Toddler Harness?? Yay or Nay??

Carly - posted on 05/05/2011 ( 75 moms have responded )

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I wanted to get some opinions on toddler backpack harnesses. I have a 20 month old son who is great about holding my hand in public. However, when walking long distances, the zoo for instance, it is very inpractical to hold his hand the whole time. I don't want to hurt my back or his arm or slow him down. I want him to be able to explore (within reason and close to me) and I don't feel he is able to do that being within arms length to me. However, I can't get over the fact that I am esstentially putting my son on a leash. I know I am not using it as a babysitter, I will still watch my son not let the harness do that for me. Can I get some opinions from you ladies about this topic? No bashing from either side though want constructive thoughts that will help me. Thanks!!

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Kayla - posted on 05/11/2011

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I always thought these were a good idea (as long as your are not dragging your kid) But the whole purpose of the harness is to PROTECT your child, not to humiliate them, or make you seem incompetant. I never thought I'd use them because I never used them as a child... but my daughter. Whew, my daughter, well, she had other plans. The minute her feet hit "outside" she's gone. Always straight for the road, the stray dog, or the nearest body of water. While I was a very reserved child who always listened to my mother... my daughter is the complete opposite... and without the leash in public, she is going where she wants to go and it doesn't matter what Mommy or Daddy, or ANYONE says.

So in reality it just depends on your child. But to those parents who have little miss/mr wild child... you use your leash!! And to the spectators who look at me like I'm the devil because of it... SUCK IT. It's not your child that is in danger!

Rachel - posted on 11/13/2012

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I was anti harness and always thought it looked like a cruel thing to do to a child. Now I have a 20 month old son that is a monster! LOL If he can let go of me or get out of the stroller he will and he will run. It seems to be a big game to him. Yes I know I should teach him to not go any further than where he can see me, but he is just to young to understand and his safety comes first. I'm on the hunt for the perfect harness so if anyone has any suggestions send them my way!

Noreen - posted on 05/06/2011

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Carly -I am all for the toddler harness/backpack in situations like the zoo, airport, theme parks, etc. At this age our children want their independence but are too young to understand the dangers of the world. I think it is a smart safety tool to use. Now, for short shopping trips, walks to the parks, and other similar activities, I think it's a little silly to use.

Angie - posted on 11/05/2013

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i just read this and it upset me so much i had to say something... my son is active and if we go to the zoo or museum he gets his "monkey" harness, it gives him freedom to run and walk and gives me peace that he wont get hurt or snatched up, if we go to the store he holds my hand. i feel bad for those who look down on us for keeping our kids safe. its no good for anyone to constantly be running or fussing with a toddler that wants to explore in a crowd my son is safe and being a kid. love the toddler harness it should be given to all parents.

Sabra - posted on 05/06/2011

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I'm not big on the harnesses (probably because I have seen to many parents tugging their children by them) If he is good at holding hands maybe try finding one of those walking ropes with the loops like they use in day cares or young school kids to try and save your back and give him a little more freedom

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Elizabeta - posted on 05/31/2014

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I have a very active 4 yo little princess! She is normally very good about holding hands but sometimes its a strugle and she gets very upset and wants to explore on her own. We are the age now where EVERYTHING IS INTERESTING and she wants to explore more than ever....Is she too old for a harness?

Morgan - posted on 04/29/2014

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I had the same question and, after reading this, am heading right to Amazon to buy our harness. I appreciate (almost) everyone's input. Thank you!

I just want to remind you ladies that we're all on the SAME TEAM. We are all trying to do what's best for our children and keep them both safe and happy. Or, when we have to choose one over the other, SAFE. There's no reason to be so judgmental and bash each other's parenting choices.

I hope that when you all see me strolling through the airport with my rolling suitcase and 21-month-year-old daughter on her ladybug harness you will share a smile with me over our joint parenting difficulties ... instead of glaring at me me and judging me for "leashing" my baby.

Sissy - posted on 04/02/2014

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You are so right. My mum used one because she had 3 children under 4 and while pregnant with one on the back and one walking it was tough going. Now it's my turn. My 15 month old is FAST...and i mean it. She is off as soon as the door is open. We are going to live on a boat and in a marina so will be near water constantly. I don't care what other people think. I will put her in a back pack harness buddy because I am the one that will have to live with the guilt and grief if she takes off and falls in the water and drowns ..or gets taken by a crocodile (Cairns, Australia). So her safety comes before my pride or the judgement of others.

