Are baby harnesses really all that bad? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 04:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by urchin_grey View Post
How come strapping your child into a chair with wheels is socially acceptable but strapping your child to your wrist is evil?
I know. It's so weird. I don't get it.

Of course, mainstreamers who think harnesses are evil would have looked approvingly at me if I'd had my kids in seats on wheels.

APers who think harnesses are evil wuold have looked approvingly at me if I'd had my kids in carriers.

Instead, they walked on the legs that God gave them, very happily, wearing a harness, with their hands free to touch things rather than one hand held above their heads for hours on end holding hands with me.

Fortunately I only ever, after three kids who used the harness, had two rude comments. I did have tens of positive ones, though, so thankfully most people have common sense.

As for who was 'walking' who, it would depend on where we were going and what we were doing. The child has far more say in the matter than if he's in a stroller or carrier, and can lead or follow. My kids took me for walks all the time - this is one of my most pleasant memories of their toddler years, them on the harness happily taking me around the streets and to the park, stopping to pick flowers, look at squirrels, chat to neighbours, without having to hold my hand or sit in a stroller, or even get squashed by a car.
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#62 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 05:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
well, my ds is only 12 months and not quite walking yet so i haven't had to even consider it for personal reasons; however, i am a preschool teacher and have been in charge of taking upwards of six kids (randomly aged 2-5) on walks around our neighborhood. I do need to give lots of reminders that we stop at every drive way and check for cars, but i've never had a kid just up and take off! We go over the safety rules before each walk (and i usually make it fun like, "If we see a big monkey in the middle of the street juggling candy and it wants us to come in the road should we do that?" They all laugh and say "noooo" but then one of htem will say "we shoudl NEVER go in the street" in a serious voice and all the kids agree.

I think if you just talk with your children about staying with you, never running ahead etc. a leash is just overkill. I cringe when i see them at the mall (how far do you think your child is going to go in a mall?? kwim)
I had to smile at this. I was a teacher too. I could take a large group of preschoolers out and never had a dangerous incident.

You are comparing apples and oranges.

You are also talking of kids aged 2-5. It's not that age group that ime are the ones that you might want to use a harness on. With my kids it was the early walking stage - 12 -24 months. If you have a livewire, that's the age when all the chats in the world about monkeys in the street are going to go right over their heads. And when a car runs over them, they are dead, and you can't go back and think, hey, maybe a toddler knows the rules, but has no impulse control.

Similarly, I could have 500 kids sitting in a hall hanging on my every word when I was a teacher. Nowadays I can struggle to get my own three to listen to one word I say.

As for the mall, try googling 'Jamie Bulger' to see how far a baby can get.

You know, when I went out with my toddlers I didn't want to have to make every moment of our outing a 'teaching moment' about safety. I wanted to stop and look at things, chat, sing, listen, pick dandilions and daisies. I'm sure my kids loved the fact that we spent hours in the neighbourhood doing this, rather than having to constantly practice listening to 'stop' and showing me how they could stop when I told them. I had friends who were practicing this stuff at the point when I was just out and about with my kids with no worries.

Plus, those strategies get old after a while, and certainly aren't a great deal of fun when you're 9 months pregnant or carrying a newborn around.

The great thing about a harness is that you can put it on, then forget you have it. You can walk around with your child doing your usual routine, and it's there if it's needed, but otherwise, both of you completely forget about it.

In a day and age of sendentary children, I'd far rather mine were using their legs than a carrier or stroller. All three of mine hated the stroller and turned out to be great walkers. We ditched the stroller years before most of our friends - if we ever used one it was used to carry stuff, not kids, because my kids were too busy walking!
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#63 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 05:37 AM
 
