A whole lot of people criticize the toddler leash. It’s okay; I totally understand why they aren’t fans of it. A favorite reason for criticizing the toddler leash is that children are not dogs. The husband bought our son a toddler leash when he was smaller, but we haven’t really used it much.
Now, though, I use that toddler leash any time we go somewhere that doesn’t have a shopping cart and isn’t particularly stroller friendly.
Hang on. Before you decide that I must be too lazy to watch my kid or something, allow me to remind you of a little story. Last month, Norton tried to take off in the library. I was holding his hand. He got hurt. And we ended up spending hours in the hospital getting x-rays since he couldn’t use his arm at all. That was when I found out about nursemaid’s elbow.
Nursemaid’s elbow is apparently an extremely common injury that results from some sort of tugging (whether it’s because a parent swings the kid around by the arms, a toddler who is holding hands trips, or any number of other things). Norton didn’t have nursemaid’s elbow, although that was what they’d thought it was at first. He just had a sprain that essentially immobilized his arm for a day. If I had kept Norton on his toddler leash instead of trying to hold his hand, he wouldn’t have gotten hurt. You see, I can’t actually carry Norton all that long because I have symphysis pubis dysfunction, so things hurt. Plus, he’s heavy.
Not only that, but my husband is six inches taller than me. I have to lean a little bit to hold Norton’s hand. He’d have to hunch over. It’s just not practical for him to try to hold hands with Norton at this point in time. Not until Norton is a little taller. Sure, he can carry Norton, but Norton is a toddler who is bent on experiencing that toddler independence.
Using a toddler leash allows Norton the independence that he craves and the safety that we demand. For moms of multiples (or multiple young children), using a toddler leash can help prevent children from scattering. It can help the disabled parent who can’t keep up. In theme parks, it allows those children to look around and not kill their parents’ backs.
And you know what? As for the argument about how leashes are for dogs, I’ll tell you that I keep my dog on a leash when we go for walks to keep him safe. I certainly don’t want him to get curious and fall in the river or wander in front of a car. If I care that much to keep my dog safe, shouldn’t I care that much about keeping my child safe?
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Next week’s Hot Topic Tuesday subject: Bedsharing, room sharing, or put baby in his own room?