Lisa - posted on 04/01/2014

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I had twins and never used harnesses. We talked about rules and safety and they learned that if they followed the safety rules they got to go places and do things. If they didn't, they stayed home. Now they are 14 and the same rules still apply. If I've ever wondered if I "robbed" them of opportunities to explore and be creative, all I have to do is look at two 14-yr olds who people describe as being very mature for their age, are excellent students, excel in the arts - fine art, drama, dance, music - all of their own choosing. They have always had choices to make and we've tried to teach them to make the right ones for them. That doesn't start when they are teenagers - it's too late to start then. It starts when they are toddlers and they have to begin making choices about their behavior.

Ashley - posted on 10/21/2013

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All is well :-) just malin sure you knew i was on your side :-)Enjoy your awesome little girl!

Brenda - posted on 10/21/2013

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@Ashley. I know it was meant for her thats why i edited my post asap. I wasnt judging. ;) the second part was for other people who dont really know. ;) not bein mean or anything. Promise

Ashley - posted on 10/21/2013

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@ Brenda that comment was for Katherine....im sure youve seen her awful posts! So please read all comments in order before YOU judge...im on here showing full support for the mothers who do choose to them against the people who judge them for it.

Brenda - posted on 10/21/2013

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Ashley...you should see my daughter. Shes very bright, extremely curious, happy, healthy, is already talking, learned how to jump more than a month ago while on her two feet striaght up. She looooves to dance. She's been dancing for a long time even before she could walk. She goes leash free all the time, especially now that she understands me better and listens more. We go to the park together in the stroller because I run to the park from home (we don't drive anywhere much). And she's free ij the playground (no leash) and she runs around collecting dandellions. And watches the soccer players. And says goal. She likes to run around the library and pull out books n put them back sometimes.

You just have to know when to use the leash. Its not like u can't let go of the leash so that they can run away to go see daddy for example or that interest in thing they see that is safe.

People should analyze the situation before they judge so badly. Kids are kids not in the military. The more they do their own thing and play and explore the better. Besides not all kids are calm. Some are very dramatic. My daughter is one of those dramamtic ones. But she's happy as a bee!!!!! Going in an amazing direction.

Ashley - posted on 10/21/2013

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If that method works for you then you might be robbing them of their imagination creativity, and curiosity. Things that nurture their minds. Yes discipline and rules are a must. But their mental well being and happiness is important too. Save tje drill sargeant routine for when theyre teenagers

Ashley - posted on 10/21/2013

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They are the best option for a trip to the zoo theme park airports , anywhere with a giant crowd. Are you against strollers too? Against carriers? I mean the child is strapped down right in a stroller? Safe warm can nap comfortably if they want? A carrier so the baby is warm , close to mom or dad? Getting the contact and snuggling they love? While the parent is hands free able to tend to other children? Ha! Lwtting them run loose on just a hope and a prayer that theyll always listen or that something new and exciting doesnt cath their eye? Yup....much better idea lol you should write a book about how to raise children hahaha I was upset at first by your comments but now theyre kinda funny....how sad your point of view is...sucks for you

Ashley - posted on 10/21/2013

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Katherine I believe you are the one thats a bad mother. Judgemental characteristics are not a good example to set fir your children now is it? Being a mother your first priority is to protect your child by any means , not rely on some false sense of security that your toddler will always listen or the comments you hear from others to determine the way you parent your child. I think the harness is a great idea.Your child gets to enjoy themselves while exploring and getting exercise , learning socialization expanding their beatiful little minds! All while being close , safe , and out of harms way! I applaud all the GOOD moms on here! Thinking about the well being of ALL your children! In addition to all your very good reasons for using a harness , what about things like getting lost? Kidnapped? Bet you didnt think of those reasons before you belittled other mothers instead of supporting their beliefs and parenting style now did you Katherine? Re-read your posts....YOURE the bad mom.I have a 2 year old and i definitely am getting one. Besides all the safety reasons , her smile and happiness while being her own person is remarkable.:-) Id like her to be a happy child and look back on childhood fondly , and that doesnt mean zero discipline but they deserve to enjoy life too. Your point of view is just disgusting.

Brenda - posted on 10/21/2013

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My daughter, now 19 months old used to dart out into the street since she learned how to run fast a few months ago. We would get out of the elevator and she would scram for the exits. She will not hold my hand either. Not so sure she even knew what I was talking about. But anyways. It is a safety issue. We don't use a stroller anymore when we go places thanks to her monkey leash.

