Toddler harnesses ('leashes') - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 191 Old 09-12-2006, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by smilla653
I just can't seem to overcome my negative reaction when I see one. The point about the harnesses not being all that different from strollers is a good one, though. You've definitely got me thinking!

On the other hand, I live in a busy urban neighborhood with LOTS of small children. Most mothers don't seem to use leashes, therefore, somehow most Moms/babies seem to do OK without them.

My feeling is usually the less gadgets, the better.
I used to live in a busy, urban neighborhood (and visit there periodically) and I can live without one. But my daughter (with me) is not too much of a runner. She will take off if DH is in charge because clearly, I am the muscle. I will buy one before we go to the state fair though. We have an Ergo and a stroller but DD will want to walk and explore and really, that is why we will take her.
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#62 of 191 Old 09-12-2006, 02:36 AM
 
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I was just looking through the new sensational beginnings catalog, and in there they have these little radio frequency devices that clip to kids shoes and the parent has a remote, so you can locate them if they run off. I think they would be cool for an older child, but for ultimate safety for a toddler, I would use a leash.
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#63 of 191 Old 09-12-2006, 02:58 AM
 
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I hate that people are calling them leashes... seriously disturbs me. I prefer to call them safety harnesses. Maybe calling them leashes helps with the negative perception.
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#64 of 191 Old 09-12-2006, 03:03 AM
 
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I know for myself its a cultural thing, I'm from new zealand and they are marketed as leashes, so its hard for me to call it a harness....
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#65 of 191 Old 09-12-2006, 06:25 AM
 
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For me, harness doesn't have any better connotation than leash ITA with Yooper about the child needing to be okay with it and being used gently. I would think this would be a given though

Thanks, everyone for a civil discussion

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#66 of 191 Old 09-12-2006, 09:05 AM
 
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I love putting ours on my 1 year old while going shopping, garage saling, once he's done being held, i can set him down and instead of being done looking, we can both look but with in a short distance of each other. Ours is a monkey backpack and he loves it and carries it even when he's not wearing it.
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#67 of 191 Old 09-12-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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By the way, the monkey backpack sounds kind of neato, in a stealth-harness kind of way. Can anyone post a link or pic?
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#68 of 191 Old 09-13-2006, 12:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
I see no reason for this issue to be divisive.

I think we can all agree that keeping our child safe is of utmost importance.

I personally did not use a harness. Other approaches worked for us.

But, I can easily admit that if other approaches did not work, and we had to go near potential dangers (water, traffic, crowded airport), I would do what I had to do in order to keep ds safe.
: Totally.

And - from the mothering higher order multiples tribe - I'd say that it is something that many of my peers use once the kiddos hit a certain age. I haven't tried it yet - but this is the first I've heard of the "back packs" - my kids love backpacks - so maybe this would work for us? They are starting to really struggle and fight the stroller - and I can't handle them alone on an outing . . .

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#69 of 191 Old 09-13-2006, 01:42 AM
 
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So, is this the type of backpack y'all mean? Does the parent hold a child by the "tail"? That's much cuter than anything I've seen used around here

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#70 of 191 Old 09-13-2006, 01:58 AM
 
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THIS is the one we have. The actual backpack part isn't useful for more than a bouncy ball or the tail itself.
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#71 of 191 Old 09-13-2006, 02:08 AM
 
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I have a toddler and a newborn, and I bought one of these backpacks for my toddler, so I don't have to be yanking on her arm all the time. I don't use the stroller much. We usually just walk into a store and then use the cart. (Most other outtings we have daddy to help carry babies.) The only problem I have had is teaching her not to run away from me. If I try to "rein her in", then sometimes it will cause her to fall. She seems to love the perceived freedom of not having to hold my hand. Any advice on how you actually use it/how the child gets use to the restraint?
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#72 of 191 Old 09-13-2006, 02:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride
I bought a harness-style one for dd when I was pregnant with ds2. She's very active, and I was having a really hard time chasing her for about the last 5-6 weeks. I figured it was worth a try, if she liked it. She loved it. After having been bullied into another c-section, I also used it for the first month or so postpartum. Since then, she occasionally finds it and insists that I put it on her, then she usually holds her own "tail". I do'nt know why she decided it was a tail - it's not an animal harness or anything.

