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#1 of 19 Old 05-25-2010, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm curious... Do you mamas have any tricks on how to keep your little ones close when out in public? My 20 month old is becoming increasingly more independent in wanting to be set free to run around. She's happy as can be and doesn't throw any tantrums at all (but she'll FIGHT if we try to restrain her), but she will have NOTHING to do with being carried, or sitting in shopping carts (and strollers are OUT of the question).

This makes for very challenging outings as both of us are required to take her anywhere (one to shop, the other to keep her close).

Suggestions?
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#2 of 19 Old 05-25-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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Actually, it sounds like your approach of both going is a short-term safety and sanity preserver! Ours were very much back-pack toddlers, so I have a different experience. As soon as we started talking about their range in public, though, we used the "stay where you can see your grownup" guideline. It happened to work with our kids, YMMV, so just tossing it out. Your DD might respond to the fact that her range is based on HER sensory input. Play that one up, maybe.

Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), an underachieving Bernese Mountain Dog (2006-2014), and an overachieving mother (1930).  Married to DH since 1986.
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#3 of 19 Old 05-26-2010, 10:33 PM
 
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I remember this!

We took more time. Tough sometimes, but we followed her around a bit in the store or where-ever. (didn't always work)

Then we involved her by asking her for the things on the list, (sometimes drawn in advance with pictures), (didn't always work)

or handed things for her to put in the push-chair (didn't always use a trolly), (didn't always work)

or, if we were lucky, had her in the child seat in the trolly, telling us where to go. (didn't always work)

I remember also running the trolly round so she was right at the front "driving". (didn't always work)

In the end, not everything worked all the time. We (parents) just did it together, and took more time. (always worked)

I do remember at the time thinking that we could do with another parent! When Granny came, things went a lot quicker!

The anti-Ezzo king
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#4 of 19 Old 05-27-2010, 12:11 AM
 
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The main thing that worked for my ds was teaching him how to play 'red light, green light'

Also, allow plenty of extra time for things like shopping - we would always take our time so ds could look at different things and walk around. I also have him 'help' by carrying something (like a head of lettuce), b/c if he is holding something, he cant knock something else down!
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#5 of 19 Old 05-27-2010, 01:54 AM
 
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Have you thought about using one of those baby leash/harness things...? I recently got back from England and saw a bunch of moms with their toddlers on harnesses. I thought it seemed kinda odd at first, but I grew to think it's maybe kind of a good idea. Theoretically at least. Then my MiL bought us one, so there ya go.

Just a thought. I think I'll actually open a new thread with the more general question about the leashes, so I won't derail yours.

ETA: here's the new thread I just opened: Leashes for kids?

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#6 of 19 Old 05-27-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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This is a tough one because your DD is so young. My son is just about a month older than her and he likes to roam around, too.

I might have a different approach to this than other Mamas here, but I wouldn't rely on a 20 month old (or any child under say 2 1/2 or 3) to keep themselves safe. That is, I don't believe any amount of advance preparation or verbal instruction can keep them close to you at all times. They just don't have the impulse control for that. Or at least mine didn't!

With my older DD we work on safety guidelines and verbal cues to stop immediately, but at the younger ages if it wasn't safe for them to be walking on their own (like in a crowded store) I just found I needed to make them comfortable in whatever kind of 'restraint' I was using. (It sounds horrible, that word 'restraint,' but I can't think of a better one right now.) That meant investing in a carrier they liked, or giving cookies and juice boxes in the grocery cart. Minimizing the amount of places we went where they couldn't walk around on their own also helped.

It does get a bit easier when they get older and can communicate better about boundaries and safety rules, and they get better impulse control.

Mom to DD 7 and DS 5.
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#7 of 19 Old 05-27-2010, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it is hard BECAUSE she's so young that it's so difficult. Those leashes would never fly with her either (I think they would just make her angry). And to be honest, she's not that out of control when someone is with her, and if we sneak around a corner she will look for us or come running to "get us". The problem is trying to teach her to stay close without having to chase her down, or teaching her that once we're in the line up (getting ready to pay), that running around is no longer an option. And BOY, will she fight. It's mostly a kicking, squirming, screaming type than it is a tantrum (she won't cry, and will laugh once you actually do put her down), but man... not easy.

Distraction (like giving her something to carry) does work, but only for short periods of time before she wants either something new, or to find her own distractions.

