With the wonderful world of parenting comes a myriad of opposing opinions – the same can be said for everything, really. And for the most part, I can empathise with other perspectives and understand other angles.
What confounds me, though, as loathe as I am to admit (because I try to be as understanding as I can at all times) is why some parents HATE baby reins!
Honestly – I’ve seen so many comments online, and heard the same offline… ‘My baby is a child, not a dog’ and the many other variants tends to be the most common statement.
Others feel that reins ‘stifle the child’s innate and natural urge to explore and learn…’
I’ve even seen comments calling parents who use them ‘lazy‘ for not teaching their small child to walk properly in the street (surely reins are part of this learning process though…)!
Me, personally? I think they stifle a child’s impulses to throw themselves into potentially fatal situations. Learning through exploration is fantastic for their development for many different reasons, but their safety should be paramount, and there are many other outlets for exploration away from main roads and crowded public spaces where any weirdo could be lurking.
Want to go for a walk but at the stage where your toddler wants to walk… but still has no sense of danger?
Want to go to the shops and your toddler isn’t happy sitting in the trolley, but you don’t want her to trash the wine aisle?
‘Why just not teach your child no?‘ is a response I’ve had often when I’ve explained why reins are so handy, and it does make me chuckle.
If your toddler remembers the meaning of no consistently, or actually chooses to listen every time they reach for something shiny & dangerous, you’re bloody lucky. It takes TIME to build these boundaries and learn how to conduct yourself in public, during this period reins can prevent accidents. Hand holding can be uncomfortable too – you try walking with your arm above your head for hours, or hunched over holding a tiny hand. I’m just under 6 foot tall, can you imagine how painful it is for me to hunch over for hours?!
We cannot rely on a tiny human who is still learning to remember and understand ‘no’ every time – they’re still learning.
Reins are a really good safety net, as no parent is infallible and it only takes a moment for an accident to happen. They can learn to walk safely over time with the use of reins when they are smaller, and once a child has consistently behaved well when on the reins, then the reins can be put away.
In addition, in a time where obesity levels are at an all-time high, and where we are trying to educate our children on healthy diets and exercise, surely we should start to implement this as soon as possible? Isn’t it healthy to encourage walking and physical activity? Reins allow this to be done without an errant toddler wandering in front of a car, escaping the shops, or any other dangerous scenario. They remove the need for a pushchair.
Sigh. I don’t understand the hang-up, as much as I’d like to. Rein haters, please explain your rationale in the comments! Help out this confused mama who just wants to understand…
Love from Katie. Xx
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