She loves it, and it certainly enabled me to do a lot more with her when ds2 was a newborn.
My dd also refers to it as a "tail." She loves her teddy & doggy backpack harnesses. I carry my 11mos dd in a sling. 2 & 3/4 yo dd holds my hand. I slip the handle to her harness over my wrist - just in case she decides to wriggle away. I don't hold it like a leash.
Whenever we're out without the harness, she runs. Dd's favorite game to play in stores is hide-and-seek.
I haven't heard this safety gadget is controversial... Many AP folks I've met have actually used slings for this purpose.

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#73 of 191 Old 09-13-2006, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm going to get the monkey when my son is a few months older. Right now we just use a leash that attachs to his wrist and then to my hand. I think he'd be more distracted by the harness than he is by the little leash. He doesn't really mind it. He stops to kind of pick at it sometimes, like he does ANYTHING he ends up wearing, but mostly he just ignores it and keeps walking, feeling all free and independant lol

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#74 of 191 Old 09-13-2006, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by georgia
So, is this the type of backpack y'all mean? Does the parent hold a child by the "tail"? That's much cuter than anything I've seen used around here
Scroll down that link and check out the puppy. I saw one today. It is the same one in the walmart link. I've never seen that before. It was kinda cute. I don't like harnesses/leashes/whatever, but I do understand that some mamas need them. It seemed like this mama had several children and the little one was hard to keep track of, a bolter. That would scare me. If I had several kids and one was prone to bolting, I might try one of these things or never leave the house with more than one kid. I dunno, I have only one, it is hard to judge. But, I will say that the little guy in the harness was miserable and whiny the whole time his family were in the children's museum. Makes me wonder if he is in the harness because he bolts or does he try to bolt because he is in the harness? His mom was irritated with him a lot. Again, hard to judge since I have only one.
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#75 of 191 Old 09-13-2006, 02:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BennyPai
My dd also refers to it as a "tail." She loves her teddy & doggy backpack harnesses. I carry my 11mos dd in a sling. 2 & 3/4 yo dd holds my hand. I slip the handle to her harness over my wrist - just in case she decides to wriggle away. I don't hold it like a leash.
Ah, I see, so if you need to direct the child, you still need to hold her hand. But you could let go if you were just going to follow wherever she wanted to go. The few times we tried it, she always tried to go the opposite direction I wanted to go. Tried it in a store once - big mistake, she was grabbing everything off the shelves. I'm glad she's willing to ride in the cart! Plus her little legs got tired after awhile, and when I had an emergency run to the bathroom, I was practically dragging her.
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#76 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 01:52 AM
 
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I can see both sides of this, but personally, I wouldn't use one. If they were more widely used and socially acceptable, I would perhaps consider one. I live in Los Angeles, and I never really see people use them. Maybe a few times at the zoo or at Disneyland. Everyone has their child in strollers everywhere.

It just reminds me of a dog on a leash or bondage or something, but I have seen a few kids running from parents who probably wished they had a harness!

I am not comfortable bf my toddler in public either, so I guess I worry too much about public opinion!
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#77 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 03:36 AM
 
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Got 3 monkeys on order today. With toddler triplets who prefer to walk rather than stroll - and an active 4 year old in tow -- I hope this is a good solution for us. One that will give the babies the freedom that they want - while also keeping them safe.

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#78 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 03:39 AM
 
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Hmmm....3 monkey backpacks? I hope you ordered an extra arm to hold all the tails!

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#79 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 08:40 AM
 
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My DD loves her moneky backpack although I always have to chuckle about the "monkey on her back" every time she wears it!
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#80 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 12:36 PM
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I hate children leashes and I am sorry if that word offends some people, but that is what they are whether they are attached to a nice backpack or a leash on a wrist that you hold onto, even my three year old knows that much and I have never pointed it out to her for fear that she would tactlessly point out children in them (which she now does anyways). They are also only good for keeping children from running away. They don't do anything that holding a child's hand or carrying them doesn't do. A child can still get into a lot of trouble with them in a store because they leave several feet of slack and if there is something very tantalizing to the child (like clothes on a hanger that need to be pulled off, a jar that looks cool, etc...) they will still have ample opportunity to do a lot of damage. The only thing they are good for is not letting the child run off but they couldn't do that in your arms or holding your hand and you are more aware of them when they are tugging your hand to get something then when they can reach something without tugging the leash.
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#81 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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I have one. I haven't used it a lot, but have been very glad to have it when I have needed it. We used it mainly when I had a newborn and a toddler and we were getting in and out of the car and walking through parking lots. My older child was a runner and was too young to understand about being too short to be seen in a car (especially an SUV's) rear-view mirror (or even in front of the hood when it is close).

