Thursday, September 29th, 2005
Whether to Tether, and How!
Little Miss has hit the age (15 months) where she wants to walk and explore public spaces instead of being carried. Shopping now entails one parent doing the aisle browsing while the other parent keeps Miss from running into people or ripping boxes off store shelves amid giggly amusement.
Mom suggested getting a child tether, an idea I’m not too crazy about, but I went ahead and did some Web research into available products. [Side note, last week's Child Immobilizer Showcase came about after I Googled for "child restraint" and saw a text advertisement for the Pigg-O-Stat.]
Anyhow, my concern is that the fuss and screaming caused by Miss being restrained would be far worse than the hassle of regulating her penchant for running and exploring her surroundings. And really, isn’t that what parenting is about? She needs to learn appropriate behavior. One trick that works at the grocery store is to give her a tiny paper bag and let her carry something in it, say a few tangerines.
But that’s just me. Here are some of the leash restraint systems I found.
Unusual tethers I might actually use:
Tot Tether Child’s Backpack & Child Safety Harness (pictured at right) is a four-point backpack featuring the face of a monkey, panda, elephant or dinosaur on its front. A parent tether “tail” attaches to the back of the backpack. This is the ultimate in turning a class of product with negative connotations into something fun. I almost want this backpack for Little Miss, even without the tether.
The O’Pair is a five-foot retractable line that attaches to child and parent with a plush animal fannypack. The parent and child attachments feature the face of Corky the Cat, Simon the Frog or Owen the Pig. Having a pocket Little Miss can use while walking, perhaps storing a toy, would be a plus.
The Stroller Strap is a 20″ strap with a padded wrist loop that attaches to the toddler. Although oriented toward walking along next to a stroller, they say it also works on the other typical tether hook-ups (shopping carts and belt loops).
Child Safety Tether by Small Planet is a three-point padded harness that comes in several colors and patterns.
The Kid Keeper is a three-point padded blue harness.
The Little Safety Harness by Natal is a nylon three-point harness that comes in red or blue.
Do you have any product suggestions, or toddler-control tips?