Baby Harness as a Gift

Updated on April 21, 2011
T.K. asks from Grand Prairie, TX
13 answers

My son was a runner. He might not be here today if it wasn't for his Elmo backpack harness. He loved it and asked me to put it on him. Now my sister has a 2 yr old that's a runner too. I'm thinking about putting a teddy bear harness in his easter basket. If your sister gave you that, would you be grateful or offended? I dont want her to think I gave her a "leash" for her son. But she's not a mom that's up on things like that. She probably doesnt even know the product exists.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I texted her and asked if she remembered it. She said "No, but damn girl. I need one of those!"
Seriously. My son would not be here. Let me tell you a little nightmare scenario that really happened to me. I took my then almost 2 yr old and his 9 mo old sister to McDonalds so he could play and I could read. This Micckey D's is on a very busy 50 mph 4 lane street. As we were leaving and I'm carrying my daughter in her carseat, my purse, and the diaper bag with one arm and holding my sons hand with the other, he jerked away from me. Laughing he ran and ran as far and as fast as he could. I'm standing there with my baby girl in her carseat and my son running through a busy parking lot away from me. He ran all the way through McDonalds and kept going into Khols parking lot. Noone around. I had to make some split second decisions. I had to open the car, put the baby in the backseat, left the door wide open, dropped my things and run. I ran as fast as I could to get him before he reached the next street and praying I could get to him before a car came barrelling through the parking lot and praying noone stole my completely unprotected baby girl from my open car - or my purse that had all my money and keys in it. I finally reached him, laughing at me. Me shaken and crying. I grabbed him up and ran back in a panic just sure the baby was gone. I sat in the parking lot in my car shaking and crying. I coudn't even drive. Once I gathered myself, we drove across that 4 lane street to WalMart and bought a backpack buddy. Turn your nose up at my leash all you want. Look down your nose at how cruel I am all you want. But my son stayed safely by my side from then on.

Featured Answers


answers from Washington DC on

I personally would be offended. I'm not a harness fan - I feel that are a leash for an animal and my child is not an animal.

i realize there are people out there that love them - but I CRINGE when I see them on kids.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from St. Louis on

What kind of relationship do you have with your sister?

Casually mention the idea around her one day, very subtly. See how she reacts.

Didn't she know your son had one? Mention how helpful it was for you and see how she reacts.

I don't get offended easily, so no, it would not offend me at all. That doesn't mean I wouldn't return it if I didn't intend to use it, but that is not the question. Just include a receipt and make it clear you wouldn't be offended if she returned it - you just know how helpful it was for you.

If you are giving a gift out of love, that shouldn't offend someone. (unless you do something blatantly rude of course, like a devil worshiping book to your devout Christian great-grandmother).

ETA: Or, for example, even though I planned to breastfeed my child, I would never be offended if someone gave me a can of formula as a gift - what a weird thing to be offended about! They are just trying to be helpful! I would simply graciously say "thank you" and then give it to a formula mom or return or donate it. Offense is something that should be taken when someone is outright rude. But, to each his own I guess. =)

Like if you wrote in the card: "This is for your out of control son that you cannot seem to get a handle on" - then THAT would be offensive! lol

Lighten up people!

Just mention the harness around her - you will be able to tell what her reaction will be. =)

Good luck!!

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

I wouldn't want one, because I'm not a big fan of harness. (nothing against you for using one... It's your right to use whatever you want...) Personally, I wouldn't be offended, but I could see how someone might be. ("What? You think I can't control my kid so you got me a leash???") You could ask her what she thinks of the harness... Heck, blame Mamapedia for your question.

"Hey sis! So I was looking through this site and someone posted a question about those harness leashes for kids. A lot of moms don't like them, but there are a lot that do. I have one, and it's come in pretty darn handy! What do you think?"

Lol. depending on her answer, you can buy the harness or find something else.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I personally would be offended. I don't like leashes for children. I guess they work for some families, just not mine.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Ask your sister first. I would be totally offended if someone gave me a leash for my child as a gift. Number 1, I do not use them. Number 2, I believe leashes are for animals. Just because you think it is a great gift doesn't mean she will - check with her first.

To put it in perspective, this would be like giving a can of formula to a parent of a newborn. You don't know if they are nursing or formula feeding, or how they even feel about feeding. Some people would be fine with it (which would be me because I ff my kids) while others would be terribly offended by it (the bf'ing mother who thinks formula is poison).

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm just commenting on your "What Happened" ... WOW!! I'm shaking for you!! I would have gone out and immediately bought one of those backpacks, too. I know those backpacks rub some people the wrong way and they are literally a life-saver for others. It's good you asked your sister and it sounds like she would be appreciative of the gift.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

I would ask her. For most mom's this surprisingly is a touchy subject. Tell her why you like them and then ask her. Avoid sending the wrong messages.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I would be offended, but I don't like them. It really depends on your sister.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I think these are great. I do not think it's cruel in any way. Children in a lot of ways are like animals. They can't control themselves, and run away. I think it's kinder to your child to use a leash than to stick your nose up at it, and take a chance at losing your kid. After all, at 2 and 3, you never know what they are going to do. If you think your kid is NEVER going to disobey and walk or run away from you, you're crazy.

I used one at the airport when I was traveling by myself and I didn't have a hand free, and also in Disneyland. In places like this, you cannot keep your eye on them every second, and you need to!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I never thought the leash was a good thing, I always thought they were for pets! But they do make very cute ones these days, and they are becoming more acceptable. Buy the thing, but tuck or pin a note explaining why you thought she'd like it, along with the receipt to exchange it. It shouldnt offend anyone, its not offensive... I wouldnt be offended. Its a gift, with good intentions, and it may very well come in handy for her. Go for it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Ask her.

My son (2) is a runner, and if we did not have his backpack harness, I would not be able to take him and my daughter (1) anywhere that they werent both in a stroller by myself.

Edit to Add: I just read your what happened and variations of that situation have happened to me, as well. My son HAS literally run out in traffic (while I was holding an infant in carrier, diaper bag, purse, breast pump) with cars screeching to a stop, and has also run away from me at the zoo, the mall, and yes, horrors, the State Fair of Texas. I do question my judgement in owning a backpack harness - and that is, Why didnt I get one sooner?!

I guess people who dont like harnesses either have children who arent, by nature, runners, have more than two hands, or are such fabulous parents they were able to teach their toddler to stand beside them. Kuddos!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Restraints delay teaching children to be obedient. It's critical that a child learn to obey at a young age. I was given a puppy backpack harness but chose not to use it for my sons now ages almost 3 and 15 months.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Harnesses are GREAT!!! My bestfriends son is 2 years old and has been on a harness since he could walk. The harness actually HELPS enforce the rules they try to teach him about behaving in public. He loves his backpack (it's a Lion which is his favorite animal and he stores his treasures inside) and he doesn't actually know what it is because she's never had to yank on it and he's never run far enough to test the tension on it. When he wears the harness he gets more freedom and space which he loves and his mom feels comfortable letting him the boundaries and gets the opportunity to teach and enforce rules all the while knowing if he decides to take off running he can only get so far and will still be safe.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions