Toddler harnesses ('leashes') - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-15-2006, 11:01 AM
 
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Threads like this amuse me. It's funny (in a you gotta laugh or you'll cry sort of way) to see how judgemental some people are without knowing others' circumstances. Ah, to be naieve and free to judge mercilessly as I was before I had an autistic child....:

Special needs kids just change your life in so many unexpected ways.

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Old 09-15-2006, 11:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by The4OfUs
I guess my point is, what if your child is just not getting the teaching? How much time is one to spend teaching a child proper behavior? I'm not asking for an answer to that, an actual time frame; I'd just hope you could consider that just because a parent is using a harness/leash it doesn't mean that they aren't teaching their child; maybe their child just isn't developmentally, or temperamentally, or intellectually able to get it and the parent is taking time to teach them, but until they reliably get it they want to have a back up instead of worrying their child will be unjured or worse.
You see, that is what really hacks me off. Some assume that just because some of us use the leash/harness/whatever, that we are just not teaching our children properly, or that we are lazy. I do my best with my son. He is also taught in school. Part of their curriculum is life skills. But, you know, until that child makes the connection, they are going to do exactly what they want to do. Like with potty training. I did potty training with my Autistic son from age 2 on, when he showed interest. It took me until he was FIVE YEARS OLD. It was not because I was "lazy" or my parenting skills sucked lemons. It was because he didn't "get it". Same with using the harness. I didn't want to use one. But, the child would NOT stay by me, would bolt suddenly. He was too big to tote around, too big for a stroller, and would wrench my arm getting away from me. He did not like to hold hands. I didn't have a bunch of people at my beck and call to help me with him and my other child.

Sometimes you do what you have to do to stay safe, even if you don't care to do it.

Like I keep saying. Live a day in my life, or the life of someone else who has used the harness for good reason. Then you can sit on the high horse and judge us.

I don't mind debate and respectful banter. But, someone telling us we are ridiculous, and someone else saying that using a harness is akin to beating a child, and some other rather rude commentary, is not respectful, nor does it help in any way.
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:11 PM
 
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As I said, human beings should be masters of their own bodies except in exceptional circumstances.
So are you opposed to slings? What's less confining--a sling or a harness?

This conversation always makes me crazy because it is so obviously about adult perceptions, not logic and facts. Does it make any sense for someone to smile at me while I am confining a child in a sling but to give me a dirty look when I am confining my child in a harness? (By the way, my child would not tolerate the sling once she could walk, but happily asked for her harness, knowing it gave her freedom.)

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Old 09-15-2006, 12:26 PM
 
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I hated them until I had a very active toddler. We used a monkey backpack toddler leash (bought at Target, available at Wal-Mart too... $10-$15) on him whenever we flew. It was great. He had "freedom", looked cute, but was slightly restrained. I had a hand free to push his brother in the stroller. Eventually, my son became too strong and Mr. Monkey's tail ripped off. My Mom repaired it, but it didn't hold. We'll probably buy another one for my youngest once he becomes more explorer-bound.

It was both for safety and convenience (for me). Mainly used it while travelling... although my son "liked" wearing his backpack... so we'd let him wear it and carry toys in it without the leash.

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Old 09-15-2006, 12:38 PM
 
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This thread is being re-opened. Please keep the UA in mind when posting.

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Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 09-15-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc
So are you opposed to slings? What's less confining--a sling or a harness?
Not at all. We have a babycarrier and sometimes still use it with our 2-year old. But if she starts squirming out of it, down she goes. I only use it now when she is in a real "I just want my mommy" mood and needs the closeness.

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Old 09-15-2006, 03:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cmlp
...there are definitely valid arguments against putting one's child on a leash and lashing out at people who suggest that this might not be a very humane thing to do to a child...
I completely missed this. What "valid arguments" are there against the use of "leashes"? How is it not "very humane" to allow my dd to go out and have fun, when she'd have otherwise been confined to the house?

