thread: What do you really think of those backpacks with a 'lead' attached?

  1. #37
    Registered User

    Aug 2006
    Our house, in the middle of our street

    I bought one for dd3 - because I can't keep her in her pram - no matter how tight i do the harness up- Hannah Houdini is her nickname. I felt guilty the first time I used it, and thought I'd get nasty stares. I couldn't believe the amount of people that smiled and said 'how cute'. I'm finding now though that i don't tend to use it. She likes to pick up the pace now, and if i can't keep up, she ends up falling over.

  2. #38

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.

    We bought the monkey one for DD1. She really liked it and would often want to wear it around the house. She was (and still is) and independent one, rarely liked being in the pram. Most of the time we used it at the shopping centre or if I was just walking up the end of the street to the local park. First time we used it another family came up to us and asked about it. 1/2 an hour later we saw them with the dog version on their toddler, they liked the concept so much the went and bought on straight away. I did stop using it though after an incident where DH tugged to hard on and she fell onto her hum screaming. Not sure what really happened, but the death stares we got were just awful, I just did not feel comfortable after then.

    Now bubs looks as though she is going to be a bolter as well. Spent ages chasing her through Lincraft as she trashed the place and went missing multiple times. She is starting to get cranky in the pram, also it is not always practical to be dragging out the pram at every shop. So we have pulled out monkey and we will see how she goes.

    I notice there is a unicorn and a giraffe now, so it is tempting to update it.

  3. #39
    Registered User
    Add fionas on Facebook

    Apr 2007
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC

    Oh man, I'm going to get one.

    I watch toddlers walking down the street holding their parent's hand and I am so envious!

    DD simply will not do that. She will hold my hand for literally 10 seconds and then she wants to run in front. Not walk - run. Into traffic. Or other people's driveways. Yes, it's cute when she happens across an old couple sitting on their front verandah and she starts waving at them and doing a dance but the running into traffic is not so cute!

    Running after a toddler when you have a dodgy pelvis and then having to constantly pick her up so she doesn't run into the road or try to pick her up when she is lying on the footpath screaming and kicking is just not fun.

    Because I know how dangerous it is for DD not to have one, I'm really past caring what other people might think.

  4. #40
    Registered User

    Feb 2008
    Down Under

    Where do i get them?
    Astrid - where did you get yours? local?

  5. #41
    Registered User

    Nov 2006
    Western Sydney

    Here's a blast from the past - my Mum bought the bright orange plastic ones for my brothers who are a year and two years younger than me respectively, and my third brother also used one (who is 6 years younger than me). So she was using them 30 + years ago

    I'm guessing Mum got them because my brothers were bolters - I don't remember wearing one myself. Quite frankly I don't think she cared about comments but I'll have to ask her!

  6. #42
    Registered User

    Feb 2006
    Inner East, Melbourne

    my DD1 loves her puppy backpack. TBH i thought they looked awful before I found that I really needed something to give me security that she was still by my side in a shop.

    When you're standing paying for something with both hands opening your wallet, at least I know I can have a hold of her through the reins on my wrist.

    I found it actually liberating for DD1 who wanted to walk - great for her for exercise but gave me the security she was safe (away from the road or not running out of a shop etc).

    I actually only needed to use it for maybe 6 months until DD1 reached an age where she could talk and follow my instruction i.e. come back to mummy , please!! and the impulse for her to run away seemed to have lessened.

    My parents also loved it as it meant they could take her for a walk and feel secure they had control over her if they needed to. We would never have tension on the lead and when crossing the road, holding hands was/is insisted upon. It is just a safety net really.

  7. #43
    Registered User

    Aug 2008

    I think it depends how you present them. I've met one little guy who brought his in to kindy as a bit of a show and tell piece, wanted to wear it all day. TBH I have no idea why the family even owned one; he is the most placid kid, who loves his mummy way too much to escape. But he loved his puppy backpack and loved being taken for a walk - he thought of it as a toy. I love the independence that the backpack part gives them - most children at the bolting age are into collecting "things" - which I love to encourage.
    If it's something that is forced upon them, well, of course, that's different.

  8. #44

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.

    Where do i get them?
    Astrid - where did you get yours? local?
    Got mine at Target in Melbourne. I have seen one at the local Kmart down here. I think Mothers Direct now sell them online.

  9. #45
    Registered User

    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara

    I only used the wrist strap ones from time to time. My second one needed it the most and I would get the odd comment, but honestly I would rather listen to ignorant comments than have a dead or missing child. If anyone doesn't like them, then don't use them, but I fail to see how it is something to be judged for kwim? Surely the child's safety is paramount and if that means Mum find that a harness works best for her then so be it.

  10. #46
    Registered User

    Jun 2007
    Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne.

    i feel so much better having read this thread. i actually just bought a monkey one off ebay on friday and am waiting for it to arrive (there's heaps of different ones on there for those of you asking where to get one from) and was really nervous about being judged for using one- but as others have said, it's better than having a dead or injured child.

  11. #47
    Registered User

    Dec 2007

    We have just been overseas and used one for the 1st time.. It was fantastic. Having a toddler who wants to walk around while waiting in queues would have been unbearable without it!

