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Leash Up, Kid

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Momlogic's Jackie: If you asked me before kids if I'd every use one of those baby harnesses -- often disguised as animal backpacks -- I would've argued "absolutely not" until I turned blue in the face.


Two kids and 16 months later ... while I wasn't as adamant, I would say "I don't think so -- it doesn't feel right."

Then I met Lucy.

My daughter -- the third in my pack of three -- can climb in and out of her stroller while strapped in and squeeze her way out of the highchair (WITH the tray on) during the four seconds it takes to swig a much-needed cup of coffee. The second I take her out of her car seat, she's off and running down the driveway faster than that Little Gingerbread Man nobody can catch. Her tiny legs are so quick, I actually find it hard to catch her -- and I'm constantly winded! Seriously, my 18 lb, 21-month-old princess is at least ten times the physical work of the brothers who toddled before her.

We haven't ventured out to Disneyland or any busy public places quite yet, but I can already tell you, that cute little monkey harness isn't out of the question. Although, if Lucy has her way ... that is one monkey she'll never have on her back.

Would you (or have you) leashed up the kiddos?

next: At Least 1 Hurt at Mall to See 'Twilight' Star
36 comments so far | Post a comment now
JoAnne November 10, 2008, 7:43 AM

I felt the same way until I spent 10 minutes frantically tearing apart a clothing store trying to find my son after he escaped from his stroller (5-point harness and all). I found him sitting in the center of a rack of clothing. The next day I put him on a leash and at least now I always know where he’s at.

Mel H November 10, 2008, 7:44 AM

Oh heck yes! My daughter hated to hold my hand and wanted to do her own thing. She never took off running but didn’t want to be where I was. So I found a leash that I could use as a harness or just on the hand. The hand tether worked! No more crying, no more tantrums. She was able to walk a safe distance away from me but still be attached. She’s 5 now and we can walk the mall without holding hands.

Jessica November 10, 2008, 9:50 AM

My son is still working on walking and I don’t know about the leash. I have been against them but I see more and more parents using them. The way the world is today, I can understand using one. But leashing are for dogs. Maybe when my son is running everywhere I will think about one. Mel H and JoAnne have really got me thinking. I want future outings to go smoothly, not me in a panic looking for my baby.

Maureen November 10, 2008, 10:00 AM

I used one with my first daughter but got sick of the stares, whispers and dirty looks I got from people-it was ridiculous! All because I wanted to keep track of my daughter (who liked to wear the backpack, BTW).
I think they’re great for crowded places, or for grocery shopping, especially if you have a little one that likes to walk and not ride.
Keeping your kids safe should be priority, right?

Anonymous November 10, 2008, 10:52 AM

Saying leashing is for dogs is just a mindset of older values that needs to be broken. We’ve had other mindsets that have CHANGED too.
After losing my daughter who purposefully hid in the clothing racks I’d never be against it. She’s 17 now but in my mind, I still wonder if a leash would be good to keep the boys away. Just kidding. Seriously, I think parents need to do whatever they can do to protect their kids in this crazy world and if someone invented a good solution then I’m all for it. That’s why mankind is constantly inventing things, to make the world easier. Twenty years ago we would have laughed at the thought of allowing our kids to walk around with their own phones but nowadays, most moms want their teens to have one so they can stay in tough. So the leash is just one more good thing.

Anonymous November 10, 2008, 2:47 PM

Um, if you can’t control your kid in public, do everyone a favor and don’t take your kid out in public.

Anonymous November 10, 2008, 3:20 PM

written like a true anonymous non parent.

Me! November 10, 2008, 6:58 PM

I fyou need one use it. I used to think they looked worna nd even saw a kid in one when I was out to dinner. I was saddened by it, but I think it’s up too the parent who has to take care of and find that shild when he/she is lost not me. I think abou tthe children lost and abducted and think hey if you think you need/ant one I’m not against it better safe than sorry.

Paula November 10, 2008, 8:26 PM

To a child, all feet look pretty much alike. When you are a kid, that’s about all you see. If you don’t have a lifeline to your mom, you can get lost in all the feet,ankles and knees that constantly surround you and looking up for a familiar face can allow you to run smack into other people and store displays. My mom had three leather harnesses (with jingle bells!) for us three girls and we were always thrilled to be told to get the harnesses because we knew it meant we got to ‘go out’. We never got lost and always knew where our mom was.

momof2 November 11, 2008, 5:21 AM

I know giving safety to kids is a priority, but in my own opinion, leashes are waaaay over! What i mean is like this, a mother would become embarassed if people were staring at them all because of the leash, next time, just buy a shirt and have their names and important info printed on it so that in case the kid gets lost, the authorities would know where to return the kid. Im against child leashes and you’ve just got way overprotective, the shirt is better coz people can see it, just add designs so that it wont look like a plain id shirt.