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Old 09-15-2006, 04:42 PM
 
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As another gentle reminder, I would like to remind everyone that what might seem like a prison to one might feel like a ticket to freedom to another

I would ask you each to assume that each poster here knows her/his child best, and by virtue of posting here, is motivated and interested in making gentle, loving, nurturing choices that best meet everyone's need for safety, security and exploration. Thanks for your considerate participation.

Proceed gently

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Old 09-15-2006, 06:22 PM
 
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Before I had kids I used to think they looked odd in use - and not in a good way. My aunt had twins and said she had one for each girl, used them once in a grocery store, and got so many dirty looks she dropped them in the trash can on her way out of the store.

When my dd was about 2 she did NOT want to be in the stoller (this was before I learned about the joys of baby-wearing) and did NOT want to hold my hand. Nor did she want to walk along side of me. My mom bought a kid harness, and tried it first and said it went well. I was doubtful, but my dd was happy to wear it. She was then free to run at the mall (with me practically running behind) and I didn't have to be afraid of her getting lost or abducted. I woudn't have forced it on her though.

Boy, I am the type of mom without a lot of confidence and I easily get upset by criticisims from others her. But this is one topic that the critics won't bother me on, because I know for our situation it was just right as rain, no doubt. It was one of those things that reinforced the don't judge another until you've walked a mile in their shoes either (meaning the way I thought about it before I had kids).

I try to lean towards CL too, and really this was the most mutually agreeable solution by far for us at the time.

~Tracy

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Old 09-15-2006, 07:54 PM
 
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We have a babycarrier and sometimes still use it with our 2-year old. But if she starts squirming out of it, down she goes.
Sure. And if my DD ever protested the harness (I can only think of one time), off it came.

Are you perhaps claiming that you never used the sling for your convenience, but only because your DD expressed a desire to be close? I suppose that's consistent--but would you really look down your nose at a mama who placed an unprotesting, happy toddler into a carrier at an airport to make it easier to keep the child safe and to get around? Replace the word "carrier" with the word "harness." What's the difference?

Do you feel the same way about strollers, too? Do you have the same reaction to seeing a child in a stroller as you do to seeing one on a harness? If not, why not?

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Old 09-16-2006, 01:16 AM
 
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Well, it sure seems the majority of moms choose to use them and the kids enjoy them. I think poeple without children look askance more than those who do and if you don't have kids...you just don't know. As with anythitng you choose for your kids someone will disagree. so amny of us have heard things lke, "the baby is too hot in the sling" "you shouldn't hold all day" "Let him cry" and we choose our own path b/c we know our children better. We know what's best for them...let the naysayers squawk but my children are safe.
Many years ago a horrible horrible thing happned in England and the sales of harnesses skyrocketed to protect kids for an awful fate that happend to another child. I can't tell the story b/c it is so sickeknning it keeps me up at night if I get it in my head but beleive me that mother wishes her kid had been harnessed. I wish he had been too. If you're kid is safer in one...please don't let anyone tell you it is non AP or degrading...it is not. Keep your kids safe.

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Old 09-16-2006, 01:19 AM
 
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Yep, I've heard that story and it's really sad. I'll take my chances with a harness.
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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VERY well-said!!!

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Old 09-16-2006, 01:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hipumpkins
Well, it sure seems the majority of moms choose to use them and the kids enjoy them. I think poeple without children look askance more than those who do and if you don't have kids...you just don't know. As with anythitng you choose for your kids someone will disagree. so amny of us have heard things lke, "the baby is too hot in the sling" "you shouldn't hold all day" "Let him cry" and we choose our own path b/c we know our children better. We know what's best for them...let the naysayers squawk but my children are safe.
Many years ago a horrible horrible thing happned in England and the sales of harnesses skyrocketed to protect kids for an awful fate that happend to another child. I can't tell the story b/c it is so sickeknning it keeps me up at night if I get it in my head but beleive me that mother wishes her kid had been harnessed. I wish he had been too. If you're kid is safer in one...please don't let anyone tell you it is non AP or degrading...it is not. Keep your kids safe.
Thanks for that post

I think this is a good place for me to stop reading this thread.

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Old 09-16-2006, 03:59 AM
 
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Do you feel the same way about strollers, too? Do you have the same reaction to seeing a child in a stroller as you do to seeing one on a harness? If not, why not?

