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When looking for reigns my husband and I wanted something that continued to give our son a little bit of independence.
Having the backpack aspect of this allows our son to have a sense of growing up. We pop a nappy in an his water bottle and he feels like he has a bag just like mummy. It distracts the attention away from the fact we have hold of him.
The straps are thick and padded with a buckle on the chest to make it far more secure and won't come off when tugged at slightly. The strap then clips onto the back with a metal clip. There is also a grab strap at the top.
As soon as my son sees his bag he knows it is time to go out and understands it to be part of getting ready rather than a means of restraint.
We have the bee version but I believe it also comes in designs such as ladybird, turtleand cow with two new designs of butterfly and shark. I much prefer the designs to the plain backpacks though. Much more child friendly.
We bought this little backpack reins once our son was confident with his walking and running abilities. I had seen and read about many different types of child reins and harnesses on the internet and decided that my unruly son would probably baulk at straight forward reins but if he though he had a rucksack on with some treats in it he may be more agreeable to wearing them.
What is it?
This day sack and reins is manufactured by Littlelife, which makes various child carriers. The day sack is made from the same material as normal adult rucksacks so it is very tough and sturdy. The one we have is blue grey and black in colour with a cute little green dinosaur on it. The backpack also has reflective piping so the backpack and your little one can be seen in the dark. The backpack itself has a zip at the top also at the top is a handle to help carry it if needed or as we have used lift your toddler up from the floor whilst they are having a tantrum! At the front of the backpack there is the padded shoulder straps and a front buckle that secures the backpack to your little one. The rein component is fairly subtle really it clips on to the top of the backpack and then it either just slips over your wrist or as we more often to hold it.
Our son has been using this for over a year now and I have to say it was one of the best £10 we spent buying it. From day one he has loved putting this on we go out and about either walking to the park or round the shops. We have generally encouraged him to choose what he wants to put into the backpack and often it will hold a snack, a toy and a drink for him. Prior to him being potty trained I would sneak a nappy, nappy sack and a few wipes into as well. The zip fasten at the top has never become stuck and still zips up with a nice smooth action over a year later. The side meshed pocket is very small and not a lot fits in it more often than not this is just used to put empty wrappers and small bits of rubbish in till we get home. The handle at the top has proved useful on occasions when my little one has had the inevitable toddler tantrum and thrown himself to the floor I have been able to lift him to his feet by using it with no strain on the material at all. Equally when we have been in very shops I have been able to use to have a greater control of keeping him close to me.
The adjustability of the straps has also served us well and they are easy to alter depending on the size of your little one or the amount of clothing they are wearing. They are at times a little too adjustable as my son can loosen these if he starts to pull a bit as he wants to walk or run more quickly ahead. Though they have loosened they have never however become so slack that hey has been able to slip the backpack off. The clasp at the front is easy to click into place. My son hasn't yet learnt how to unclick this so hasn't as yet made any attempts to do so, but I think it would be something to be aware of for the future when he may try to wriggle out.
The rein part clips easily on and off made of tough metal it has survived well the occasional strains of my son pulling. We often when going to the park just unclip the rein and leave him wearing the backpack as he plays on the slides etc. The only criticism I have of the rein is that it is too large really to fit around my wrist and often will slip off so when we are out I just tend to hold it like a handle. The material on this bit is very reinforced and so holds up well to its job. The rein is lightweight enough to fit into one of my trouser pockets when we take it off at the park. The length of the rein at 59cm is just the right length I think to allow a bit of distance from myself for him to feel he is a big boy walking ahead but not so long that he can get to far ahead that I can't stop him from running into the road.
The reflective piping is really not something I have really been aware of, as we haven't really been out with my son in the dark. However it is a good design feature if you would need it.
My son still enjoys wearing it at 2 and a half, he has the odd day when he doesn't want the rein re-attaching on the trip back from the park but he soon settles down as we walk home. I personally prefer these styles of reins for children as I think they are less demeaning for children whilst retaining the necessary safety element that reins provide whilst taking your child our near busy roads.
Overall and recommendation
I can't recommend this product highly enough it is well made and still looks as good as they day I bought it. My son loves wearing it, which I think is definitely more than half the battle with reins. The backpack makes a safety product fun to wear whilst allowing me to keep him safe went out and about. The backpack also allows them to help choose what to take with them when they go out such as a favourite toy or snack. It currently retails around the £11-14 mark depending on where you buy it, most baby websites such as www.JoJomamanbebe.co.uk stock as well as Amazon so I would shop around for the best price.
I had bought a traditional set of reins in anticipation of my daughter learning to walk, but when the time finally approached I found them fiddly and confusing as there were so many tangled straps and clips I got frustrated and gave up.
