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How to keep 2 children safe out on your own

(24 Posts)
tryingtobemarypoppins2 Fri 29-Jul-11 20:25:32

Ds is 3:6 months and his baby brother is 16months.

I am really struggling out and about at farm parks/attractions when I am on my own. We always talk about staying together and I am firm if older DS runs off etc. But it is situations like today when younger DS was playing by my feet as I put older sons shoes back on, turned around and younger DS was gone! I could see him about 30metres away, he had legged it in seconds!

When we are in the park etc it feels so much safer as the area they are in is smaller and fenced off, but at these larger parks and attractions I am really worried.

Any tips?

Parietal Fri 29-Jul-11 20:28:00

Put reins on the younger child. That is the only way to be sure he won't run.

When mine were those ages, I'd always deal with the little one first, so I could put her in the buggy while I dealt with DS so she couldn't do one. Also, reins on the little one are useful - they can be looped over your arm while you deal with an older child, so you've still got both hands free and the little one can't leg it.
Bloody tiring though...

x-posted with parietal...

Meglet Fri 29-Jul-11 20:32:47

When mine were that little I'd keep the younger one in the double buggy (even if she screamed the place down) and put reins on the older one.

It's very hard juggling 2 energetic small people on days out.

tryingtobemarypoppins2 Fri 29-Jul-11 20:46:12

How on earth do mums manage 3!?
I will get the reins out - thanks for that. It has got so much harder now DS2 is moving and wants to do everything like his older brother, I worry alot that he dips out on attention and chosing where he wants to go/what he wants to do......oh I can't explain it...hope you know what I mean!

ragged Fri 29-Jul-11 20:55:24

But it's a nightmare, esp. with 3+. And it will reach its peak in about a year's time when that baby is at the same stage your older one is now.

Meglet Fri 29-Jul-11 20:55:30

I have mulled that over too. I think that by the time they have 3 dc's the eldest is pretty much at school age and fairly sensible.

Although anyone with triplets must be a gibbering wreck.

MrsGravy Fri 29-Jul-11 21:00:23

Meglet is right! I have 3 - aged 6, 4 and 1. So the big 2 are past the running off stage (thankfully) and I just have to chase after the little one.

Reins are a good idea. And strapping him in the pushchair if you need to divert your attention. But really you DID keep them safe. If you hadn't been keeping a watchful eye he'd have got a hell of a lot further than that.

halcyondays Sat 30-Jul-11 15:27:56

He's only 16 months old, it doesn't matter how much you talk to him about staying together,if he gets the urge to run off, he will. They can't control their impulses at that age and he won't understand why it's not safe for him to run off. Even 2 and 3 year olds will run off sometimes, if you are at a farm park or somewhere I would either put him in a buggy if he runs off or use reins.

tryingtobemarypoppins2 Sat 30-Jul-11 20:30:37

halcyondays I was refering to my older 3 year old when I said I tell him to always stay with us etc. I am fully aware my 16month old can't control his impluses hence my post!!

rubyrubyruby Sat 30-Jul-11 20:34:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FootprintsOnTheMoon Sat 30-Jul-11 20:46:06

It's good to keep a mental note of 'safe places' that you find easy. It's not always about the funnest attraction - more about where you can have a fun relaxed day. This might be fenced playgrounds, friendly playgroups etc.

Brainwash the three year old to instinctively hold the buggy, and work with him on being super reliable in responding to 'STOP'.

It's possible to stand a 3yr old on the back of an umbrella old buggy as you walk, though it will warp the frame eventually.

Stay strong and don't get too easily distracted. Home-travel- safe place-travel- home: job done.

LittleBugsMum Sat 30-Jul-11 22:47:02

I find this really difficult too. My 2 year old runs away at every opportunity & we've had 2 really, really scary experiences (one was today actually).

I get really down on myself when anything happens though, I feel so guilty I feel nauseous. And teary. I feel like a terrible mother. Does anyone else feel like that??

DiscoDaisy Sat 30-Jul-11 22:52:31

A few years ago mine were aged 8.6yrs, 4.1, 2.5, 13mths and newborn.
I only survived by putting the younger ones in the buggy first and having reins that if push can to shove I could hook around the double buggy.
I also only did the school runs and toddler groups on my own and only tried going elsewhere when someone else was with me, although this wasn't always possible!

MegBusset Sat 30-Jul-11 22:54:11

Definitely reins - use them all the while with runaway DS2. And if he doesn't behave on the reins he gets threatened with the hated buggy!

zzzzz Sat 30-Jul-11 23:04:58

I wouldn't go with reins myself. I think it makes the whole "unreliable" stage last longer. With mine [I had 6, 4, 2 year old twins and a newborn, though they are bigger now], I try always to tell them to do something rather than "not" to do something. "Hands on the car", when I am juggling car keys, "hold my bag" while I deal with someone else. When the twins were little I did resort to putting bells on their shoes [put them on a loop of velcro], so I could hear where they were when my back was turned. Teach them to answer "here I am" when you call there name [chocolate buttons help]. The more you do it the easier it gets.

tryingtobemarypoppins2 Sun 31-Jul-11 19:42:10

LittleBugsMum yes i do feel like that.....most days!!

Glad to know I'm not alone in finding this hard. This weekend I can confirm that DH isn't much help and is pretty much like having a 3rd child Grrrrrrr!

Loopymumsy Sun 31-Jul-11 22:02:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

swash Mon 01-Aug-11 18:51:06

I didn't do much - certainly didn't go to farms etc. Our week was very simple, very local. Much easier that way.

BoysRusxxx Mon 01-Aug-11 21:02:52

I have those wrist strap reigns for my two toddlers (2.7yrs and 1.8yrs) If dp and i are together we take one each without reigns (we still bring reigns for punishment when they run off) but If I am alone they both wear reigns or ds2 has to get in buggy and ds1 can walk.
Ds1 was a nightmare for running off. He has improved so much since we got reigns as he know if he runs off he has to have a few mins in reigns.

D0G Mon 01-Aug-11 21:08:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JemimaMuddledUp Mon 01-Aug-11 21:09:55

There are 20 months between DS1 and DS2, and 20 months between DS2 and DD. So I had 3 under 3.5.

I had wrist strap reins, and also drummed it into the two older ones to hold onto the buggy handles. I would always deal with them in the order that they were most likely to be a problem (DS1 was quite sensible, DS2 was prone to legging it in the blink of an eye, DD's needs extended to feeding and nappy changing so as long as they were done she could be ignored for 10 minutes).

Looking back it sounds awfully strict and regimented, but it did mean that we could leave the house without me having a nervous breakdown!

megkat Tue 02-Aug-11 22:44:22

There's 18m between my two and I must admit at that stage I very rarely went for days out to big places alone. When we were at the park etc I remember that DD2 had to stay in the buggy while DD1 walked/ran to wherever we were going - the difficulty always came when they were both in the playgraound and wanted to go in two separate directions! Both learnt very early on about turn taking wink

Reins are a good idea but I found both of mine used them as a parachute - would dangle off the end of them instead of actually walking.

Good luck OP - it's lots of fun at that age but LOTS of hard work too smile

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