Review of Bush Baby Minipack with Removable Rein.

Photo of Bush Baby Minipacks courtesy of Boutique Babies.
There is a lot of discussion about Reins at the moment, especially since the issue was discussed on The Wright Stuff on March 30th 2011. If you click here you will be able to see the episode where they discuss using Reins on children making a comeback. The episode is only available to watch for a couple more days (until April 6th 2011 I believe). If you skip to 1hr 14 min 48 seconds you will see the part about reins.(I am sorry if when you are reading this you are no longer able to watch the episode). They say that reins were big news last week when parenting writer Judith Goldsmith said something along the lines of you were treating your child like a dog by putting reins on them. I have tried to for ages to find out where she said it so I could provide a link but I’m afraid I had no success with finding a link to the article. When people saw what she had said there were over 100 complaints from people who disagreed with her and liked the use of reins. 
Photo of Bush Baby Minipack with removable rein.
The presenter of The Wright Stuff Matthew Wright asked his celebrity guests if they used reins with their children and actress Lisa Faulkner proudly said that she had used reins on her daughter as she says her child went from crawling to running and she was like a train without a driver. She said that she had a 6 month period of time where she needed to be able to run around with her daughter but be able to grab her when necessary. Matthew also asked TV presenter Kaye Adams and she said she had never used them herself but she had no problems with people using them with their own kids. Kaye mentioned that you can now by a “Trendy little backpack with a rein on”. She said “they seem like a perfectly good idea”.. . . .and this is where Boutique Babies comes in! They sell the Bush Baby Minipack with removable rein. . . just like the ones that Kaye mentioned on the show. 
Photo of Bush Baby Minipack with removable rein.
Karen over at Boutique Babies recently sent me one of these Bush Baby backpacks out to review. I was sent the red colour but it is also sold in pink,green and blue. My personal favourite is the pink minipack but I can see that red and green are more unisex colours so you could then put it away when it is no longer used and use it with subsequent children. 
Photo of Bush Baby Minipack with removable rein.
I am impressed with the size of the bag as it is big enough to fit some useful things in, like a drink and a nappy and maybe a little book or toy. I like the fact that the bag has a fluorescent circle on it as you have peace of mind that it will be reflective if you are using the backpack at night time. The removable rein is made from a webbing material that attaches securely to the back pack with a metal carabiner clip. The only thing I wasn’t too keen on was the stiffness of the wrist strap itself. The circular part that you slip your hand in to was larger than my hand and so it wouldn’t stay on my wrist. I had to grip on the the handle which wasn’t too comfortable because of the stiffness of the material. Having said that it is a good thing in a way as it makes you more aware of the fact that you have to ‘hold on’ to the strap and you can’t forget it is on your wrist and then be shocked when your child tries to run and it slips off your wrist.

Photo of Bush Baby Minipack with removable rein.
The Bush Baby Minipack has a grab handle on the top of the bag that would be very helpful for steering your child in the right direction or for added reassurance when going up steps or trying to stop them falling over.  There is a slip pocket on the front of the backpack and the main body of the backpack fastens with a zip.

The bag has a cute embroidered sheep and pig on the front which will appeal to your child. 

Photo of Bush Baby Minipack with removable rein.
The straps on the bag are like a normal rucksack except that on a normal rucksack the shoulder straps would be stitched to the bottom of the bag giving you the holes to put your arm through. On the Bush Baby Minipack the bottom of the shoulder straps are not stitched but instead extend into a webbing harness that goes through a plastic D-ring on each side and then they extend around the waist where they are then fastened with a plastic buckle. The buckle is released by squeezing the sides (the same kind of buckle as you find on the harness of most pushchairs).
Photo of Bush Baby Minipack with removable rein.

The sizing of the backpack is adjusted by pulling more of the webbing through the buckle of the backpack. It is the same as with most harnesses using buckles.  The only problem I found was that this doesn’t adjust the length of the shoulder strap itself (that always remains the same length) but only adjusts the size of the harness around the waist. This means that if your child is still quite young or short in height then the waist will fit comfortably but the shoulder straps may appear too long in length. This shouldn’t effect the use of the backpack as long as you feel that the harness is adequately fastened and will not come loose from your child’s body. I found that although the straps looked a bit too long over my daughter’s shoulders the rein/backpack was still effective.