Haven't read the whole thread, but I think I can guess what is going on. I think it's interesting that strollers always seem to be untouchable. I guess b/c they're just mainstream and accepted, even though they can be abused and overused too. It also comes up when people criticize babywearing an "older" child (including babies who can't even walk)- slings are weird but strollers are fine! I have attachable packs. I haven't used it yet b/c I've just avoided crowed places if I'm not with another adult. But I'm glad to have it, should I feel like I need it.

eta: Okay not to get all morbidly curious, but I'm wondering how a tragedy could have inspired harnesses sales, vs. just inspring people to be super careful in public, around strangers, in parking lots or in crowds, etc.
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:09 AM
 
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Do you feel the same way about strollers, too? Do you have the same reaction to seeing a child in a stroller as you do to seeing one on a harness? If not, why not?
The stroller is for when DD does not feel like walking. We don't do stroller prison and I am vehemently against it, perhaps more so than harnesses and leashes. Forcing a child constantly to remain in a stroller creates passive, lazy children.

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Old 09-16-2006, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I also use the stroller when DS cannot walk. For example, DH had a job interview and couldn't stay with DS during my ob/gyn appointment. DS walked around in the waiting area, but as I had my IUD removed, he sat in his stroller. That kept him safe from anything potentially dangerous in the room as well as the room safe from him. What other option did I have...to pull the IUD out myself in the tub? My son doesn't like a lot of things, like diaper changes, but that's not how I base my decisions for him. If I have to chose between carrying him as he screams and using a harness, of which others disapprove but which bothers him a lot less than the sling and stroller, then I'm going to do that. I will not however avoid using safety devices altogether simply because he doesn't feel like using any of them, and considering he rarely wants to hold my hand, be carried or worn or strolled, and isn't capable yet of controlling his urges...I chose the harness most of the time because, while he may not like it as much as he'd like running into the street, he likes it more than the other options, such as being carried around or being made to stay at home.

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Old 09-16-2006, 08:53 AM
 
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I enjoy "walking" my daughters. They enjoy it too. I've heard comments and recieved giggles, but you know what? I don't care just like I don't paticularily care if moms on MDC like or DON'T like harnesses/leashes.
My kids are safe and won't be the victims of kidnappings in public, under any circumstances, cause they are 'chained' to me.
Harneshes and leashes are almost the greatest thing next to the umbillicle cord for mama's who have 'spirited' kids who don't quite comprehend english yet
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:54 AM
 
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Oh, and I got the cute little bear backpack leash/harness at Target for $10
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:47 AM
 
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For me, a harness was great! When my middle boy was about 18months to 2, he liked to walk - but hated hand holding. So my rule was if we're somewhere busy, walking by a road etc, he either held my hand or sat in his stroller. Of course he refused to do either - at that age he didn't really make the connection that he had a choice between one or the other, and he couldn't just run off where ever he wanted (he had NO fear of getting lost, or of traffic at that age). We got a harness and the problem was solved, everyone was happy, and no more screaming and tantrums every time we left the house.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:35 AM
 
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I just have to add one more thing...you are not treating your children like dogs when you leash them. Dogs are treated like children when you put them on a leash. A dog is an animal meant to be wild and free running. We leash them b/c we've domesticated them and made them family...we treat dogs like children when we put sweaters and boots and leashes on them. We want to protect our dogs b/c they are like children to us. (well by "us" i mean those of you that have dogs)

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Old 09-16-2006, 12:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hipumpkins
I just have to add one more thing...you are not treating your children like dogs when you leash them. Dogs are treated like children when you put them on a leash. A dog is an animal meant to be wild and free running. We leash them b/c we've domesticated them and made them family...we treat dogs like children when we put sweaters and boots and leashes on them. We want to protect our dogs b/c they are like children to us. (well by "us" i mean those of you that have dogs)
Exactly.