Who says it has anything to do with being lazy anyways???? I would like to know how many people say its laziness to use a leash. but surely uou don't use the stairs right? Yea right!!!

Besides she loves her monkey harness. She loves it so much she makes me put it on her when we go places. And for some reason she likes running away and then laughs when she reaches the end of the rope. Haha. And I gently pull her back and she laughs more. Its a really great game for us. And keeps her close to me at all times! I don't always use it either!!! If we are at the park or bavk yard or playground....she goes leash free...as long as there's no parking lots near by or any dangerous bike paths. Or walking paths where she can get tramled on.

Also has nothing to do with parenting. Why are people sooo judgemental as to how others raise their kids especially when its so harmless.

As my daughter listens more n more to me...I can use her leash less and less because I trust her more. Its just a harness! It doesn't hurt anybody. Go judge people based on other things that are harmful...like candy, fast food, juice, ice cream, cake, processed foods. At least we all know those are bad for everyone even if we think its not. Even tho we still decide to eat that stuff. People should mind their own business and stop making ur life miserable....all people think differently....so get used to it

Stephanie - posted on 06/15/2013

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People like Katherine seem to think that ALL children listen so well. Even with discipline and teaching some children DON'T listen. Only an idiot would believe that a 2 or 3 year old will never run off. Unless, of course, your discipline involves beating them. Some children will listen through simple discipline and teaching but others are more headstrong and WILL push their limits constantly. I have one of the latter. And yes, I have only one. I rarely use a leash, but I DO use one. I don't care what other people think, my sons safety is more important than your opinion anyway.

Melanie - posted on 12/20/2012

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My mother told me her experience with a toddler harness when my brother was a baby. This was in the 40's and they didn't have cute harnesses like they do today. She was constantly told she was a terrible mother and treating my brother like an animal. She would just smile and say "okay." She knew that that harness had saved my brother's life. She had the harness handle looped around her wrist and was also holding his hand. They were standing on the sidewalk of a very busy street when my brother jerked his hand out of hers and darted into the path of a car. Luckily she had the harness on and just yanked him back to her. Harnesses keep children safe and mothers sane.

Bree - posted on 10/04/2012

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I know this is well past the original post date but will put in my 2 cents worth anyway...

Ok, so to all of those people speaking harshly of others who use harnesses is it fair of me to say that at 38 weeks pregnant you would rather see me have to chase down or wrestle or pick up and carry my very independent, headstrong, curious, physically strong and rather heavy 16 month old son, while supervising my 4yr old, than use a harness sensibly? Or better yet, load a stroller in and out of a car boot and then lift a heavy toddler into and out of it, very possibly while he's protesting? Are you seriously suggesting that reason and wisdom can be bestowed upon a 16 month old in regard to road safety, stranger danger, the concept of getting lost etc? C'mon!

And what about after my 3rd is born by cesarean section (for medical reasons not convenience) and I'm physically unable to run, lift, etc for several weeks? What then? How would you know by seeing me from a distance that I may have had abdominal surgery only 2 weeks previously? To you I would probably look perfectly fit and healthy so you deem it fair to judge.

Not all children are created equal nor is everyone's situation the same. It's totally unfair for anyone to judge another based upon their own experience or lack thereof.

I don't own a harness but intend to get one for my 16 month old for those certain situations where trying to hold onto him or have him be totally obedient is impractical or downright impossible, such as for in a couple of weeks when my husband has to take him and our 4 yr old interstate by plane on his own. How is he expected to assist a 4 yr old, hold onto a 16 month old and carry cabin luggage solo? And what happens if the 4yr old needs to go to the toilet and needs help? There'll be no stroller because I will have our double one in the car on my way up with our newborn. Think about it and don't be so quick to judge!

Do whatever is in the best interests for your children and your family.

Kate - posted on 02/08/2012

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I dont like the harness or leash. My mother had used them on us and think they are a great idea and tried to buy one for my daughter, she let her walk around the store with it and I felt really uncomfortable about it since I think leashs are for dogs, not children besides when she went to run off it sounded like it broke. It'd be easier to just chase after them and get the excercise in my opinion.

Tina - posted on 02/06/2012

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I have a harness for my 17 month old daughter. I dont tug or pull my child. I use it for safety purposes only( like going to the Zoo or other really busy places). Now a days with really nasty people out there I want my daughter to explore but in a safe way. And if that means I have to put my daughter on a "leash" I know that she is coming home with me at the end off the day!



