Updated: Nov 8, 2019
My wee one is up and running , so much so, she's not wanting to stay in the pushchair too long, but we are out for extended periods of time that she then gets sore legs / feet or tired and needs a push or a carry. What do you do ? When they need to stretch their legs and you need one hand/ eye on her and the other on a pushchair. I had to delve in to past knowledge from my other career quickly when she needed out.....
I am, actively encouraging her to get out a roam around and to walk beside me, holding a hand. But she is still little what ever she may think and communication still limited, so she can and does wander off and let go .... It can be scary and dangerous in public places especially when you have either your hands full with another sibling, a pushchair or a bag of something. Of course we would let the pushchair go and retrieve it later but not so easy with another child in it or with you. Ive found a few things that you can do .... and I use
Don't panic - if you have to raise your voice to get their attention , you do it. No parent is EVER going to judge you ! A stern warning voice to stay with you and not to wander off can be enough to hold them to you .
Backpack - I have found when they are up and Adam, changing the nappy bag to a back pack is the best way to haul everything your both need and to keep your hands free. I found a side over shoulder bag tended to slip off and or unbalance you which can cause unnecessary stress to you. The straps still clip ( buy pram clips !! Best accessory ever ) or go over the handles of the pushchair. But when you go solo without pushchair , backpack is the way forward. to start
Allot a lot of time - letting them walk and be independent can frazzle your patience if you have somewhere to be , so pick and choose the best times to get them out of the stroller , or allow yourself wander time like an extra half hour to get where you are going. Maybe slot in a time that you go around the block or off to a park where they can be free to take their time and still be getting fresh air.
Make it interesting - wall walking if you can and they have the balance is great , who doesn't remember feeling like the high rope walker in the movies on the walls , even if you are holding their hands, its such a thrill! Find flowers, insects be it butterflies to bees to spiders webs. Everything is a learning experience ! Count the cars, tell them the colours , it doesn't matter if they are as little as my wee one , ( she's 14 months ) its never too early to start
Reins - I have used these in the past and they can be really useful, especially in a large space or crowded space. It gives the wee walkers independence but you still have a hold of them. I used it once in a crowded farmers market , little one was able to explore the stalls and relish the experience but I was not separated from her as people didn't cross the line literally between us. Some people have strong feelings about reining your kids, my hubby laughs its like a dog lead. But when the three boys were young, they were invaluable.
There are many options , hand/ wrists leads, funky backpacks that hold a raincoat and drink that have the lead attached to it not them ( they clip underneath and the shoulder straps clip together as not to slip off. Or the good old fashioned harness that does look a wee bit like a horse bridle but offers you full control and access to them. Go with what ever you are comfortable with , they all work on different ways and have pros and cons.
Backpack - I have found when they are up and Adam, changing the nappy bag to a back pack is the best way to haul everything your both need and to keep your hands free. I found a side over shoulder bag tended to slip off and or unbalance you which can cause unnecessary stress to you. The straps still clip ( buy pram clips !! best accessory ever ) or go over the handles of the pushchair. But when you go solo with out pushchair , backpack is the way forward.
Pushchair straps - get them to hold on to the pushchair in a busy area, there are usually handles or something even if you have to attach it yourself that they can grab on to but still be independent from you . It keeps them with you but able to walk along with you. This is partially good if there is another in the pushchair and you need your older one to stay close to you. My wee one likes to push the chair around the place, her steering isn't great but she out getting exercise verses strapped in which is a bonus.
Taking those first tentative steps outside in the world is a wonderful thing for both of you , the ambling along with a wee ones hand in yours in a pleasure in life. By taking the right steps to making it a safe, informative and a joyful experience, not a pressured tug of war it will make the world of difference to all involved. Enjoy