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For our family - I wouldnt say they are evil - but I do not like them.
We have never had to use one. I feel that working with the child is, although more work, much more effective and better in the long run.
We had to work with our son on this - he wasnt born perfect or 'easy' lol... It meant going to quite parks or quite stores (our favourite was the camping store - no one is in there on a Sunday, tents to run around in up everywhere, etc... a very good place to practice!)...where we could simply just practice the important of staying near, not running into the road, staying where I could see him, etc.
For us, a 'harness' would mean 'I do not trust you' - and trust and how we choose to parent (we live consensually - at least we try our best!!! hehe) go hand in hand.
I have been tempted a few times when DS started to walk to buy a harness. During those times though, it would have been saying 'I do not trust you - so I will restrain you'. In the end, I couldnt buy one because of this and decided to work with my DS instead on it. Also, as he has SPD (sensory issues) in a hypersensitive way, I know he would have never let me put one of those things on him. Putting our clothes on in the morning before we go out is an ordeal in itself as it is. I have also never been able to do the straps up on him when he was in the pushchair so it would have been a waste of money. I think I had no choice but to work with him on it - so I know it can be done. I am also saying here, as people who are 'for' harnesses like to point out, that no, I also never and do not find it acceptable to strap a child in a pushchair or restrain them in a sling either. I have never done this and never intend to. If my son goes in his pushchair or when he was in the sling, it was also by choice, and as I have said above, he was never 'strapped/harnessed' in either.
Yes - I ask him to hold my hand when we cross the road (this is the only time I do ask him to hold my hand), or at least stay next to me. This has nothing to do with not trusting him though. Whether or not he understands, this is because I have explained to him that a car coming is more likely to see me first before him so if he is at least right next to me, they are less likely to hit him, a small child that is harder to see, if they saw me first.
Nothing is black&white...so I can see where maybe they would be needed in some cases - though on the whole, I feel they are far overused and misused (I have yet to see them being used in a learning manner at all - I have yet to see them being used in any other way than a controlling restraining way where the child is often pulled in this direction and that and dragged behind almost like a dog - so I can also see why people who question them do so!...They are not portrayed very positively). DS has a speical need (though self diagnosed - SPD and PDD-NOS), though, no - its not what I feel is 'severe' and he is also not a twin...I also do not, or will not have a small age gap between any children I may have. So for us and our family, there is no need for one. And no, we also do not 'babyproof' the house.

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#64 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 08:19 AM
 
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Until this thread, I had never even thought about how uncomfortable it must be for a kid to hold their hand over their head for long periods of time. I think I'll look into getting one for ds, as he is a runner. He'll point to the road and say "no, no, no" while wagging his finger, and then run towards it

I can't see it getting any easier for awhile as he'll be getting even better at running while I'll be getting increasingly more pregnant and waddly
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#65 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 09:06 AM
 
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I'd rather my kid look like a dog rather then bury them in the ground or not know where they are. Mine won't sit and wants to walk but takes off.

Preschool kids and your own are totally different. I've worked in many preschool settings.

I could talk to her until I was blue in the face about staying with me but she's 2! She wants to feel big like her brother and sister (which I am also trying to keep an eye on when we are out) I laugh because what someone said about the stroller is so true. How come that's ok? With the harness she is safe, learning , touching, and exploring none of which you can do strapped in a chair.

I've had natural birth 3 times, one homebirth, no circ. don't spank, breastfeed until at least 2 1/2, am a crazy nut about carseats, cosleep, the list goes on and on, but I guess if you want to consider me a bad mom for making sure my baby is safe then so be it. Think before you judge.
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#66 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 09:08 AM
 
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I also notice a lot of you who are so against them only have one child. More then one changes EVERYTHING,
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#67 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 09:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CindyCindy View Post
This is my problem with them. Mostly I see parents using them because they don't WANT to pay attention to their children. The parents I see use them are just walking their child and the child is pulling on it, or laying on the floor pitching a fit while the mom is literally trying to pull the child off the floor with the leash. It is those moments that have really made me look down on leashes.

Yes, but that does not mean that all of us who have used leash/harness would do that.

My 9 yr old, who has Autism, was very strong as a young child and would wrench my arm badly, trying to run. So, I got a leash/harness and used it when needed. I did not care what others thought and still don't. I have a 3 yr old now, who is fairly compliant, but if he decided to become a runner, I would buy another leash/harness in a minute.

I also resent the implications of some that if one uses a leash, that they don't talk to their children about dangers and about how it is not right to run, etc. That is like my BIL, after watching me correct my son for running in Grandma's house, tell me that HIS children will be taught not to run and behave from a younger age. All in a very snotty tone of course. I told him, "You actually think that we don't teach our children not to run in the house? This is a young child. You have to tell them more than once."