I hope that helps.

Veronica - posted on 02/02/2012

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Katherine, give it up already. Every situation is different. Maybe you had help when you went out with little ones still learning to understand to stay put. I didn't. You try taking two eighteen month olds and a newborn out. Try getting them all out of the car, plus what you need . There is no way to hold onto them all at the same time. They get excited if they see a bird and want to run off. Should I just pray that they stay put and listen to their mom? No one is saying to use the leash all the time. Just when we need to and every parent should instinctively know when it's necessary, if they are considering using one. Last year a little boy was run over in a Chuck E. Cheese parking lot in my town. Imagine, if he had a leash. Just to hold him still for a few seconds.

Katherine - posted on 02/02/2012

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LOL seriously- again teach your kids to stay put. I have a baby as well along with 2 older girls. GUESS WHAT they were both taught to stay at the jeep with me until we were all ready to head into the store.





ALL you guys are giving are lame excuses on why you cant control your kids and use leashes to do the job for you. disgusting.

Veronica - posted on 02/02/2012

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Katherine, I believed all that you listed in your set of rules, but sometimes that list cannot work. My son was under two and still learning the rules, and I was very pregnant and could not carry him any longer, when he just took off after I told him to stand by the car door. I was still getting all that I had planned to carry with me. Just as I was reaching in to get something, he ran off. We were at an apartment building with a pool. Do you know how scared I was? I just kept thinking while I tried hard to run while I was around 8 or 9 months pregnant, that he might be in the pool. Luckily, I found him and not in the pool. IF I had had a leash, then he would have been safely by the car. A similar thing happened when my twins were less than 2 years old. I had to take out my newborn out of the car, and I had my twins with me. Usually, they would listen and stay by the car, but they saw something and one ran, then the other. I had just gotten my newborn out of the car. What was I supposed to do? I ended up running after my twins with the baby in the carseat. Luckily, I got to them, just before a car passed. If I had had a leash, this would not have happened. Sometimes rules and discipline don't work. Sometimes life just happens and kids will be kids. A leash can save a child's life. My children are well disciplined, and I have had only to use the leash a couple of times for one of my sons. Unfortunately, I did not save the leash for my twins. I was lucky and so were my kids and no one got hurt.

Katherine - posted on 02/02/2012

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Common Sense!

teach your child to stay with you and the importance of doing so will keep any parent from having to resort to buying a leash.



Explain to your child that rules are put in place in public to protect you.



1. Dont leave my side

2. keep hand on stroller, cart or parked vehicle.

3.Dont run up to or pet animals that we do not own.

4. Dont run into the road, for cars will hit youif they cant see you.

5 Dont talk to strangers( people we do not know) For they might harm you.

6. you will be in trouble for not following these rules.

Discipline!!!!!!!!!



Teach your the parental basics between you and them adn you CAN go in public with your child with out a leash.

Deborah - posted on 02/01/2012

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I think they are alright, actually.



Some people say "Well you're treating your kid like a dog"



"No, I treat my dog like my kid!" I don't want to lose my dog, and I want to keep him off the road, I want to make sure he doesn't run of and get hurt (or hurt another dog). I want to ensure the safety (and control) of my animal as a responsible adult. All of these instances apply to my child (maybe not the hurting another dog one, but you get the point.)

When I was pregnant, I just could not keep up with my daughter, so we bought one to use in rare instances.



When I first had my son, he REFUSED to sit in his carrier, he had to be carried. At first it was okay, I used a 'baby backpack' and carried him on my belly/chest.



Once he outgrew that though is when the trouble began. My daughter was still learning the 'rules' about walking in the grocery store, so having her on her 'leash' was SUCH a relief, especially when we would make our way out into the parking lot. She would want to run to the car, and probably would have been hit on more than one occasion had I not used her little teddy bear backpack. We don't use it any more because she has learned to wait for mommy and to Stop when I say "Stop!"



Ensuring you can keep your child close is NOT a bad thing. My mom used them on my brother and I because we are about the same distance apart as my own children (two years). Since you aren't looking to use it all the time, and it's just in a public place, go for it. Don't feel bad about it.



I don't think they should be used all the time, but as a tool for keeping your child safe in large places that tempt kids to run and 'see what that is" (like a Zoo) it's a very wonderful safety feature. As I stated before, it prevented potential accidents with my daughter, and to me, that is worth all the dirty looks in the world for using one with her. I didn't use it often, but using it taught her to stay close to me and make sure she stays in my line of sight.