Disappointed that I would not be able to take my daughter out walking straight away, I went internet shopping instead and picked up a LittleLife Daysack.
These had been recommended to me by friends with older children and I had no hesitation snapping one up due to its simplicity and good looks.
The Daysack is essentially a backpack for toddlers, with the addition of a strap which clips on to the bag and is used as a rein. And thats all there is to it really!
Our version is pink, but apart from that is the same as the picture above. It has a little mesh pocket on the front, a zip opening at the top and a grab handle for parents. The backpack slips over the shoulders and clips across the childs chest with a single clip. Then the rein part simply clips to the metal ring on the top of the bag. The rein itself is simply a long strap with a semi flexible round handle.
The beauty of this is that the strap is long, so you don't have to walk stooped down like with so many traditional reins. The backpack is idiot proof and clips together effortlessly.
So the moment of truth arrived, when I decided to walk my 15-month old daughter around our village and duckpond for the first time. She had no problem at all with the reins being slipped on and we popped a drink, nappy and wipes in the bag and off we went in style!
The Daysack is brilliant for those little walks around the block as I just chuck my keys in it and away we go with no need to drag a cumbersome bag along.
My daughter now loves this backpack and enjoys putting things in it, and of course taking them all back out again! She is very good at holding hands so we don't use it often but I wouldn't be without it.
I have seen children of around four walking around with these bags on and they seem very useful for crowded places such as family fun days and airports.
Added to that the rein can be removed when necessary converting this into a decent backpack for going to nursery or school with.
The dimensions are 170 (w) x 120 (d) x 230(h) cm and the Daysack holds 10 litres, and had reflective piping on it for greater visability.
I bought ours new from an Ebay shop for £13 but they range in price from £10 - £20, depending on where they are sold.
The only minor disadvantage I can think of with this style of rein is that because the handle is longer and is just a singular rein, it may mean that the child is harder to control. This has not been a problem for me as my daughter is very cautious, but it may be an issue with more boisterous children.
We had recently tried all sorts of methods to control our free running 14 month old baby from getting away from us when out for walks or going shopping!
She just didn't like having lots of straps around her front to allow us to keep a tight rein on her. So in busy area's we tended to keep her in her pushchair or carry her around, not ideal.
A friend of ours suggested we try the LittleLife daysack. We found a great pink colour (red and blue are the other choices) from Amazon for £9.99 with free P&P.
I had no prior knowledge of the Daysack prior to opening it up at home. Instantly I was surprised how good it looked. Cute pink and grey with pink handle. Ok so it looks fine, didn't cost too much but the big question would be if our baby didn't have a massive paddy fit if we placed it on her back?
What does it do?
The Daysack is basically a back pack for a baby (only comes in one size) with a strap and handle on it to control their movement. The actual back pack has enough space to put in wet wipes, baby drink or two, some snacks (that's our standard inventory for it anyway). We try and keep the items light as we don't want the baby being weighed down and tired out!
There is also a mesh pocket on the outside of the pack where you could put a drink or other item.
The pack is zipped up and it arches around the opening on the back of the pack.
On the top of the pack is a clip to attach the rein to. The rein allows the baby/child about 1m of freedom and has a nice solid hoop for the parent to place around their hand to make it secure and safe.
On the top of the back pack there is a nice thick handle if you wish to carry the back pack in a normal fashion.
The pipes frame of the pack is reflective for increased visibility.
As any back pack the straps go around the front of the chest and they simply clip in to secure to the baby. It literally takes 5 seconds to put on the baby and another 2 seconds to clip on the reins.
So we have a mini backpack and reins to control your baby's movements.
We had faith in the Daysack, it looked great and it has had good reviews from friends and family so now was the time, would our baby let us put it on and feel ok to walk about knowing mummy or daddy had ultimate control!
Time to go out and see, we went to the local park and without any fuss slipped on the Daysack, hooked on the reins and let her free. Not a whimper, not even a glare from her (which was the norm on the other products we tried). She went off running with me in tow.
If only babies walked/run in one direction! It would be great but the Daysack seemed to be up to the task. It gives just enough length to allow the baby to feel free but give the parent some control of where they head. If you lift the reins up you can gently 'guide' the baby one way or another.
It is also the right length so if the baby falls or stumbles you can gently lift or keep them upright, important for me on hard surfaced paths or walkways. The reins seem to take the baby's weight fine.
We now use the Daysack every time we go out with the baby. Not only is it great to store one or two important baby items but it's an excellent subtle safety aid for baby walking. I can honestly say it's one of the best items we have purchased for our baby.
I have read reviews on this item and it seems parents have been using it on baby's just learning to walk right up to the age of 4. So it will last a decent amount of time to get your money's worth.
