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Advice needed - keeping toddler by your side

(28 Posts)
Reenypip Wed 07-Nov-12 19:57:53

Advice needed!
When we are out places, and I want to let my 18 month old boy have some freedom to walk about with us, he is constantly on the go and is off. He won't hold anyone's hand for more than 1 minute. And if explain he had to stay by our side and not run off, he has a temper. I do have reins, but are short, and it's almost impossible to use with wheelchair.
Example, earlier went out, my partner was busy playing a game, but I wanted time with my son to walk (and roll about with me).
Straight away he was off. Even if I tried encouraging him to look at something the way I wanted to go. He didn't care and did what he wanted. I tried the bye bye method and started going in different direction to him, and he couldn't care less and went other way.
He attempted to go up some steps, but I grabbed the reins and pulled him back (as I would be stuffed, as I can't go up steps in my chair).
He then had a huge temper throwing his body, screaming, kicking his shoes off. Over powering me.

Is it a boy thing?

Any ideas / tips?

InvaderZim Wed 07-Nov-12 20:11:41

Mine would go wherever she pleased at 18 months but now at 24 she listens, walks on the pavement, etc. not perfect but way better!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 07-Nov-12 20:11:53

Sorry at 18 months mine would either be on reins, holding hands or in a pushchair. They are too young to make logical judgements and therefore too young for freedom.

naturalbaby Wed 07-Nov-12 20:16:55

My 21month old does this every time we go out for a walk - he's already run straight into oncoming traffic, running even faster into the road when I shouted to stop! So he's only allowed to walk if we are no where near a main road, if he starts running away he goes back in the buggy.

I've got slightly older kids and one wasn't a runner so would walk happily beside me till he got tired, the other was and still is very unpredictable and needs constant checking/reminding to walk right next to me (3yrs old!).

Reenypip Wed 07-Nov-12 20:39:25

He was in his pushchair, but I wanted him to have some time to walk about.
What I meant by freedom, was to look around while he stayed by my side (him walking next to me in my chair)
He did have reins on but they are quite short, and trying to hold the reins and use my hands to push the wheels on my wheelchair is very difficult.
When he was a smaller I used a baby carrier while he was safely sat on my lap while my hands were free to do my wheels.
I can't hold his hand to walk because my hands are used to rotate my wheels to move. But in other instances, he would only hold his daddy's hand for less than a minute then pull away.

(This was indoors by the way, and there is no way I could be outdoors anywhere with him at this age, by myself unless it was an enclosed area, and accessible for me to use the whole space)

Why I asked is, my partners niece at that age wouldn't leave anyone's side. And wondered what other 18 month old's do.

Fuzzymum1 Wed 07-Nov-12 22:13:31

When DS1 was that age we lived on a boat - obviously I had to be super-careful when he was walking so we used an extending dog lead attached to his reins. I'm sure many people would be horrified by that but it worked for us and meant he could have some freedom without fear of him running too far.

ZuleikaD Thu 08-Nov-12 06:06:52

Reins. End of story.

Chubfuddler Thu 08-Nov-12 06:11:15

Yup. Reins. Only answer.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Thu 08-Nov-12 06:33:15

Reins. Get some with a longer strap

SpottyTeacakes Thu 08-Nov-12 06:42:03

What about a wrist strap, would that be longer? Also I think they are double ended so one round your wrist and one round his. My 29 month old still runs off so I'm afraid you have a while of it yet!

TheSkiingGardener Thu 08-Nov-12 06:46:56

We have the little life backpack. Nicer for DS and the end is a loop I slip over my wrist to leave my hands free when necessary.

Some kids are bolters though, sounds like he's going to try and leg it whatever you do.

LadyKinbote Thu 08-Nov-12 06:54:46

18 months is a tough age! He's normal. He'll grow out of it.

ZenNudist Thu 08-Nov-12 06:56:01

My ds (2) is exactly the same. He also won't walk far & wants carrying all the time if we leave push chair at home, won't wear his backpack as is wise to its restraining properties and he doesn't like it if u hold on to his hood plus it's a constant battle to get him to hold my hand. I tend to try walking with him and stuff him screaming back into push chair if he won't hold my hand.can be very difficult if dh not with us. Usually walking is short distance from car to shopping trolley or car to park.

My only advice is to keep trying the walking thing in safe place like parks.

LadyKinbote Thu 08-Nov-12 07:11:54

Just realised my post wasn't very helpful! Aside from reins, distraction is your friend here ("Can you jump like a kangaroo to the next tree?" "let's go over here and see if we can find that cat"). Or give him a snack to hold to distract him. It must be a nightmare in a wheelchair - you have my sympathy!

