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How to overcome the stigma of using a backpack harness
I always knew that I wanted to use a backpack harness if/when I ever had a child.
So there was no question when I had my little guy that I was going to use a backpack harness with him.
I also knew that some parents received backlash from other parents or complete strangers from using them.
They’d hear something like, you’re treating your child like a dog?
Well, let me tell you, in this moms opinion, and that’s all this is mind you, I’ve loved it. And my kid loves it too.
Before he could even fully walk I decided to get one as a Christmas present. This way we could start practicing with it even before he needed it. Just in case he decided he didn’t like it or wouldn’t wear it.
Neither one happened.
Now, I didn’t leave it on too long, just enough for him to get the idea of what it was and how it worked. I continued doing this and by the time we needed it for an international flight it was no problem at all. If anything he loved putting it on.
Just the other day we went to the zoo. I was using the harness on my little guy and we were waiting for my parents to finish using the bathroom, standing in some shade. There were two older ladies standing there too and I heard them say that the backpack was cute and what a great idea! It’ll help keep the kid safe and not have to worry about them running off! I turned to them and let them know I agreed.
This is my first bit of advice:
Your child’s safety should be more important than some else’s opinion.
More people than you think will actually agree with your choice or, at the very least, see the harness as cute.
One of the many responsibilities of a parent is to keep your child(ren) safe. Don’t let someones opinion stop you from doing that!
Now, let’s look at another reason to not worry about the stigma of using a harness; the benefits!
- A perfect zippered pocket for toys.
- Adjustable straps for the best fit for your child.
- Cute animals to choose from. We have a monkey. After putting it on the first time I realized it might have been better to get another animal so we’re not saying ‘you have a monkey on your back’ but then realized that’s for us (adults) to get over it not him.
- The length of the strap is not too long but not too short either. And of course can be shortened by wrapping it around your hand.
- The strap/handle can be hung over top of the animal when it’s not needed.
But the real benefits to me
- My child can run and explore while knowing he’s safe.
- If he’s getting ready to run into something I can stop him.
- If he’s falling I can keep him from doing so.
- I don’t have to constantly be screaming at him to stop, come back, watch out, etc.
- He can have his freedom while I can have piece of mind he’s safe.
Here are just a few great places the backpack harness can be useful:
- Amusement parks
Now with all this being said, the one downside of using it has been him not learning that he needs to stay near us while were out, etc.
Because I understand this is extremely important for him to learn too, we do practice going out without the harness and he has done great.
He is getting old enough to start understanding that he needs to stay near us. I don’t see having used the harness has hurt his ability to know his limits.
Through this experience I have never seen or heard any ‘backlash’ on using the harness. (But, I’ll be honest, I don’t pay attention either! :))
And that’s my last bit of advice!
Don’t worry about what others might be saying.
Focus on your child and their safety and let others think what they want!
So, if you’ve been debating on getting one but don’t want to deal with the stigma or judgments from others? Don’t!