She does understand when we tell her that we need her to stay close (although we have to hold her -kicking and fighting- to talk to her), and she'll start to fuss and ask (in sign language) "please!". We have to say no, then affirm her desire to want to do it (show compassion, understanding, etc), and that does seem to calm her down somewhat, but the "please" followed by sad faces is rather heartbreaking. It takes a little while before she'll submit, but it's the whole "restrain her until she does" that bothers me. But I guess that's to be expected at that age?

Both of us going anywhere with her is definitely for prevention of insanity.

I'll try a game with her (freeze, red/green light, etc) and see if she'll understand it, but I think she might be a bit young for that yet. And highly distractible. lol
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#8 of 19 Old 05-27-2010, 09:47 PM
 
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I wouldn't rely on a 20 month old (or any child under say 2 1/2 or 3) to keep themselves safe. That is, I don't believe any amount of advance preparation or verbal instruction can keep them close to you at all times. They just don't have the impulse control for that.
I totally agree with this!
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#9 of 19 Old 05-27-2010, 10:25 PM
 
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My daughter was the same way and at around 22 months she darted in between the clothes at Target and it took me a good 4 minutes to find her and she had gotten all the way to the check out area, scared the living daylights out of me, so I changed the rules.

I explained to her that unless we were in a park or someplace where it was meant for her to run around, she had two choices, stroller or shopping cart. I would also explain that if she threw a fit, then it was time to go, no fuss, I would just pick her up and leave. I did it, maybe 3 or 4 times and she realized that unfortunately, this the way the world works (plus I had a 4 year old to keep track of as well) and that for her own safety and my own sanity, this was it. She eventually relented and would pick usually the cart and I would hand everything to her and she would place it in the cart so she had an "important job" and now she's almost 4 and still does it and still rides in the cart which is just so much easier.

Its hard becuase you want them to be independent, but sometimes you have to decide whether or not it is working for you as well because in a split second a child can just get lost and it is sooo scary.
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#10 of 19 Old 05-27-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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I don't know what her 'logic' level is, but with DS at that age, and even a little earlier, we were able to prepare him before we go to the store. By telling him that as soon as we got out of the car he was going to ride in the cart. You have to ride in the cart at the grocery store because mama needs to shop for our food and I need you to stay in the cart. He definitely learned which stores are cart stores and which stores are not, usually the ones that are not, are ones when both parents are shopping and we can take our time and take turns with the kids, like Kohls.

Also, it really helped if we carried him from the car to the cart, if we let him down at any point during the process he would throw a fit when it was time to get in the cart.

Mama to three

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#11 of 19 Old 05-28-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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When I need to do serious shopping these days (my DD is 20 months as well) I either go during her nap time while DH is home or put her in the cart and give her a steady stream of things to hold/eat/ rip up. Her favorite is an old wallet that I put fake credit cards (from junk mail) and expired gift cards into and she loves to rifle through it in the cart.

Anyhow, if we are only going for one or two things and I don't have to concentrate on finding things, I walk with her and find that if I keep up a conversation with her about what we're doing and let her "help" me carry the item in question she is an angel and stays right by me with no fight. It's like they can sense our attention wandering to "should I buy 36 ct. for $3.99 or 24 ct. for $2.99?" and that is when they bolt out of sight.

Karen , wife x 11 years to J and SAHM to Evie 9-19-08
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#12 of 19 Old 05-28-2010, 05:12 AM
 
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I don't do "serious" shopping with DS, but I never run any errands without a stroller or shpping cart. Fortunately, he's okay with it, at least for a little while, but when he starts getting antsy I cut things short.

For us, like PPs, the stroller or cart is non-negotiable. It's necessary for me to be able to do what I need to do without the stress of worrying that he's safe. He's always been in the cart/stroller, so I guess he's used to it as part of the deal now. I know how hard it is to have a LO who hates being confined, though. My BFF's DD is the same way. But at nearly 2, she is starting to realize that she can fight all she wants, she's still going to end up in the cart!
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#13 of 19 Old 05-28-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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My kiddo is also running wild when we are out. I bought this sort of rope that we both tie in my hand and in the other hand her hand. It looks like a cuff and I don't care if we especially my child looks like a dog in tie. Its better to be safe than sorry.
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#14 of 19 Old 05-28-2010, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post
For us, like PPs, the stroller or cart is non-negotiable. It's necessary for me to be able to do what I need to do without the stress of worrying that he's safe. He's always been in the cart/stroller, so I guess he's used to it as part of the deal now. I know how hard it is to have a LO who hates being confined, though. My BFF's DD is the same way. But at nearly 2, she is starting to realize that she can fight all she wants, she's still going to end up in the cart!
This is sort of how we deal with it as well, but she's a smart kid and I strongly dislike using the "calm down or else" method. And it's not so much the keeping her close that I'm having a problem with, it's the fight she gives me when I try. She's by far one of the strongest willed children that I've known (and I nannied for 16 years before she was born).