You will only feel bad as you let others make you feel about it. I personally have NO issues with it AT ALL.



My fiancee's sister-in-law got rather upset when I suggested using one on her son (he has Down's Syndrome and doesn't listen very well, so she is constantly holding his hand/arm) I suggested it to her as a method to teach him to stay close and she got offended. I simply dropped the subject and chalked it up to another 'agree to disagree' stance on parenting styles.



You will run into other people who judge you for using it, but if you have your child's best interests in mind (such as his safety and your peace of mind) then don't let others influence your decision to use one.

Katherine - posted on 02/01/2012

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To be completely honest and I am a mother of 3- 4 if you count my step son, I can not stand those child leashes. Sorry but if my mom of 4 kids ina row a year apart can control her kids or my grandma of seven kids in a row can control her kids in public then I do believe us modern day mothers can find some way of controlling your child. There are simple techniquics you can use to get your child to listen and be safe and have fun all at once. I feel it is an easy crazy way of dealing with your child.



I simply will not stand for my children- mine or not to get to a point of needing a leash. I start an early age- like you are suppose to do and teach your child the safety of staying with me or the cart at all times. When we get out of a vehicle or go to my vehicle, my kids are taught to keep one hand on the jeep until I unlock it so they can all get in. Or so that we can walk into the store together holding hands. They know that walking ahead of me too fast or behind me too slow can cause them to get hit by a car or taken by someone. They know that animals that dont belong to us are not meant for us to pet. In zoos they know to stay together and we will get to see all the animals and that we must always approach all animals slowly and with a parent for we do not know how that animal is feeling today.

I really dont get it unless you have a child with a disability who honestly can not help it no matter what you say or do. I do have a nephew with a disability that keeps him from knowing the good and bad stuff. again though my sister never bought a leash for him. extremely patient with him. I can understand children with issues that keep them from understanding but not your average normal kid.

Sarah - posted on 01/31/2012

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I always said I'd never be that parent with a kid on a harness... until I had my own! I know some people are very against them and they can be abused.. but if used properly I think they can be a great tool! My husband and talked about them and we decided to give it a try. Our 2 yo, isn't so good with holding hands. She's very wiggly and can very easily slip out. I also don't want to hold her too hard it hurts her, or jerk on her by accident. We've already had that happen, my husband was holding onto her, she jerked really hard and popped her elbow out! OMG I was freaking out... we took her to the dr, they did x-rays to make sure it wasn't broken. The dr explained it was "nurse maids elbow" or "babysitter's elbow" it was named that from nurse maid's or babysitters pulling on a toddler and popping it out. He said it can be common in 1-3 yr olds. He very easily popped it back in place and 5 mins later she was back to her old self, like nothing ever happened. I was more traumatized than she was :| After that little experience, we really looked into a harness. I found a spongebob(yeah yeah i know! :/) one that she loves! It's a little back pack. She really does love to wear it. It keeps her close and safe. I'm so worried in our neighborhood, with all the fast driving a-holes that when we go for a walk, she'll break free and run into the road. It gives her freedom to walk around but not go to far, I always know where she is. We used it at the zoo and it was wonderful!!!!! We all had a very enjoyable afternoon, she did great until it was time to go home. She was very tired and getting cranky. I think harnesses gives children more freedom than strapping them into a stroller. People also compare a harness to something for only pets. But you'd never stick a pet in a stroller! Then enjoy the freedom and learn boundaries to. It's a personal choice really. Maybe you should give it a try, see if it works for your family! As far as people that say they are bad... not everything works for everybody equally. My child is very active and will just run away and loves to be chased. Some kids are good at staying very close, some aren't.

Veronica - posted on 01/17/2012

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I was against harnesses, until I had my Anthony. I was pregnant with Luke when I gave into buying a harness. I couldn't run after Anthony after I got far into my pregnancy, so the harness helped me keep track of him. It seemed that when he had it on, he knew to not even try to take off running. As for the zoo, I think it would be better to take an umbrella stroller over the harness. that way your son can sit when he's tired of walking, or even snack while you walk.

