Baby on Leash, Toddler in Tow!

rapuncille By rapuncille, 29th May 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Toddlers

An article on the necessity of using backpack harness to keep your toddler/baby safe and always in tow as per my personal experience.

Keeping Your Baby Safe and in Tow

I came to know of the necessity of using a toddler’s safety harness when my son’s visa was issued. I was scheduled to fly to Doha to visit my husband and have our firstborn, our one year and 8 months old son, in tow. I’ll be taking care of my baby from NAIA to the 9 hour non-stop flight, up to the airport of our destination. It will be my first time to take care of him alone. I am used to having our nanny and my parents giving me a hand when it comes to taking care of my boys.

My first born already know how to walk by himself but his sense of balance is not yet that developed so you still need to look after him because he could fall and loose his balance anytime. His curiosity at his age is extremely high that he is inclined to run after and to get a closer look of everything. I mean EVERYTHING. He would be all over the place once you let go of him. In a crowded place, you’ll need to keep an eye on him, if not, you may lose him. Knowing these, I was enticed to purchase a backpack harness that will help me keep him close during our travel, especially while we were at the airport. I would need to get hands free since I’ll be carrying his things. I might also be kept busy by airport routine procedures that we might need to undergo before we could go on board and after we deplane. I need to keep him close during the times when my eyes need to go somewhere else.

On the day of our flight, I had attempted to use the backpack harness. I had put it on him when we entered the airport but it proved to be more of a burden during that time rather than a big help. It’s not the fault of the harness though. I guess the blame should all be mine. I should have brought a carryon bag which is not that heavy and which I could put on my back or shoulder to keep my hands empty but I did not. Instead I brought a wheeled carryon bag which i found out that couldn’t stand by itself when it is full. The use of backpack harness is quite new to my son. He refused to put it on because he feels restricted. I couldn’t manage to handle the strap properly because we did not get to practice using it before the day of our departure. Controlling the strap and knowing how to handle it to serve its purpose, which is to keep your kid close to you and to break his fall, is best learned when you use it. The Airport, with your hands full with your hand carry, is not the best place and the best way to do it. I ended up, holding my son’s hand while walking or just carrying him when he goes uncontrollable and throws a tantrum. It was hard but my little frame did survive his weight and my almost 7 kilos hand carry. It was an experience that I don’t intend to repeat.

When we arrive in Doha, the backpack harness and its strap was a big help. During our first two months here, the backpack was always worn by my son whenever we go out. In it were his essentials, his milk/water, baby wipes and sanitizer. He got so used to wearing it already. He gets to walk or run by himself without getting himself hurt when he falls. We just need to adjust the harness properly and make sure that the connecting strap is properly hooked. We also got used to controlling the strap (proper length and handle) that before he could even fall, we already could pull him upwards so that the impact of falling won’t be as hurtful as without the harness.

It looks like though that people here are somewhat culture shocked by my son’s use of harness. I’ve been hearing lots of different comments regarding it. Some find it cruel, most find it cute and useful. There was one time that my friend who was then strolling with us, was told by one local that the baby, pertaining to my son, is not a dog. Of course he is not! It’s just that we need to have him strapped for his safety and also for him to be able to roam around freely (ironic it is!). Most would say though that it is really cute and functional. Some were even asking where to get that. I don’t really know if this safety harness backpack is available here because for the past 5 years that I’ve been in this side of the world, it is only my son whom I saw roaming with a strapped backpack harness attached to him. If the item is available here, I would presume many would purchase it and make use of it.

Right now, my son has improved his balance and need not use the strap on. Now he could freely walk by himself. The backpack though is still of use.


Baby, Back Pack, Harness, Leash, Motherhood, Parenting, Safety, Stroll, Toddler, Travel, Walks

Meet the author

author avatar rapuncille

am a full-time mom to two gorgeous boys. I spend most of my spare time in between my mommy and wifey jobs doing online stuff which includes writing.

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