Hot Topic Tuesday- Toddler reins


toddler on leash, lead by AndrewSim

Is it right? © andrewsim

What do you think of toddler leashes? Before becoming a mum I thought these leashes were the bees’ knees. Fantastic! You control your child, keep them out of harm’s way, while letting them some freedom and independence.

Little Miss started walking when she was a year old, she went to the park walking the dog with Oh-so-lovely-daddy once or twice a day, they almost never took a pushchair. We got her a toddler leash- a lovely harness with Winnie the Pooh on it with a little lead attached to it. She was such a lovely little girl to walk with that we never actually tried to use it.

…That is till one day when I was on my own and her little brother was a few months old. We headed out for a walk with the dog, which had to be done, Little Man in the pushchair, Little Miss holding my hand, but leash attached to her. Somewhere something went wrong. Little Miss wanted to throw herself down on the wet, muddy ground in a tantrum, my instinct was to not let this. I dangled her on the leash. This was just oil onto the fire! We made it back to the house all exhausted, physically and emotionally. That is the last time the leash was used for it’s purpose.

We have since found another use for it- it makes a great sling for teddy bears and dolls. It has functioned in this capacity ever since.

Instead of the leash, I have endeavoured to teach my children to pay attention to the road around them, to hold hands as much as possible. This does mean I cannot really be on a phone or otherwise distracted while out with them. I have to try to anticipate every move of theirs before they even make it.

I recently heard that Oxfordshire County Council has an interesting programme for schools and preschools called Footsteps. I look forward to this being introduced in my daughter’s school to help with her road and traffic awareness.



So, what do you think of toddler leashes? Do they give freedom or stifle the child? Are we being over protective by putting our kids on a lead?


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  1. I used reigns with my daughter – similar to yours, a little ladybird rucksack with a strap attached.

    I cannot say how useful they were and she loved wearing her backpack. I got so many comments (mostly from older generation people) saying how nice it was to see child reigns used again. It seems they have fallen out of favour and are not politically correct now.

    This rucksack probably saved her life on more that one occasion. She refused to go in the buggy pretty much as soon as she turned 2, but at that age was still totally unpredictable. With the best will in the world and eyes in the back of your head, you cannot predict the crazy things a 2 year old will sometimes do!

    Long may reigns reign I say!
    Liz Burton recently posted…Help Vanish banish Breast CancerMy Profile

  2. Rebecca says:

    I was the opposite. When my 1st started to walk (at 9 1/2 months old!) I used the educational route and he did really well. He learnt quickly to hold my hand when crossing a road but was fiercely independent. When No 2 came along Toddler swapped between the buggy and walking alongside the buggy, and I thought we were doing just fine! Then, last week in fact, I was ditracted putting the brakes on the buggy while Toddler was standing beside me and, zoom! Off he bolts right out into the road while all I could do was scream for him to stop! Luckily there were no cars and I caught up with him (having to abandon my other child in the buggy) before he got halfway across. On the way back home I bought reins. They give me peace of mind whilst I have the buggy and he wants to walk and whne my sister took him out over the weekend she found them helpful in crowded London Town. If it’s just me and the toddler or Daddy is with us we don’t use the reins but I find that when I am on my own with Toddler and Baby they come in handy. I won’t use them forever, hopefully only until he is 3 years old at the LATEST, but he needs to be road savvy before I take them off. I NEVER want to feel my blood run that cold again as I watched my son run into the road. EVER.

  3. Tola says:

    I’ve never had any personal use of them as I’m only just pregnant. But I know I will be getting one of these for my little one! I’ve been with younger kids and some of them can be so stubborn and want to do their own thing once they start walking. I just think the reigns are a lot safer to keep your kids in close proximity while still getting other things done.
    However that said, that doesnt mean one shouldn’t still pay attention to them and teach them about the importance of not wandering off and things like that…
    Tola recently posted…Been a Busy BeeMy Profile

  4. Enyo says:

    It’s so funny, I thought that they were horrible until we had to use one. 🙂 It comes down to, I guess, that there’s no right or wrong answer, just “whatever works best.”
    Enyo recently posted…Why I Use a Toddler Leash – Hot Topic TuesdayMy Profile

  5. I have never used a leash or reins. I did use a backpack with a lead on it but only once, it wasn’t useful. Now when near roads we hold hands. They are told not to run off unless we are in a park they can run about within reason. It’s hard to find the right balance x
    Susan Mann recently posted…Review – Nip and Fab Clean Fix, Shine Fix and Spot FixMy Profile

  6. I love reins. Miss P is 22 months and point blank refuses to go in her buggy unless we’re walking a particularly long way. She is fiercely independent and refuses to hold hands when we’re out. She also has a habit of just dashing over to whatever has caught her attention so they are a must for us. I still teach her road safety, and she sort of understands but I’m not willing to take the risk with her yet! As with Liz, I’ve had comments from the older generation pleased to see her in reins and, at the opposite end, people looking at me as if I’m treating Miss P like a dog! Better to be safe than sorry I say!
    Fishfingers for tea recently posted…Shall we eat cake instead?My Profile

  7. NIgel says:

    Wouldn’t dream of not using them. We had two sets of twins, so toddler reins were virtually a necessity. On one occasion, in the middle of London, reins save my younger son’s life when he hurled himself in front of a black cab and I managed to yank him back into safety while holding onto his twin sister.

    They’re all in their thirties, now, and I’m a grandpa, but would still always recommend them. Any idea that the inhibit a child, or undermine his or her dignity seems to me to be nonsense.

  8. I’m a fan – even with all the will in the world, all the education I can give, we live on a main road and my toddler can be very excitable – I don’t always use them but they’re always on stand by in case he’s in a contrary mood – I’d prefer him screaming and hanging from them, swinging like a bag of spuds, to him running from me and getting hurt – or worse.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Happy Birthday!My Profile

  9. lol, mistakes happen to all of us! Your story is too cute not to laugh at it. I hope you can too. I think your first statement is accurate. There are so many dangers out there and I would love to know that even if my daughter or son was grabbed out of my arms, I had a line attached to us to keep her with me.

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