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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
KRIS November 11, 2008, 11:50 AM

I have been thinking of getting one of these- If you had a child like mine you would too! haha
Its hard having a toddler going anywhere- climbing out of the stroller- grabbing everything- running off- crying to get out of her seat= I saw a mom at the mall last week and her daughter looked happy on the leash- Im sure she was used to it and she prefered it better than the stroller.

I dont care what anyone thinks…
its up to the individual.

Becca November 11, 2008, 2:10 PM

Its up to the parent and if they feel they need to leash their child then that is ok! Safety is first and speaking as a mom of a 10 year old and 9 year old1 When they were little at times it was very hard to keep them both were they needed to be! Especially if they ran different directions!In fact if only someone would have suggested me leashing at least one of them it would have saved me many times of running after them. I’m having a third and if I have to leash him for safety I will be doing that! The leash thing is human and a perfect way for good parents to ensure their kids don’t get hurt or kidnapped!

Maureen November 11, 2008, 3:19 PM

I absolutely would and did! Mine are now 15 years old. I had twin boys and in order for me to keep them in control myself while out in public, I needed the little harness. Unfortunately they did not have the cute little animal backpacks at the time, but the harness that looked like an actual leash. Needless to say, I rarely ventured out alone or without my double stroller!

Laura November 11, 2008, 9:31 PM

NEVER put your child’s name on his/her shirt! Child molesters can call to your child like they know them, or can even act like its there kid. What is the first thing they say to get to know a child? What is your name little kid? Don’t give them an advantage! I didn’t think I would ever use a leash, either, but my 19 month old does not listen and they can get away from you in an instant. They are safe, and she, too, likes to wear her ‘monkey’.

Anonymous November 12, 2008, 6:23 AM

My children, now 25 & 26, both had what were call “hand holders”. It was basically a coiled telephone cord with a band at each end…1 for the parent’s wrist and 1 for the child’s. Oh yes we got stares and people got irritated but I could have cared less. We did not use them all the time but there were times and places we felt it necessary.
My daughter, now the parent of a 3 yr old was NEVER going to put a leash on her daughter! Well a few weeks ago they came home from an outing to a pumpkin festival and guess who had a cute little teddy bear back pack. I just think that sometimes you don’t realize it is for the safety of the child and it is not cruel and unusual punishment.

Shelmo November 12, 2008, 5:18 PM

I JUST bought one of these for my son. I swore I would NEVER use a “leash” with him (he’s almost 3). Well, leaving church last Sunday he let go of my hand and took off running - straight for the road! I ran after him, and we both ended up falling - and I’m 5 months pregnant. For his safety, and MINE, I bought one. If it keeps him from running off in a store or parking lot, it’s worth the strange stares I get from others. He is also started getting out of the stroller and taking off running in a store (started doing that the day before the parking lot incident), so I’ll be using this harness when I go shopping with him from now on too.
He actually likes it too, so I don’t feel bad using it.

Lisa November 24, 2008, 10:38 PM

I am taking my one year old to Disneyland next month, and I will be using a leash. It has nothing to do with bad parenting. Some kids just refuse to hold hands, be carried, or sit in a stroller. All it takes is the blink of an eye and they are gone. If this will keep her safe in a place like Disneyland I think it is worth it. Now, I would never use it at the park or the supermarket or mall, but these are smaller places that are not as hectic as Disneyland.

Lisa November 24, 2008, 10:43 PM

Wow guess youre super mom of the century!! This has NOTHING to do with being a lazy parent. I am a single mother, work full time, go to school and raise my daughter all by myself. I am the farthest thing from a bad mother you will EVER see. Just because I want to take an extra pre-caution in a place like Disneyland does lessen my parenting abilities. I would rather my daughter have fun, then be pissed off and not want to be in her stroller all day. Oh and I guess youre kids were just perfect little angels when the terrible two’s hit. Please!… and to the lady saying add the name.. why, so some creep can see it and address the kid by name and then the child thinks its not a stranger. REAL SMART!! real smart!! you NEVER put your kids name on their person. You teach them who they are, where they live, and what their phone number is… .until then put em on a leash!

Erin December 1, 2008, 11:51 AM

I’m jealous of all you people who have perfect angel children who are willing to do everything you tell them to do, without question, even during the years when they are too young to understand most concepts, yet still old enough to walk/run. I don’t see how a t-shirt with my kid’s name on it is going to save him if he manages to break free of my hand and run into the street. I didn’t know t-shirts were magical forcefields. I’m not worried about my child getting lost. I am paying attention to him at all times. I am worried about him getting HURT. And I’d rather not put all of our personal information on his shirt for all the world to see. I have a very strong-willed and independent almost three-year-old, and while I don’t have a leash for him, I’ve considered it. Most people who say “no” to leashes are A) not parents, B) parents of babies, C) parents with older children who have some sort of weird amnesia that makes them magically forget that their children weren’t perfect angels, or D) parents with those aberrations that are mellow/sedated children.

