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Toddler Reins

(70 Posts)
Yesmynameis Sun 15-Jan-12 12:28:34

I have found one or two past threads about this but not for a couple of years.

So I just wondered, what do people think of reins, do people use them anymore? I know quite a few mums of toddler age children and don't know anyone who uses them. Plus I have never seen anyone out and about with them.

So my question is... how else do you manage with a 14mo toddler who is a) reluctant to hold hands b) moves pretty quickly c) doesn't want to pay any attention to the general direction of travel? Surely not using them would be dangerous, but clearly others are managing pretty well without...

Would I be better persevering without them for the short term, or are they they ok to use

Buriedundernappies Sun 15-Jan-12 14:09:39

I have a set of reins for my 18 month old DS who just loves to run in the general direction of moving cars. I know a lot of people disagree with them, but i don't really understand why.
My mum got DS a bag with a parent strap on it, for Christmas, and you can un hook the strap when their a bit older. I have no idea where she got it from, but maybe a quick google might give an answer. DS definitely prefers the bag as he can put a few little toys or his beaker in it.

jellybeans Sun 15-Jan-12 14:12:27

I use reins backpack on my 3 year old about half the time. Other half he holds my hand. He is a bolter. I'm for reins all the way if it keeps yur DC safe. Better than a dead kid! Also it is all very well people against them when they have had easy kids who walk along nicely. Out of my 5 DC, DS3 is by far the hardest when out and about, so he will remain with reins until i feel confident and then will hold my hand near roads. Worked for all my older kids fine.

Superene Sun 15-Jan-12 14:14:54

Reins are brilliant, and it becomes quite obvious when to stop using them. My dc1 used to get very excited when they came out of the cupboard, at about the same age as your dc. Use them if they suit your life. I suppose they are quite old fashioned, but IMO better than having your dc in a buggy all the time.

PetiteRaleuse Sun 15-Jan-12 14:24:01

I live in France and over here they are frowned upon as being akin to keeping the child on a lead. I will still be getting some when DD starts walking and I will use them rather than keep her in a pushchair more than in necessary (OK when she is tired of course).

I believe in them not only for safety (though obviously that is the top selling point). I also believe that it is easier for children to learn to balance and get good posture if they don't have one arm in the air and don't feel like they are being pulled along. On reins it is easier for them to set their own pace. And more comfortable.

My other reason for intending on using them is that, suffering from significant back pain, it will be easier for me to walk with DD; not needing to lean down, even a little bit will make life far less painless.

Tigresswoods Sun 15-Jan-12 14:26:17

Like so many aspects of parenting I think you can't understand if you don't have the problem

We have a runner/ bolted. We have reins! grin

SmileItsSunny Sun 15-Jan-12 14:37:07

We had reins. If you need them, use them.

Faverolles Sun 15-Jan-12 14:43:22

I think they're brilliant. Of course the child still needs to learn to walk sensibly and not bolt, but I treat them as a safety net when walking along a busy road.

I came under fire when I suggested reins to a RL friend who was letting her 18 m dd dice with death. Apparently it's the worst form of lazy parenting.
Personally, I'd rather have a safe child than a squashed one!

startail Sun 15-Jan-12 14:47:05

DD1 learnt to vaporise as soon as she learnt to crawl. Fortunately like many dyslexics, this was only just before she learnt to walk.
Unfortunately learning to walk just allowed are to vanish quicker.
Reins were essential until she was 3 and her sister came along. Reins plus push chair didn't work and she seem to realise that vanishing wasn't going to be tolerated in the same way.
She's 13 now and still sometimes wanders off in a dreamgrin

Ineedacleaneriamalazyslattern Sun 15-Jan-12 14:50:19

I have used them with all 3 of mine. With dd they were a threat as she was a bolter so although I didn't use them all the time they were there.
Ds1 liked to just run whichever way took his fancy and would wriggle out of hand holding.
For ds2 I use the backpack with removable strap. It's the little life toddler day sack. I got mine in John Lewis I really like it it's longer than reins as well
He is quite chuffed with it because when he sees it he knows he's off out and he's walking. grin

DestinationUnknown Sun 15-Jan-12 14:50:57

reins are great for all the reasons outlined above - safety, stops back pain, lets the child explore with both hands = less frustrating.

a friend of mine had a nightmare with her bolting ds - her DH was "ethically opposed" to reins hmm. Presumably he wasn't "ethically opposed" to either a squashed child or a wife who spent her weekdays in a major stress struggling to contain the bolter every time they left the house.

startail Sun 15-Jan-12 14:51:06

DD2 didn't vanish. She'd wander off, but had the sense to keep half an eye on mum and/or her sister.
This was very useful, find DD2 and you could often spot DD1.

kickassangel Sun 15-Jan-12 14:58:08

I used reins for all the reasons stated here. I also found that they helped avoid scraped knees. If I felt dd trip, I could use the reins to stop her falling or at least let her down gently.

As soon as she could walk she didn't want to be in the push chair. She's another bolter/daydreamer, so reins were very practical.

I was in a shop at around the time dd was this age. A very harrassed couple came in with a screaming toddler in their arms. They bought a wrist strap, and we're putting it on their child within seconds. Even with two of them, they had lost their dc 3 times that morning!

Avenged Sun 15-Jan-12 19:38:25

There will be those who oppose reins with excuses like "You're not taking a dog for a walk. Make your DC hold your hand" or "Did you know that reins can cause dislocation in the child's shoulder/elbow/wrist/all 3?" and so on, but anyone with any common sense would see that it's easier to mend a dislocation than a dead child, so that would put paid to that excuse.

