Monday, August 23, 2010

Toddler Harnesses for Travel

I have a very curious and confident little girl. She and I will be flying to Walt Disney World alone in a couple of months to meet up with the rest of the Growing Up Disney family. There is no way I am going through multiple airports with her without a safety harness. I know some people don't like baby "leashes" but I see it as a way to give her a little freedom while keeping her safe (and keeping my own sanity.)

I'm looking at a several different models/styles and would love to hear from you regarding what you've used and whether or not you liked it.  I've added some Amazon links so you can see examples of the different types.

1. The backpack/buddy style:
These harnesses add a tether to a small backpack. Some are in the shape of cuddly animals or favorite Disney characters. Basic animals are available at the local superstore, while more exotic animals and Disney characters are sold online and cost a bit more.  Others in this style have a backpack similar to the older kids, as shown in the second image. In most cases, the tether (tail) is removable and the backpack can be used separately. 

2.  Harness only style:
These consist of a harness that fits on the child's upper torso and a tether.  These are inexpensive and take up the least space in a diaper bag.  However, they do look the most like the dreaded "baby leash."

3.  Wrist to wrist style: More geared to older children, this type of safety tether attaches parent and child with a strap that is worn on the wrist by both.

4.  Convertible:  I found one safety product that claims to work in 5 ways depending on your needs.  The child's end can be looped around the chest, the wrist, clipped to the child's belt loop, or looped up for the child to hold on to.  Yes, that's 4.  The photos on Amazon only show those options and that's all I think of as well.  Still a potentially more flexible product.

I am leaning toward a backpack buddy.  I'd like to get a Disney one, of course, but the Mickey looks huge and I'm not sure the Disney name is worth the extra cost.  Tink likes to play with some of my small purses so I think she'd like the bag.  Regardless of what option we go with, I'd like to get it early so we both have a chance to get accustomed to it.

What have you used on your travels?  What did you like or dislike?  Thanks so much for your help!

Thanks to Elizabeth for sharing this harness.
If you need a harness suitable for older children with special needs, check into this one.

Update 9/20/10:  Reader Cody and I are each testing out Kinderkords with our kids.  Me with the one kiddo and Cody with triplets.  We both love the concept but the quality is just not there.  I've spoken with the inventor/owner and the product is being licensed out and a new version should be available soon.  If the kinks can be worked out, this is a great product.  The child won't trip over the retractable cord, it's versatile, comfortable and easy to use.  It's also small enough to toss into your diaper bag to use any time.  I'll do a full review after my October trip to WDW.


  1. I have always used travel wristbands as a precaution with my kids. Check them out here

    I will follow your blog and I'd love you to follow mine. Have a great trip.

  2. We have the Mickey backpack and it works well. It's not as big as I thought it was going to be, although it gets a bit uncomfortable during the hotter months.

  3. Thanks for the tip Allison. I thought I did follow you. If I don't, I will today! :)

    Julia, I didn't think about the heat. We usually travel in the fall, so hopefully that will be ok but I will be careful not to overheat Tink.

    I got some other good comments on Facebook. One was to be careful not to let the tail drag because the child could trip. On Amazon reviews, I learned to buy a harness where the tether attaches on the lower back. Jeep makes one that could be a choking hazard since the tether attaches at the top of the backpack. If the child turns around, the tether could wrap around his/her neck.


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