Konrad December 6, 2008, 10:06 PM

What kind of humiliation is that? I don’t consider my child to be a pet. i would tend to think he is more intelligent than an animal. There is a difference between holding hands, and holding a leash. Leashes were designed for dogs and other animals, not for kids. My child is not an animal, therefore he won’t be attached on a leash. My child is not my pet. And if your kid doesn’t want to hold your hand, then there MIGHT be a slight problem in their education. It’s not only their personality, it’s also because of the education you’ve given them. And anyway, there are other ways to keep your kid from getting away than a leash and a harness.

sarah January 31, 2009, 1:28 PM

i was one of those people before i had my son that HATED THE LEASH OH MY GOD I HATED THem i thought what hell are these people doing to there child but thenc came my son and the wackos out there i used it from the time he was walking unil he was almost 3 years old all the time when we went to mall or go for walks yes he did hold my hand and yes i did use a stroller but kids can only sit for so long before they need to get up and move around he did not mind it i got used to it i am a responsable parent i keep a close eye on him but it only takes a split sec for something to happen i am going to disney world just the two of us he is 4 1/2 now i will be using the leash not so i can be lazy or so i can be less responsable but for one more added safty measure my son is my life it is only the two of us not by choice that how it ended up and i dont want to risk losing him he understands the leash is coming and he knows why we need it so for you people that dont agree thats your opinon i hope your would not judge until you are in someones elses shoes there is only one person to judge and thats god not you..

Joy February 4, 2009, 5:10 AM

Boy your story brings back memories. When my first child, who is now 27 years old was born, from day one she never sat still. My doctor even commented on my 6lb baby’s ability to pick her head up off my shoulder and look around the room, and at only hours old. “Precocious” he called her. (I didn’t know what I was in for). She NEVER slept. At 2 months old, she “wriggled” herself out of her baby seat and had kicked her way across a 27ft wide room, unplugging our television. At 6 months old she was already able to get out of her crib. and even got stuck once.

In the summer, for our “vacation”, we were so lucky to be able to spend luxurious weeks on Cape Cod, at my grandmothers beautiful 20 acre estate, .but, my baby, actually still an infant, (onlyl 6/7 months old) fell in love with the ocean as soon as she saw it! We would stand and “guide” her in shoulder (ours) depth water, with a little bubble on her back and a visor on her head to shield the sunlight from her eyes, as she happily kicked, floated and swam … When we tried to get her out, to sit down, or play in the sand, she would be off again, immediately crawling back to the water front. People around us would laugh and comment on how cute, how smart, etc. she was.., but we were exasperated having to constantly keep chase …

At home, sometimes, she and I tried to join the play group with the other mothers in my neighborhood to kill those sometimes, lonely hours in the day of full time motherhood, but while their little cherubs sat and played contently, mine was off, running up and down the sidewalk in her own little world. My breaking point came. the summer when she was 18 months old, when we returned to cape Cod. She had legs now, and nothing stopped her. I actually broke down in tears one night. This was no vacation, so I relented, and bought not only a harness, but also a long length of laundry line rope and tied one end of it to her harness AND the other to our beach chair. The results were happy for all of us!. She could explore her environment safely, with my eyes ALWAYS on her and we cold actually sit down and enjoy our guests and their children. Aahhh!

My sisters initially challenged me on this practice, and just didn’t grasp that this child was different and definitely needed boundaries, until they took her out with them one day. After that they never said a word about our “leash”.
Years later when we were reminiscing over our children, they confessed to me, that they had actually LOST my precious and “precocious” daughter on two different outings!! Once was at a beach, where they had to get the POLICE involved , which took them over an hour to locate her, and the other time was at the Boston Science Museum. I was upset of course that they had lied to me, and I shudder to think what could have happened to her.

Anyway, my 2nd child, a son, was calm, sweet, took naps, sat with a book or toy mesmerized for hours, so there was no need for a leash. Every child is different. So, If you find yourself with a child that whose curiosity and wonder for the world, causes them to roam, get your little adventurer a “leash” while they are soaking up life, They will be safe and you will be spared undue anxiety.

I got a lot of stares, because 26/27 years ago they didn’t have cute little teddy bear leashes, but I didn’t care. I always knew where my child was and she grew up to be an extremely intelligent, exceptional young woman. And yes, she still is my little inquisitive, adventurer, (I used to call her my little vagabond … she would go any where and was always up to every invite, she had traveled all around the world before she was even out of high school). She now lives 1000’s of miles from me and I miss her every single day, but I still have my delightful, more serious son here with me,. He states he could never live too far from me. One child, I feared losing and the other child feared losing me. Funny how different and how wonderful each of our children are. So don’t stress moms. Be safe. And most of all just LOVE and ENJOY these years, because though you may think it cliche now, they really do grow up way too fast.

Anonymous May 17, 2010, 3:42 PM

I’m not a parent, but I think of it this way - you use a leash on a dog to keep it safe, to keep it from running out in traffic or anything else that could seriously hurt or even kill it. Why would you take more measures to keep your dog safe than your child? Shouldn’t your child’s life be more important? If the leash accomplishes that, then by all means protect your child. Good job, parents.

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