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#1 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I know this is not a popular idea here at MDC, but I'm really trying to figure out what to do. We're going on a Disney trip next month. My 2 yo is a runner. He jerks his hand out of yours and takes off. On a normal outing, I just chase him and grab him again. If we're going to be in a busy parking lot, I hold on TIGHT, or I carry him. We do practice teaching him to stay close in the grocery store, and hang onto the cart, etc. But he is just not at an age where he can do this consistently yet. The other problem is that my 4 yo, who knows how to stay by us, will sometimes decide HE should start running away just for kicks because his brother is doing it.

But, at Disney, there will be so many crowds, and we will be there ALL DAY, and I'm sure we'll get tired/distracted. And repeatedly chasing him around does not sound like a good time. I almost think having him on a harness will give him more freedom of movement and keep him happier than having to hold our hands constantly. We wouldn't use it constantly, just as it seems to be needed. He would also have time in the stroller or in a backpack carrier, and there are play areas where he can run around and play more freely.

So, anyone used a harness, and what did you use? Or, does someone have ideas of how to enjoy our trip without one, and not spend the whole time scared to death he's going to get lost?

Am I a terrible mom for even considering using a harness? :

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#2 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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I don't think so. I think your DS will have a little more freedom, and you won't be so stressed.
In this situation I think they work great, niw what I have seen that I really dislike is parents taking the kids to the park and playground with them on leashes. They aren't dogs people!

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#3 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:03 PM
 
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I think the situation you're describing is IMO one of the few exceptions to the rule re: human leashes. I normally find them highly offensive and tend to think that it's lazy parenting to use one. But, in a large crowd such as DW, where the possibility of him getting lost is very real, it would be very appropriate for a 2 y/o with a history of running away. I really don't think anyone could blame you for using one in that situation.
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#4 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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I used them selectively for my oldest in those types of situations where it would be extremely dangerous for him if he got lost, i.e., the airport. He was a dasher and ran straight into busy streets or crowds without ever looking back once. We had a "Safety First" brand and it was adjustable and worked fine. I looped it often to my beltloop so it was me connected to him and looked less like me holding a leash in my hand.

I wouldn't judge you. We all love our kids and want to do what is best for them while keeping them safe in a world that isn't always safe.

Thank goodness my second is much much less a dasher and hasn't ever needed one. He usually sticks right by me in crowds. Different temperment than his brother.
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#5 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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Leashes have their uses for sure. The last time I flew, I flew alone with my then 2 mos old and 3 yr old. My 3 yr old is not a runner but I just couldn't chance it so I used one when going through the airport. When it's a safety issue, like the airport or extremely crowded places like Disney I think it's totally appropriate.

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#6 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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I've used them in that type of situation, and they're just fantastic in that context, make the whole trip so much more enjoyable for EVERYONE even my DS, he can actually walk around without having to be carried to keep him out of danger.

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#7 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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I used to be one of those judgemental moms (before I had kids of course) when it came to the child leashes. Then I got a toddler who HATES a stroller, and HATES a backcarry. I wasn't able to carry her on my hip or in the front since about 13 months- and that was when I wasn't pregnant

So if DH and I want to take her for a long walk (in town to the Farmer's MArkey like we do every Sunday), or to a busy area like the mall, we use one- a cute little froggie backpack one. Did it feel weird at first? Uh, yea. My DH still refuses to use it. But DD loves it, and it makes sense in our situation. A friend of ours just took her toddler to disney and used one- she said EVERYONE had one there. I'd go for it.

That said, there are definitely situations where it IS unnecessary.

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#8 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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i agree, park = hell no, parking lot= of course!
I will add, please don't tie it to your belt loop, the least you can do is have enough care to hold it in your HAND! This probably irks me because I tie my DOG to my belt loop. :

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#9 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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Use one. You're definitely not going to be the only mama there with a toddler on a harness.
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#10 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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My daughter is two and she's a jerk and runner. We always hold hands and in parking lots, I mostly carry her. She's VERY good about sitting in a cart while we shop but she's not good in a stroller. For crowded places (the zoo, airports, and most certainly Disney if we should ever decide to go), I use a back pack with a long tail that loops over my arm. I still hold her hand, but I have the backpack as backup just in case. She can also carry a few things in the pack so she likes that.