BTW, I used reins on my 2 DC's so I'm definitely a "There's nowt wrong with reins" kinda woman.

wasabipeanut Sun 15-Jan-12 19:47:42

I use reins at the moment with DD who is coming up for 2. She is a bolter and will only tolerate hand holding for about 2 minutes. She then yanks her hand out of mine and tries to leg it. I have a proper set that go over the shoulders and attach from 2 points at the back, so no chance of dislocations of various bits! I used them for DS too at a similar age. I try to hold her hand with the reins just as back up IYSWIM.

If people want to be sniffy about it that's their issue. Our walk to school for DS takes us briefly along a very busy road and I'd rather not risk my DD's safety because people have "ethical" issues. Funnily enough the only person who ever commented to me on the subject was a male colleague who had ethical problems with them. Presumably he didn't do the school run that often.

oreocrumbs Sun 15-Jan-12 19:58:55

I'm using reins for 16mo DD, initially tried with a wrist strap but she would bolt sideways and I was worried about her either leaping into the road or hurting her arm/shoulder as she pulled.

We are doing really well with the reins though, and I have found an elasticated wrist strap which will reduce the risk of arm damage if she yanks away that I will move on to next once I'm confident she has picked up a bit more road sense and is listening/paying attention a bit more!

I can't see the harm in reins, and I would rather have her on her feet walking and burning off energy, learning about staying close, and stopping at roads etc than just push her around and she won't go in a pushchair very much now so I don't really get a say

Teaandcakeplease Sun 15-Jan-12 20:09:06

I used reins with both of mine and then graduated to the wrist strap with the elastic. Both from Mothercare. DD didn't need them long before she was sensible. My son has only just stopped being put on the wrist restraint and he's just turned age 3 and I still have to keep them on me as a threat. He really was a bolter and as others have described would hold my hand for a minute or so and then wriggle out and try and dash off. Lots of people use them round my way though.

I've seen plenty of threads about reins in aibu in the past. It is an emotive subject but if your child enjoys walking and isn't great at holding hands it is the best option for safety. Or strapping them back into the buggy again wink

EBDteacher Sun 15-Jan-12 20:11:55

My 17mo DS thinks his reins are a way to lead me. He wanted to take me into the kitchen the other day so I'd get him a snack- he went and got the reins and gave me one end and literally lead me like the dog. grin

He hollers about going in his buggy, sits down to get out of hand holding, climbs over the shoulder of anyone carrying him and leans on his reins in whatever direction he wants to go. Progress is slow! The only popular thing is riding in a trolley I am considering stealing one .

TheSkiingGardener Sun 15-Jan-12 20:12:50

I can let DS walk so much more as we have one of the backpacks with a lead. Otherwise he would have to be in the buggy more. He prefers it, I prefer it and we have a lot more fun.

MoreBeta Sun 15-Jan-12 20:13:08

We used reins for both. Lets them walk and tires them out. Stops the constant battle to get hold of wriggly hands. You can hook it over your arm to free up both of your hands. Saved many a face first trip on the hard pavement too.

IWantMyHatBack Sun 15-Jan-12 20:14:40

We tried reigns and found them fiddly over winter coats etc.

Little Life rucksack was brilliant. DS always did the puppet thing when the reigns went on, but the rucksack was always welcomed, and it's easy to take the lead off when you want to.

Reigns can be good for clipping back into a pushchair, or using in a highchair as well if there are clips.

Lovethesea Sun 15-Jan-12 20:50:45

I use a little life backpack with lead. Brilliant thing. DD hated holding hands, I think it hurt her having her arm up all the time, so it allowed her freedom and safety.

DS (19 months) is more of a bolter than DD ever was and has inherited the backpack. He loves it. Stands still to put it on and seems to understand that he needs to walk with me if it's on, as opposed to the park where he gets to run wild. He walked 45 minutes the other day and it gives us great freedom to potter along pavements in a relaxed way.

Strawberrytallcake Sun 15-Jan-12 20:57:21

I use backpack with parent attachment as mentioned earlier from jojomamanbebe. Took dd into the shop and she chose the bag she wanted which has made it easier as now she is happy to put her 'fairy wings bag' on. I try to just hold her hand when she's happy and had enough sleep but when she hasn't slept or it's late in the day and I know she'll do a runner I tend to use them. A lot of the time she still holds my hand anyway.

I tried the arm to arm wrist link kind of reins and she went crazy!!!

DonInKillerHeels Sun 15-Jan-12 21:00:35

With a very very independent 18 mo DS who will not hold hands and runs off, I use a Little Life backpack with detachable rein. He LOVES his backpack because he associates putting it on with going out, and hasn't quite worked out he's not as free as he thinks he is...

kellestar Sun 15-Jan-12 21:06:42

There is a right time and right place for them, I think they are great and will use them on DD 13mo when she's more independant and doesn't want to hold my hand. MiL uses them for 5yo neice and 3 yo nephew all the time, though it's not neccessary at all. They both have good road sense and we live in the middle of nowhere and the roads are very quiet. She also insists on them being on at the park too, which really bothers me as they can't just run about, they have to drag gran too, and she holds them while they go through climbing frames and down slides. It means that often they have to take turns with going on anything.

I picked up a pair in the second hand shop, in packet still for £2. Though DD is so skinny that unless she has a bulky coat she won't fit [MiL has tried already] and she just slips through them on the tightest adjustment.

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