Pros and cons of a toddler harness

When it comes to using toddler harnesses, most parents who use them do so out of a concern for the safety of their little ones. A harness keeps toddlers out of busy streets, away from dense crowds, and within a parent or guardian’s sight at all times. And because of how harnesses fit on the body, they allow a gentler tug away from danger than you’d get pulling on a child’s arm. Sure, toddler harnesses look a little funny, but is there another argument to be made against them?

Pros

  • Baby can’t run more than a few feet away: It might look silly, but a toddler harness is one way to guarantee that Baby won’t be able to take off the minute you turn your head. Toddlers are small, yes, but they can also be extremely fast. If your child is prone to darting off, getting curious about things out of reach, or becoming distracted, a harness could help you keep track of her.
  • Parents can have peace of mind: If you’re walking along a dangerous or crowded place like a street, mall, or amusement park, a toddler harness might provide the peace of mind you need to go about your day without any moment of extreme panic that you’ve lost your child. Parents of children with developmental delays often find them especially helpful.
  • You can juggle multiple responsibilities: It’s not always possible to physically keep track of your child by holding her hand, and not all children are willing to hold hands as they get older. Using a harness will allow you to have a hold on your child while holding groceries, pushing a stroller, or handling other children. 

Cons

  • Baby can’t run more than a few feet away: Restriction is a naturally frustrating feeling, and your toddler might want to throw a few extra tantrums your way if she doesn&;t feel that she is able to do whatever she wants.
  • It might make it harder to learn not to wander off: With children prone to running off, using a toddler harness might not solve the problem. When the harness is on, the child knows she can&;t go anywhere, but when the harness is off, she knows she has the temporary freedom to go anywhere and might want to take advantage of it.
  • You could get some weird looks: No matter how cute the harness design you pick is, it might still provoke some strange looks or rude comments from passersby. However, as a parent, you might already be getting used to “feedback” from strangers. When you’re toting around a small person whose actions you have limited control over, you’re likely to get some weird looks at some point or another. You have to pick your battles!  

At the end of the day, all any parent wants is for their child to be safe. Different methods work for different people, and you’re the only one who can determine if a toddler harness fits your needs. If your child is old enough, you might even be able to talk it over with her and see what she thinks. Maybe Baby would like to use one to be able to walk around wherever you go, or maybe she would prefer to work a little harder on staying close to you and following instructions. If it works for you and Baby, that’s all that matters.

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