I think it can also be useful for a child who is still learning to walk close, but sometimes forgets. You can keep practicing that he/she walks close but if they forget and wander, there's still a connection. And it must get uncomfortable having your arm cranked up over your head, holding the hand of a much taller person.

What people react to, I think, is the idea of a kid straining on the end of a "leash." To me, that doesn't make a ton of sense. The child isn't learning or practicing walking close or holding hands, he or she is just out there. And that's a good way to trip taller people who may not see that tether stretched out.

Practice, practice, practice at home. Don't just get there and snap it on. With our dd, we made it a bit of a game. She wore it outside and I followed her, I wear it and she follows me. We run around and act silly and then we start with hand holding and eventually we made it out and used it and everything was fine.

With a runner, and certainly with two, it never hurts to have that second line of defense.
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#11 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:16 PM
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Safety is more important then anyone's opinion. I used a leash for my oldest when she was little, even on a regular basis. She has special needs and it helped her learn not to run. It didn't take a long time, She was strong, fast, and was behind in social skills and comprehension. I hope most people would realize that there is a darn good reason why a kid is on the leash, because you just wouldn't put up with all the looks for no good reason.

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#12 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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Wow, I think you are brave to even take your two year old to Disney. We won't be making that trip until our girls are at least 7! Go for it mama! Have fun!
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#13 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Am I a terrible mom for even considering using a harness? :
I don't have personal experience with a harness, but I don't think anyone should consider themselves a bad parent for doing whatever needs to be done to keep their child safe.

Have a wonderful trip!

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#14 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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If you choose to use one (and I don't consider you a bad parent for looking out for your kid!) I would like to caution you to watch out for people getting tangled in the leash! We were at WDW last june and it was really really busy. My then 3 yo neice was in a child harness, her parents were distracted (as can happen at WDW) and she decided to make a break for it. Fortunately, her parents hadn't let go of the harness so she didn't get far. Unfortunately, she tripped a teenage kid who didn't see the harness line right in front of him.

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#15 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:37 PM
 
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Better a leash than a milk carton.

If YOU know you're not a lazy parent, and don't do things to demean your child, who cares what other people think as long as your LO is safe?

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#16 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post
i
I will add, please don't tie it to your belt loop, the least you can do is have enough care to hold it in your HAND! This probably irks me because I tie my DOG to my belt loop. :
What the heck is the difference???? Seriously.
Tying a sash around my belt loop and ds' belt loop and strolling through a festival makes for a pleasant stroll.

Anyway, most people hold dog leashes in their hand, not tied around their belt loop. Especially big dogs, in crowds.
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#17 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, thanks! I don't usually need to get validation from others for my parenting decisions, but for some reason this one was bothering me!

Now I just have to figure out what type to go with. Thanks for the suggestion of practicing with it before we go, and also the tip about watching out for tripping other people. Yikes!

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#18 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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In a huge and crowded place like Disneyworld, I would definitely consider using a leash. Our 2.5yo will take off running, our 20mo is even worse. Disney is just too big and too risky.
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#19 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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My son is a 13 month old and is a runner. He has no fear (last week he tried to climb INTO the rhino cage at the zoo!) He thankfully loves the stroller but only for so long. After he's done with that, we put him his bear leash. HE LOVES IT! He gets freedom to move and climb and be active. If we didn't have a leash, we'd have to stay home, which is not fair to him, me or my 3 year old.