WitchesTit Thu 08-Nov-12 07:31:25

You're restricted, and he's at the age where he doesn't want to be restricted!

Reins are great but I'm having the same issues with my ds and I'm on foot! He dangles from them like a puppet most of the time.

Can you hoist him up onto your lap if he doesn't listen to you the first time? Then maybe you could use it as a threat as encouragement to walk beside you, in the same way as I would say, "Pram, if you don't walk nicely" (and follow through of course) as he obviously loves walking. When i do that i find it makes him walk with me....for a bit anyway!

I can completely see why you'd want to go out with your toddler independent of help and I hope you can continue doing it.. Are you in a wheelchair permanently?

forevergreek Thu 08-Nov-12 07:36:10

Yes those little rucksacks are great . They are longer than regular reins too and you can prob just loop it over your wrist easier. A few more months and he may be able to wander close inside

mycatlikestwiglets Thu 08-Nov-12 09:27:44

Chortle at InvaderZim's 24 year old now walking nicely.

My DS was the same at 18mo, now at 22mo he's much better at holding my hand but still tries to escape occasionally. How about something like a scooter? It might be more exciting for him than the pushchair but you may still be able to exert some control

lljkk Thu 08-Nov-12 09:31:52

They are all different, OP.

DS1 was a bolter (but mostly assessed risks well, wouldn't necessarily run into road).
DS2 was excellent about staying close (became the most pesky impulsive child, though).
DS3 had no road sense & wandered off anywhere (placid thoughtful angel in most respects).
DD stayed quietly close although prone to day dreaming into traffic at 9yo (least confident toddler turned into most confident child).

There is no normal. Just cope as you need to.

TwinkleReturns Thu 08-Nov-12 09:39:42

DD (19mo) is exactly like this. I let her walk but wall her in: so Im pushing the buggy at the same speed she is walking on the side of the pavement nearest the road. If she slows down I slow down, if she speeds up I speed up. If there's a road to cross I do grab her hand and refuse to let go no matter how much wriggling occurs, just walk on briskly chattering about things to distract her and make it v clear she MUST not let go of my hand. Could you do a similar thing with your chair that I do with the buggy? As in keep in next to DC and do the speed up slow down as they do. She genuinely cant get past iyswim and she cant outrun me.

Ive also (through bloodyminded persistence) got her to listen to an incredibly firm "STOP!!" for when we dont have the buggy and she is about to run into the road. I would say it V firmly and grab her and she's learnt through repeating this at every single road that when mummy says "STOP!" she does not move a muscle. Im pg and as I get bigger less able to sprint after her so it was important for me that she could have some independance without me having no control. I hope you find something that works for you OP.

TwinkleReturns Thu 08-Nov-12 09:42:48

ahhh that first sentence sounds like she is near the road blush

to clarify i have DD on the "inside" and I push the buggy on the side of the pavement which is nearest the road.

MrsTittleMouse Thu 08-Nov-12 09:50:17

Not a boy thing, my daughter was like this. I wasn't in a wheelchair, but I was pregnant with SPD, so also couldn't run after her if/when she ran off (into the road on several memorable occasions sad).

I used reins, maybe something like this
www.safetots.co.uk/Travelling-Sun-Care-&-Swimming/Keeping-Kids-Close/Harness-&-Reins/c124_917_200/p4893/Diono-Sure-Steps-Safety-Harness-and-Wrist-Strap/product_info.html
would work better for you, as the strap looks longer than the small loop that you get with classic reins.

As everyone said, he's not being naughty, it's completely normal for a large subsection of toddlers (the tantrums too), and it's no reflection on you. He will grow out of it. By 2.5 (which I understand feels like an age away!) my DD was an angel out and about.

Smudge588 Thu 08-Nov-12 15:07:41

Mine was the same at that age. Now 2.5 and way better. I had to do a lot of "ooh look there's a dog/tree/leaf! Shall we go and see it" as well as plenty putting him on reins/pushchair/going home if he didn't listen to me. Not sure if it actually worked or he just grew up a bit! Good luck.

notcitrus Thu 08-Nov-12 16:00:02

I kept ds in the buggy and only let go in a playground or similar enclosed place where running would be safe. And later practced walking nicely and stopping when I say, or threatening the LL backpack which he hated.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 08-Nov-12 23:10:03

Not a boy thing. DD (23 months) has no sense of danger, runs, doesn't look back, fearless. I have the Little Life reins/rucksack. Can you loop reins around your wrist/forearm and still use your chair?

brettgirl2 Fri 09-Nov-12 17:43:10

I still dont 100% trust my bolter at 3.5. (although if she does it now its deliberate naughtiness obviously)18 months is just a baby. Are there any really safe places you can go?

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