03 April 2009

kiddie leashes

Look, some people love them, others hate them. I think most people fall into one of the two camps. Child leashes seem to polarise people. I think its because the people that hate them can't understand why you would want to treat your child like a dog, but the people that love them realise how valuable they can be at keeping ultra-adventurous kids from running off.

Personally I don't much like the look of a child on a leash, however, when we were first thinking of taking Bendy on her first overseas trip, we wondered whether it would be a good idea to have one. The Bookworm is a very compliant child, and if you tell her not to do something, she will comply. Bendy, however, likes to see what she can get away with. For her, we wondered whether a leash might be really useful in busy places like airports and on New York sidewalks.

At the time, I only knew of the sort of leash that is just a harness. I don't like the look of them, and I can't imagine a kid does either. So I thought about how I could make a leash a little more inviting and even desirable to a child. I decided to make a harness with a built in tulle skirt with sparkly sequins sewn onto it. For a little girl I hoped that this might make it more desirable. It did. We tried it out at the shops with Bendy before we went on our trip. She did like it (a bit). However, by the time our trip came, we realised that she really didn't need it, so I don't think we even ended up taking it with us.

My nephew though, has a backpack type leash that he loves. The backpack is in the shape of a dog, and he calls it Scrufty (I think this is the name of Bob the Builder's dog) and he loved it. He no longer needs it as he has matured. But it was really useful when he was younger.

Its in the same style as the one pictured at the top of the post. I had a look on Amazon, and there's actually a large range of different animals that you can have: a lion, a horse, a panda, a pink poodle, a cow, a giraffe, a monkey, a koala, a lamb, a frog, and even a unicorn. And then there's a range of Disney characters including Piglet, Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Pluto (who looks like his neck is broken - nice touch!), Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Pretty much something for all tastes... So they are quite a bit more palatable (for the adults) and desirable (for the kids) than the plain harness type (which are also still available) I used to see when I was younger.

For travelling with kids, they can give peace of mind. Though you'll have to ignore the dirty looks that people who find them offensive might give you! For me, I don't think I'd care what other people thought if I felt it was going to keep my child safer than without.


  1. When we first got ours (a dog-style one), the lady who sold it to us gave us a great tip to get the child to hopefully like the idea of wearing it. You introduce them to their new "friend" and then say they want to give the child a hug, and then you put it on them and the "friend" is hugging them. We will be using it in snow soon, and I am thinking of changing the leash bit (for that is what it is!) from the furry one that came with the harness to a plain black one that I will make out of a strap, so that it doesn't show the dirt as much as the fur would.

  2. Oh, and we have rarely had dirty looks. Because it is styled as a dog most people actually think it's really cute. And its also exceedingly useful and sensible.

  3. Kids on leashes. There are few things that are guaranteed to spark more controversy than that topic! There are times when secretly I'm like, "someone strap a harness on this beast" (especially when we're somewhere crowded) but I have to temper that with the fact that someday she might see a picture of her on a leash and run away from home forever.

  4. Saw one today and was going to do a blog post on it, so I found this blog by doing a Google Image search for "kiddie leash"

    I've got a 23-month old who likes to run away, so I can totally understand why parents would resort to this and I won't look down on them.

    But, I... I just can't.

  5. I love the idea of the kiddie leash as it gives both the child and parent the freedom yet it keeps your child close to you at all times no more stroller... YAY!!!

    I went to a function where there would be forty thousand people and pushing a stroller with both my daughters would have been a mission and a half, I thought of leaving them with friends but then they miss out on all the fun, so I sat wondering for two weeks before the function what I could do, I then remembered my mother telling me when I was a little girl i got lost so many times she finaly went out to buy a leash for me... I then looked around for these hated things and could not find any, so I went home and cut off nylon strapping from all the bags ect we dont use... I sat making leashes for my daughters and as they say bob is your uncle... I had my daughters saftey in my hands...

    Later that week at the function we were walking around and my daughters were too happy to show off what mommy had made, some people you could see were not impressed and others thought it was quite funny as my daughters were walking around barking and growling, and I was even approached by a number of people asking me where I had bought them, Honestly I replied "I made them"

    My whole outlook on this little strap is this:
    I would rather spend 40 minutes walking around with my child and go home knowing he or she is safe than spen 40 minutes or more looking for my child and then spend the rest of my life wondering if my child is still alive or how they look ect... I have a big thumbs up for this tiny safey device.

    I am also proud to announce that A friend of mine and I are starting a business and guess what our product is... THE LOVED AND HATED "KIDDIE LEASH"

    Good luck to moms who use them and even more luck to those moms who are against them, I honestly hope your child never gets lost, and if they do I hope you reconsidder using the "KIDDIE LEASH"