I received this item at no cost to facilitate my ability to keep track of my 3-year-old son. All opinions and confessions remain my own!
I think every mother had a list of things she swore she’d never do once she had her own children. Being a bit of a perfectionist, that list, for me, was a long one. And somewhere near the top of it was the fact that I would never put my child on a leash. Not metaphorically, but literally. Those toddler leashes looked awful.
Fast forward eight years, and with four young kids, it’s pretty safe to say that the list has been burned. Cake for breakfast, driving a minivan, and sounding exactly like my own mother, I’ve realized that good parenting means forgetting the “I’ll nevers.” A few months ago, I realized that I had been avoiding taking my three year old, Noah, out in public. His meltdowns can be epic, and because he refuses to hold my hand, he can take off running at any moment. Not only is this frustrating, but it’s dangerous in parking lots and busy streets. It was time to bring out the leash.
When I got my LittleLife Daysack for review, the first thing I noticed was that it looked very much like a backpack. With several different animals to choose from, we picked the dinosaur. Noah loved it, and couldn’t wait to put it on. This was a good sign; he refused to take it off for bed time. That weekend, I decided it was time to see if the harness/backpack was as functional as it was adorable, and headed to the mall.
The leash part of the system is detachable, and easy to store in the backpack part, which is convenient for moments when you don’t actually need to be holding on to your toddler. It also has a handle at the top of the bag, which was great for a quick grab when I noticed that Noah was about to take off. The storage part is very small, and doesn’t hold much more than a snack and a small toy, which was fine for us because I wouldn’t have wanted him carrying around too much stuff for long periods of time anyway. While Noah wasn’t thrilled at the idea of being held back by the harness, he didn’t protest as much as he does when I try and hold his hand. I found it easy to transition between holding onto the leash and tossing it into the bag when I could let him run free. We spent an hour wandering around the mall, and he had a great time riding the escalator up and down until I declared it time to go home. On our way to the parking lot, we passed a fountain, and he wanted to throw in some change. The harness saved him from plunging head first into the water as he tried to get back the nickels he had just tossed.
So, did I feel ridiculous walking around with my child on a leash? Slightly. But it was worth it to be able to take Noah out and not have to chase him around (which also makes me feel ridiculous). Motherhood has taught me to embrace changing my mind, and most importantly, to never say never.
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Oyaco Products distributes LittleLife Daysacks in Canada. Find a retailer near you.
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