Well, Karma has a funny way of making one eat their words sometimes. His daughter, now 2, does not always listen, and is a runner.
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#68 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 10:01 AM
 
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I have never used a harness, was never interested in strollers, did almost no babyproofing- except electric wires, didn't like wearing my kids (hey why don't slings get a bad rap for making kids look like kangaroos?)
I have an instinctive negative around harnesses but no judgement about others that use them. I also don't go to malls and rarely fly.
I cosleep and bf forever. I am more likely to worry about chemical in our food and the sort of emotional safety of my two. But that is partially my lifestyle in which actual dangers to the kids come primarily in the form of wildlife and black widows.
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#69 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 10:07 AM
 
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I feel that working with the child is, although more work, much more effective and better in the long run
I think that if you had more than one child to parent every single day, you might find that your perspective changes on many levels. Everyone I know, including myself, that has had clear ideas of of how they were going to parent has had to eat their words on at least one occasion once that 2nd child was born. Once you get to that 3rd child, your whole parenting model has undergone so many changes. It's a process that comes from parenting multiple people all at the same time.

ETA- people who are occasionally using a tool to help keep their child safe may also believe that working with a child to learn boundaries and safe habits is important, too. one does not exclude the other. it simply becomes a time issue when there are more people involved. one mother cannot hold 3 different sets of hands, for example, without relying on one or more child to be 100% compliant. that's fine in a camping supply store- if a toddler has a lapse of impulse control and bolts, he doesn't get hit by a car or taken by a predator. but it can happen faster than you think in a crowded place with many distractions.

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#70 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 10:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
I vote Yes they ARE that bad! Whenever i see one it makes me shudder! I will NEVER use one and really wish they were never invented!
you know, when i just just my oldest daughter, i would have said the same thing... and never would imagine i could ever want to own a harness/leash.

then i had dd#2. She's a runner... and more times then i can count she would run into the street... side streets, main routes, didn't matter... she was running. I bought a harness because her safety is more important then any image. Did i still hold her hand... yes. the "leash" was more or less so that she couldnt run off and get hit by a car.

Now i have a ds, which also loves to run off, though not as much as dd#2 did at this same age. We use it, but only in times we feel the need for extra measures (crowds, walking near main/busy roads).

I don't think the harness in itself is a terrible thing, what makes it terrible in the intent in which people use them

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#71 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 10:41 AM
 
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I do need to give lots of reminders that we stop at every drive way and check for cars, but i've never had a kid just up and take off!
And you are lucky. I'd actually be concerned as a parent of one of those 6 kids that there was only one adult in charge around busy roads.

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Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
We go over the safety rules before each walk (and i usually make it fun like, "If we see a big monkey in the middle of the street juggling candy and it wants us to come in the road should we do that?" They all laugh and say "noooo" but then one of htem will say "we shoudl NEVER go in the street" in a serious voice and all the kids agree.
Yes, we always talk about the rules wherever we go too. Kids agreeing is one thing, and doing is another. As I said, some children are more compliant than others. Some are more curious. Some are more energetic. Some are less concerned with pleasing teachers/parents, etc. than they are with completeing the task they have set out for themselves. Young children, particularly when there are more than one, and those who are high spirited, don't have impluse control. You can't always rely on "well, I TOLD you not to go in the road" as a form of certainty that they are safe around a road.

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I think if you just talk with your children about staying with you, never running ahead etc. a leash is just overkill. I cringe when i see them at the mall (how far do you think your child is going to go in a mall?? kwim)
It really depends on the child. OF COURSE you talk about the rules. Some children just run. And how far will a child go in the mall? A second child will typically go much further than a first, and a spirited curious child who isn't concerned with needing to "check in" with mom may go MUCH FARTHER than you're comfotable with - particularly if you have another child to carry, bags to carry, a stroller to navigate, AND/OR you're in a big crowd in which a small child can get QUICKLY lost.

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#72 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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I don't mind them at all and if we lived in a big city ds1 would have been on one. However, I think it's really important to still work on teaching your little one to stay close to Mommy and make sure you develop a method for leash-free safe walking I know that some kids love to run (trust me, I have 2 like that) but they certainly can learn that hand-holding is non-negotiable. When we shop I have 3 little people walking with me all holding the cart or stroller. They are not allowed to let go. When we get out of the car, they have to hold each other's hands. I used to have them put their hand on the car tire or my leg as I took the baby out. hth.
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#73 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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I haven't read all the responses.

We have one but we have never used it. It was actually MIL who wanted it because she can't keep up with ds like dh and I can. So for me that seemed resonable, I wanted him to stay safe when I wasn't there.
I'm also open to using it in a crowded place but haven't done that yet.
I think the arguement that your treating your child like a dog is funny, yeah I agree it looks dog-like but why don't I want my child to be as safe as I would my dog?

