Last month I broke down and bought a toddler leash-backpack combo for my child. Yep, I’m officially that mom. Before I had a kid I never was against the idea, though I do remember seeing parents with their kids on leashes and quietly judging them because the idea of putting a child on a leash seemed silly.
Then my baby rolled over for the first time. Which quickly progressed to rolling across the room, army crawling, crawling and then running, completely by-passing the walking phase. I knew I would have my hands full with my free-spirited child. Now that he is a toddler he doesn’t want to be in his stroller and will only hold my hand for a few minutes. Trying to go to public places has become difficult, to put it nicely.
Pros and Cons of the Toddler Leash
Toddler leash, safety backpack or child harness – regardless of the name, the goal is the same: keeping your child close by and safe. I did my research via mom blogs on the pros and cons of toddler leashes and realized the reasons not to are mostly based on how others view the idea. No, I do not consider my son a dog. I don’t ignore him when I am out in public. I don’t tug on it, or pull him. And yes, I can think of many other ways to embarrass him than a toddler leash.
A Toddler Leash in the Wild
I found one online that is an adorable toddler backpack with an owl so the leash part can be taken off.
Two days after the toddler leash arrived we tried it out at the Wednesday Night Market in Santa Rosa. (Which, by the way- – have you been this year? I am loving the new Courthouse Square. The grass area is perfect for picnics, dancing, and listening to live music. Most importantly for Sonoma County moms, it is a proper beer and wine garden where you can enjoy a glass while hanging with your family.)
My husband put my son’s jacket and toddler snacks into the backpack, making sure he helped zip it up. The backpack snaps on his chest much like his car seat. He didn’t even notice it once it was on. My husband and I walked around the farmer’s market section and we were able to slowly reel him in before he grabbed a table leg, or gum on the ground, or attempted to run after a dog he saw in the crowd.
All Smiles in Sonoma County
So far I have only seen the positive side of having a toddler leash. We have received smiles from people walking past and no dirty looks from child leash haters. It has been a great buy because it allows my husband and me to feel sane. We are very social people who love going out to events, restaurants, concerts, and parades. We didn’t want to compromise that by never leaving the house, or going out and him throwing a tantrum because he didn’t want to be stuck in his stroller.
People may be all smiles when they see us, but I know there is more than one person silently judging us. All I have to say is… “Just wait until you have a toddler.”