Website: Children's Harnesses by Elaine, Inc.
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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Introducing your toddler to their new Child Harness

Typically, parents who order a Child Harness from me do so because they have a toddler on their hands who wants nothing to do with the stroller. Why ride when you can run around and best of all, away from Mommy?

These toddlers have been Free Range Children for the most part but now Mom and Dad are having a more difficult time keeping tabs on them and a harness becomes a must. There may even have been a few incidents in public where an actual and heart-stopping separation has occurred between Mommy and said Toddler before a Happy Reunion sees said Toddler firmly anchored back into the dreaded stroller.  

So what happens when these little people suddenly have to wear a harness?

You'd be surprised.

First of all, after a short trial period which usually takes place in the livingroom after dinner, the toddler has adjusted to wearing the harness and has accepted it fully.


You got it. Sorry I don't have anything more dramatic to relate.

But if you think about it, it makes sense. Toddlers WANT TO WALK (see my earlier post, The Importance of Walking) and chances are good that they haven't been able to do much walking for the past little while. Why? Because they're quick on those little feet and it's very tricky keeping an eye on them so they've been forced to ride ride ride.

But hey! What's this! A comfortable little strap to wear and I can do all the walking I want! For them, that's all they care about. They have regained their freedom, they have regained control over when they walk and when they don't, they have their Get Out Of Stroller ticket and it's fantastic. They've become a Free Range Child again and it's thrilling.

And it's rather thrilling for Mommy too.


  1. And for your second question: I'm a big believer in giving the child options. THEY must make the decision. If the parent knows the harness is necessary but the child doesn't want to wear it, then give the child the choice; "You can stay home or wear the harness and come with us". This is simple and clear to the child. If the child wants to go out, they will wear the harness. Otherwise, they know they will be left behind. Same options with walking. Let the child make the decision; "You ride in the stroller, or wear your harness and walk". If they want to walk, they will quickly agree to wear the harness. E

  2. In my opinion, when you are in charge of the child, you should be making the rules. It really has nothing to do with anyone else. If you come over to my house, you will have your soup with a spoon (my house, my rules). If you go to someone else's house, you drink their soup from the bowl (their house, their rules). If you go out with a child and using a harness is the only way you feel comfortable doing that, then your rule should be respected. It doesn't sound like any harm is being done to anyone, infact, you'll be a much more relaxed caregiver and you'll have more fun on your outing. I don't want to get in the middle of a family feud and I don't want to cause you any trouble but this is my opinion! And good for you for sticking to your principles but trying to get the rest of your family to change their perception of harnesses sounds like a waste of your energy... E

  3. My Grandmother introduced me to the harness when I was 3. I was very active running & climbing, and one day, she put it on me, and just let me struggle in it until I resigned myself to being subject to the length of the leash. Eventually, she would take the leash off the harness, unless I would start running off, and then the leash would be reattached. Years later, I trained my daughter in the same manner, with the child/adult harness from Elain, although I let her get accustomed to it at home, rather than a public area. I've seen a lot of different reactions to it on YOUTUBE.

  4. Hello EmptyNester7985! How nice of you to check in! It's great to hear from you and thanks so much for letting us know about your own experiences as a Little Person and how you introduced your daughter to her new harness. I hope she's enjoying her new freedom! E