Cheryl - posted on 01/11/2012

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iv got a harness for my two i never use it on the oldest anymore as i dont need to, i only used it when he first came out of the pram for about a week as he figured out pretty quicky run forwards you get yanked back because i couldnt hold the pram with his younger brother in and chase him when he decided to run straigt into the main road. he now walks nicely at the side of the pram when i tell him too but i allow him to run a little bit in front and behind when walking to nursery as long as he can still see me and he stays away from the road.



i put my youngest on it the other day whos 20 month as his pram broke im so glad i have got one it saved him from falling flat on his face at least 10 x, as hes very curious it also stopped him running down countless gardens and into the middle of the road to talk to some one.



i never yank my children unless they fall then i use it to stop the motion and put them back on there feet

Samantha - posted on 01/11/2012

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I worked at a preschool and we had an annual zoo trip with the kids and their parents. One family was a 4 year old boy, with 3 year old twin brothers. The oldest boy in particular kept running off and getting lost, and that's with 2 parents and 4 teachers keeping watch. He wasn't being naughty and was trying to listen, but at that age he just couldn't help being impulsive. Another family had a 3 year old boy with developmental delay and the mother kept losing track of him too.....Two definite candidates for leashes, especially in a crowded public place!

Martylee - posted on 01/06/2012

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We first went to Universal and Disney when my oldest daughter was 18 months. A harness was a must. She didn't want to constantly be confined to her stroller, nor did we want her just sitting all day, but at the same time the crowds and traffic in theme parks can get crazy very quickly. We never lost track of her, she never felt restrained and we all had a great time. Then next time we went she was almost 4 1/2 and we still used the harness. She loved it and every time we got out of the car she would tell us to put her harness on. She didn't get lost, hurt, or even God forbid abducted. We would do it again if we had to. It is what worked for us and allowed us to explore the parks, without an upset toddler, and without worry or frustration of constantly redirecting a toddler.



But the only time we used them is when we were in crowded unpredictable places such as theme parks, airports, and very infrequently the mall (maybe once or twice). At home, the park, family and friends houses, church, etc., we did not use the harness. I believe it has it purposes and is useful in certain situations.



As far as those against them that say this is what we signed up for as parents...my only guess is that you don't go out much and if you do it is probably very frustrating and huge drain of energy for you. I prefer to stay calm & level headed as a good example to my children. We have tools and resources that help us and are appropriate in certain situations and utilizing them doesn't make us lazy, or less of a 'super parent' it just makes us reasonable human beings.

Janine - posted on 01/05/2012

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DEF a yay from me, when you have multiple kids in tow it can be difficult to hold hands all the time. Safety comes first with me and if that means a few people give me disapproving looks I really don't care! :) Do what you feel comfortable with, if it works for you and your child then it's the right thing to do! :)

Kathy - posted on 12/31/2011

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I was always for it in some situations, my husband was dead set against it until one day we were in a busy mall with her and my mother in law. My MIL was watching her while we emptied trays after lunch, I had my back turned for seriously 2 seconds putting a napkin in the garbage can, turned back around and asked my husband wheres your mom and Fay.... she took off on her grandma and we couldn't find them, I checked the bathroom cause thats where we were headed thinking grandma might have assumed we'd head there and finally 10-15 minutes later here comes my MIL with her, after someone else helped her stop my daughter when we couldn't find them. Had all 3 of us scared beyond believe. The next stop was to get one... we had just got a piglet one for her, figured it would do for now. But my sister-in-law got a better one for her birthday, its a "Littlelife" back pack, looks just like auntie's hiking backpack, with a clip on the front that she can't undo. the strap, or leash, detaches if you don't need it, but we usually just roll it up and put it in the side pocket. This one is really good because it offers more choice than just a harness, she walks proud cause she has a backpack like auntie's AND it holds enough diapers & wipes for a day out, and a sippy cup fits in the side pocket. We'd been in other malls her walking on her own even video taped her and no problems, but that one scare and well she gets it now, even if I'm downtown in our small town, if she's not listening to my "stay on the sidewalk" I'll use it.

Tricia - posted on 11/22/2011

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Well....I have a very active 7 year old and when she was 20 months she wanted to go everywhere all once and was not at all good about holding my hand so yes I had her in a little backpack harness! she thought it was cool cause I could put one of her little toys in it for her....it allowed me to let her explore without losing her! I now have 18 month old twins and let me tell ya I will not hesitate to put either one or both in a harness....for safety and sanity sake...I had someone tell me how horrible I was to have my daughter in a harness.....I asked her if she wanted to to shop with her for a bit...she changed her mind!!! Good luck! :)

Sherin - posted on 11/20/2011

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I am all for it! I do not have one myself but I would totally got one if I was going to the zoo or any other busy place... my friend went to DC with a 18 month old and she said she couldn't have done all of the fun sight seeing with out it...