About hand-holding--if that works for your child, then obviously that is the way to go, but my DS did not like this. And when I think about it, I can see why he would find it more pleasant to walk wearing a harness with a tether than having his hand gripped and held way up in the air. And he likes walking much better than being in a stroller.

The older my son gets, the less the tether has been needed. Now he is almost 3 and one thing I have been working on with him has been keeping one hand on the car while he is waiting while we are getting in/out of the car.
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#82 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 01:20 PM
 
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My older dd, almost five years old, has surprised me by repeatedly requesting a leash to hold when we are out in crowds. She holds the tether on the jogging stroller when we are out hiking. She saw some kids with them at Disneyland a few months ago and was smitten with one that looked like fannypacks and backpacks worn by mother and child with a tether between the packs and animal faces on the child's pack. I guess that it seems exciting to some kids,but could humiliate others.
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#83 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 01:25 PM
 
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The only thing they are good for is not letting the child run off but they couldn't do that in your arms or holding your hand and you are more aware of them when they are tugging your hand to get something then when they can reach something without tugging the leash.
It is not always an option to carry a toddler. Some might feel totally comfortable carrying two babes, or carrying their toddler while pregnant, etc. I on the other had didn't feel comfortable being 6 mos or more pregnant and carrying a 25 lb toddler. I couldn't do it for long periods of time and could barely lift him some days. Now that I have a newborn, it's still the same. I wear my youngest in a sling, but still can't carry both at the same time. If he wants to hold hands, that's fine, but there are plenty of times that he does NOT want to hold hands. Rather than have me holding his arm in the air and trying to keep ahold on his litle hand as he tries to pull away, I use the harness. My mom had an incident when my brother was younger after she had her 2nd child and he ended up in the hospital with an elbow injury from him yanking away and dropping to the ground while she desperately tried holding his hand in a busy parking lot. So, if holding hands works, great for you, but harnesses habe a lot more use than just keeping a child from running away.
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#84 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 01:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by katallen
I hate children leashes and I am sorry if that word offends some people, but that is what they are whether they are attached to a nice backpack or a leash on a wrist that you hold onto, even my three year old knows that much and I have never pointed it out to her for fear that she would tactlessly point out children in them (which she now does anyways). They are also only good for keeping children from running away. They don't do anything that holding a child's hand or carrying them doesn't do. A child can still get into a lot of trouble with them in a store because they leave several feet of slack and if there is something very tantalizing to the child (like clothes on a hanger that need to be pulled off, a jar that looks cool, etc...) they will still have ample opportunity to do a lot of damage. The only thing they are good for is not letting the child run off but they couldn't do that in your arms or holding your hand and you are more aware of them when they are tugging your hand to get something then when they can reach something without tugging the leash.
I'll let you know if holding 3 hands is easier than 3 "tails" (leashes, whatever you want to call them)? My sense is no. Unfortunately, hands are connected to arms and bodies so they have the capability of being wriggled away by persistent toddlers who don't want to hold hands - "tails"/"leashes" however, are not.

My kids don't want to sit in the stroller anymore - they cry and struggle to get out -- so honestly, "leashes" seem like a great option. I just ordered mine and I hope they work.

Sorry if I am oh so offensive to some here . . . but perhaps if people walked a mile with other peoples "leashes" they would see differently.

And by the way, I don't think this is just a unique issue for people with multiples - I know children who are very active, think its fun to run or hide from their parents, won't sit in strollers or hold hands . . . I think leashes is a good safety option for them too -- and I don't judge them either.

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#85 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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After avoiding leash threads like the plague, I feel compelled to finally post on one.


I think, that until every parent who is offended by leashes has:

an extremely persistent, energetic, enthusiastic, preverbal toddler that does NOT want to sit in a stroller, does NOT want to hold hands, does NOT want to be carried, does NOT want to hold onto the cart/stroller/linked rings or whatever other item, does NOT want to negotiate with you about staying close by but not holding hands, does NOT respond reliably to repeated reminders to stay close/etc., does NOT "get" numerous periodic attempts at practicing holding hands/staying close/etc., and is unable to control their natural (understandable) impulse to run away at any given time for any number of reasons,

that said offended parents should reserve judgment on another parent who is using one.


