Are Child Leashes Okay?

Season 3 Episode 41 | Are child leashes okay?

Introducing our latest podcast episode, where we discuss an important concern faced by parents like Carrie in Colorado. She's about to embark on a summer vacation with her energetic two-and-a-half-year-old son, and their first stop is the bustling airport. Safety is a top priority for her, but keeping a young child close in such a busy environment can be challenging. Join us today as we delve into the topic of child leashes, addressing the concerns and the stigma surrounding them. We'll emphasize the importance of prioritizing safety and explore why a child leash could be a practical solution for keeping your little one secure.

Are Child Leashes Okay?

Laura Hunter/Jennifer Walker: All right, Laura. It is hot. Summer is officially in full swing school is out, and everybody is probably planning a summer family vacation. So those first trips with your baby and toddler can be stressful because you don't know what to expect. And visions of your child running off at the airport might even keep you from taking that dream trip. So there is one obvious solution to keep your kid from running off, but many parents are afraid of getting the side eye.

Laura Hunter/Jennifer Walker: Right. We're talking about child leashes. Is it okay to use one? We've used them, and today we'll discuss why.

Whoever said babies and toddlers don’t come with an instruction manual never met the Moms on Call. For nearly 20 years, Jennifer Walker and Laura Hunter have helped over half a million families navigate parenthood with their best-selling books, online courses, apps, and network of certified consultants. And now they have this podcast to talk directly with you. Ask your questions at 888-234-7979.

Airports are big and scary, and I want to keep him safe.

Caller 1: Hey Moms, this is Carrie from Aurora, Colorado, of a very active two-and-a-half-year-old, and we are going on vacation for the first time with her. I was considering using one of those backpack leashes while we were walking through the airport.

We are not traveling with a stroller, so my options are to carry him, try to wrestle him, get him to hold my hand, or possibly use one of those leashes. My sister told me it was cruel to treat my kid like a dog, which is obviously not what I am doing. Airports are big and scary, and I want to keep him safe. What do you guys think? Are there any other ideas for keeping toddlers from running away when you are in a big crowd? Thank you.

What should you do?

Laura Hunter/Jennifer Walker: Oh, I have so many fun stories about this, but yes, I had to take my twins to register my older child at school. So I tried these leashes. There were two of them. I tried to go down my driveway and reached the end, where they wrapped themselves around each other and the mailbox. And so I'm trapped with two kids circled around a mailbox and each other. They were building a house up within sight of this event, and the construction workers literally came outside to point and laugh at me. So this is my stellar parenting moment where people actually pointed out and laughed at what was happening. However, we did manage it. We did get the hang of it because I had two movement kids, and if I put them down, they would run in opposite directions as fast as they could, but luckily one of them screamed as loud as he could.

We will do everything, regardless of how anybody feels about it, to keep our child safe.

Laura Hunter/Jennifer Walker: So I always chased the quiet one. I always knew where the loud one was going to be. No, when it comes to safety, nobody gets to shame the safety out of your parenting ever. So yes, when we are in a group or a crowd, and we are having to manage multiple things, even just mentally, we've got luggage, we've got signs we're trying to read, we've got a timing schedule, we've got a toddler, then we will do everything regardless of how anybody feels about it to keep our child safe. And so absolutely, yes, a backpack is a fantastic thing to be able to keep them in your purview while your mind is thinking about 10 other things. So I am a hardy double thumbs up on that idea.

Laura Hunter/Jennifer Walker: I think that it's important to point out that you are not treating him like a dog. Yes, that is very obvious. This kid is loved beyond measure. You are trying to keep him safe and do the things you need to do to keep him safe, and that will always come first. They do have some really, really cute ones now. And maybe we need to get a shirt that just says, I'm doing this to keep him safe.

Thank you for listening to the Moms on Call podcast. If you have a question for Jennifer and Laura, call 888-234-7979. Visit for resources to help you parent confidently and thrive, not just survive your amazing parenting journey.

Return to Knowledge Center