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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I watch a little boy (16 months) several times a week. His mother bought a leash/harness for me to use if I take her boy on a walk out and about (not just on the sidewalk, but at the mall where it is <i>more</i> likely he'd wander off). (I have a DS who is 10.5 months and cannot walk so either must be worn or pushed in stroller).<br><br>
I'd like to get advice/suggestions/comments on the leashes. Apparently it is a harness that goes around the child's chest and has a "leash" that I am to hold. I have not seen it or held it, but I have heard of these devices.<br><br>
My gut reaction is that these would be a very bad idea, but....<br><br>
I'd like to hear what you have to say. I might just be closed-minded.
 

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I'm warning you that this will probably turn into a long contentious thread. I used a ring sling as a "leash" on my now 5 year old. He was a kid who ran fast in whatever direction he happened to be facing. He also didn't like strollers, handholding, or toddler wearing. So, the leash was the best choice for us - we were both happy - he got to explore and i got to slow down a bit. It was particularly useful while I was pregnant with DD, between 20 and 29 months old. I can see how they could be misused - just like baby carriers, strollers, slings, swings, exersaucers, and any other number of baby/toddler gadgets. The use/not use of one does not make some one a bad/inattentive mother, or not AP enough (particularly since I think it would have been completely unAP of me to not respond to my child's needs in this regard). All that said, I didn't use one at all with my now 2 3/4 year old DD - she's less adventurous, responds better at a younger age to verbal requests, and became mobile much later. It depends upon the child - just like anything else in parenting.
 

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i don't have a leash and don't really plan on getting one ever, but i know my mom used one with me and i LOVED it. i can remember it being so cool because we had matching bracelets and i could be "away" from her and still play and wrap myself around store racks etc. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> my mom eventually gave it up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I saw a mom the other day with her son on a "leash". He appeard to be around 2. From what I say, it didn't seem like a big deal. It looked like he was wearing a backpack, but on the back was a leash instead of the pack part. Before I saw it myself, I had a negative feeling about them. But her little boy seemed happy, she seemed happy, so no harm done from what I can see. Actually, it made me want to go out and buy one! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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My dc LOVES the backpack/leash (it's a harness monkey backpack with the tail being the leash). We got it when dc was around 13 months old to use in malls etc because dc hated to be otherwise held or restrained. Our compromise was a leash (since obviously we would not let our 13mth old roam free, for safety issues amongst other things). We used to let dc walk on own whenever wanted to (at 9mths onward), but once dc started running it became a little more of a problem to make sure dc was free of most potential dangers (getting hit by a shopping cart/car, being kidnapped, etc). It has proved an invaluable gadget for us but I wouldn't consider using it if dc had any objections or hated wearing it. Fortunately for us, dc LOVES wearing "monk" and it holds personal snacks, drink and a coinpurse which dc gets a huge kick out of!<br>
I'm quite sure that others will disagree with their use, but for us I would rather be at ease knowing dc is close (and happy) than constantly worried about safety.
 

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this has gone around and around here.<br><br>
I think there is nothing wrong with it. I use one for my children when I can find it (they play with it for hours pretnding to be puppies <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> they love it!)<br><br>
It isa saftey tool. My children often dart out into streets or run off without thinking. it doesn't happen often but it only takes once. It also mens she can be attatched and safe without havin to hold my hand all the time. which she gets downright snitty about occaisionally but has never balked at the harness/teather.<br><br>
If the mom usualy uses this for her son I highly recommend that you do to. This is no doubt his prefered and accustomed mode of saftey restraint. He might be used to haveing that bit of freedom without so much caution and hovering. he may be a runner (i so wish I had one of these formy second who was a runner.)
 

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I used one as a kid. It was a velcro band for me and my mom, connected by what was like telephone cord. I think it was great, because it allowed me freedom to explore, but kept me safe too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I figured that this may have been posted on before, but I really wanted to see if anyone had any ideas as what I should do, esp since this isn't my child. Using hte harness is what the mother is requesting I do. I guess I am wondering about the harness itself and what ya'll would recommend as I am his caregiver and not his parent.<br><br>
It seems like so far there is a lot of positive feedback on the devices. Thank you for your help all!
 

