12 April 2012

Little life

So Rob and I discussed before about whether or not we were going to use reins on Theo. I'm not sure where I stand on the whole reins thing, I know I had them when I was little and they were the full on harness type ones. But somewhere in my mind, for some unknown reason I am telling myself that reins aren't good, or 'not the done thing' anymore, or just simply not cool...

I don't know why I care about what people think so much, I guess it's because it always seems as though every parenting decision you make can come under fire from every different side, and everyone ALWAYS has an opinion.

We have always followed our instincts with Theo, since he was born, not because we made that choice, but because you know that's what we instinctively did. We have somehow fallen into that 'attachment parenting' bracket, which is fine by me as I do agree with a lot of the views, but never really bothered to think I'm following one parenting styles or not (to be honest I didn't even know that there were so broadly different parenting style you could 'follow' or that there was something called attachment parenting until it was pointed out to me) we've always sort of got on with things the way they were (with freak outs from time to time about whether we were doing the right thing or not of course!)

But now for some reason I am a little concerned about what people what think about us if we used reins on Theo. We want to use them because he hates being in his pram and even the ergo after a while and just wants to be out and free. That's fine by me, but my gosh is he quick, and I would be so scared about him running off and getting lost/hurt/stolen (I know I know) and in our heads I think just having an extra security of a strap we could hold on and guide him with would put some of those worries to bed. I don't know why I think reins are a bad thing, they are there for the child's safety, but I guess it could feel a little like you are putting a leash on them like a pet? But in my eyes it's no worse than constraining them in the pram that they clearly don't want to be in. Or are there other safety issues that I haven't looked into or realised? I certainly wouldn't ever yank Theo back or pull him along on them (these are just extreme examples of the ways I think they could be dangerous or hurtful to the child!) So for me I don't see why I'm creating an issue in my head about it, or let alone writing this post about it. But as always I need to write things down and over analyze them...

So, we have seen these cute little bags:


They are little toddler backpacks that have a strap that you can hold onto. I like the idea that the backpack is the child's own and we can put his little snacks, toys and books in it for the day, but also doubles as a little safety feature with the strap (not shown) that you can hold onto. I don't feel like Theo will feel he's not free wearing it, but I just know that if he did decide to bolt I could get him before he goes too far, and guide him back to us. And they are pretty fun looking right?!

So I think I've made a decision, also with a little help from Fritha who made me feel like it's a OK thing to do! And luckily they are on offer at Boots at the moment...

But any advice or experience with using on or reins would be greatly appreciated, in case I'm missing so vital mum knowledge...

by the way this isn't a sponsored post

13 comments :

  1. I'm with you on that one. We hardly ever use our buggy, I think it might be just one of those things with early walkers - the need to be free!! Bug is so quick, it's scary, and he's used to his freedom, so pavements and roads aren't something he's used too. We bought these little bat wings with a strap, so when we go out and about in town, I can just leave the bat wings on and click the strap in when we get out of the car. I've never had to pull him back, as he's very good at holding my hand, but it's just a relief that if he does wiggle free or goes wondering, he won't wonder far. I'm really pleased we got them. I have one of these little life back packs on our amazon wishlist, but tried the bat wings as they were cheap and I wanted to see how we both felt about the reins...I'm glad I did, check them out and good luck! x
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Toddler-Safety-Harness-Backpack-BATMAN/dp/B0063E7NNY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334235382&sr=8-1

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    1. oh good I'm glad I'm not the only one! yeh he just seems to unhappy in his buggy now, especially going in and out of shops, and as soon as I take him out and he can potter around he's happy! he's not much of a hand holder, but i want to teach him that if he's walking around with me he needs to hold it! but thanks for the advice will go check it out! but i've definitely decided we're going to go for it now! x

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  2. I use reins on my toddler, purely because the thought of him running off frightens the life out of me! He is really fast and has no fear of things like traffic/strange dogs/open water. He would quite literally just go everywhere he shouldn't if I didn't have them, what I do though is I wrap the strap around my wrist and hold his hand as we walk. I'm only then using the reins if he decides to leave go of my hand. Though I use a harness type reins not the back pack type. You shouldn't feel bad about whichever you choose at the end of the day if it doesn't harm your child and it makes you more at ease then I don't see a problem.

    Hope this helps x

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    1. yeh it's scary isn't it how fast they are! that's a good idea about having around your wrist, I just need to get him to start holding my hand a bit more! But I'm excited to get it and let him have a bit more freedom.

      Thanks for the help! x

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  3. We used one of these - used the strap to loop aroiund my wrist and held hands too, then if he did wriggle free we had a back up strap and chiddlers got used to handholding. Strap very handy for lifting them up if they trip, and also for carrying them over roads if required! Can't fit much in the bag mind, but the hood bit is hilarious. Very much like taking a child dressed like a bumble bee for walkies. We never got any strange looks, but I know it's something that parents are wary of - personally would rather have my child on a leash and safe than under a bus.

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    1. hah good point, I think I'd prefer the former too! They are such cute designs, that I think if people were looking perhaps it would be more at the cute backpack rather than the fact you are holding onto a strap!

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  4. I just bought the dinosaur one for Arlo last week! I thought it might come in handy as we live near very busy roads, and also for when we go into London (I'm not sure I'd want him walking free somewhere with that amount of foot traffic).

    So far, he's not been too keen to have it on, but we've only tried it around the house and I'm sure he won't notice it as much when we are out and about with more distractions around. I know what you mean about it feeling like a restraint, but I kind of feel that way about the pushchair these days too. As soon as we reach a park or 'safe' area, I unstrap him from the pushchair and let him run free. It almost feels a bit like he's a dog on a lead. Reins, sling or pushchair, he's being restrained in some way. Until I can teach him about road safety, I think it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.

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    1. oh cool! Yeh they do seem handy, I just haven't seen that many people using reins recently, or maybe I just wasn't looking out for them, so I got paranoid that nobody uses them anymore and that they were a bad choice or something silly like that! but now lots of people say they use them, and it makes sense! it is best for them in terms of safety, and being able to walk and be free makes Theo happy! but thanks for the reassurance! x

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  5. Spider, no shark, no bee or bat... so cute. Are you coming to visit at the weekend?

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    1. hah I know! can't decided which one, just have to see which is the cheapest! Not sure about this weekend, skype about it?

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  6. Do it. I'm defo going for reins when Stanley speeds up. It is a no brainer in my eyes - hadn't even thought about whether it was the 'right' parent choice. It makes sense. If you start now too it will feel normal for him to have his little backpack on - save the tantrums hopefully later. brighton is a busy place like bristol, the streets are full of people, dog shit, traffic etc. it'd be different if you lived somewhere quieter...abbi do what feels right - don't worry about the lookers. he's a boy! he's bound to dash off!!! x

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    1. Yeh going to go get one tomorrow! Our journey into walking freedom begins!

      I know its silly, but somewhere in the back of my mind I thought I would be judged for using them, like it was the wrong thing to do. I guess you are always sort of wary of what people think, but really using reins is the right thing to do as it keeps them safe, but lets them have freedom and explore. I just need to stop worrying what other people think (story of my life waaaah)

      xx

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  7. sounds like he takes after his Grandad, likes to walk everywhere as I am told I did by Grandma.
    I think you did have reins but if I recall we did'nt use them that much.
    One thing we notice more than ever these days is that too many parents let their kids run wild (no it's not me just getting old and crotchety) it just seems they don't care so much about others, so a little guide is not such a bad thing. Likewise for Theos own safety and your pease of mind I think it's a good idea.

    Dad x

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