Amber November 11, 2008, 8:25 AM

I used a leash with my first child, from about 1.5-2 yrs old. He was a little explorer and hated being in a stroller and would not hold my hand. After getting away from me and running out into a parking lot, I got a leash and boy did he LOVE it! He got to wander where he wanted (within the bounds of the leash) and explore, plus he got lots of exercise instead of sitting in a stroller all the time. Yes I got lots of disapproving comments and looks but it really was a great solution for my son. My daughter was a totally different personality though and the leash wasn’t necessary - however I bet she would have enjoyed it as well. Each kid is different and only their parent can determine what is best for their kids. Stop judging each other!

anonymous November 11, 2008, 8:27 AM

For the anoymous that replied dont take your kids out. You really need to look at a parents perspective if you are not a parent you shouldnt even post a comment until you are a parent and know how scary it is to lose a child in a crowded place and go crazy wondering if someone abducted your child. For the person that said leashes are waaay over, and a t-shirt will do. Well i guess if a child molester abducts your child you think he or she will return your child? I do use a leash for my son and it sure is a life saver. I especially use it at the mall or crowded places. I will not punish my son by leaving him at home i am a responsible parent that wanted to have a child so i have to take good care of him the best i can leash or no leash.

alsomomof2 November 11, 2008, 8:30 AM

being a mom of 2 I’M ALITTLE SURPRISED YOU WOULD EVER THINK PUTTING YOUR CHILDS INFO ON A SHIRT IS SAFER THEN LETTING YOUR CHILD WEAR A STUFFED MONKEY ON THERE BACK! wHAT HAPPENS IF THAT PERSON DOSEN’T BRING THEM BACK? their are a lot of sick people out there! MY Brother was lost as a kid and the woman had hia clothes changed hair cut in minutes! it drives me crazy this is even an issue! You should keep ypour children safe without worrying about if it’s in or out!!!!!

Ki November 11, 2008, 8:30 AM

Anyone who says leashes are for dogs only has probly never taken 2 yo twins to a beach side park, by themselves. I didn’t use them with my daughters, but with my nephews…. lets just say I won’t take them out by myself without them

Whozat November 11, 2008, 9:40 AM

My daughter is a newborn, and we already have a panda backpack harness waiting for her to learn to walk - and run!

I used to be unsure about the “leashes” until I took my neice/nephew to an amusement park when they were very young, and had harnesses for both of them.

In a situation like that, it’s not a matter of “controlling” the kid and keeping them from running off. They can disappear (innocently) even walking just a couple of feet from you in a crowd.

The leash keeps them attached, but is much less restrictive (for the kid and the adult) than holding hands.

I’m a fan!

Angela November 11, 2008, 10:23 AM

I am the mother of four and I have never and will never use a leash on any of my children. What happened to parents being able to control their children and teach them to stay in the stroller or hold their hand? It seems that parents just say “Oh, well they just don’t want or like to?” I didn’t know they had a choice.I thought the parent was the one in charge, not the 2 year old. It seems to me that people are just trying to think of new ways to make parenting easier by removing the effort it takes to do the job.

Laurie  November 11, 2008, 10:32 AM

Totally agree Angela!!

Momof5! November 11, 2008, 10:37 AM

WOW! This really hits home! Who cares about the stares?! I would rather have a mean stare than a pity look because I can’t locate my child. Children like to explore and if it’s hard for us as adults to understand evil, what makes us think children can. They can’t fathom someone not loving them like Mom and Dad. Out of my 5, one of my children is the explorer to the point we have had 2 scares in his 4 yrs of life. Once in the middle of the clothes because he wanted to see what was in there. The second when he saw 2 teenage girls sitting in a booth and wanted to know what they were doing and the third was when he grabbed on to the wrong leg when I was handing him to his Father so that he could take him to the bathroom during holiday shopping. It’s just that easy! Blink and your child could be gone forever. Both times my heart got stuck in my throat and I thought I was suffocating. It seemed like no one could hear me as I walked around screaming his name hating myself for being such a bad parent and not taking care of the gift that was given to us. Because there is so much scrutiny with these harnesses, they are actually improving the way they look. It’s easy for someone to say control your child (especially if you have none!). Keep in mind they are individuals and there is so much to see in the world. And their attention span is 2.4 seconds (if not less). I ALWAYS go out with my children ( 5 mos., 2, 4, 6 & 12) because we love going to the mall, movies and with 5 kids someone always needs something. Shoes, sneakers, pants, etc. Although I don’t have one (I think we finally got through to him when he saw me in tears the last time) and I’m not above using them or anyone else using them. So hold your head up and Mom-up to your choice to keep your child safe. Think of it like this…..cribs, child gates and cages. What’s the difference? Some paint, pictures and pretty bedding. We use them because they keep our precious little people safe (if used properly) so don’t get hung-up on what other people think. Will those same people help you day and night when someone has snatched your child because you “blinked”?!!! I would like to think so …….. let’s be real.

Momof5! November 11, 2008, 10:51 AM

Corrections! 3 scares!

oopsydeb November 11, 2008, 11:00 AM

I grew up in Orlando worked, at Disney World and would see parents with the “leashes”, I would say “I would never put one of those on my kid like a dog!”. Well, two kids later, and one who likes to hide, I ate my words. I had to go to Vegas on business and I got the girls the backpacks with the “saftey strap” that’s what I called it. I knew one step in the casino/hotel and my 2 year old would be gone in a flash. Well after they dragged me around for a while we all got where we needed to be safely. Who cares what people think, my child’s saftey is all that metters!

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