kids going strapless

Elfrieda - posted on 10/27/2011 ( 23 moms have responded )

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Thinking about carseats made me realize that I really loathe straps and buckles when it comes to my child. I'm not denying that they have their place, for example in a car, which is one of the most dangerous places to put your child. But every single piece of baby equipment has them!

There are straps in high chairs, strollers, booster seats, and even some exersaucers have them. Do or did you use them? Why? Is it more that they happen to be there so you use them, or you are passionate about keeping your child safe?

I took the straps off of most things as soon as we bought them, even when my son was 4 months old. I hate buckling him in, and I think it doesn't actually do him any favours. If, for all of his short life, he can just be as wild and flail-y as he wants and there are never any consequences because he's strapped in and can't go anywhere, what is he going to do once he can walk and sees something potentially dangerous, like stairs?

If he knows that no matter what he does he'll be safe, he might do something dangerous like run straight off those stairs! But if he's had a few scary moments (like sliding too far out of his stroller and mom having to catch him) he knows that actions have consequences and what he does has an effect on what happens next.

In my experience, going strapless (ahaha) has been very good for my son. I can trust him in almost any situation. (just not around the cat's food... yuck.) He was safe unattended on the stairs from 17 months on. (probably before then, but we have uncarpeted stairs and I hovered just in case) He can climb onto a bench or coffee table and I don't have to jump to save him when he wants to get down. Maybe I just have a cautious boy. Maybe my theory is right. Or maybe it's a bit of both. What do you think?

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Brianna - posted on 10/28/2011

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i always strap my daughter in. if she isnt strapped in the highchair she will stand up the second i turn my back. i think keeping them strapped is important to keep them safe. BUT STRAPS ARE ONLY SAFE IF USES PROPERLY.. they cant just be loose they need to by tightened to the correct size

but i do believe that straps need to be use properly. recently a 13 month old lil boy in my town died. his mom had a old school high chair the ones with no bar between there legs.. anyways she straped him in but didnt tighten in to his size. she then recieved a phone call and went to give the phone to her hubby outside. when she returned the baby had slipped under the highchair and was choked by the loose strap... it was a horrible accident and well you should never leave your child unsuperivsed in a highchair but it just goes to show if u do use a strap but not properly it is just as unsafe as not straping them at all.

Nikki - posted on 10/28/2011

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I used the safety straps for each piece of baby related equipment, they are age appropriate for the child's development. I don't see the link with not wearing them and natural consequences, baby equipment can be dangerous, babies have died and seriously injured themselves when these items have been used incorrectly. How is that a natural consequence for the child?

I have spent a lot of time during my career working on risk assessments for babies and toddlers equipment in childcare centres, this is not a risk I would take at work let alone with my own child.

Krista - posted on 10/27/2011

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Meh...I think you're making a bit of a stretch between a kid being strapped in and having no concept of danger because of it. Some kids are reckless and some are cautious, and I think that comes down to both temperament and upbringing, but I really don't think that the straps on their high chairs have much of an effect on that, if any.

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User - posted on 09/05/2013

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I always used the straps on car seats but whe my baby was little I didnt use them much in her swing or high chairior bouncer if she was just going to sit in it and when she got older and more alert an squirmy I started strapping her in so she wouldn't fall out!

Katherine - posted on 10/28/2011

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Laurelai thats what we used to do as well, now we put the tray on sans straps and feed him!!! He loves banging on the tray now,

Merry - posted on 10/28/2011

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Sarah, I often don't use the tray on my high chair. Fierna isn't old enough to eat solids but she likes to be with us during meals so I put her in the high hair near me while we eat. So for her I strap her in unless I decide to use the tray.

Starfish - posted on 10/28/2011

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I used them in all but the high chair. I couldn't see a point. It had a plastic thing in between the legs, and the tray locked on, so wtf are the straps for? No kid, even my most wiggliest, was getting out of that thing once the tray was locked.

For everything else, it just made sense to use them. My now-7yo wiggled like there was no tomorrow, sliding and climbing, and moving, and making life crazy. She knew the consequences, but adventurous children just don't care. So I strapped her to save us both the trouble.

Adrienne - posted on 10/28/2011

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I used them in certain situations. But, my son was a wiggle worm and a climber. Bouncy seat - yes because he'd try and sit up before he was fully stable. High chair, if I was going to move more than a foot away - yes. Again, he was a wiggler (still is actually) Stroller, once he was big enough that his legs hung over the seat while sleeping, yes because he'd start to slide out.

And Brianna - you made a very good point about straps being used properly. All straps up to and including seat belts on car boosters need to be adjusted and placed properly to fit your little one. Or they can actually be more seriously injured than if they fell.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/28/2011

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And no, my daughter will not wear strapless cloths until she is 15 or older. Especially if she turns out to be a hotty!

Merry - posted on 10/28/2011

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Yeah I lock our chemical cabinet but not the pots and pans, not the cereal, not the utensils. He has dumped out cereal boxes, but he learned that's no fun cuz now all the cereal is trash! But I'm not risking life or death situations.

JuLeah - posted on 10/28/2011

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We all have to draw the line somewhere.