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Old 09-16-2006, 01:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hazelnut

eta: Okay not to get all morbidly curious, but I'm wondering how a tragedy could have inspired harnesses sales, vs. just inspring people to be super careful in public, around strangers, in parking lots or in crowds, etc.
I believe that mama was referring to the tragic Jamie Bulger case in *********, England. You can google it and find all the details. Just thinking about it again makes me so sad. The 2 year old was out with his mother when she was momentarily distracted. He was taken by two older children. A video surveillence camera caught the kidnapping. Little Jamie was forced to walk along a train tracks, brutually tortured (won't mention the details. They make me physically sick ) and his body left on train tracks so that it would be dismembered.

Even the most alert mama out there can be distracted. We're all human. I would rather DD be in a toddler harness than go through what poor little Jamie's mama went through.

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Old 09-16-2006, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree. My dogs are like my children. I leash them because I love them. They cannot control all of their impulses no matter how well-trained they are. I don't want them running away, getting lost or hurt, or getting snatched. I use the harness with my son for those same reasons. That doesn't mean my dogs are on the same heart level as my son, but it is pretty close. I give my dogs peanut butter cookies sometimes because they like them. I'm not going to refrain from giving my son cookies becuase my dogs enjoy them too, and I'm treating the one like the other if they both get something. O.o

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Old 09-17-2006, 02:57 AM
 
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I found that on the net- it is truly horrifying. I'm trying not to think about it. I still just find it curious that the public came to embrace harnesses more after that as opposed to just awareness at the horrendous possibilities.

So how do you all use them? Just for shopping trips? Public outings? I got mine just to have in case we went somewhere crowded in the city, for the occasional aquarium trip or something. Although I've just avoided those places unless I have my dh with me, and we keep vigilant watch on him, and I'm paranoid b/c I know we're all fallible. Now he is much better about running away, and doesn't mind the stroller and wants to be carried. I almost wonder if I should use it more often, but I can't take it everywhere. Maybe one can relax more if using it though (and I don't mean gingerly shoe shopping while Jr. waits, but it is hard for me sometimes to do things with my head turned and my eyes on him a few feet away at all times.) Today I got upset with him when he ran ahead to climb a wooden firetruck at a Christian-run apple-picking orchard. He was only twenty feet away, and it was a pretty safe environment, but it just scares me sometimes. Truly I just don't go to many crowded places with him. I guess a harness might make that more possible. I don't know if I could deal with dirty looks though. But so much bad stuff happens to kids sometimes. Just b/c it's not likely doesn't mean you want to take your chances. I think the public needs to just reassess their view of them and the occasional need for them.
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Old 09-17-2006, 09:44 AM
 
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A tip for those who may want an alternative to a leash--what I used to do, and still occasionally do with ds, is take a length of ribbon or string and hold one end, and have him hold the other end. That way he stayed close and was also participating.
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Old 09-17-2006, 09:58 AM
 
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I really like that idea. Thanks for the alternative.

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Old 09-17-2006, 12:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut
I don't know if I could deal with dirty looks though.
Honestly, we've NEVER gotten a dirty look or comment. At least not within my hearing/viewing range. I asked my ILs who use it a bit more with her than we do (they're older & have a hard time chasing her) and they also said they've never gotten any negative comments or looks.

We have gotten lots of positive comments though. Especially on the style, because we use one of the dog backpack ones. It's rare that we use it & don't have someone make a remark about how cute is it, what a great idea, looks so much nicer than the regular ones, etc.

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Old 09-17-2006, 12:22 PM
 
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So how do you all use them? Just for shopping trips? Public outings? I got mine just to have in case we went somewhere crowded in the city, for the occasional aquarium trip or something.
We usually use ours if it's just me going somewhere that's not stroller friendly, or if DS really wants to walk and not be in a stroller. If we're at the airport, a zoo, museum, etc... it's usually easier to use the harness. I keep the smaller on in my wrap.
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Old 09-17-2006, 02:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
A tip for those who may want an alternative to a leash--what I used to do, and still occasionally do with ds, is take a length of ribbon or string and hold one end, and have him hold the other end. That way he stayed close and was also participating.
That's a good idea with some kids. It wouldn't have worked with dd, though...as soon as she got excited, she'd have dropped it and run.

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