Yes, I'm a terrible mother. I put my 3 year old on my leash. So leave all the bad comments you want about what a terrible thing this is. I will simply ignore them. I know what is best for me and my child- you don't- so get over it.
I love my 'toddler leash'. It has rarely gotten use- but as we vacationed last week I found I LOVE this thing.
The leash I'm talking about are those cute little monkey or dog backpacks you can get at pretty much any store that sells kids stuff (I got mine at Tar.get or Mei.jer). Check it out here. Ok, so maybe harness is a better word. I originally purchased the leash/harness last spring as an option for my then 2.5 year old to get around without me worrying about where she was. She was starting to outgrow the idea of being in a stroller all the time- wanting to walk around stores and places like the zoo. I mainly had her wear it when 1) I didn't want to be worried about teaching the lesson of staying close to mommy (like at the zoo) and 2) When the games of hide and seek in the clearance racks got really annoying (and slightly worrisome).
I only used it a few times here at home as we went out and about. For the most part, I tried to just teach Izzy that she needed to stay close to mommy or hold onto the shopping cart or whatever.
Well last week we went on a glorious vacation to Mexico with Paul's immediate family and another family- like 15 people all together. It was great. I had made the decision to not bring a stroller with us. Izzy hardly uses them, especially for short spurts of time. She loves walking around and exploring. It was an annoying bulky thing that I could just leave home (being 29 weeks pregnant and travelling made me very space and bulk conscientious). My only concern was what to do during those unpredictable lines at the ticket counter, security, customs, and immigration. You never know what you are going to find- long lines with crazy amount of jet lagged tourists or short and sweet breeze right through. I decided the monkey would be the best option. I didn't want to take a chance at her disobeying me by not staying close (An international airport is not the time or the place to learn that lesson). I wanted her to be free to move, but only so far. And she wasn't confined to a stroller that we would have to push around and lug everywhere.
I love my little monkey leash.
We hit major long lines in Cancun airport. It took us 2 hours to get through customs and immigration- standing in those long windy zig zag lines. On our way out of the country we had another long 45 minute wait at the ticket counter. Izzy (and all the other kids we brought with us) did phenomenally. She never complained. Never acted out. She had freedom to walk around and visit with her cousins. She could sit and rest on a suitcase or on her daddy's shoulder's when she got tired. But I always knew right where she was. No risk getting lost the tangled web of people.
It was peaceful (as peaceful as 2 hour long waits in a stuffy airport terminal can be). I didn't worry. I didn't have to push a stroller around and through security (do you know the pain that is? you have to fold it all up, discard anything you have in the stroller so it can fit through the x-ray machine, then load it up again...its a pain).
I love my monkey leash. I recommend it to anyone travelling with a kid aged 2-5 or so. No stroller bulk. No worries.
Yeah, you get some weird comments and looks because you do have your child on a leash. But, safety is worth it, right!?
Check out more Things to Love at The Diaper Diaries.