It also takes you knowing your child. Not every child needs a harness. My ds hasn't had one on because I know how he acts and I trust him, with some children you can't trust them yet and you don't know which way they will dart.

I also think people overuse them. I can't imagine using one at the park...isn't that where you want your child to run?

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#74 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 12:08 PM
 
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I think your family is lucky that you think about these matters. Seems to me that most things introduced and used in the context of immediate and long term kindness tend to be o-kay in the long run. Particularly if it lets a child reach the long term safely.
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#75 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
I vote Yes they ARE that bad! Whenever i see one it makes me shudder! I will NEVER use one and really wish they were never invented!
My child ran away at the zoo yesterday. If a harness can prevent another parent from going through the heartbreaking terror I felt, I say for for it. I'm glad you would never have to use one.. .but then, I didn't think I would either...

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I think if you just talk with your children about staying with you, never running ahead etc. a leash is just overkill. I cringe when i see them at the mall (how far do you think your child is going to go in a mall?? kwim)
Yeah... if only I had talked to her about it ... oh wait, we HAVE talked about this many times over a course of three years, she STILL ran away.

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#76 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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I have a runner. We have a harness.
Yes, me, too.

I don't think harnesses are bad, as long as they're used in appropriate situations.

I have a runner, and a child with sensory seeking behavior, who does not always listen. We sometimes use a harness for safety reasons. It works wonders.

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#77 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 12:49 PM
 
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I've always had dogs. I used to cringe when I saw kids on "leashes" at the mall, at Disney, at the Farmer's Market, etc. Leashes are for dogs, right?

I was 31 when I had my son and remember thinking "never!" about harnesses- this is a child, not a dog! Then my son turned 2, and all previous notions of wearing him, or walking together through the Farmer's Market were off. He is a runner, the kind that becomes deaf and doesn't look back. My MIL took him to the Zoo this summer (he's now 3), and I INSISTED that she use a harness- he's too fast for her and I was worried that he would make it into an enclosure and be eaten by a lion. She bought the monkey harness from Target (I think made by Eddie Bauer) and he fell in love with it! He was proud to wear his "backpack" and have Grandma hold his "tail".

I've been working with him regarding staying together at the grocery store. I truly think that he just doesn't care. His desire to get to the thing that he wants overrrides everything else. So, I'll be the lady that you see at the mall in a few years with a 5yr old in a harness or crammed into a stroller to ensure his safety! He's my one and only, and I'll do whatever I need to keep him safe.

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#78 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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I've always had dogs. I used to cringe when I saw kids on "leashes" at the mall, at Disney, at the Farmer's Market, etc. Leashes are for dogs, right?

I was 31 when I had my son and remember thinking "never!" about harnesses- this is a child, not a dog! Then my son turned 2, and all previous notions of wearing him, or walking together through the Farmer's Market were off. He is a runner, the kind that becomes deaf and doesn't look back. My MIL took him to the Zoo this summer (he's now 3), and I INSISTED that she use a harness- he's too fast for her and I was worried that he would make it into an enclosure and be eaten by a lion. She bought the monkey harness from Target (I think made by Eddie Bauer) and he fell in love with it! He was proud to wear his "backpack" and have Grandma hold his "tail".

I've been working with him regarding staying together at the grocery store. I truly think that he just doesn't care. His desire to get to the thing that he wants overrrides everything else. So, I'll be the lady that you see at the mall in a few years with a 5yr old in a harness or crammed into a stroller to ensure his safety! He's my one and only, and I'll do whatever I need to keep him safe.
I was lucky with my first, and I hope I'll be lucky with my second. If not, I will have her older brother around to help me chase her down.

But I see the same kids of "if you just parent right you won't have problems" sentiment for all kinds of thing. Kids who hit vs kids who don't, kids who are rough with their toys vs. kids who take care of their toys and kids who want to play with grandma's ceramic knick knacks vs. kids who only need to be told not to touch.
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#79 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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But I see the same kids of "if you just parent right you won't have problems" sentiment for all kinds of thing.
Since having my little one, I've realized parents, or others, who have this mentality haven't met a certain challenge in life that presents this dilemma. For example, the people who've given us looks when my little one wears the back pack harness probably aren't aware of or have had kids of their own with major sensory seeking behaviors.