Christine - posted on 11/20/2011

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Carly, I totally understand your ilema. Before I was a om I was a pectator who thought it was cruel to treat your kids like an animal and put them on a "leash". As a parent of a two year old boy who is energetic and never walks but runs everywhere, I now have a different perspective of their use-SAFETY. I haven't invested in one yet, but I am no longer apposed to the use of one either. Your comment asked for constructive critism-so my advice to u is to whatever reasonable tool u feel comfortable using when it comes to the safety of your child. Good luck!

Angela - posted on 11/18/2011

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Yes I loved my harness. He is 6 now and wouldn't keep it on. We moved to Japan when he was 3 and it saved me so many times.

Josie - posted on 11/17/2011

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im not opposed to them. i do have one for my son. i ONLY use it for places that are huge. (i.e theme parks, zoos, or long walks.. etc) my son absolutely loves his harness. but, he is also very good at holding onto the stroller as we walk along. he also knows how far he can go and then come back when we call him. (or so it seems) but there are moments where i do feel the harness is necessary. like when i forget the stroller. hes not too good at holding our hands. maybe for a frew mins, but then he wants to be independant. i guess it really depends on why youre using it and how. i dont feel im wrong for using it or having one. i think everyone should have one. (whether they use it or not) you never know when it may come in handy.

P.S. my son also cuddles his harness (its a bear) and drags it around the house..

Amanda - posted on 11/16/2011

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Before having my son I thought the harnesses were stupid and for lazy parents, but now that he's here I've actually been thinking about getting one. My son will hold your hand but not for long and only when he's behaving well. If he's wanting to go somewhere that he can't go he will dart off and when you catch him, throw a massive tantrum until you put him down. It's pretty embarrassing having this happen. And he's starting to get bored of being in the stroller when we go places. He wants to run around and explore. So for your situation, I wouldn't think there is anything wrong with getting one for crowded places or where ever you use it for.

Stephanie - posted on 11/14/2011

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In certian situations, YEY - like at the airport or the zoo. Nay if you are at the grocery store or something to that effect. I have one for my son - it's nice to have when needed, it gives them a little bit of freedom while you still have control

Katherine - posted on 11/14/2011

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i am raising kids not dogs and parents that i have seen with them on thier kids are too LAZy to teach their kids to stay with them. and they pul hard and tug hard onthem causing their child to fall and be dragged- not good. I dont like them. Unless your kid has a disorder that causes them to run around because they dont know any better

Lisa - posted on 11/13/2011

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I used to not like them BUT my two little kids (one 3 and one 19 months) like to get away from me entirely too much. It isn't bad when my husband is with me but I can't tell you how worried I have gotten when my daughter just happen to wonder off in just a second (and yes, I do keep a close eye on my kids at all times but there are those times when she is there and the next minute she has taken off). I have not bought any harnesses yet BUT I am guessing I would be less stressed if I had some at times when I want to take my kids to places like the zoo without their older cousins (many times when I go with my older nieces and nephews they seem to hang to my little kids a lot and I don't worry as much). Besides, my sister-in-law used some before and her kids actually liked them. They even got to pick their own animal "backpack" out. My point, once being against them but now with my own very active kids I say they probably aren't as bed as I thought they were.

Kayleigh - posted on 11/10/2011

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im with the harness as my lil one doesnt like holding hands and would run if eyes of her for a second and she doesnt like the wrist strap but doesnt mind the harness i would say try the wrist strap one first as your llil one may not mind that one you never know and they are handy aswell as they grow up

Michelle - posted on 11/09/2011

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If you feel safer and find things easier with a harness then go for it! people that judge you should mind their own business, My daughter is great at holding my hand till she gets distracted so im considering getting one myself, just for when she wants a bit of independence at least then I can feel safe that she wont get into too much trouble.

[deleted account]

It's pretty much the same thing as a stroller... except they can walk instead of just sit there. I think it's kind of dumb how people can be against harnesses but still be okay with strapping their kid in a stroller.



