Toddler reins - What's your opinion of them?

(71 Posts)
Passion Sun 05-Jun-05 22:35:19

I ask because I have a 19 month old dd and am due to have my next baby in October. My parents in law and mum have both asked if I intend to get reins - my mother in law says that they literally saved my dh's life when he nearly ran out in front of a car when her other son was playing up.

I have started to think that it makes sense to get some especially as one of my dd's favourite games is to run away from me in street and with a baby in tow it wont be easy to run after her. But looking around me it seems that nobody uses them any more. Is there a reason for this? Have they just gone out of fashion? I sense a general disapproval from my friends when I mention them but nobody seems to be able to give a good reason why. Is there something I should know?

beansontoast Sun 05-Jun-05 22:36:40

i think they are great
ds thinks they are rubbish
guess who wins?




the short one

pixiefish Sun 05-Jun-05 22:39:23

I use them when I'm out and about with dd as otherwise she'd have to be in a pram or sling (she's 16 months) There's no way she understands the concept of walking with mummy and not running off as she's far too young. Saw a thread on here ages ago though about a woman who used them like horse reins to pull the baby about- think that's an extreme case though. Mothercare sell some pink or blue ones as do boots

beansontoast Sun 05-Jun-05 22:40:34

seriously tho
i think they may have gone out of fashion.i was at a city farm in bristol and my son was the only one in them.tbh it helped my back cos i didnt have to bend down quite as far.things are better now that he is a bit taller and i can comfortably hold his hand.
alsio i think children are different in whether or no t they are going to scramble off! my niece never wore reigns and was always perfectly willing to come to her mum and follow on nicely etc.

hunkermunker Sun 05-Jun-05 22:49:17

DS will wear reins when he's bigger.

They're useful if they trip too - you can often catch them before they hit the ground.

toomanypushchairs Sun 05-Jun-05 22:50:01

my dt's 2 1/2 wear them! not for me to hang on to the reigns and them run infront though... they dont mind wearing them but dont like me holding on to them. I say ' I'll hold your hands but if you let go, or run off I'll hold the reigns'.... I rarely have to hold onto them but it makes me feel they are safer. (they don't normally do as i say btw!)

toomanypushchairs Sun 05-Jun-05 22:50:46

sorry, meant to say I don't care if they are fashionable or not! tried wrist straps but they can take them off!

Janh Sun 05-Jun-05 22:52:55

All of mine spent some time in reins - when they are at the stumbly-fally stage as well as the run-away-haha stage they save lots of grief.

If anybody comments negatively just give them a Hard Stare.

MarsLady Sun 05-Jun-05 22:53:32

toomany, when did you put your DTs in them? I've bought twin reins and my BF has visions of me being like a Maypole lol.

moondog Sun 05-Jun-05 22:54:20

Reins are bloody marvellous
As,indeed are playpens

chilledchic Sun 05-Jun-05 22:54:45

i think there fine and sometimes a necessity i used them for a very short time with my ds when he was a similar age and i was pg dont worry about what other folk are doing
my ds is fine without them now but when i used them it was good knowing he was safe and not able to run off

tarantula Sun 05-Jun-05 22:55:59

dd wears them when we remember to bring them with us so not very often then (mind like a sieve me). they are great and mean dd can walk with us rather than legging it out in front of the nearest car, moaning in the buggy or pulling my shoulder out of joint as I carry her. Great invention I think

morocco Sun 05-Jun-05 22:57:10

there's a while yet before your second is born and you might find your dd has grown out of the running away phase by then so ona practical pov, you could wait and save the money til you know you need to get them
have they gone out of fashion? maybe that depends where you live? I've never seen so many in my life since moving back to the NE and heaved a huge sigh of relief when dh posted ours back to us as ds 15 months was driving me insane wanting to walk everywhere (like under cars, into rivers) He loves his reins as now he can toddle around on the pavements.
pmsl today when he came into the study holding his reins in his mouth to tell me he wanted to go out on a walk - my dog does the same thing with her lead

charellie Sun 05-Jun-05 23:00:56

I used to use them all the time for my dt's. They are now 2 years 6 months and I haven't used them for about 4 months now as I have taught them to hold onto the car when I am getting the other twin out of the car. They are also very good at holding my hand.

They were brilliant when they were younger, particularly in busy carparks when it is impossible to keep an eye on both of them. I used to hook the reins over my wrist and hold their hands when we were walking so they didn't really feel they were being restrained.