There is a plastic D-ring on the bottom of each shoulder strap that can be used as a place to clip your child’s favourite toy or dummy. The backpack has a 2.5 litre capacity, it measures 18cm x 24cm and it complies with  EN 13210:2004.                                                     

Photo of Bush Baby Minipack with removable rein.
Personally I had always planned to use reins with my daughter when we go for walks as it scares me to death to think of her running off. I think reins are great as a safety precaution but you do still need to be paying attention though because they will not prevent your child getting into a dangerous situation. For example you could both be standing at the side of the road and the rein will not prevent them running in to the road as there is enough length that they could still run a little way. In the instance of crossing the road you could also hold on to the grab handle which will give you more security as they are on a shorter leash and can’t run any distance. 

Photo of Bush Baby Minipack with removable rein.
My daughter is 20 months old and she has been using reins since she could walk (at about 13 months). I started off by using them in the house sometimes as well as outside as I wanted her to get used to wearing them. I’m pleased to say this has paid off as I hardly ever have any problems getting her to wear them.  I started off with the traditional style of harness/ rein and I then progressed to a Lindam Backpack harness. The Bush Baby Minipack is different from my Lindam one as you just have to pop your child’s arms through the shoulder straps and fasten at the front. My Lindam one looks more like a conventional harness at the front and it is more difficult to put on my daughter as it goes on over her head. Then you have to re-adjust the strap length each time as if not it is too hard to pull back over head.  In comparison to the Lindam backpack harness the Bush Baby Mini pack has a bigger backpack, it is available in a choice of colours and it looks much more grown up which means you could get away with your child using this until at least 4 years of age.  I have no problems with using my current Lindam backpack harness with my daughter so I have given my Bush Baby Mini Backpack to my brother to use with my niece as they were about to start looking for one to buy. I was being nice but I may regret it when my daughter no longer wants to wear her current backpack harness and I’ll then be needing to buy a more grown up backpack with reins, like the Bush Baby one! 🙂

Photo of Bush Baby Minipack with removable rein.
The Bush Baby Minipack was recently awarded Gold as the Best Safety product in the Mother and Baby 2010/11 awards. You know it must be good if it got a GOLD award.

The other thing to remember is that this is not just a form of rein/ harness but actually a 2 litre rucksack so this is also a great product to buy if you are in the market for buying a little bag for your child to wear to take a few toys with them when they go out. You just have the added security of knowing you can quickly clip the rein / leash on or off if you go somewhere busy like an airport or shopping in the city.

The Minipack is available to buy at Boutique Babies for £17.50 and I think it is worth the money if it means you can help keep your child safe. The Minipack is made to a high standard and if your child is happy to wear it then you’ll find it could be one of the most useful things you buy for your toddler. If you would like to purchase your Bush Baby Minipack from Boutique Babies then please click here

Photo of Bush Baby Minipack with removable rein.
If you have any questions and want to contact Karen you can do so by sending a message through the site. There is also a telephone number you can call. The contact information can all be found here.

Photo courtesy of Boutique Babies.
On the main page of Boutique Babies it says Free Shipping but when you click on it it takes you to another page where you can then see that you actually only get Free postage when you spend over £50. Personally I think that this should be changed to say exactly that on the home page. Otherwise people may not think to click on the ‘Free Shipping’ text and they wouldn’t know that there would be postage to pay until the very end of their shopping experience. Postage is dependent on the weight of your parcel and if I wanted to find out how much P+P is going to cost on the backpack I would need to fill in all my delivery details first. I think it would be better if you could check the delivery cost before having to go through all the filling in of details, etc.
Frilly Milly with Boa. Photo courtesy
of Boutique Babies.
Please take a look at all the other wonderful products stocked at Boutique Babies. I have spent the last 2 years + looking through baby magazines and the Internet and I like to think I know about most baby brands and products available but Karen sells some products that I have never heard of! Which is great!  She sells lots of different design BumpaLoop bumper bar covers by Abugsline, a range of dressing up costumes from a company called Travis – these include princess dresses, a baby chick outfit perfect for easter and a reversible 3 in 1 emergency services outfit (police, paramedic and fire)  and also a cute set of little animals called ‘My Barnyard Friends’ by Aurora Baby. I have not seen these products to be able to review them…but they look good from the photos on the website.

Sequin Ballgown – Gold. Photo courtesy of
Boutique Babies.
Boutique Babies refund policy says that if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase you should notify them within 7 working days and they will happily organise a refund (minus the postage) for you. When you return items they must be in their original packaging, unused and in saleable condition. Some items from the site have to be returned direct to a supplier so you should contact Boutique Babies using the email address  for any return address details.
In conclusion, I really like this minipack as it allows your child to feel independent but you know that you only have to clip on the rein to be able to control just how far away from you they roam free! This would be great to take on holiday with you or on day trips.

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