It doesn't help either that because she gets so horribly car sick (and because I'm 41 weeks pregnant), it's hard to take her out. So when we do, it's REALLY exciting for her, once we get to our destination. lol

I know she's too young to expect more, but that's why I'm here. For advice on how to handle it now, and teach for when she's older.
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#15 of 19 Old 05-29-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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I used a harness some at that age (in larger stores like Costco) and it was great. Didn't impair his learning curve and took some of the pressure off. We were both much happier.

My son actually did have the logic skill for rules but he didn't have the impulse control for it (or for the rope trick; he'd've dropped it at the first sign of something interesting, although by 3 that might've worked if we'd still needed a reminder) and I enjoyed having some appropriate expeditions that removed one layer of me having to stay on his case.

I posted in the leash thread too, but having read some rules here (stroller, cart, etc.) I think those are good but the thing is - they're sedentary. I loved them for when he was tired, but I didn't like forcing him to sit sit sit all the time, myself. Half the fun of going out was giving him walking time.

FYI my son is now almost 5 and has no trouble with directions in stores, etc. It won't ruin your kid if you choose to go that way.

~ 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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#16 of 19 Old 05-29-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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We use a little monkey backpack with a lease attached. Some people don't like them, but it keeps her safe and it actually give her a decent amount of freedom Plus, I don't have to chase after her as nervously... I have a little more control.
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#17 of 19 Old 05-29-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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We are having issues with this, too. DD hates riding in the cart and will wail loudly and incessantly the whole time she's in one. I too would rather she walk, but the running away/sitting down instead of walking when I try to direct her/general cussedness -- argh. So my solution has been to have the mei tai handy. She knows if she isn't going to behave on her feet she's going to be carried. She doesn't like it much and often the thought of it gets to mind her behavior, but not always.

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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#18 of 19 Old 05-30-2010, 08:33 PM
 
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My 2.5 y/o twins still ride in the cart when we go shopping and have come to accept it as part of the routine. To make things easier, I try to go out every day but keep the trips short. This means I usually go grocery shopping 2 or 3 sometimes a week, but this also gives me the opportunity to go to different stores and take advantage of sales. I pack a paper baggie for each kid full of healthy snacks cut into bite sizes. They also have a special sippy cup for going out that they don’t see any other time. We also play lots of special games along the way, especially if someone starts to get fussy. Here are a few I can think of right now…
Peek-a-boo hands: this is where I pull my hands up into my sleeves, long sleeves of course, while making a big deal about where did my hands go. Then when my hands suddenly reappear I say Peek-a-boo hands.
Exaggerated fake sneeze: no explanation necessary.
Sticking my tongue out with sound effects. There is a special sound associated with sticking it out and another one with pulling it back in.
The race car cart cheer to get them excited about getting in the cart, the words are: Racecar cart, racecar cart, we’re all riding in the racecar cart (repeat). Give me an R, Give me an A … etc… what does that spell RACECAR!!! Yeah! Woot Woot! (clapping)
We sing other favorite songs too.

Good luck!
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#19 of 19 Old 05-31-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by twinergy View Post
My 2.5 y/o twins still ride in the cart when we go shopping and have come to accept it as part of the routine.
This. I found it easier to never ever let them out of the cart at the grocery store. I think if you put her in the cart, and go for short trips, she'll get used to always being in the cart at that store, and it won't even be an issue after a little while. It's just too dangerous with people running amok with their carts! She'll probably fuss at first, but just warn her ahead of time as you arrive that she's going in the cart, stay for a short time, and never let her down until it's time to leave.

I'd let mine walk in the mall during the weekdays though. Which meant NO trips to the mall when it was busy on the weekends otherwise we had one fussy baby!
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