I used the Lindam ones with the backpack on it. I also used the wrist straps but didn't really get on with these

giraffeski Sun 05-Jun-05 23:10:37

Message withdrawn

Rarrie Mon 06-Jun-05 00:19:23

My DD (19months too) has them and loves them - because the other option is holding my hand (which she hates - restricts her freedom too much!). We never use them as a punishment, but use them in carparks, roads etc - places where it would be dangerous for her to run off. If we're in a pedestrianised area, I just let her tootle along freely with me. Thankfully, she hasn't yet learnt to run away and a simple 'we're going this way' gets her in teh direction I want! So things may well change yet - But I think they're fab, as long as they're not overdone!

bobbybob Mon 06-Jun-05 01:05:30

Way I look at it is the alternative is put them into a buggy (which would have a restraint) so the same thing, except toddler gets the exercise.

I used them when ds was first walking and had no sense and was too little to hold hands (I was tall, he was small, it would have been agony). I got funny looks as really nobody uses them in NZ but I just ignored them.

dancer77 Mon 06-Jun-05 01:05:42

My ds 16 months asks to put them on indoors! So he wears them with the strap tucked in the back so he doesn't fall over. I think they are great cause he wants to walk eveywhere but would be off in a flash if I let him loose. He knows that when I get them out he's getting out of his pushchair, that's why he likes them so much. I couldn't careless what people think about them they work for us and keep ds safe. But now you mention I don't say many people using them, although I have seen some.

jinglybits Mon 06-Jun-05 01:14:34

i will use them later, ds is 13mths, dp things they are shocking and akin to taking a dog on a lead! ...but i am in charge, not him

jinglybits Mon 06-Jun-05 01:15:13

thinks, not things

swedishmum Mon 06-Jun-05 01:57:06

I distinctly remember using them with dd1 in Bromley town centre. She at about 16 - 18 months sat on the floor going woof woof. Never tried again.

I never used ours, except as a harness in random highchairs abroad. DS1 went through a running away phase, but when he started walking on the pavement with us, any time he stepped off onto the road, without holding an adult's hand, he was immediately popped back into the pram, with straps done up. He's very good about pavements and roads now, and very easy to walk with.

But then DS1 is our first child, and DS2 was born when he was 3. I certainly understand you'd need them with twins, or with more than one mobile non-trustworthy child.

Passion Mon 06-Jun-05 10:07:09

Thanks for all these comments. Morrocco - you say it depends on where I live as to whether they have gone 'out of fashion' or not and that you see loads in the N.E. Rather predictably, I live in North London so that kind of makes sense doesn't it?! Everyone here has a Bugaboo and a Tripp Trapp but toddler reins..a bit common, surely?Or at least that what the paranoid side of me is reading in to the looks i get when I mention them around other mums here.

But stuff them, I will get some. Even if dd is much better at not running away at two there is the chance that the new baby will make her crave the attention that mummy running after her brings. I will only use them in dangerous areas and never as a punishment but I'd rather be safe than fashionable any day!

Bonkerz Mon 06-Jun-05 10:10:55

i prefer to use the wrist strap. IMO it gives the child a sense of freedom whilst letting me keep control! Use them with my mindees too and causes alot less tantrums than reins.

nutcracker Mon 06-Jun-05 10:13:33

I use them for Ds but i agree that you don't seem to see many people using them nowadays.

I use them mainly because I learnt from dd2's behaviour that they can be there one minute and gone the next and also because dd2 is still prone to running off and so I have to make sure I at least have a good hold of ds.

Ds is 2.6 and has no road sense whatsoever. He will hold my hand but can also pull free, so i think reins are best for him.

nutcracker Mon 06-Jun-05 10:13:57

I never got on with the wrist straps. Dd2 could get hers off easily.

KBear Mon 06-Jun-05 10:14:45

I think they are very useful for stopping small toddlers hitting their heads on the pavement as they hurl themselves forward in the early days of walking.

Depends on the child - my DD was a "runner" and reins were a godsend. DS stood happily with me so I didn't need them so often.

My MIL used to say "she's not a dog".

I used to say "better she is on reins than under a car because she lets go of my hand and I can't catch her in time".

My MIL used to say nothing else about it after that.

suzywong Mon 06-Jun-05 10:15:19

I used them for a short window of about six weeks at 16-18 months with dses, they certainly do have their uses


that was a very very boring post wasn't it

Sponge Mon 06-Jun-05 10:15:39

I tried them with dd but she hated them - screamed and fought, so we gave up. Not sure whether we'll try again with ds - depends how much he runs away I guess. I do think they look a bit odd, like having your children on a lead, but they're effective and do save your back. We live in London and I've seen quite a few about recently.

KBear Mon 06-Jun-05 10:18:22

I think the trick is put reins on them in the pram from about six months so they are used to them (my harness in the pram was useless so had to use reins or DD would have leapt out!). Neither child ever stropped about wearing reins because they were used to it and it was habit.

Fio2 Mon 06-Jun-05 10:20:58

has this all kicked off yet?

KBear Mon 06-Jun-05 10:21:51

is it likely to? over reins? am I naive-bear?