Or runners...
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#80 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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But I see the same kids of "if you just parent right you won't have problems" sentiment for all kinds of thing. Kids who hit vs kids who don't, kids who are rough with their toys vs. kids who take care of their toys and kids who want to play with grandma's ceramic knick knacks vs. kids who only need to be told not to touch.
If you all only parented like me, you would never need to leash your child.




I have a mellow girl, and she's my only right now. I doubt I'll ever use one of these. But I don't care or judge if other parents use them responsibly. (I have definitely seen irresponsible use of these - pulling on kids, ignoring them, etc. but that's the parenting, not the harness).
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#81 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 02:20 PM
 
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I personally am philosophically opposed to using a leash and harness. I feel it creates an imbalance of power and the illusion of freedom. I don't like the message of control it sends because I feel my job as parent is to shepherd, not control.
If it does become necessary, it may make you feel better to know that my experience (just speaking for me) was that the harness gave our toddler MORE control than he would have been able to have otherwise, especially in environments like the zoo on a busy day.

I really spent most of my time following him, but I didn't have to be constantly correcting him because I knew in case of danger, I had the other end of the rope.

ETA: That didn't mean we didn't have discussions and corrections, of course. But it didn't have to be the only thing we did all day which, with my son at that age, it would have been. As I said earlier, he's 3 and listens just fine (for his age) now.

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#82 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
I think if you just talk with your children about staying with you, never running ahead etc. a leash is just overkill. I cringe when i see them at the mall (how far do you think your child is going to go in a mall?? kwim)
I know there probably are 18 month - 2 year olds out there who do what you "just talk about" but I have a feeling that another 6 months is going to provide you with a personal reality check into this statement.

It's not that they don't understand. It's that they don't have the impulse control. Talking about safety, practicing safety, all those things are important - and it is just as easy to do that with a harness-wearing child as it is with a carried child, stroller-ed child, or hand-held child.

The harness is not a substitute for these things. It's merely an added measure of safety for those moments when (in my son's case) glee and joy and the drive to explore overrode instruction.

Kids really do test limits and boundaries differently at home than they do at daycare or school - at some stages more, and at some stages less. Sometimes I really feel for teachers & ECEs who become parents without realizing that because it can really be a rude shock!

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#83 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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I never thought I would want one. But DS now refuses to hold hands on the street and in parking lots now and has started running away. He's not a very wild boy at all, and we have more horse & buggies that drive by our farm than cars, but I worry about him in town. We're trying to teach him to stay close to us, to hold hands. But he's not even two yet. If he wants to bolt, he bolts.

Both his young age and the fact that I've always got his little sister strapped on me and don't have the reflexes/range of motion that it takes to wrassle a runner make me want to get one.

I'm now Googling "child harness" in hopes of finding where to buy one of these contraptions.

Homebirthing, homeschooling AP, gardening maniac running a working farm. No circ, no vax, no cable TV. EC'd and CD'd, tandem BF'd.  Cheese and soap making goat and child herder.
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#84 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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You probably don't need any more input 5 pages later, but here's my two cents:

I used to think it was awful. Now I think it's fine to use them when needed to keep you child safe. I think some people over-use them, and, of course their use should NEVER take the place of speaking respectfully to your child and helping them to learn about safety.

My 18 month old does NOT like to hold my hand when she HAS to keep holding it...like near a street. We live in a tiny village and she isn't very often in a situation where she is required to hold hands for an extended period of time. It is, of course, sometimes not negotiable --next to the street, in a crowd, etc.-- and she must hold hands or be in the stroller or Ergo. If she doesn't get better about it, I could see myself resorting to a leash say at the fair or walking down a busy street.

Do what's best for your child. Model respectful behavior, and by all means do whatever it takes to make sure your lo sees his or her next birthday!
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#85 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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I don't have one but am considering getting one for DS (DD was one of those great listener/hand holders )

I am not a stroller fan. I rarely use them and when I do I feel bad for DS being strapped into it when I know he'd much rather be walking around with the rest of us. He loves to be on the move.

