Ideas on how to keep a toddler from running through the parks.....


Earning My Ears
Oct 20, 2000
I need some ideas on how to keep my toddler from running away from us in the park. I have a harness but it didn't work last time (she was 15mos then.) My daughter will be 2yr old this trip and has just decided that she no longer needs a stroller. I am somewhat worried about her "taking off" with all the excitment. We plan on bringing our stroller and enforcing it but if anyone else has any other ideas.... Also, did you find that at this age they were better behaved at disney so this wasn't a problem. I keep refering to our "mall" visits which end up my chasing her through the mall. Thanks for any ideas!
Why didn't your harness work? That would be my plan.

I've picked up a new one, which is like a fanny pack, with a harness attached. I plan to fill it with sweeties to bribe her to wear it! (I have no shame, if it keeps her safe)

We have a rule - either you wear the harness, you hold my hand, or go in the buggy. No other options.

i agree with bev.. first of all you are the parent: you call the shots. i like the fanny pack idea. i have the best tether ever made though. its called the hands free tether. its two belts attached with a tether on links. so first of all you match, so you could say mommy needs it or whatever. the links let your child run in circles around you without tying you up. and the belt on you gives you better balance for those unexpected jerks.

Where did you get the hands free tether? I think I could use one for my 3yo on our trip.


Disney Dianne

I agree with Bev also. My kids know that they go in the stroller, or we don't go!! And I do have a very active 2 y.o. boy!! I think its important to let the kids out of the stroller to run around periodically, to stretch out ther legs, etc.


I ask my youngest to hold MY hand so I dont get lost or sometimes I ask her to hold my hand so that I don't fall. either way it makes her feel like the mommy and it works. :rolleyes:

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<font face="comic sans MS">"It's disney, it's crowded. Get over it!"</font>
We are taking our 2 and 5 year old daughters in May and boy are we apprehensive about the little one. The last time we went she was only 8 months and a breeze; this will be a whole different experience! Any advice is greatly appreciated. We will spend lots of time explaining expectations and rules to her ahead of time as that sometimes helps. Unfortunately she is a typical independent, strong willed toddler so I am certain there will be occasional battles. My hope is that she will be so mesmerized by everything around her that she may be more willing to stay in line. We will need to purchase a harness as I agree with Bev and Stacey that our first priority is her safety, even if it means a tantrum. They seem hard to find though, so any suggestions are welcome.

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I'm going to suggest something a little different....I had a toddler once who would not tolerate a stroller or a harness (how you say? well, he'd just sit down!)....and suggest that you give your toddler plenty of opportunities to run. My harness refuser also taught me that the quickest way to create a stroller refuser is to force it. Of course at 6 he'd be happy to ride around WDW in a comfy

My kids were/are generally happy being carried, so I keep a sling handy so my arms don't get too tired and otherwise let the child do what s/he's happy doing. I do stay close by...the more crowded the situation the closer (ie. at WDW most places would require something akin to hovering).
There are places in WDW where there is some free roaming room and I would definitely take every opportunity to let the little one stretch those legs. When crankiness or stroller refusal hits...high tail it off to someplace for a run. This will serve two purposes....tiring out the little one so s/he's more likely to want to rest in the stroller and showing the little one that you can be trusted to recognize when s/he needs to move...that urge is just so strong with these tiny ones whose legs are getting stronger and faster by the day, it is a need, not just a want.

Of course there will probably be situations that arise that won't allow for immediately heading off for a run....when this happens I usually try to give my toddler as much leeway as possible, even if its a "run 3 steps, back in mom's arms, down for 3 more steps". And there may be other times when you just have to use distraction....handing the child something to focus on while popping into the stroller (since its vacation a lollipop might work...I don't advocate this as an everyday approach!)

There is a sling that can double as a harness, too. It's a Maya Wrap ( and light and no padding. Just an idea so that you have more options.

Be creative, be flexible, and have fun....the keys to life with a toddler! My own toddler will 23 months on our next trip. Should be fun!


1979 Contemporary
1992 Off-site
1994 Carribean Beach
1999 Fort Wilderness and Coronado Springs
2000 Polynesian and Old Key West
2002 Boardwalk Villas


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