Personally, I don't use one because DS is OK being in a cart (or stroller when carts aren't available) 99.999999999% of the time....but if he wasn't, and my only choice was to have him walking around, I would definitely be using one, because on the periodic "test run" occasions when I do let him walk around with me in stores, thus far is has been hair raising; only by the grace of (insert your spiritual preference here) he hasn't pulled his arm out of socket while "holding my hand", or gotten plowed over by someone in a store, or gotten lost, or hit by a car in a parking lot. He just is not at a point where he's able to reliably, safely walk on his own. Period. And I'm not about to find out what the worst case scenario would be if I just let him go.

Sooo, we test it out every once in a while, and he's getting better, and we'll continue doing it in small doses until he really "gets" it. BUT - just having a glimpse of what my son is like occasionally, I would NEVER pass judgment on someone who was using a harness/leash/whatever the heck you want to call it - so long as the toddler looked happy to be in it, I would imagine that parent had a child much like mine, and it would be cruel to force them into a cart or stroller, near impossible to hold their hand, and tempting fate to let them simply run around on their own.

now, if the kid was miserable and/or the parent was otherwise unresponsive and uncaring towards the child, then I might have a problem with it, but my problem would be with their *parenting* skills, not the fact that they were using a leash.

Soo.....there you go. My 2 cents' worth. Now nobody is gonna read this cause the thread is too old, but now I'll be able to copy and paste my response onto the next leash thread

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#86 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 03:41 PM
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We have a dog backpack one that my daughter actually likes wearing. She still runs out into the parking lot or away from us, and so we have no problem using it. We also used it at Disney, and it was a lifesaver. Before I had kids I thought harnasses were the worst things ever...haha...but now I see how helpful they can be. I have to say I don't love the look of regular harnasses...the ones that look like a leash, but there are a lot of cute styles out there nowadays that don't look like they were meant for an animal.

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#87 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 03:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katallen
I hate children leashes and I am sorry if that word offends some people, but that is what they are whether they are attached to a nice backpack or a leash on a wrist that you hold onto, even my three year old knows that much and I have never pointed it out to her for fear that she would tactlessly point out children in them (which she now does anyways). They are also only good for keeping children from running away. They don't do anything that holding a child's hand or carrying them doesn't do. A child can still get into a lot of trouble with them in a store because they leave several feet of slack and if there is something very tantalizing to the child (like clothes on a hanger that need to be pulled off, a jar that looks cool, etc...) they will still have ample opportunity to do a lot of damage. The only thing they are good for is not letting the child run off but they couldn't do that in your arms or holding your hand and you are more aware of them when they are tugging your hand to get something then when they can reach something without tugging the leash.

The word "leash" does not offend me. Your judgemental tone does.

Want to carry my 75 lb 7 yr old with Autism? Be my guest. As I stated earlier, I no longer have to use the harness/tether, because he does much better staying with me now. But, if he were to go through another period of running off, I would use one again. I also never let the slack go far. I kept him near me. I used the thing as a backup, because this child was and is strong enough to injure my hand/arm.

Walk a mile in my shoes and then you can judge.
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#88 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 04:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by katallen
They are also only good for keeping children from running away. They don't do anything that holding a child's hand or carrying them doesn't do.
That's right. And, dd hate holding hands and would pull loose from me. I certainly couldn't carry her after a c-section. So...what's your point? I was only using it to keep her from running away - I certainly didn't think it would keep her out of store shelves or miraculously make her stop getting into things.

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#89 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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Well...that wasy funny. As I was submitting my last post, dd came up to me and said, "look - my harness - I'm going to wear it, and you can hold my tail, mommy". She hasn't worn it in...probably about 8 months.

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#90 of 191 Old 09-14-2006, 04:56 PM
 
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I think, that until every parent who is offended by leashes has:

an extremely persistent, energetic, enthusiastic, preverbal toddler that does NOT want to sit in a stroller, does NOT want to hold hands, does NOT want to be carried, does NOT want to hold onto the cart/stroller/linked rings or whatever other item, does NOT want to negotiate with you about staying close by but not holding hands, does NOT respond reliably to repeated reminders to stay close/etc., does NOT "get" numerous periodic attempts at practicing holding hands/staying close/etc., and is unable to control their natural (understandable) impulse to run away at any given time for any number of reasons,

that said offended parents should reserve judgment on another parent who is using one.


We used one for a while between the ages of one and two. It's still in my diaper bag, but I don't think I've pulled it out in at least 6 months--DD is less impulsive and responds better to directions now. However, with a new walker who hated slings, strollers and holding hands, and was impulsive, fearless, and loved strangers--I needed it, period. It really saved the day when we were delayed at a packed airport over a holiday weekend for 5+ hours.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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