When my number two started walking, I finally understood why mothers would buy and make their toddler wear a harness! My little angel is a ‘runner’ so outings represent a major challenge, unless I use the pram and then she does not really like it. I had seen some dog-leash or backpack-style harnesses around so I decided to do some research.
The product that fitted best my needs is the Goldbug 2 in 1 Harness Buddy. Around GBP 20 well spent.
What I like about it is:
1) It’s cute, really cute and your child will likely want to wear it. There are 25 very pretty animal characters, you should find one you/your toddler likes. Because it’s so cute I felt less awkward than using a dog-leash-style harness.
2) The straps of the harness extend nicely so that they fit also over a bulky coat or when your toddler grows. The length of the fully extended strap is about 54cm. Note that some of the others on the market are very small.
3) The rein (the tail of the animal) is about 1 metre long, which is enough to push a pram and have your toddler walking alongside you without realising he’s being “led”. The result is that it gives the child enough independence but keeps him safe.
4) It has a double strap that stops the pack from slipping.
5) The rain is easily removable to allow more freedom of movement where safe.
6) It has a very small pocket (more a sort of pouch) where you can store small things: a treat, a sun hat, sun cream or a precious toy. The company calls it 2 in 1 because it is an harness that doubles as a backpack but if you expect to see the storage space of a backpack you will be disappointed.
7) It’s machine washable and durable. Mine is still in good shape after several washes.
Finally it’s soft and well made. It makes a lovely comfort toy that can be used beyond walking.
1) It should not be used by children who are still unsteady on their feet. The company suggests using it from 18 months.
2) It is not rainproof.
3) The buckles are designed to be difficult to open. My older daughter got her finger caught in and it was not fun.
4) If you lose the ‘tail’ it can be purchased separately for GBP 6.