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There’s no shame in a child leash, okay? Putting your kid on a leash (which often times looks like a regular kids’ backpack) not only keeps them safe, but it keeps parents sane. If your toddler has an adventurous spirit, that’s amazing. But if they’re wondering off without telling you, it could be dangerous. Whether you’re on vacation, or at an amusement park, you want to know where your kid is at all times (and sadly, they’re not old enough yet to use a cell phone for that).
In fact, Dr. Mona Amin, a board-certified general pediatrician, fully supports the usage of child leashes, especially when used correctly. “Child safety can be overwhelming and I simply want parents to feel confident and not shamed for the choices they make, as long as they are parenting from a place of love and safety,” she shared with Scary Mommy. Dr. Amin also noted that kid leashes aren’t necessary across the board and children should be taught at home about behaving and boundaries — two things that come into question with something like a leash.
“For the general population of children, leashes are not needed,” she said. “However, I am low judgment if a family needs it for their child, especially if it’s in a crowded area, like an amusement park.” Dr. Amin made it clear, though, that it’s important to use a leash as directed — she likes the backpack style best — and familiarize yourself with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for any recalls. It’s also important not to tug at your child while they’re on a leash, she noted. Ahead, find some of the best child leashes, harnesses, and backpack leashes (some could even be diaper bags!) that your kid will hopefully not mind wearing.
Best Kid Leash
The Fzbjayoon Baby Anti Lost Wrist Link comes in two different colors and has a minimal design. It’s made as a cushioned harness to cradle your little one and has a safety lock on the front so kids can’t remove it. Hook the wrist link to yourself and be tied to your kid as long as you want. As your child grows, you can use the other wrist link rather than the harness so you and your child are basically handcuffed together.
One Reviewer Says: “This was a hit with our two-year-old. We bought this before a trip to sesame place since we knew it would be crowded and our two-year-old wasn’t going to sit in his stroller the entire time. It gave us peace of mind and him, freedom. We had so many parents ask us about it and where they could purchase it. The fact that it locks and I know my child was safe was a huge relief to me.”
Best Backpack Leash
Okay, but what child doesn’t want to look like a dinosaur, right? With the DB Dinosaur Toddler Mini Backpack, you’ll be able to keep your kid close while they feel ultra-cool and dino-like. This backpack comes in four different colors and has a detachable leash. The front of the backpack is built like a harness, so it hugs your child safely as well.
One Reviewer Says: “My 1-year-old son has an obsession with cars and will run right for them when they are coming down the street. With my newborn strapped to my chest, it was impossible to safely take him on walks around our neighborhood. This allows me to still get his wiggles out and remain safe!”
This yisibo Kids Backpack with Safety Leash is a spaceship. Yes, it also comes in a bunny print, but we’re a bit stuck on the spaceship. The backpack has cushioned straps and a detachable leash for you to hold onto your little one. It’s a bit on the small side, making it perfect for toddlers.
One Reviewer Says: “My son absolutely loves his travel backpack. He tells everyone about it! We bought it for a specific trip, he packed it with his favorite things, and I had a leash to keep hold of him in busy airports. It's not a big backpack by any means, which is great for our purpose: he was able to pack some special toys but it kept him from taking too many unnecessary items with us.”
The Yodo Upgraded Kids Insulated Toddler Backpack with Safety Harness comes in a bunch of different animal varieties, so whatever your kid is feeling, you can make it happen. This kid leash is primarily a backpack but does have a detachable tether. The straps are cushioned and they fasten together in the front to keep your kid locked in. It’s designed for little ones up to age 3.
One Reviewer Says: “We LOVE this backpack! My almost 2-year-old [loves] it! He calls it his 'shark'! The backpack is surprisingly very well made. You can definitely tell it will last a long time. The shark part on the outside is nice and firmly fluffed. So it always [looks] puffy and nice. The inside of the backpack is insulated so it is perfect for [snacks] and drinks. I've also used it to put a diaper and a small case of wipes in (along with snacks). It can fit a pretty good size amount in it.”
Best Baby Leash
Available in three different colors, the WSZCML Toddler Leash straps onto your child’s back and hooks to your wrist. The cushioned harness has a lock your little one can’t break, and the whole apparatus is reflective. Once your toddler grows out of the harness, you can each use the wrist cuff to hold onto each other.
One Reviewer Says: “I never thought I would be a leash mom, but it is necessary sometimes! I bought this for a vacation that I knew would require time in crowded areas. My 18-month-old does not like to stay in her stroller, but is not very good at staying with us, so a harness was necessary! This one is comfortable and easy to use. I like the locking mechanisms so she or somebody else cannot take it off. The stretch to the lead part is also nice so it adds tension before she reaches the end which avoids falls. If you need a leash, I recommend this one.”
Best Toddler Leash
If you just want a leash for your kid without a backpack, this Betertek Anti Lost Wrist Link is an option. What it amounts to is two wristbands with a tether between them — one for you and one for your kid. The cuff seals with a magnet that your child won’t be able to open, ensuring they’ll stay safe by your side. The tether is also reflective in the dark, just in case.
One Reviewer Says: “I can finally enjoy my outing and get relaxed now. My son never stayed beside me when we are out, he always runs away. Now he’s by my side and I don’t need to worry because he won’t be able to run away. I strongly recommend this product. It helps a lot when getting through crowded places, my son has no complaint about it.”
Best Toddler Backpack Leash
If this Hipiwe Baby Toddler Walking Safety Backpack came in adult sizes, we might just grab one of our own, because how stinkin’ cute is this purple penguin? This simple backpack comes with a detachable leash, but because it doesn’t have a ton of extra safety features or cushion, it’s probably best for little ones who are less rambunctious. It’s designed for toddlers up to age 3.
One Reviewer Says: “Our 18-month-old is definitely her father's daughter. She's a mile a minute, spitfire, kick in the pants! Our saving grace is that she wants to be just like her 5-year-old sister. So this is perfect that she has her own backpack that she loads with her choice of snacks and willingly puts it on each day to walk down the road to her big sister's bus stop.”
Best Baby Harness
The Mommy’s Helper Toddler Leash & Harness is just what your baby needs once they’ve built the confidence up to really start walking around. The simple harness — which fits chests 14-25 inches — wraps around your little one and clips to the leash that you can hold onto. The leash extends up to 42 inches.
One Reviewer Says: “We use this in our backyard with our toddler. I strap it onto our clothe's line so that he can run around and play in his sandbox while I work in the garden next to him. He has a sense of freedom and I have peace of mind that he is safe and not running off since we do not have a fenced-in backyard.”
The SMBOX Child Leash Backpack Harness offers a few options for wearing it. Your kid can either wear it as a harness when they’re small, tethering to your wrist cuff. Or once they’ve gotten a bit bigger, they can opt-out of the harness and instead use the other wrist cuff to hold onto you. The child side of the apparatus has a locking system they won’t be able to break through and the tether is made from thick steel coated in PVC.
One Reviewer Says: “My granddaughter is a very independent child and wants to walk everywhere. My daughter puts this on her when they go to the mall or any other crowded place. Totally keeps my granddaughter from getting away from her and [makes] it possible for her to feel independent and walk. This is much better than the one I had when my kids were little. You may think this is silly or wrong, but I tell you I had a daughter that absolutely refused to be carried or hold your hand. This sort of setup saved us both.”
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