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Is It Wrong to Use a Toddler Harness or Leash?

Is it wrong to use a toddler harness or leash?


Is it wrong to use a toddler harness or leash?

The Bump Expert

Before you became a parent, you probably thought you’d never use a toddler safety harness (aren’t leashes just for animals?), but now that you have an unpredictable, high-energy toddler, it’s tempting.

You know your child better than anyone else. If you’re pondering a harness or leash, there’s probably a reason for it, and that reason is probably because you know that toddler can quickly get into trouble when he’s free to wander in public.

“Some toddlers have an excess of energy and speed and it only takes a minute for you to look away and he’ll be lost in a crowd,” says Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Discipline Solution. “If your little one is like this, and you’re going to be in a potentially hazardous situation, a toddler harness can be a great way to give him the freedom to walk on his own without the risk of having him wander off.”

In other words, no, you’re not a bad parent for considering a toddler harness. Sometimes, a harness is the best possible compromise between your child’s desire to move and your desire to keep him safe. But not everyone understands that fact, so your best bet is a “leash” that’s attached to a tiny backpack (some have stuffed animals on them), which seems slightly more humane than a straight harness. Be prepared for a few glares or even comments, but rest easy that your child will be safer -- until he can learn to stick with you in a crowd.

Plus, more from The Bump:

My Toddler Hates His Stroller. What Do I Do?

10 Annoying Toddler Habits

Biggest Toddler Challenges

Elizabeth Pantley, parenting expert and author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers, The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution, and The No-Cry Discipline Solution

Is It Wrong to Use a Toddler Harness or Leash?

Your child is not a dog! I have three children adn two of which were very active, but I would never ever put one of the leash/backpack things on my child. Get a good pair of running shoes.

laurena1015 |

Is It Wrong to Use a Toddler Harness or Leash?

My daughter had a little monkey "backpack" harness that she LOVED when she was 2-3. When we were out (and I also had an infant), it was much safer than having her running loose. She preferred it to holding my hand because it gave her a little more freedom. My second daughter didn't like it, so I didn't use it with her, but I think it was a really nice thing.

trfw3 |

Is It Wrong to Use a Toddler Harness or Leash?

It's not a matter of your child being a dog or not it is strictly a safety issue and a decision you as a parent make.

wmsander |

Is It Wrong to Use a Toddler Harness or Leash?

this is a great article because it made me look at the other side of it. No their not a dog, but just as hyper and active as a new pup. My daughter would run around the store and I did more chasing than shopping. I hardly took her out with me because of this. The backpack harness thing is a great idea. I will think about buying one of these with my newcomer if I need to. Thanks bump

mschocolatedrop |

Is It Wrong to Use a Toddler Harness or Leash?

I don't think it's wrong to use a backpack/leash. Your child isn't going to do what you want them to do 24/7 and it's very hard to hold their hand every single second you're out. Let's say you're in the mall and your child is very energetic and active, should you look away or focus on something else for a moment and that exact moment they happen to slip out of your hand..they could go running off and unfortunately as easy as it is to run right after them, it's possible something could happen like a crowd nearby to lose them in, or worse yet stairs. It's not about your child "being a dog", it's knowing who your child is and making a decision based on that child's activity levels for their safety. Some people will need the back packs, and others won't. Every child is different, and every parent needs to make their own decision.

AlliM3191 |