We were flying to Kentucky in September, 2010. The boys were nearly 8 months old. As we waited in the terminal, a woman made her way over to tell us that she had twin boys who were 4 years old. She went on and on, telling us that flying isn't exactly fun an exciting with two babies, but it isn't that bad and it gets better the older they get. She shared lots of tips with us including:
That's right, the toddler leash. An item that I'm sure I've spent moments in my life making fun of.
Now, this woman was not a weirdo or anything. She was really friendly, nice, calm, kind, normal, sympathetic for us.....you know. She was straightforward about the leash and the judgmental eyes when in use. She even compared it to a dog leash as many of us would. She "trained" her kids to get excited when she brought the leash out because they knew they would get to go out and have some freedom.....Dog-like, huh? She didn't want them to hate it and fight it because it was meant for their safety.
The point the nice lady was making: The leash was great to use in airports.
So now I'm feeling the temptation and here's my take:
- It is a safe way for your child to feel freedom in a crowded place or in a place where strollers are not ideal. 4 feet of freedom is way cooler than 1 foot (hand holding).
- It is safer than hand holding in crowded areas, especially when toddler seriously does not want his hand held. (My instinct here does tell me to say, "so what, teach the kid to get over it and hold is dang momma's hand!) But sometimes fighting through a meltdown isn't desired.
- It would be great to have if one of us (my husband or myself or any family member or friend, really) wants to take the little koalas out on an adventure sans spouse/parent. Leashes (and nature) cannot prevent them from running opposite ways but it can ensure they only go 4 feet in that direction!
- Now that more airlines may consider the new restrictions on gate checking strollers, I'm not about to carry a kid all around a terminal or make him walk that far, when we are probably running late and needing to run, anyway. I think it is just American right now. Read their new policy here. My husband and I could each push an umbrella stroller around the airport for sure but the double-wide is way better, and though pretty awesomely collapsible, it is still over 20 lbs. Here's ours:
|We bought ours used on craigslist.com but here's the Amazon Listing|
So if we are at a cousin's soccer game or other open area, my boys will be running hand free and leash free. If we are on the go, their butts will be in a stroller. But it sure would be nice to let them have a little safe freedom. For example, at the zoo, they need to get out of the stroller and explore. If it is a crowded Saturday morning, and momma or dada turns to check out a cool giraffe for one moment, that could be one moment too long. It is not realistic to hold a toddler's hand for an extended period of time but even if we were to do so, the Texas heat would certainly cause sweaty hands to slip away.
- Judgmental stares.
- Longevity. I can't imagine that we'd use the things for years and years but who knows! haha!
- Frequency of use. How often are we in an area that's ideal for the child leash? The answer to this could be "often enough when it comes to safety!"
I bought these on a whim at Buy Buy Baby today.
And tested them out on the boys:
But if I truly commit, I think I'll return those and go with something more "big boy" like this:
And by the way, it is really called a child/toddler harness or harness buddy. But we all know it is a leash. =)
I want to know what you think! Am I missing something here? Am I being overly protective? Spoiling them?