Monday, April 06, 2009

To harness or not to harness...

that is the question of the day. We have been thinking of our Disney trip and how much Lauren likes to be out of the stroller. The idea of Little Miss walking around among Disney sized crowds makes me cringe. You moms know that even if you glance away for a second at a mall play center, they disappear behind play equipment and out of your sight.

I used to tease my mom relentlessly about putting me on a "leash" as a child and how I'll be forever scarred from it. In reality I only know she used a harness from photos...I don't even remember it. Mom, the truth is out now and I guess the teasing is over!

I never really liked the idea of using a harness, but that's before I was a parent. Now that I see first hand how quickly Little Miss can disappear, it may be more of a necessity and less of a choice.

Here's the two harnesses I found. This one is from WallyWorld and can be used as a standard harness or on the wrist...

This one is from Tarjay and is disguised as a cute puppy dog backpack...

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with either of these and how they worked out for you. I bought both and I think I'll try them on her and see which one fits better. Based on that and any advice I get here, one of these will be going to Disney with us.

I'll leave you all with a few pics from last week. Lauren and I joined a friend for a tour and lunch at a local olive mill. They harvest olives and bottle their own extra virgin olive oil.


Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

LOVE the photos..
I didn't use those on any of my children but I sure do see a lot of them out there..
When are you guys going to Disney..
We are going May 3 -5..
Have a great week..

KHM said...

Harness away. We use the monkey version of the doggie one you have and JJ loves that monkey. Hugs it in the car.

Course she hates being leashed, but we still have not taught her to hold our hands in parking lots reliabley, and better leashed than, well you know.

fuzzandfuzzlet said...

I say whatever keeps her safe.

Another Disney tip. Have her wear a necklace with a visible tag that has your cell number on it.

Esther's mom said...

I haven't (as of yet) used a harness with my daughter, but can see the benefit. My daughter, Esther, is so quick that I know in a place like Disneyland, I would lose sight of her in the crowd. So my vote, just for peace of mind, would be to use one. Love the puppy dog one! Lauren is such a cutie!!!

Ksmom said...

We always take an umbrella stroller. It is quick to fold up for rides on the train and buses. Youc an also store your stuff on the back or in a basket underneath. I can't imagine going to Disney without a stroller. My daughter would rather kick back in the stroller than walk the whole day. When she is walking, she kwows she has to hold our hand. I'm just not a fan of leashes. But you know your own child and what is best. Try it out at malls or other crowded places.
We go to Disney at least yearly and I really have not seen many children on a leash. Most are walking or taking advantage of their stroller.

Catherine said...

I'd say do whatever is best for your little one. My only thoughts about which one are:

- how hot will it be if she has the stuffy on her back?
- if she decides to go in the stroller for a bit will she be able to sit comfortably with it on or will it mean putting it on and taking it off each time?
Just a couple of thoughts from a mom-to-be who is learning from you! :o)

Joan said...

We just got back from Disney World. My girls are older and stuck close by at least one of the adults in our group. But, I did see a few kids with the back pack looking leases on. We rented a double stroller for the day too. We had a 6 year old, 4 year old and 1 year old and the stroller was used alot. It was $31 for the day. It had a nice canopy on it too.

Have fun in Disney!

Anna said...

We took my son when he was 18 months to Carowinds Ammusement park and I was so scared of losing him/having him wander off b/c it does happen in a split second other places...I knew with crowds and lines, the best option for us was to use a leash/harness. It was the best thing we could have done! People were coming up to me asking me where I got it b/c they wanted one, too! He felt freedom because he was allowed down by himself, but at the same time, I felt at peace because I knew that he could only go so far. It was a win/win. By they time we took him to Disney, he was a little older and knew not to wander off, but we still had little taggies made to put on him with his name, our name, and our cell # so that if we were separated, we could find each other. We now have a 17 month old daughter, and the next time we go to Disney, I'll have my harness in hand!

AJ's Mama said...

My thought are the dog is SO cute but might get hot. And if the one that can go around her wrist will stay there (if she can't take it off) somehow it seems less like a leash when it's on a wrist! I have never been a fan of harnesses for children and have never need one of my 2 1/2 year old son BUT we haven't taken him to Disneyland yet either and I can totally see the point there. Maybe just see which one she tolerates best. ANd who knows. When you are there maybe you won't really even feel like you need it. Or maybe it will be your new best friend!

Lisa~~ said...

Cute Lauren piccies.

We used both the simple harness and a backpack type, depending on the situation. Maisie was so fast and using the harness kept her safe. We did get comments from people, both good and bad. Europeans seem to use them a lot more than people here so when we traveled Europeans were always positive and telling us they did the same thing, the Americans, it was a mixed bag.

The nice thing about the simple harness is that we used it at the beach and pool because we could just tuck the leash in the back of her bathing suit and she could keep the harness on as getting it wet was no problem. When we went other places, Maisie felt like a big girl as I would put her snack and water in the backpack and she would carry it around.

My thought was to keep Maisie safe and if others didn't like it...tough!

Anonymous said...

I have the puppy dog one - but gave up using it since everytime I did use it my daughter would see something, take off at a run - as soon as I'd feel the tug she would already have been pulled down. The 'leash' is underneath, I think it would be safer if it was on top.
I just got her used to holding my hand & she has actually become quite good with that.