My daughter's pretty good about holding my hand when we're walking somewhere, but I have one for when I can't hold her hand like when I'm bringing in groceries or at the airport when I have my hands full because if I'm not holding her hand, she likes to stop and explore. :P

Michelle - posted on 11/08/2011

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I used a harness for both of my eldest daughters and will be using one for my baby once she is walking. I think they are a great idea as it gives them a bit more freedom, exercise from walking instead of being stuck in a buggy, and safety as you have a hold of them all the time.

Ariana - posted on 11/03/2011

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my son loves his Lion backpack harness (leash), my son is very active and thinks it fun to run from me in public, he will not sit in his stroller for more than 5 seconds and so it makes his harness very practical. i get more compliments on keeping him safe than i do on having a harness on him. i dont drag him with it and i try to hold hands with him as much as possible, and i hive it alot of slack.

Andrea - posted on 10/29/2011

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I think it takes only one instance when you are in a situation and you wish you had one to use, and it becomes obvious very quickly that it can be very helpful. I said it before and say it again, before kids I never would have considered it. Being a first time mom of two babies made me reconsider. I was very nervous of losing one while looking after the other. I will clarify it didn't work for us because they got tangled up and it was more work than it was worth. They hated it because it made them feel tied up together; as if they don't spend enough time together, close to each other whether they like it or not. They needed their space which they couldn't get tangled up. But it was great to get in and out of the car. With one it would have been easy to use. I know kids can scream in the stroller too but for me it was easier to just put them back in it and roll away as fast as I could from staring eyes then when they dropped on the ground from frustration because it was too short and they couldn't move from each other. I wasn't willing to go the flexi route which felt too long for me. It is all about safety. Try it out and see if it works for you. I am sure there is a time and place for it at some point in a mom's busy life. Ignore the stares and the comments, or have a response ready if necessary. But I don't think any mom needs to defend her choices. Do what works for you.

Amanda - posted on 10/29/2011

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I post previously on the thread an now a few months later will add. I have and will continue to use the backpack leash on my children. We took a trip to New York City in July an I put this leash on my 5 year old nephew and never lost sight of him. He stayed about three feet in front of his cousins stroller had some freedom but I could easily pull him back if he got too far away from me. It was a wonderful trip knowing I had one less thing to be concerned about if there was tension on that string I knew where he was even if I had to turn away to address issues with my 1 year old.

Danielle - posted on 10/29/2011

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My husband and I have two children, son 19 and daughter 11. Obviously quite far apart in age and polar opposites as toddlers. Before I had children and saw folks with a child on a leash I was mortified! But, when our son was twoish, wanted to explore, and was willing to walk off with any stranger, I couldn't get a leash fast enough for him. He was strong willed, stubborn, and most of all independent. I did not want to take that independence and curiosity from him and force him into the stroller or have him throwing himself on the floor because he didn't want to hold mine or my husband's hand. The leash was the perfect solution. He could explore as if he were on his own and I was at peace that I would not lose him or even worse be taken by some freak. The leash was not necessary for any lengthy period of time and it wasn't as if I took him out walking every day on a leash. It was used in places like malls and busy stores where lots of people were around and he could get lost easily. If I were going for a walk in our neighborhood and could make sure my undivided attention was on him the leash was not at all necessary.

All you folks can say all you want that discipline, or lack there of, is the reason for needing a leash or that the parent is lazy or inattentive, but our daughter never once needed to be leashed as she was a completely different human being. She was absolutely content with holding my hand and being attached to my leg. Even though she happened to be the climber and did everything sooner than our son, she was not the explorer and was much more leery of strangers.

So, before you judge people with children on a leash, remember that you know absolutely NOTHING about the dynamic or personality of that child and that family! Mind your own business and let others live there lives and raise their children as they see fit...besides, why do you care? Are you PERFECT or are you trying to feel more perfect because you see someone doing something you don't agree with???

Amanda - posted on 05/27/2011

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i vote yay! I have a 20 month son. and a 7 month old girl. I get shot looks ALL the time cause my son still doesn't ge the concept that if u run your going to get thrown back. but I am bold, and I would rather him b close than running and hiding like he does in the store. for the most part though I don't use it often. only when we go somewhere where there's a lot of people. he doesn't like sitting in the cart or stroller. and in the cart he has to be in the basket and I don't like doing that anymore because a couple months ago he fell out. and boy did I get looks! but he was fine. I hate all these people judging. do what you want. put yourself in my shoes. everyone is different. but get one if it makes you feel safe that your child isn't running off. and also I can't run after my son with my daughter in my hands. or leave her. I'm afraid to fall and hurt both me and my daughter.

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