Fio2 Mon 06-Jun-05 10:23:36

oh yes, there has been many a debate over reins on mumsnet

Hausfrau Mon 06-Jun-05 10:24:42

I got told off by a hag of a German old woman the other day. GGGGGGGrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

DS2 is a danger to society when he's in a buggy so I'm NOT letting him loose on the pavement without reins and that's that.

KBear Mon 06-Jun-05 10:34:35

but if nobody gets all rude and personal and stroppy I'm sure we'll be fine! (am definitely naive-bear)

cod Mon 06-Jun-05 10:53:17

Message withdrawn

mcmudda Mon 06-Jun-05 11:01:03

Ds is 2.8 yrs and will hold my hand, but doens't know how to cross a road (unsurprisingly) so when we're in town and he wants to walk he has reins. When he turned 2 I switched from reins to a backpack with a strap attached - he thinks he's Dora the Explorer and wears it round the house singing "backpack backpack!"

He gets to keep a matchbox car and a snack in it and I get to keep him under control - fab invention!

It's made by LittleLife but I can't find it online atm - I got it for £10 in an outdoor hiking shop.

Twiglett Mon 06-Jun-05 11:01:50

never used them and never will .. personally don't like them .. BUT if they work for you and you don't care that some people are adamantly opposed to them (and why should you?) then go for it

cod Mon 06-Jun-05 11:02:44

Message withdrawn

JoolsToo Mon 06-Jun-05 11:04:21

think if Jamie Bulger was in them!

I think they're very useful.

Kidstrack2 Mon 06-Jun-05 11:06:58

I used reins with ds nearly five yrs ago, he walked brilliantly in them from about ten months old and then we moved on to the wrist strap and he used this till he was nearly 4 only because he was happy to wear it until then. My dd on the other hand was 2 last week and I tried to use reins on her from 1yr but she would stand and walk round in circles until she had wound the reins up and swing round in them like a little monkey, we never got far in them, now she is 2 and walking next to me I have tried the wrist strap just incase she darts away from me but she wiggles her little wrist out of it so we have gave up on that too. But so far so good she hasn't run away from me YET!.

Katemum Mon 06-Jun-05 11:09:35

My niece used to sit on the floor and flatly refuse to get up when in them. DS also hated them but was a runner, the only use i found for them was 'if you run away from me I will put the reins on' it stopped him in his tracks. Would have made my life a lot easier though if I could have got him to walk nicely with them on.

elsmommy Mon 06-Jun-05 11:10:14

My dd screams when I get them out.
I get the feeling she doesn't like em!!

Think they are good though

handlemecarefully Mon 06-Jun-05 11:19:18

I would have used them on my toddler but found them ineffective. She would do a sit down protest and refuse to budge unless I 'released' her from them.

yoyo Mon 06-Jun-05 11:48:29

Have used them with all mine when necessary (busy places mainly). They don't really like them but given the choice between reins or the buggy the reins always win.

Would love to have had the old-fashioned leather ones - that retro-look would go down well in North London I'm sure.

Marina Mon 06-Jun-05 11:48:40

We've used them with both as we have the World Champion Run Away Ha Ha Ha toddler dd at the moment (with a nod to Janh there). And they are handy for extracting your klutzy kid from puddles without getting wet and muddy yourself.
I find wrist-straps just wrench the poor child's arm if they are a determined Bolter.
Not used them past two myself, but think they are a good thing in early toddlerhood.

expatinscotland Mon 06-Jun-05 11:51:17

She either wears them or goes in the buggy. The only time she's turned loose is on a football pitch in the park.

gingerbear Mon 06-Jun-05 12:02:18
Nightynight Mon 06-Jun-05 12:07:00

The idea of reins sound horribly controlling, but my dd loved her reins! And So Did I.

joash Mon 06-Jun-05 12:09:45

I use them with GS (2 1/2) - they're great. He can't run off and he's totally safe. We have a deal - he wears reins or goes in his buggy, he prefers to walk and does walk miles.

toomanypushchairs Mon 06-Jun-05 12:55:08

sorry, marslady, posted and then went to bed...
started using the reigns when they were 2yrs. We did have them before, but they very rarely walked. can't believe they are now 2 1/2, I did look at the twin reigns, but already had 2 sets from older children so decided to use them. they only tend to get tangled up when we stand in the school playground and they run round me in circles!

toomanypushchairs Mon 06-Jun-05 12:58:23

just seen the link for the backpack with reign. Looks fab. wonder if my naughty dt(no other way to describe him)(willfull maybe?)would take the backpack off? he does manage to slip the wrist strap!