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#20 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 06:32 PM
 
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I used to think they were a bad idea until I had a child that needed one. My first 2 sons were great I could take them anywhere. But then had DD and she is just the opposite. She is very much a free spirit. Better to use one then to wish you would have. Anything that will make the trip safe and more enjoyable I say use it and have a great trip.
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#21 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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we did disney world last month, we brought the harness with full intention to use it, but we also rented a stroller and since we've never used a stroller for dd (almost 3) she was happy to ride in that!

i would say use it !
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#22 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 06:54 PM
 
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I think that like a lot of things, they're way overused/abused, which is where the negative reaction to them comes from, but they absolutely can be put to use in good, gentle, respectful ways, like everyone here is describing. Good luck. And have fun!
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#23 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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I'll have to echo alot of the things others have said on this.
... hated the idea until I had a runner...
... can be a total life saver...
... practice, practice, practice ...

I was totally against it, but DP insisted we get one before going to Washington DC (and an airport). I got one 2nd hand (the Eddie Bauer Teddy Bear one from Target, they also have a puppy and a monkey.) I now use it quite a bit. We do use it to go on walks in the neighborhood (no good sidewalks and people drive too fast on our street.) We don't really use it for shopping, but when DS was at his most likely to run, we probably should have.

I like the harness style vs the wrist strap - it just seems safer, if he takes off he won't dislocate his arm. The backpack we have is mostly a stuffed animal, but there's a pocket and we put our cell-phone numbers and names in there, just in case. I keep intending to put a picture of us together as a family in there to use as "identification" since DS does not look like either me or DP. There are also more useful backpack styles (that still clip in front as a harness) that can actually hold more than a slip of paper.

Regarding what other people think, there was someone on one of the MDC boards that said she thought of it as "Child-proofing the world, so you don't have to say no so often." I liked that.

Have a great trip!
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#24 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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Another momma here who used a harness for a runner. I remember hating the one my parents used with me when I was a kid and swore I wouldn't use one for my kids - and then safety became a major issue.

We always talked about it as a "back-up" in case he forgot to hold hands and let go where it wasn't safe. And then, we held hands. We only used it in crowded places and he loved the freedom it gave him to walk instead of be in the stroller.

I used the Kid Keeper from One Step Ahead. It wasn't as cute as the backpack ones, but I trusted it.

http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/...mSource=Search

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#25 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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How is it any different than people strapping a child in a stroller when they want to be there? I know my kids just plain refuse to hold my hand, and this gives them the freedom to walk when they want to, without worrying about someone so easily snatching them or them running away. They make things a lot safer, IMO. I don't use them all the time, but I do when we're going to be somewhere crowded.
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#26 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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We were just at Disney In Jan. Ds was 18 months and we also had a friend with who's son was 19 months. Both of us bought the leashes for our children. Personally, I wouldn't have done it any other way. We both had strollers, but the kids would only tolerate sitting in them for so long. The leashes allowed the children to explore and interact with their world, in a way that they otherwise would not have been able to. My son's was a horse and he loved having it on. The peace of mind was priceless.

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#27 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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YES !! USE ONE!!!
Disney is way too crowded not to.
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#28 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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Sounds way more comfortable and fun than being stuck in a stroller or having your arm held over your head all the time.
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#29 of 64 Old 04-07-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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We got dd a "monkey backpack" when we flew last year. Worked like a charm-- and the only comments were "aw, how sweet- she's got a monkey on her back!"
And in the middle of the Nashville airport, she layed down on it and pretended to snore-- the monkey is like a pillow. It was so freaking cute. And I didn't worry as much about her wandering (she's not a runner, she's a hider- like under chairs).

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#30 of 64 Old 04-08-2008, 12:26 AM
 
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This topic appears fairly regularly and you can find lots of threads in the archives.

I used a leash with my DD when we traveled and I think they're wonderful -- especially in crowded, busy places like airports and Disney World. I've said this before but I'll say it again: most of the time it's not the child who cares about the leash, it's the parent. This is NOT an issue of "lazy parenting," it's an issue of safety. Leashes can give you the best of both worlds: they allow a child a certain level of freedom AND still be close to you. You'll breathe a lot easier.

Have fun!
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