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what is your opinion on toddler "mommy extensions" (aka leashes)?

i didn't really care for them, but my 13 month old is wild! she is so curious, runs everywhere (if we are out and she is not in the ergo), will follow strangers (because she loves the attention), and is just fun-loving and enthusiastic about everything! i don't use it all the time, but for things like walking around a carnival, festival, or the boardwalk, where it is overly crowded. she has the elmo one (she loves elmo). it is a plush toy on the front that she can play with and hug. i know i've gotten looks, but i would rather be safe then sorry. what do you think? do you use them? bash away if you must, but i feel secure in my decision. i was just wondering what other mommies think/do.

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Asked by kyriesmommy13 at 10:57 AM on Aug. 4, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 12 (826 Credits)
Answers (74)
  • i don't like them, but i've never been in the situation where i was worried about my dd running away from me, she is a hyper child but she listens to me and holds my what you gotta do to protect your child

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 11:01 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I am very torn on this one. I hate the idea of them but like you I worry about very crowded environments. My daughter is 2 and loves to walk on her own. We always hold hands but she tries to squirm out of it sometimes and I think we might benefit from a toddler leash but haven't used one. The closest I have come is when we use a public restroom - I will unhook my purse strap and wrap it around her waist so I can go without having to wrangle her at the same time (she loves to climb under the door).

    Answer by psugal at 11:03 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • My answer is related to the # of kids I had...

    I have two hands, so I always felt that I could hold onto two children. While holding their hands, I could feel the direction their body was leaning in, and really came to get a very strong feel for what they were likely to do. I suspect the kid leashes interrupt that connection.

    That said, I HATE watching little kids running ahead of their parents... particularly beside roads, because those little munchkins are super-distractable, and fast, and if they get a sudden urge to look at the sparkly centre line, there is simply no way a parent can reach them before they've made it to the road. I prefer kid leashes to squished kids.

    If every single time the child is on its own two feet out anywhere, one hand is being held by a parent, the possibilities for getting into trouble are severely limited. If the adult available doesn't have hands for the kids, well...better safe, eh?

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:03 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • My daughter is not walking yet, but I have one. MIL bought it thinking it was just a pink poodle backpack (she doesn't speak much english) Anyway, I obviously haven't used it, but I'm not against the idea entirely and I understand why people use them--FOR SAFETY. I can't look down on any parent for doing what they feel is necessary to keep their child safe and happy.

    Answer by BridgetC140 at 11:05 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • i havent used one but my 2 year old daughter doesnt like strangers, she holds my hand or makes me hold her when were out, if i put her down she says "no mommy people", or if she wants down she puts her hand out and says "hanny mommy cause theres people". hahaha its cute, but if she was wild and ran off i would definately use one, keeping her safe is more important than those stupid looks people give you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:07 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • In certain situations they are fine, places like the ones you mentioned, busy fairs, carnivals, etc. If it`s just you and her going for a walk to the park, they`d be less appropriate, but I do feel they have their place, and they would be especially handy for parents who had a bsuy toddler or preschooler and a baby. Some people will always judge parents who use them, but if something did happen they`d judge that too, so like the previous poster said, do what you have to do to keep your child safe.

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 11:07 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I've never used them. My children always held my hand, were in a stroller or cart. I would never let my child out of my sight in public. If i have a child that simply won't hold my hand at some point though, i would use them. Safety is more important.

    While 13 month is still young, as she gets older, you'll need to teach her things to keep her safe. Don't let her run wild as she grows up. I have a feind who lets her boys,and the have almost been hit by cars in parking lots on numerous occassions, and have run off in stores and she's had to go find them too many times to count. The boys think it's funny. The mom, she thinks it's just b/c they won't hold her hand, i fear some stranger is going to target her boys one day while seeing this behavior in a store, and she'll regret it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:09 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I never used one but don't have a problem with them. I had 3 kids all right in a row and only 2 hands. Holding everyone's hand was not an option even when one was in a stroller. I had my son (then 2) dart away and right for the road while walking down our street. I had to leave my girls (then 3 and 1) and go chase him before he got run over. We stopped going for walks and to the park after that unless my husband was coming with us. So for about 3 years we never left the house when my husband was at work. Made for boring years for all of us.
    But they learned to hold hands and behave in public eventually. I don't even hold my 3yo's hands in most places and my other 3 kids (now 9, almost 8 and 6 1/2) walk ahead/behind/where ever although my 6yo still likes to hold my hand.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:24 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I really don't like them. Ivy's all over the place too if she's not in her sling or stroller. She loves to follow other children or people with something she finds interesting. But since I'm usually in no rush, I just follow and keep up. I'd be silly to expect her to stay calm and still everywhere we go. So I give her the freedom. My cousins are about her age and all 3 of them have those animal looking "backpack" harnesses. (though you can't fit a damn thing in them lol) Ivy liked that it was a monkey and you can wear it. So my aunt just got her a puppy one. I appreciated her thought, but I just feel very wrong about tying up a toddler. I even kinda remember my mom doing it to me and hating it. She wears the backpack alone sometimes. But I guess I'll save the tail for really packed places like you said. I totally believe better safe than sorry. I'd just avoid using that when I can. I haven't yet.

    Answer by jus1jess at 11:32 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I used to think they were awful... child leashe....

    Then my friend had the most hyper child I have ever seen. That kid needs a leashe bc it give him the freedom to run a little, but protects him from tearing off when he shouldn't. It helps her a lot. So now I don't think anything of if.

    Answer by Niki_sd at 11:32 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

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