Kidstrack2 Mon 06-Jun-05 14:14:29

Index do a similar one its made by Lindam and costs 4.99 page 855

lisalisa Mon 06-Jun-05 14:35:00

Message withdrawn

ambrosia Mon 06-Jun-05 14:38:38

i think they are good!

think about it -if you were little and spent the whole walk with your arm stuck up in the air to hold an adults hand you wouldnt be very comfortable would you??

dd2 is worlds fastest/sneakiest girl so they are a necessity here

lisalisa Mon 06-Jun-05 14:40:06

Message withdrawn

colditz Mon 06-Jun-05 14:40:11

I'd go with the reins. Toddlers don't feel demeaned, they like the idea of being a dog on a leash!

MarsLady Mon 06-Jun-05 14:43:12

I definitely going with reins. I think restrictive is exactly what I'm going for. The DTs go in opposite directions and I can't keep both out of the road like that. Am really looking forward to using my reins.

Thanks toomany. I'm thinking of putting the DTs in their reins any time soon as they are so keen to be off, especially in the playground. So, I'll be the maypole in the middle lol

teeavee Mon 06-Jun-05 14:43:20

in one of my niece's favourite games between the ages of 2 and 3 was to pretend she WAS a dog - romped around on four legs, barking, cocking her leg, picking up sticks with her mouth, even wanted a bowl of water on the floor!
less opbedient than a real dog though!
she would have loved a leash, I think.....

snafu Mon 06-Jun-05 14:43:38

I don't like them (for stupid woolly liberal mummy reasons) but have used them (for practical, sensible, intelligent reasons).

dawnie1 Mon 06-Jun-05 14:43:45

I think reins are fantastic, so safe. My dd wears them everyday and she is 20 months old. Her fav game at the moment is hiding from mummy and then running away when I see her so I'd be too scared to leave the house if she wasn't wearing them.

MarsLady Mon 06-Jun-05 14:45:38

snafu! lol

lemonice Mon 06-Jun-05 14:53:42

I used reins with all mine especially as had a smallish gap (16 mths) between the first two and in situations like getting on a bus with a double bugger could put foot in the reins while folding buggy and holding baby.

Ds was a faller and reins much easier to save him.

I thought they were less popular these days because children seem to stay in the pushchair longer.

I'm surprised that people actually frown on them - no end to what is controversial these days

lemonice Mon 06-Jun-05 14:54:50

Should have previewed that er I meant buggy (mortified)

MarsLady Mon 06-Jun-05 14:55:08

don't you all worry, I'll make them popular again lol.

Cam Mon 06-Jun-05 15:18:21

I used reins a lot and also found them fantastic for securing dd into high chairs in restaurants, sitting in shopping trolley etc (I'm sure I was the only woman in these parts strapping her child into the supermarket trolley - never saw anyone else do it round here)

donnie Mon 06-Jun-05 15:47:23

we found them very useful indeed - for when dd was old enough to wander/run all over the place but too young to understand any concept of danger. Go for it!

suedonim Mon 06-Jun-05 16:12:09

I used reins for all mine and was doubly careful after ds1 ran into the road one day and the driver had to do an emergency stop and only just avoided ds. The driver shouted at me - I don't blame her, she must have had a helluva fright, too.

I don't see reins as being any more restrictive than using car seats or pushchair harnesses, all of which we do without a second thought.

Cooperoo Mon 06-Jun-05 16:26:13

I use them with dd age 2 and 4 months and they are a godsend. She is willfull and still clueless about roads etc despite my best efforts. I think you will find them useful during your pregnancy as much as when the baby arrives. I have certainly got much slower and less mobile as my pregnancy has progressed and dd has certainly got quicker. I am lucky though that she likes wearing them and asks for them to be put on.

californiagirl Mon 06-Jun-05 19:34:55

I have a harness for DD, who is 15 months and a strong, fast walker. She hates buggies, and it's the only way I can pay for anything in a shop. But they are not at all common in California. I get some "Oooh, that's what I need" and some "Awww, how cute" and the occasional shocked comment from behind me. Nobody's ever said anything to my face, though. I'm waiting for them to try it -- if being on a leash is treating her like a dog, isn't putting her in a buggy treating her like a sack of potatoes?

mrsflowerpot Mon 06-Jun-05 19:49:35

I used them with ds, who was a first class bolter from about 15 months. As he got faster on his feet, they really were the only way I could be sure of not losing him in anywhere remotely crowded. As he got bigger I swapped for a wrist strap, which he always hated, but that was quite useful for getting him to walk nicely - I could always say 'if you run off I will put the wrist strap on you' (in fact I still carry it as a threat and he's 4 now...)

Nobody ever said anything negative but frankly given that it was the choice between reins and risking losing him, I could not have given two hoots if they had.

Reins have the added bonus that when you're at the supermarket checkout with a stroppy child and need both hands free, you can stick one leg through the loop and let your toddler carry on his/her tantrum to their little heart's content safe in the knowledge they can't go anywhere .

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