Along with every other decision in the parenting world, parents walking their children around on leashes get judged. “Why are you treating your child like a dog?” Or “Stop being lazy and just watch your kid!” Or even “You shouldn’t have children if you can’t handle them.” You know the sort. Anyhow, I bought my kid a leash.
Boo is a toddler. This joyful time in life comes with many positives, but there are also new, challenging waters to navigate. By definition, toddlers can walk, but 100%, accident-free walking is still a ways off. Let me put it this way: Boo is clumsy. She is also a little defiant sometimes – if she is in a grumpy mood, or really can’t resist whatever it is she wants to do, or sometimes just because she thinks it’s funny. And fear of heights? Apparently that doesn’t kick in until later. Toddlers have no concept of mortality.
In my post about conquering McAfee’s Knob, I wrote about the difficulties of hiking with a toddler. They want to walk, but sometimes it just isn’t safe to let them. For instance, we frequently find ourselves in this type of situation. Not exactly toddler friendly.
Anyhow, I am all about giving Boo some freedom, allowing her to explore her world, and burn off some excess energy (Read more about that here), but in the hiking world, sometimes complete freedom really isn’t a great idea. I cringe at the idea of Boo tripping over her own feet and falling off a mountain. Or racing to the edge of a cliff in a moment of defiance. Yeah, I don’t even want to think about it.
So now we have a leash. After a lot of hunting around (and realizing that toddler rock climbing harnesses are difficult to find AND out of my price range), we chose the Zicac Toddler Safety Harness. I like that this harness is very adjustable, uses buckles (instead of velcro) to fasten, and has a detachable leash. As a bonus, we chose the frog harness (which happens to come in a not-so-subtle shade of florescent green) making Boo easier to see if the need ever arises (you just never know).
We have yet to actually use the leash because we haven’t needed to, but we want her to consider the harness as part of her regular hiking gear. She seems to be adjusting just fine!
So, my take on toddler leashes? If it gives your toddler some freedom and yourself a little peace of mind, I’m all for it!