Anonymous said...

We just came back from a trip to Disneyland. We took a stroller for our 20 month old daughter. I was amazed at all the children we encountered with the backpack type harnesses. I finally asked a mom where they had purchased it. Tarjhey. : )While we did have a stroller, there were some times where it just would have been nice to let the baby have a bit more "freedom" and the harness would have been great for that! I am a mom of older kids, and I thought I'd NEVER put a "leash" on my child, but the day before we went to Disney we were at Fashion Island doing some shopping, and wittnessed a frantic mother, looking for her son, who had gone missing. After about 10 LONG minutes, he was found safe, but it was something I will never forget. I can still hear the panic and fear in her voice, calling his name over and over again. After we came home, we did indeed buy the little backpack harness from Tarjhey, and we have tried it out at our local mall. It is not heavy at all, so really didn't add any bulk or generate any extra warmth. The baby happily went back into the stroller, while still wearing the harness, so it was easy (we tucked the strap safely away) and she was comfortable. I say, as a mom, you've got to do what you need to do to feel safe and to keep your daughter safe. If others question your methods- that's fine for them. You are worried only about your child. Trust your instincts and have fun at Disney!

Cora said...

I would take both. The little doggie is really cute but does look like it might get a little warm. I think harnesses are great they give toddlers the freedom to explore that they need at that age while not letting them get distracted and wonder off.
My mom used them on my sisters(twins) when they were little and it was a life saver in parking lots especially.
Whatever you decide I am sure you will have a blast at Disney.

Sammons said...

We saw tons of little ones wearing these on our last Disney trip and at Sea World as well. Most of the kids were wearing a monkey version of your pink puppy. It is such an awesome idea, the kids all looked so happy and could get exercise and walk up to the characters with out being stuck in a stroller. Not one of them looked like they were "leashed". It is fun, safe, healthy and just a great idea. I say thumbs up for the puppy backpack, bring the other one just in case the puppy seems too hot. You can always return it when you get home if you don't end up needing it. And for sure bring an umbrella stroller or rent one at the park for a place to rest when her tired legs can't take any more walking. You are going to have such a fantastic trip! Take lots of pictures and if she ends up loving the characters make sure you have dinner at Goofy's kitchen one night. It's a lil pricey but you get such a huge amount of personal interaction with the characters that it is by far worth it. Have fun!!

Ani said...

Harness away - that's what we did when we went to Disney with a 28 month old... we also took our light stroller (umbrella but reclining) - it was a lifesaver.

I also put a bracelet on him with our phone number. Made me feel much safer since at the time he wasn't old enough to know the numbers.

Carol and Taylor said...

Just do it!

I used the puppy and bear from target...brown. They didn't have the cute pink at that time (2 yrs ago or more). My daughter loved it. Allowed her to get out of her stroller and walk around without my hyperventilating and having a heart attack.

A few occasions of T wandering off in stores got her leashed up all the time when we were out (I'm a single mom with a bad back...chasing after her doubled over trying to catch her almost did me in a couple times). She was so tiny, I didn't realize just how quickly I could lose sight of her. Images of her toddling off to the escalators struck the fear of God in me. Your stomache drops, you turn hot and cold, you feel like you're about to throw up, you loose the ability to think get the picture. The leash took away the worry and stress. When dirty, they hold up well by tossing them in the washing machine.

I'm a fla resident who grew up in the parks. Any Q's? Please feel free to email me. Are you staying "on campus" or off?

Hope you have a great time.

Ava Baby said...

I did use a harness on Ava while we were doing the CA park extravaganza last year (also shortly after her 2nd birthday) and would definitely do it again. I have one that I got through that is a little pink purse and goes over her shoulder and around her waist. I then put some pretzels in the purse and she loved that. If I remember, I'll show it to you on Saturday and you're more than welcome to borrow it.

Linda said...

Isn't it amazing how your Mom really was not a monster, but someone who loved her girl and living in New York could not risk you running out into traffic... You are a true Mom now thinking how to keep Lauren safe no matter what. Next thing will be the wooden spoon and your fear of that!!!! Mom

redmaryjanes said...

I tell you, she is SO CUTE! My kids always stayed in the stroller, so I didn't have to make this decision. But I tell you, I would do anything to keep them safe.

Sending love to your Mom!!

Lisa and Tate said...

The last picture just cracks me up! Love how she is standing with her legs crossed.... SOOO cute!

My vote.... descretely harness... puppy dog all the way! Lovin that enough I just might have to check Tarjay.


skugalskid said...

I used a Harness when I took my Nephew to Disney the first time. He was between 2 and 3. One thing I remeber most about that trip was this little voice saying all day "Dont drop my Leash."

Your daughter is beautiful
have a great trip
"Aunt Cathy"

Emily said...

I love the second picture of Lauren!!!! Do I see modeling in your future, Lauren??? I hear America's Next Top Model is holding auditions soon!

Ivy said...

Hi, I am glad you posted this because last year we too went to Disney and I felt bad that I had to keep the baby in the stroller. She was too fast on the ground and it was way too crowded.
I saw a Mom with 3 older kids all harnessed with those puppy backpacks. I would definitely by one for a trip like that.