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They can be misused, like anything, I feel that if your child is a runner, and will dart away in public, then they can be very useful to keep your child safe.
 

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mine had the telephone cord thing too.<br>
it was rainbow wristbands.<br>
i think the backpack is a much safer thing, seeing as i could have just probably figured out how to take the wristband off/someone could have slipped it off me easily.
 

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Those harnesses can be used appropriately for toddlers- I've used them myself for a few months with each child. Like anything else, they can be overused by less attentive parents.
 

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I used one with my dd too. She ran away from me in Hobby Lobby once and scared the daylights out of me. After that we used her harness and she loved it because she could have some freedom to explore and I knew that she would never get more than a couple feet away from me. Now she is 4 and stays right by me and holds my hand where ever we go. It was a lifesaver when she was too little and stubborn to do that.
 

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Thumbs-Up from me.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AMB8301</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">They can be misused, like anything, I feel that if your child is a runner, and will dart away in public, then they can be very useful to keep your child safe.</div>
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I agree with this! My child is a runner and a climber. When I was pregnant with my daughter, there was no way I could keep up with him. So we ended up staying home alot (that and I was exhausted). We only went out to the Doctor and when my husband was with us. No way could I keep up with him at the park.
 

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I wanted to add... To the op, if the mother is requesting you use it, then by all means do so (even if you don't "agree" with using one - this is HER choice and right as a parent to request that you use one with her son, especially if she normally uses one this would be the appropriate thing to do). I would consider it non-negotiable if it were my child and I asked caregiver to use it also, just like any other request I might make of my dc's caregivers.
 

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So to add my story to this, we tried using a ring sling as a leash recently at the airport and it was a disaster. She would get to the end of the sling and try to bolt and it was no fun for either of us. I ended up just putting her in the ergo pack and dealt with her tears for a few quick seconds over having to be picked up.<br><br>
Having a runner child, we just use the ergo whenever we are somewhere that running is not suitable. She is pretty much used to it and so long as she has enuf running opportunities in her life, I don't feel badly about holding her for her own safety.<br><br>
I am sure they work great for some families, but it was a bust with us!
 

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Definitely. Especially with a 16mo walker and a buggy (or kid in sling.) You just can't chase as fast as you need to.
 

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We also have the monkey pack for 2yr dd and our 7yr ds was saying that it's NOT FAIR that he didnt have one to wear to the Curious George movie. I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing at the vision of him wearing it and one of his buddies seeing it; serious loss of "cool" factor there!!<br><br>
But dd loves it and inlaws mostly use it when they take the kids out as they are worried about losing either dd or 3 yr nephew (who has a similar pack, but a dog).
 

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My first two kids are a year and 3 days apart and I used 2 harness type leashes. They were very helpful for trips to the mall and the museum. (At the mall, think food court, mom needs to hands to balance the food tray, so I put the harness think around my forearm and I wore a backpack...very helpful.)<br><br>
I will admit that I didn't use them for long, didn't use them daily, etc. I agree with the pp's that said they can be overused by unattentive parents.<br><br>
I doubt I'll use one with this baby. The other two are so much older now and can be more helpful, however if I discover that she is a "runner" or want to explore away from me, I'll break out a harness for a few months.<br><br>
Totally OT, but I just have to add that I posted about this topic YEARS ago on another message board. I wanted to see what people thought about them and the thread got quite heated. I explained that with my kids so close together they were really helpful. Someone actually replied to me that if I hadn't had my kids so close together I wouldn't have that problem. grrr.... I don't frequent that message board too much anymore!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MarcyC</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Totally OT, but I just have to add that I posted about this topic YEARS ago on another message board. I wanted to see what people thought about them and the thread got quite heated. I explained that with my kids so close together they were really helpful. Someone actually replied to me that if I hadn't had my kids so close together I wouldn't have that problem. grrr.... I don't frequent that message board too much anymore!</div>
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Good grief! So what is the mother with twins or triplets to do? Some people don't have any common sense.<br><br>
Good thing you don't go to the board anymore. Not too supportive, huh?
 
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