    Then we got back to Brisbane, there were some backpackers who commented on how cool it was, LOL..

    My DD is also quite socialable and will just go to people, it is also peace of mind that I would feel if she is being tugged away..

    Yes, some might say it is like having a dog on a leash, but my DD's safety is much more important than what those people think..

  12. #48
    BellyBelly Member
    Add kitten2b on Facebook

    Feb 2005

    we have the green frog backpack - Fia loves the frog but was a little edgy when I attached the strap, she knows that she cannot run away now.

  13. #49
    Registered User

    Apr 2008
    The Purple House, Sydney

    Alright, I'm sold. I'm getting one.

    Reading this thread, it occured to me that maybe it's the way they are used as well? Noone likes to see a small child being dragged along by their backpack like they are a disobdiant animal- I don't even like seeing dogs treated like that. It seems most people use them like a safety catch- hold hands and keep the parental control, but have the piece of mind there that if they do bolt, they're not going very far.

    Bj, I loved your post. But unfortunately, i know people- actually, the same couple who commented on the backpack idea- that do see a playpen as akin to a dog cage, and just as bad as a 'toddler leash'. Probably cause for a whole other discussion, but I'm so looking forward to when they have kids of their own

  14. #50
    Registered User

    Nov 2005
    Ontario, Canada

    As a teen I remember thinking it was kind of weird to see kids on a "leash" but since having my own, I totally understand why parents decide to get these things. It keeps your child safe, and gives them some freedom too. Anyone with kids will understand, and those without kids might not understand, but I'll bet they'd look at you a little more strangely if your child was running wild and getting into dangerous situations.

  15. #51
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jun 2005
    Blue Mountains

    I'm not a fan, but at the same time would use one if I had to...if that makes sense. As for playpens.. not a fan of them either LOL.. they're just not very big, so seem a bit mean. Ours ended up around the tv We have an entire area/room gated off and babyproofed for when the kids need to be locked in somewhere LOL.

    With the leashes.. our 3 year old runs off a bit.. but I wouldn't ever want to restrain a 3yr old. What ages have you used them on? I've always thought they were for little toddlers like 18mths or something.

  16. #52
    Registered User

    Dec 2006
    In my own private paradise

    having grown up in a house where mum did FDC (back when FDC meant the kids going everywhere and being a real part of the family a lot of the time) i grew to appreciate the harnesses for some of the kids - there are some kids that really need that extra safety back up! i love the backpack ones that are available now, and i think they take so much of the stigma away from having your child on a "leash"

    mum looked after a couple of kids that bolted no matter what - one had cerebal palsy and simply had no concept of what was safe so she had ot have a harness unless she was seated in the trolley - this went right up until she was six and left care. her little brother had CP also, but he had no choice but to be in a pram or trolley as his was very severe

    another little girl was just "one of those kids". mum and dad live on the corner of a court, and A lived (and does again now) a few houses into the court. she was just one of those kids that didn't like restrictions - by the time she was three, her parents had approached every family in the court about her - she could get out of their house and yard no matter what restrictions they put in place. so A was given run of the court - down to our front gate. everyone in the court loved (and still love) her, and she would just pop by, visit etc, and when it came close to dinner time, one of us would escort her home. this little girl could get out of ANY situation, and decided one day to do a runner on mum in spotlight - she was missing for 45 minutes, police called, all management and staff, customers etc looking for her. she was hiding under the material tables, moving from one table to the next following mum cso she just didnt' want to come out - she was 3 - after that, she had to have a harness on her to stop her wandering off! kids like this need to be restrained to a degree for their own safety. thankfully A was the kind of kid to want to follow mum and found it amusing to see mum look for her - but in that amount of time, anything could have happened...

    FWIW - A is now 22 and only grew out of her escapism behaviour in her late teens - she was just that kid that didn't like barriers all her life. i think she's only really settled down since being in a car accident in which her best friend was killed when she was 19 (she was hurt badly and spent months in hospital as well) - she has changed a lot since then - but up until then, she really seemed to have no limit to what she'd do...

  17. #53
    Registered User

    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara

    Liz, I only ever used it for the initial weeks after having another baby (so when they were 20ths)and you have to boot the older one out of the pram LOL and until they work out that they have to stay with you, or hold onto the pram it was good to use kwim? For me, the problem was just the novelty of not being restrained in the pram so they were a bit adventurous at first and testing the boundaries. My first was really good hardly used it at all for him but my second was different, she was a heck of a lot more defiant (and I say that with much love ) so she needed it for a bit longer. I never used it with my third cause there was just no need to and probably wont use it for Alister either as he will be the only one at home by the time he's too big for a stroller, even though he is a bugger of a kid (again I say that with much love LOL) and he is a bolter, I will only have to wrangle one child.

  18. #54
    Registered User

    Mar 2005
    Sydney, NSW

    I think they're fantastic. I haven't used one as DD2 wouldn't put it on, but I think they're great. I would much much much prefer to get evil looks with a child wearing one, than the evil looks I'd get if I lost my child!! Very sensible idea I think xo