My neighbor never locked her kitchen cabinets where she stored such things as bleach because her (4,2 and1yr old) knew better.

Not a chance I would have taken

That said, I do think we shield kids waaay to much, get between them and natural consequences to a degree that can not learn ... and I think if we do that when they are infants we are more likey to do that when they are kids and teens ... the result is a child ill perpared for the world; a young adult not able to take care of themselves ... I know many such young adults that can't take care of themselevs and just lack basic common sense, which I think back to not learning about gravity as a baby

Katherine - posted on 10/27/2011

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In my house it really depends on what is being used. I don't think it makes any difference in the way of making a cautious child though.

high chair - never use the straps, he just relaxes and waits to be fed...I have the worlds lazyist child
swing - yes, because it's not your typical swing its' more of a pod, and if he's not strapped in he will slid out no matter what (http://www.4moms.com/mamaroo)
exercauser - there is no straps
stroller - depends on our type of adventure, if we're out just walking, no, if we're in the mall, no, if we're off and on the bus yes he is buckled in

other then that we don't own a bouncy chair or anything else with straps

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/27/2011

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LOL I thought this was going to be a thread about young girls with strapless cloths!

Stifler's - posted on 10/27/2011

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Stroller/pram without straps is dangerous IMO everywhere I walk there is hills or gutters, they're going to fall out if they're not strapped in.

Stifler's - posted on 10/27/2011

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I strap my kid in so he doesn't jump out. He always finds a way to wriggle out of the pram or high chair if he's not clipped in since he could move and my daughter is the same.

Denikka - posted on 10/27/2011

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I always used straps more for ME than for them XD
I realize straps are there for their safety. I used them more to confine the kidlet XD
The straps keep them IN the car seat, stroller, highchair etc XD

I will say that they are rarely in a situation where they need to be confined. They are free to roam most of the house. My 2yr old sits in an actual chair instead of a booster seat, so no straps there, etc.
Straps have their place. I don't think they're detrimental to development though.

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We have porcelain tile in our kitchen. I once dropped a crowbar on it when we moved into our house (from a height of 4 feet) and it didn't so much as chip the floor. Plastic shatters on it. Glasses dropped on it will shatter and shoot shards 10+ feet. Point being -- it's really freaking hard. So on that floor, my kids are always harnessed into their high-chairs and bouncy seats. Because if they were to tumble out and hit their heads, they would be severely hurt. I also always used the straps on their stroller because there is no way they would sit in the stroller if they weren't strapped in. That being said, my boys are the most crazy climbers on the planet, even though they spent their early days strapped into highchairs and strollers. They've been climbing stairs since 12 months because I felt it was safer to teach them to climb safely than to try to keep them away. We've only had one set of stitches to date (and that wasn't even his fault -- the neighbor jumped on the hammock when he was in it and launched him out onto a flagstone patio). I don't think harnessing or not harnessing them made a hoot of difference.

Merry - posted on 10/27/2011

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Let me take strap inventory lol, bouncy chair I rarely strap her in, she's scooted out a few times safely to the floor...

Exersaucer, no straps on it, doorway jumper has no straps. High hair I strap her if I don't put the tray on unless it's pushed up against the table.

(by the way she is 5 months old)

Lol

Stroller, I never did strap her in the cars seat attached to the stroller but one time Eric pulled down on the handle and flipped the stroller ontohimself and she went flying neck first into the handle bar.

Now I strap her.

Rocking chair I use in the bathroom I don't strap her, i am usually right there anyways.

Idk, I think it depends on the child's activity level and consciousness to injury. Some babies will arch their backs right out of stuff and if its high up like a high chair it could be deadly.



Yeah straps seem to be overtaking every baby item but I figure better there even if you don't need it then not there if you do need it.

Becky - posted on 10/27/2011

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I'm not a strap-nazi or anything. I do agree that they can be annoying sometimes! I use them at some points and not at others. In the stroller, I never strap my kids in anymore, because they can walk and if they want to climb or slide out, fine. If I'm using the stroller reclined for a little baby, I don't bother with the straps either. But when they're able to sit upright in it but are still young enough that they're not real steady sitters, then yes, I do use the straps to help them stay in place. Our highchair is such that you don't really need the straps although it has a 5 pt. harness which I do use only when they're still learning to sit up. But, my kids are both climbers, so once they learned to pull up, I had to strap them in, because otherwise, they were trying to climb out. and since we have tile in our kitchen, a fall could have serious consequences. If I'm right beside them at the table I don't worry too much, but if I was going to leave the room at all, they'd be strapped in. I rarely use the straps on the swing, until they are big enough to start trying to climb out - by which point, really, they're too big for the swing anymore anyways.

I see what you're saying about them learning caution and limits. I think you just have to know your kid and find the line between avoiding serious injury and keeping them so restrained that they never have the chance to test things out at all. If I'm right there to supervise, I'll allow a lot more freedom than if I'm going to be doing something else while they're in one of those contraptions.
Oh, but I certainly wouldn't bother with a strap on an exersaucer or jumperoo if they had them. That just seems silly to me!

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