if I needed it for an extra hand.
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#47 of 50 Old 11-08-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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I disagree. The baby is harnessed and cannot get father than a few feet. I don't find any freedom here, just a harnessed baby unable to really go where they want. Isn't it better to stay close to your baby and chat about what they see and what they're doing? Leave the harness off and let them have real freedom or pick them up and explore together.
Um, you must have a more polite explorer than I do. My kid is of the "dart away and pull large jars of heavy stuff down on one's head...oooh traffic...fun!" variety. This is after yanking his hand away and booking. Real freedom in these cases = unacceptable danger/injury/death. No thanks.

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When my toddler wore a harness, he could get much further from me than he could while holding my hand. He could also lead me much more easily and have both hands free to explore his world. As well, he wasn't screaming and trying to dive out of the carrier the way he was when I tried to sling him and he didn't want to be in the sling or go all limp as a noodle toddler like he did when I tried to hold hands. And, since "real freedom" in the case of my son was really freaking dangerous, I'll take fake freedom, thank you very much. When you have a child that has no sense of danger, that throws themselves into bodies of water, who can run faster than you, who will run into the street, who won't stop until someone physically stops them or they get hurt, who doesn't respond when you call them back - well, you do what you have to do. I just wish people could step outside their own experiences with their own children and acknowledge that it could be different for someone else.
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#48 of 50 Old 11-17-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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IMO, there's a bit of cherrypicking when it comes to what AP lore counts as a "traditional culture". Lots of ancient, traditional cultures do things with their babies many parents reading this thread would find kind of startling, just in terms of carrying them and/or restraining them. See: cradleboards. And did you see Babies? Mongolian culture is very ancient and very into breastfeeding. But the mama also ties her kid to the yurt.

....
Different environment, different challenges. Everyone's doing the best they can.

 

This and this.  I know this thread is about a week old, but I have a baby napping on my back, & a few dishes I wanna put off and so I am gonna rant for a moment on something I hear a lot in AP circles, which is this "but it's traditional!" or "but it's natural!" reasoning.

 

Traditional ways often come in a great messy non-AP package.  I grew up with a mother from a(n industrializing) culture who practiced a lot of "traditional" things like babywearing, "extended" breastfeeding, and cosleeping... oh yeah, and hitting us with sticks, making us kneel on rice, and hold heavy books in the air, or putting us under cold running water for hours.  I don't know if that last was traditional, but the first three definitely were - tho the extent these may have been newer practices imported by colonial powers, I cannot say.  Regardless.

 

Just 'cuz something is "natural" or "tribal" or "traditional" doesn't make it better somehow.  It also doesn't make it worse, but we're not here to discuss the possibly utility of corporal punishment for developing adults with a highly developed sense of community, submission to elders, and family dependency.  The binary of natural and unnatural seems to stem from an application of Christianity's separation of man from the animals.  Without God creating us above and separate from the animals and in his image, there's really no reason to think that we are not part of nature itself.  In which case, anything that we do is as natural as the animals, as natural as ants building anthills, bears eating fish, and parasites hitching rides.  Make fire?  Natural.  Build cars and fire?  Also natural.  Do we think we human beings are so special that we are not part of nature?  We are.  We are nature.
 

"Natural" isn't the same thing as "good"  - but neither is innovation.

 

Classifying things as natural, tribal, whatever, vs. the innovative sociopathic modern industrial parenting does have the faint but distinct odor of the idea of the "noble savage" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_savage).

 

How different are our one or two parents and some kids (who might outnumber the adults) family units, and all you strangers better mind your own business relations different from growing up in a village of seventy where everyone knows everyone, and is always all up in everyone's business and making sure the kids don't get eat up by mountain tigers or blown up by landmines.  Where children aren't necessarily children, but little parents to those younger than them?

 

Yes, it is difficult to make loving, informed, and reasoned choices about what "innovative" or "traditional" practices we incorporate in our parenting.  We should not erroneously believe that because something is new it's good, or because something is old, it's good.  Instead, we try to foster cooperation and communication in balancing the needs of our family members.  It's why parenting is the hardest job, right?

 

Harnessing a kid doesn't have a uniform meaning.  It could be a loving and thoughtful parenting decision, or it could be a neglectful one.  Same as sleeping a kid in a parent's bed, or in a crib, or slinging a baby, or riding a stroller. 

 

Convenience isn't an evil word that is only a synonym for laziness.   In fact, convenience is a sister of utility, necessity, and efficiency.  We don't think of it as ideal parenting to only meet our children's most basic of needs.  (It may be our best and sufficient, but aren't we often trying to do more than our best?  Why should we not allow our children to participate in that?  Striving to do as much as our little best, and then a little bit more sometimes.)   We try to go above and beyond in hearing their wants as well (though we may not always agree the wants are supreme).  Convenience can mean the good balance of family needs and wants.  It is not absolutely necessary to our survival that I do the dishes each night.  But it is convenient and pleasant to have them washed throughout the day, so that we can pick up a clean dish and eat off of it immediately without needing to clean it first.  Convenience separates dire survival from many of the pleasant things of life.

 

Yes, the convenience and needs of the whole family are important; important to model good boundaries and self-care for our youth, important to demonstrate problem-solving.... important to cooperation.  Flexibility, too, in approaching practices not as uniformly evil or good, but in context to the whole situation, seems to me a virtue good to model to our children.

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#49 of 50 Old 11-17-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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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.

I actually meant before they can walk independently, in the learning stage, both Lina and that cousin hated cruising.
 

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#50 of 50 Old 11-18-2010, 09:16 AM
 
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Get one and be prepared to hearing comments from moms whose toddlers are strapped in strollers how awful it is to put a kid on the leash! LOL.

I believe it is very important for childs development to be able to explore without adults howering over them. When they are that young it is extremely difficult for a parent to create environment where it would be safe to do so, but childs need doesn't go away. She is not going to get damaged by being on the leash but it will give her some level of independence while staying safe. You would not be holding her back on the leash when she wants to go and see something, right? You would follow her anyway, leash will be there to prevent her from from bolting away from you and into danger.

When DD was that little she was curious and very independant and wanted to explore everything. At first we tried wrist leash that attached to her wrist and mine, She hated it.  I got her a back pack harness, but it was too heavy for her and the leash was too short for my liking, so I returned it and got an actual cute XL dog collar and thinner leash in matching color. I used collar as a belt and attached a leash to it. We only used it in situations when she wanted to explore but it was to dangerous to let her do it completely on her own, like walking in crowds at the zoo and on the streets where she could have bolted to the road.

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