I really don't see why being strapped to a loving parent is bad but being strapped into a stroller is not a problem.
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#86 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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I went to a climbing store and bought mountain climbing webbing and MADE a harness that my wiggly guy couldnt' wriggle out of. Those ones that look like a backpack wouldn't do any good for him cuz he'd slip right out of them. This one went around his waist, over both shoulders, crossed in back, and had a strap under his crotch too. Each strap was adjustable and unbuckled (buckles in back where I could get them but he could not), so it was easy to undo to go potty without having to take off the whole thing... the webbing was strong enough that DH could pick him up by it and 'fly' him, which DS loved. DS also had some ownership in it because i let him pick the color of webbing.
Basically we just sat down with DS and explained that it was important for him to be close to us so that he'd be safe. We said that we either needed him to be holding hands all the time, or he could wear the harness which would keep him close enough but leave his hands free. He almost always chose the harness. Now he was older than 15m and could voice his opinions, but I suspect that most kids would have the same feeling--I'd rather look funny and be able to play than be restricted to a stroller or holding hands. I mean seriously, wouldnt' you?!

ETA--I had observed in DS behavior that I thought would be better off with a harness, but DH was very opposed to the idea...until the day 3yo DS ran off and tried to jump into bryce canyon. Then DH came straight to me and said can we please get a harness asap. Some kids are content to hang out close to parents, but some kids are not. You have to know your kids. But if your kid seems to call for that safety net, by all means give it to them. I would rather have an 'imbalance of power' and a 'kid on a leash' than have a dead son.

~Jenni, rural frugal Alaskan, eternally married to Dragon
loving my wild things DS Wolf (12), 3 angels, DS Bear (6) & DS Eagle (3)
 

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#87 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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I used one for DD from about 18 months to 26 months or so. She was not verbal enough, or even old enough, to understand about safety. There is no way a child of that age has any understanding of their own mortality. We did babywear, we sometimes used a stroller, but she likes to walk and she likes to run when something catches her eye.

I saw one mom walking through the parking lot with infant bucket seat in one and the hand of her 3 year old in the other hand. Toddler jerked away and ran, and there she was trying to chase after him with a bucket seat.
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#88 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DandeCobb View Post
we have the same monkey harness as PP, my son loves it, he calls it his backpack. BUT, i notice you have a little boy also. It can be rather...odd....to hear your son say "i want my monkey! can i go play with my monkey??' you may want to consider a different animal
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#89 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by urchin_grey View Post
How come strapping your child into a chair with wheels is socially acceptable but strapping your child to your wrist is evil?
yeah...have you seen those little doggie strollers? I am assuming the dogs in those things are old or can't walk for some reason. I think it is sweet of pet owners to get those so their liile doggies can enjoy a walk.

I am all for those harnesses. More importantlly, it sounds like the kids love the freedom to walk instead of being strapped into a stroller. How about trying it and follow your kids' lead.

DH, and Me plus baby girl (10/07)
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#90 of 210 Old 08-17-2008, 05:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
well, my ds is only 12 months and not quite walking yet so i haven't had to even consider it for personal reasons; however, i am a preschool teacher and have been in charge of taking upwards of six kids (randomly aged 2-5) on walks around our neighborhood. I do need to give lots of reminders that we stop at every drive way and check for cars, but i've never had a kid just up and take off! We go over the safety rules before each walk (and i usually make it fun like, "If we see a big monkey in the middle of the street juggling candy and it wants us to come in the road should we do that?" They all laugh and say "noooo" but then one of htem will say "we shoudl NEVER go in the street" in a serious voice and all the kids agree.

I think if you just talk with your children about staying with you, never running ahead etc. a leash is just overkill. I cringe when i see them at the mall (how far do you think your child is going to go in a mall?? kwim)
Before my son was born I taught preschool for many years. And yup, I could keep a large group of kids all together, outside of the classroom, no problem.

But God help me, wrangling my one, stubborn, fast, adorable little guy is about as successful as trying to juggle a dozen angry wet cats. It just doesn't work.

We talk about safety all the time. We explain to him why running in the street/out the door etc. isn't safe. We tell him he needs to hold Mommy or Daddy's hand. And sure, he understands a lot, and is able to follow a lot of directions. But, when he is over stimulated and preoccupied with new shiny experiences, does he really understand why running out into traffic to chase a bird wouldn't be a good idea? Probably not. And at 19 months old, with no bad scary experiences to understand the concept of danger yet- does talking about safety even make sense to him yet? Probably not so much.

We have the monkey backpack leash. We don't use it a lot, but we do use it. I'd rather have my son on a leash, than have my son in the emergency room.

~heather

heather - wife to my wonderful husband , mama to Brenten William 12/29/06, and Devin Findley 10/20/09
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