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reins for toddlers - acceptable or not?

(97 Posts)
itsalwaysthequietones Fri 31-Jul-09 13:19:10

DD is 19 months, we live in central london by lots of busy roads. She doesn't like being in the pram for any length of time but is also reluctant to hold hands. At the moment I take the 'if you won't hold mummy's hand you have to go in the pram' approach, which means she's in and out of the pram every few minuts. I wondered about reins because I'd like to be able to walk more with her but am scared about her wriggling away and running into the road.

But not quite sure about the idea of having her on what is essentially a lead. What are your thoughts/experiences?

reikizen Fri 31-Jul-09 13:22:53

My feeling is that there is a bit of a class divide on this. Middle class parents say reins bad! I used them for dd1 and they were a lifesaver (in terms of my sanity and her road safety) but didn't need them for dd2. They are also great for when they are still a bit clumsy and always tripping over 'cos you call haul them back before they hit the deck! Your kids, your choice though at the end of the day!

itsalwaysthequietones Fri 31-Jul-09 13:25:49

thanks that's v helpful. Am erring towards getting some but she'll probably throw a complete fit when I put them on anyway!

luckylady74 Fri 31-Jul-09 13:26:09

middle class parents do however lap up those cute rucksacks with a lead attached-reins in disguise. If you're both happier what could be better than that.
I hold hands too tightly for my kids so I hold their elbow/hood/whatever comes to hand!

Iklboo Fri 31-Jul-09 13:27:33

We used them for DS until he cottoned on that he could just pull his legs out from under and spend time spinning round like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible grin

itsalwaysthequietones Fri 31-Jul-09 13:29:05

oh yes, I've done the hood grabbing thing many times.

lol at the cute rucksacks being somehow more acceptable.

PartOfTheHumphreysGroup Fri 31-Jul-09 13:29:27

I think they are a good idea. I have one of these backpacks (the bee one smile ) that have a handle parents can use to hold on to, fully intend to use when she is walking! bit more subtle than reins maybe...

PartOfTheHumphreysGroup Fri 31-Jul-09 13:30:13

lol x posts - i must be a middle class parent then..

hf128219 Fri 31-Jul-09 13:30:34

I never knew reins were a class issue. I am an upper-class toff who loves them! grin

AstronomyDomine Fri 31-Jul-09 13:31:15

lol at Iklboo grin

I had them for DS way back when Adam was a lad - didn't actually need them for long thankfully, but what a lifesaver when I first used them and totally agree with reikizen, they're fantastic from preventing slamming faces into pavements!

itsalwaysthequietones Fri 31-Jul-09 13:31:57

PartOf - ok I now see that the rucksacks really are rather cute. The bee is lovely, rather like the turtle too!

Iklboo - that sounds like quite a manoeuvre

DeathbyDora Fri 31-Jul-09 13:32:14

I used the rucksack too for both of mine!

Actually they're great because you can put a couple of her favourite toys or trinkets in it and they feel quite important.

misscreosote Fri 31-Jul-09 13:33:28

I personally don't see why people have a problem with reins - its safe, its convenient (especially if you have other kids to look after), it gives them more freedom to roam than hand holding, and you can stop them falling too badly when they're just starting to walk.

And if your DD is stroppily independent like mine, and won't hold your hand for any length of time, then they are a great compromise.

I am very middle class by the way grin

Have to say, DD1 is 22 months now and haven't needed to use them for a couple of months as she is more sensible (we don't walk along too many busy roads though). But from age 1 upwards, when she was just walking, they were fab. You might find your DD is too old to take to them now - maybe the rucksack idea would tickle her fancy more?

cornsillk Fri 31-Jul-09 13:34:30

I used reins for ds1. Haven't seen those rucksacks before - would probably have used that also. I had a few pairs for emergencies - in the car, at granny's house etc. If you have a bolter they are great.

stealthsquiggle Fri 31-Jul-09 13:36:21

I would class myself as middle class. I used reins for both DC when they were really 'toddling' - now I use a rucksack (which is exactly the same thing) for DD because she is a 'bolter' and doesn't like holding hands (and won't wear reins any more because they are "for babies, and I'm a big girl"). Doing Tom Cruise impressions results in being picked up and carried under my arm in an undignified manner until she promises to walk properly.

itsalwaysthequietones Fri 31-Jul-09 13:36:43

Yes the class division on reins is a revelation to me too. I am well and truly middle class but had actually been thinking of comments I'd heard about children not learning about safety themselves. But then she's only 19 months so it's hardly time for the highway code yet.

Anyway, the wise women of mumsnet have spoken and I'll be buying the turtle, or ladybird, or bee I reckon.

misscreosote Fri 31-Jul-09 13:39:05

Not sure why using reins means they can't learn about safety as well?! My DD is petrified of being squished by a car like a tomato (oops, maybe I went too far with that one blush) and runs back to me whenever she even hears a car, even if we are not near the road at all!

Meglet Fri 31-Jul-09 13:39:41

Reins are 100% ok IMHO, my ds has the rucksack one now but had traditional reins when he was still a bit wobbly on his feet. TBH its only the middle class parents I see using reins.

TigerDrivesAgain Fri 31-Jul-09 13:42:11

Well I am nothing if not middle class and I found them invaluable.

Do watch out for your shoulders though - DS used to fling himself on the floor when wearing them, nearly had me in casualty a few times if I wasn't expecting it grin

hf128219 Fri 31-Jul-09 13:43:42

This class issue always makes me chuckle on MN! From the food you eat, to where you shop. Who cares? Do what you want to do!

holdingittogether Fri 31-Jul-09 13:44:18

I use the wrist rein. I think safety has to come first. If you in a busy area and there is any doubt about LO holding hands well of paticularly if you have more than one child to look after some sort of reins is a very good idea. You can still try and hold hand while they ahve reins on so they are still learning but you have the back up if they start playing up.

MrsFawlty Fri 31-Jul-09 13:44:39

why would anyone think reins are not ok? Genuinely don't understand. I have an extremely boisterous boy who would be a middle class corpse without them.

StinkyFart Fri 31-Jul-09 13:44:49

reins are good and I am v firmly middle class, we have supper 'n all

cat64 Fri 31-Jul-09 13:47:25

Message withdrawn

myredcardigan Fri 31-Jul-09 13:48:20

Actually, I don't think it is a class thing. Likes dummies, I think it's more a north/south divide.
When we lived in Surrey, dummies and reins were seen as the work of the devil and reserved for those on council estates. Then we moved to Cheshire and 90%+ parents use dummies and with reins, you use them if you need them.

I have 3kids. I only needed them with my second. She would bite my fingers to enable her to bolt. I drives me crazy to hear people say, 'oh I just teach them they must hold my hand.' as if I'd never thought of that. hmm

Use them if you need them. To be blunt; it would be unthinkable to be a bereaved mummy wishing she'd never given a toss about what other mums thought of her for a couple of months.

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