When my twins sons found their feet and picked up a bit of pace it became apparent it was going to be difficult to get anywhere on foot
without them both going in different directions leaving me stuck in the middle not knowing who to chase! I decided that reins were going to be essential to give me piece of mind whilst we were out and about, until the boys got better at taking direction and staying close by.
Having looked at traditional reins but not been very impressed, someone recommended the Little Life runabout daysack. The daysack is a lovely little rucksack for toddlers to which you can attach a parent safety rein. I think its a great idea because my sons have loved carrying their own bags, whereas I think they would probably have been quite resistent to the idea of traditional reins. Although we are beyond the stage of needing reins now, the boys still use their bags, without the parent rein attached, for carrying around all of those essentials a three year old can't be without!
The daysacks look like a miniature version of an adult rucksack. They
come in three colours- red blue and pink, each with a nice design on the side. We purchased blue, which had a dinosaur on the side, and red, which carries a picture of a lion, although I think the designs have changed now as on the website the red bag seems to carry a design with some bees on it. Once in place the straps adjust and the bag clips across the chest, holding the straps in place so that the toddler can't slip out of the bag if you are using the rein. The parent rein simply clips onto the top of the rucksack when you want to use it (you can store it inside the bag when it isn't in use). There is also a handy grab handle on the top of the bag in case you should need to keep a close hold on the toddler. There is reflective piping on the bag to make it easily visible. The bag is a nice size for a toddler to be able to carry around a few essential toys, or you could use it to hold a nappy and some wipes. There is a mesh pocket on the outside, handy for a drink or snack. The bag is recommended for use from the ages of 6 months- 3 years.
LittleLife also make animal toddler daysacks, a very similar idea to the other daysacks but with a animal print design and a built in hood. These are slightly more expensive, but do look very cute as there is a ladybird shell, a turtle shell, bumble bee or cow print!
We have had the bags for 18 months or so now and they still look like new- I would say that they are excellent quality. We purchased our daysacks from Little Trekkers where they are currently available for
As I my little sweetheart of a son is now walking, and is starting to moan at the near mention of his pram, we decided to get one of these bags. It comes in the form of a little rucksack that has a rein that can easily be hooked onto the bag. It is aimed at being used by little monsters between the ages of six months and four years. I got our little bag in John Lewis for £13.95. They are available in other places too, but the prices don't really vary that much (only by one or two pounds). They come in blue, pink and red. On the side of the bags there is also a little animal, on my sons bag there is a little tortoise, but I have seen butterflies the pink ones.
The bag has padded shoulder straps for comfort. There is a zipped main compartment and a mesh bottle sized pocket on the side. There is a bit of reflective piping on the bag, but I can't say how useful this is, as it hasn't been used in the dark yet. There is also a top grab handle, which probably has a couple of a uses. There is also the rein, which is clipped on underneath the grab handle. The bag also complies with safety standard EN13210:2004. The dimensions are 27 by 19 by 11 centimetres. It weighs 220g and has a storage capacity of four litres.
Using the little rucksack is just like using a normal rucksack. Put it on both shoulders, making sure that it is central on your child's back. Tighten the straps, but don't over tighten them and always make sure that your child is comfortable. You also need to make sure you fasten the chest strap.
The rein is connected to the bag by the metal d-ring on the top of the pack. Always check the this is secure before use and don't attach to any other part of the bag. Always keep a firm grip on the loop at the end-if I didn't, my son would always be going off into the road!
To clean the bag is really easy. Just brush lightly with a soft brush or damp cloth and mild liquid soap. Do not bleach or machine wash, and don't store away when damp.
With the bag comes some safety advice, which is common sense to the majority of people. Some of the main ones are as follows:
* Be careful when using round escalators and automatic doors
* Keep out of reach when not in use
* Don't use harness when child is in any sort of motorised vehicle
* My son often goes in circles when out and about, so I often have to make sure my son is not trying to strangulate himself!
I have to say that I am really glad that bought this for my son. He loves going out with this on his back-you can tell he feels all grown up! When using this, my son is really happy as he can see so much more and do some exploring, which he wouldn't be able to in his pram or just holding my hand.
In some ways I find that going out is easier without the pram, and knowing that my son is having fun is always nice. Sometimes, it can be a bit hard work. My son loves looking at things at his level-this morning, he insisted on sitting down to look at some flowers (on the way back from the local Tesco Express, when I had a heavy bag of shopping!) and last week when doing our weekly shop, he enjoyed looking at jars of crab paste (strange what goes through the minds of young children!). It does take him an age to get anywhere as he is not that fast and everything is interesting to him-if in a rush the pram is the best option. Even though it takes us a while to do anything, I like taking him out for a walk, as we are never in that much of a rush to get where we are going.
I would recommend one of these to anyone who wants to try to encourage their little one to walk more, as long as they have plenty of time and patience!