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My 16 month old daughter is increasingly wanting to be independent, not wanting to always hold mummy's hand at times when out and about and wanting to explore rather than stay with me. So, getting some kind of reins was essential. I wasn't that keen on the traditional reins and when I noticed that Little LIfe, a brand I am already familiar with given we have a Little LIfe Child carrier, were selling this toddler daysack, which is essientially a little backpack with a parental strap that is attached at top meaning your toddler doesn't feel restricted but at the same time cannot wander off, I decided it may be my answer.
What is really cute about these bags, is that they come in a variety of animal characters, from ladybirds like the one shown above and the one that my daughter has, to dinosaurs, bees and even a butterfly. The reason I picked the ladybird was that I thought it suited either boy or girl, and I wanted it to be something that would do any future children we would have, no matter what the gender. I also think the ladybird is very very cute and my daughter likes ladybirds as well. When I had selected the ladybird, I looked around for the best price at the time, and Boots were offering this for just under £20 and with the Boots advantage points, it made it the best deal at the time of my purchase. These bags are also widely available online on the likes of amazon etc.
The safety rein that comes with these daysacks that allow the parent to keep in reach of their toddler are less that a metre in length. The reins have also passed British and European safety standards, so you can rest assured you are getting a good, safe product. This rein is detachable however, so when you no longer need to keep that toddler under control when out and about, it can be taken off and simply used as a little bag, especially since it is designed for children between 1 to 4.
As well as being safe, this bag has added elements of comfort for the child, with padded straps for the shoulders. A great feature of this bag, and one that is essential for my daughter, is the chest strap, which stops the sack either falling off the shoulders, but more importantly stops a toddler from taking the bag off and discarding it!
The bag itself is also useful for little bits and pieces when out and about. THere is a name and address label inside the bag, and there is also a waterproof ladybird hood that can be pulled out of the back zip pocket and pulled over the head in a sudden burst of rain. I have never had to use this, because to be honest, if I think there is going to be rain, I simply make sure I have my buggy with me, but it is another feature anyhow, and one that has added cuteness! When my daughter uses this bag, I can put in a nappy, small pack of wipes, a snack and even a small toy and still have a little bit of room, and I then find I don't need to carry a nappy bag with me, which is very beneficial.
My daughter has been using this bag for around four months now, an I frequently have it on her when out and about in the shops at the weekend and I find it works great. She has the freedom that she craves but I still have the control (!) to ensure she doesn't wander off and get lost, or doesn't head into danger ie running out on a road, or if she loses concentration and trips I can try and minimise the fall. She doesn't seem to notice either that I have the strap to keep this control so in my mind it is much better than the traditional reins.
The only slight negative I would say, is that with a winter coat on, I sometimes think there isn't a lot of room around the chest when you strap the bag on, and I wonder if it will fit my daughter when she is three or four, however, by that stage she probably won't need the chest strap, so it probably isn't a big issue.
ALl in all, I think this a brilliant product from a brilliant company. It is a fab idea for anyone who doesn't like the traditional reins, and it has the advantages of being cute, durable, safe, and with some storage to carry a nappy and snack etc when out and about. Highly recommended.