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Has your baby child started to get up on their feet? Are their hearts beginning to fill with wonder and curiosity towards the world around them?
Is your little one standing on his own two feet and looking like they are just about to start walking?
If so, then you might be considering getting a rein or harness for your wanderlust child. After all, many parents have opted to use one for the optimal safety of their kids.
Since you’re here, you’re probably wondering whether reins for your kid is a good idea or not, and asking yourself, what age are baby reins for?
No worries! In this article, we’re sure to answer all your parental concerns. So, let’s get to it.
What do the experts say?
Leading child psychology expert Dr. Pat Spungin says that harnessing a child goes against the natural order of things and can slow down the process of learning to walk. American certified pediatric nurse Ray Kleposki, R.N., M.S.N., CPNP adds that although he had never seen an infant come into his clinic with injuries because of a set of baby reins he did add that “a harness doesn’t substitute for close and appropriate child supervision.”
See more about our experts here.
Therefore, please take this as article as that it is not a case of what age baby reins can be used but whether they should be used at all. There are plenty of use cases for them as we detail below but if you can avoid using it that would be best.
What Stage of Walking Should a Baby Be Before Using Reins?
Your child is most likely to take their first step anytime between 9 to 12 months. Before that, your baby has been developing enough muscle, balance, and coordination skills needed to walk.
Do not obsess about your child’s development, this is a common theme with the mothers I visit but it has little bearing on anything unless it is sever.
By the time your baby has had their one-year birthday party, they’re already on their way to be fully walking on their own. Keep in mind, however, that some babies often don’t feel comfortable walking until they’re 18 months or older. Ronnie’s first child walked at 9 months, his second still isn’t at 10 months – both are very healthy.
Regardless of what age your child starts taking their first baby steps, that’ll be the best time for them to begin using reins. Strapping your kid in a baby harness will help support them up as they gradually figure out how to balance their upper body on their feet.
What Is the Best Age to Start Using Baby Reins?
The best age for your baby to start using their rein is around the time when they’re beginning to get on their feet and try walking. That’s usually when your child needs help keeping their body steady while they wobble across the floor.
Typically, either parent will need to manually take on the job of supporting their child while they learn to walk. This may include holding up their underarms, catching them every time they tumble, or encouraging them to keep practising.
That’s all good when you’re indoors with your child, but what happens when you decide to take their curious feet outside? That’s where a baby harness will play its role in keeping your child safe.
A baby rein will give your child the shoulder and back support needed to balance themselves during their daily stroll. Not just that, but it’ll also help you guide them away from the dangers of the road.
What Is the Best Age to Stop Using Baby Reins?
Generally speaking, your kid will most likely refuse to use their baby harness by the time they’re fully able to walk. This typically happens once they’re two years old. When that time comes, you’ll probably only want to use the rein if you’re taking your child out in a crowded area.
However, other factors may come to play here. After your kid turns one, and until they’re three years old, their curiosity about the world around them is at its peak. In other words, they’re bound to be leaving your side more often when you’re outdoors.
This leads many parents to continue using baby reins to keep their children close in fear of them continuously running off on their own. So, while the best age to stop using baby reins is any time after 18 months, it’s not untypical to find three-year-old kids strapped in a harness.
What Kind of Shoes Are Appropriate When Using Baby Reins for the First Time?
Use the Children’s Foot Health Register to find shops which sell shoes which are accredited by this organisation.
Many paediatricians recommend that you don’t introduce shoes to your child until they’re fully able to walk by themselves. Interestingly too, the doctors say toddlers learn to walk faster and coordinate better when they’re barefoot.
Simply put, you should go for the rein plus shoe combination only when your child is at least three years old—or whenever they begin walking independently. That’s around the age where they can handle the extra weight on their feet and be able to balance themselves accordingly.
Having said that, let’s go through what kind of shoes are appropriate when using baby reins for the first time:
What do the expert say about ill fitting shoes?
Caleb Wegener, Ph.D from the University of Sydney says “Shoes affect the gait of children. With shoes, children walk faster by taking longer steps with greater ankle and knee motion and increased tibialis anterior activity. Shoes reduce foot motion and increase the support phases of the gait cycle. During running, shoes reduce swing phase leg speed, attenuate some shock and encourage a rearfoot strike pattern.”
Cruisers are babies who still haven’t mastered walking yet but use furniture for balance as they ‘cruise’ from one standing spot to another.
There are shoes specifically made for this ‘almost walking’ phase. With the rein’s support, you’ll be significantly reducing the risk of your baby getting hurt or falling over.
What Should I Do Before Considering Baby Reins?
There are various rein styles that’ll suit any baby’s personality. Out of them, the most popular ones are the backpack rein along with the waist and chest harness.
Besides deciding on a type, here’s what else you should do before considering baby reins:
With a tape measure, take down the length and width of your child’s feet. Make sure there’s around 1.5cm of extra room to allow for growth. Remember also to take their measurements while they’re standing up on uncurled toes.
Why Do Some People Criticise the Use of Reins?
The use of reins is criticised because some parents don’t like the way they look. Harnesses look like leashes and are often viewed as a restriction to your child’s freedom.
Additionally, not all kids are going to enjoy being strapped in while they’re outside. This leads to parents facing difficulties convincing their kids that the harness is for their own safety. Some people feel that reins hold children back as they don’t learn the consequences of falling and how to avoid falling if they’re used too much.
Many manufacturers nowadays have taken the above into account and have designed stylish, comfortable reins that the whole family is guaranteed to like.
What age are baby reins for? Your toddler will begin taking their first baby steps at the age of 9, 12, or 18 months depending on how fast they’re developing. It’s during that time when you should familiarise them with their baby harness.
It’s worth mentioning again that a baby rein will support your baby as they try to figure out how to balance themselves properly when walking. As an added benefit to you, a harness will put your mind at ease since your child will always be close to you while you’re outdoors.
Keep them safe and happy by not stopping their curious feet from exploring!