Website: Children's Harnesses by Elaine, Inc.
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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Introducing your older child to their new Child-to-Adult Harness

If you are considering one of my Child-to-Adult Harnesses for a larger toddler or someone with special needs, you may be wondering how your child will react to wearing their new harness.

Well, I've got good news. 

Chances are excellent, even more than excellent, that they will take to their new harness like a bee to honey. 

Shocked? Me too. 

I'll admit that I have been thrilled with the feedback I've received over the years from parents who have told me they had no trouble getting their child to wear the harness. I thought surely there would be issues. The harness is Strange, it's New, it's Unfamiliar. But when the parents started telling me more about their child's reactions to their new harness, it all began to make sense.

For the most part, before the harness arrived these children were constantly held in a death grip by their wrist, hand, shirt collar, pants belt, jacket, sleeves, hood, whatever was available. See my earlier post "Are you using your children's clothing as a harness?" These kids had NO FREEDOM. They never had their hands free. They never had the sensation of walking ahead of Mommy. They were constantly grabbed and being pulled along or they were constantly pulling against someone.

And from the parent's point of view, you're darn right the child was clung too. When your child has a habit of running off in a flash, you're not likely to let go.

Which is why the harness was necessary in the first place. And once the harness arrives and the child has a chance to wear it, all sorts of new sensations open up for them.

They have their hands free! They can walk 'alone'! They can move around and Go Here and Go There without struggling against the weight of an adult immediately by their side. In many ways, their whole world changes and they have the chance to experience a sense of freedom they've not felt before. 

Parents often tell me that their non-verbal child will bring the harness to them as a signal that they want to go out. I've also heard plenty of times that their child likes wearing it even in the house (see my earlier post "The Hug Factor in my Child-to-Adult Harness").

So if you're thinking of ordering a harness but are not sure how it will go once you receive it, have faith that it's worth taking the chance. Odds are good it will work out just fine for both of you.


  1. Amen! You are so right Elaine. My girls fussed about wearing a harness at first. Once they discovered their new"freedom",our trips and outings were much more enjoyable.Their world did change and they were able to move about and explore, but keep safe within their leash limits.And yes they were "runners"as you described in an earlier post.

  2. Hi Susan! Great to hear from you and thanks so much for checking in. Wonderful to read about your experiences of your girls. It's so valuable to be able to give them that freedom eh? Happy happy happy! E

  3. This is a great idea. I look forward to reading your posts and sharing your thoughts and experiences. I know this brings you great joy. God Bless!