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Top Tips for Toddler Pedestrians please!

(34 Posts)
Aspire2Iron Fri 22-May-09 01:24:34

DD is 16 months and gaining steam. It's a beautiful thing, however....

I need tips for walking around town (gulp... London) with a toddler.

Not keen on harnesses. Not keen on her running in the street, either!

She refuses to hold my hand. Do I drag her insist?

MN, what are your top tips for the new and nervous parent of a toddler pedestrian?

SOLOisMeredithGrey Fri 22-May-09 01:32:57

What about a wrist strap? work for some.

EyeballsisonaDietAgain Fri 22-May-09 01:46:13

I've just bought one of the Little Life ladybird rucksacks. DD (also 16 months) refused to wear a harness at all but she likes this. She'd be off like a bat out of hell given half the chance, no way would I risk letting her onto the mean streets un-tethered. I'd never see her again!

ninedragons Fri 22-May-09 03:19:41

Rucksack harness. Even if you are opposed to them usually, London is full of cycle couriers racing through the streets and footpaths. Personally I think pose more of a risk than car traffic, as they're so unpredictable, they're silent when they're coming from behind you and they travel at great speed.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 22-May-09 04:32:41

Yep we have a Little Life bee backpack. Loads of kids have come up to DD and asked her about it - it's very popular. They have little hats in the backpack so when it rains they can keep their little heads dry and DD looks so cute as a bee (she dances around 'buzzing' merrily). They also have a 'grab' handle at the back which means if you aren't holding the wrist strap and they make for the exits you can just grab quickly without hurting them and stop them in their tracks.

littleboyblue Fri 22-May-09 04:36:14

My ds1 luckily loves his reigns. I feel like I'm walking a dog at times, but safety over image

whomovedmychocolate Fri 22-May-09 05:02:19

Also once you get them used to the idea of wearing the backpack, you don't have to hold on as much as they learn to walk close to you and not to run off.

mrsgboring Fri 22-May-09 05:19:13

Another vote for the Little Life backpack - they are fab. However, I did also have a zero tolerance policy on hand holding. I would just stop if DS let go of my hand, and as he was strapped onto my wrist by the rucksack, he had to stop too.

Aspire2Iron Fri 22-May-09 08:11:18

Thanks for the response. I'll look into it, and I'm certainly willing to be convinced!

However, for non-reign users, how do you do it? What are your psychological/physical/practical tips for getting the little person to stay with you? Even if we do use reigns, how do you teach them to choose to stick with you?

travellingwilbury Fri 22-May-09 08:15:16

I used to take the pushchair with me and every time he refused to hold my hand or wandered off to far , I would strap him back in the pushchair . We would then try again a bit further along . It was a pita for a few days but it did work .

Once he was a bit older we practised playing traffic lights . He soon saw it as a game and as soon as I said red he would stop in his tracks .

HSMM Fri 22-May-09 08:21:23

Hand holding with reins as a backup. More comfortable for the child, while still being safe. Mine sometimes want to hold the reins (?), so I unhook one end, I hold the middle and they hold the other end.

tribpot Fri 22-May-09 08:24:38

We've always done "now, we're in a car park, what do we have to do in a car park?" "Hold hands" to the point where now he tells me what to do (and is very intolerant of me 'running off' in shops hmm). As they get older they get more aware of danger "the car could hurt you". But another vote for the backpack here!

whomovedmychocolate Fri 22-May-09 10:30:27

We hold hands with the loop of the backpack rein over my hand. She's only ever aware of the rein when she legs it - which now is rare, but there was an incident when I had a newborn DS in a pram, had just had surgery and she ran away in a shopping centre, laughing demonically. angry Hence the backpack.

They are cheapest on Amazon.

Oh and as an added bonus you can make them carry their wipes and nappies in them so you can travel lighter wink

tatty33 Sat 23-May-09 19:09:40

Sorry to say but I really didn't like the ruck sack, as I had to walk behind ds and it felt unnatural.

We have 'sides' I walk by the road, ds' side is nearest the pavement. He generally walks beside me, but will hold my hand if we have to cross the road.

To be honest the problem is getting him to walk and get to where we need to, he wants to stop and inspect everyone's front door!

Hassled Sat 23-May-09 19:18:55

My only top tip is to please pick your moments for her to become pedestrian. Don't, for example, decide that a narrow pavement alongside a busy road outside a school at pick-up time is the very moment to get her out of the pushchair. She might enjoy it, others really won't <bitter experience emoticon>.

A wrist strap worked well for mine.

sarah293 Sat 23-May-09 19:23:04

Message withdrawn

MIAonline Sat 23-May-09 19:28:13

You can teach them to hold your hand and walk along nicely alongside you, my DS does and is very good. But, and it is a big but, nothing you teach them will stop them from dashing away if they see something that interests them suddenly and if that is across abusy road, they will not stop for one second to consider it.

Don't be fooled into thinking a toddler can be trained to go against insticts. I only use reins when near busy roads and in very busy situations. My DS has never, and most probably would never, bolt away, but I am not willing to take that risk. It is a case of putting your prejudices against reins aside and going for common sense.

I know that is not a very popular POV at the moment but I am sticking to it. grin

MIAonline Sat 23-May-09 19:30:21

Oh and I didn't answer one of your questions, Yes do insist on her holding your hand. She needs to learn that this is what is expected of her to keep safe. I hold hands and loop the rein around my hand, so that I have a back up but DS (2) is still learning to hold hands when walking in a busy place.

holdingittogether Sat 23-May-09 19:35:45

You just need lots of patience!!! Don't let them walk if you are in rush. They want to stop and look at every tiny little thing on the ground and often don't even want to walk in the same direction as you! I would certainly still bring the buggy if you can so they can be secured in if it all get sa bit much. Keep chatting to them helps. A bit of a running commentary on what is going on around you to keep them focused on where you are going. I have pretended to see a cat ahead and encourage the toddler to come and see if we can find it "Oh no, it must have ran away, lets see if we can find another one" As I said you need lots of patience!

Aspire2Iron Sun 24-May-09 20:58:15

Lots to think about here, and lots to agree with!

cory Mon 25-May-09 15:13:38

another one for hand holding and reins

3littlefrogs Mon 25-May-09 15:19:12

Agree with MIAonline. Reins are good - all toddlers will dash off if they see something interesting.

Also - it must be very uncomfortable to have to walk for a longish time with your arm up in the air - it is really bad for the nerves and ligaments around the shoulder. I cringe when I see parents yanking their toddler back from the kerb etc - the risk of dislocating the elbow or wrist is quite high.

Aspire2Iron Thu 28-May-09 23:56:55

(But why don't I see a lot of reins out on the streets? I have been toddler-parent-watching for the last month, now, and I see them so seldom. I am coming 'round to the idea of them, but I am also wanting to avoid the gadgets-solve-all-my-problems situation, too.... )

Thanks for all replies!!! Those backpacks are really CUTE, too. Ingenius design, really.

shivster1980 Mon 01-Jun-09 14:39:12

Another vote for the little life rucksacks. We have had the cow one for about a year and DS 2yrs 11 months still doesn't mind wearing it. grin

wahwahwah Mon 01-Jun-09 14:43:59

jumpers or coats with hoods - then you can grab them when they make a dart for it! Train little one to hold your hand or hang onto your bag at least.

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