Thursday, December 1, 2011

Travelling with children: a review.

One of my many daily struggles challenges is the school run. My car broke down about a year ago and we have never bothered to fix it. We live a half a mile away from the school and I feel bad driving for such a small distance anyway. Also it would take almost as much time to put all the children in the car than it would to walk at least half of the way down. So we walk.

When Elliott was only a few weeks old, I used to put him in the sling that my mum bought us, which was great as it meant that I could hold Noelie's hand while walking along the narrow, potholed country lane. As the weather grew colder, I put Elliott in the pushchair. That's when the whole thing became awkward. Have you ever tried steering a pushchair with one hand and holding a toddler by the hand all the while trying to avoid the pot-holes / muck / puddles / cow dung / water filled ditches on either side? It's not easy, let me tell you. Noelie, unlike many toddlers her age, insists on holding your hand when walking anywhere and will not move if you don't, not that I am complaining that I don't have a little runaway on my hands.

The whole experience of walking up and down to school twice a day was fast becoming a rather unpleasant. And then, Travelling with Children contacted us and asked us if we would like to review the Toddler Mini Back Pack and Reins. I decided to give it a try on the day we received it and have used it every day since. It has completely changed the school walk, for the better. The small back pack has given Noelie the confidence to walk without holding my hand, leaving me with both hands free to push Elliott's pushchair. 

The back pack is small and is designed to be used by children age 6 months to 4 years old. The straps are in fact a 3 way harness and are very easily adjusted. It is big enough for Noelie to put in a snack and a drink, as well as her teddy and her soother. She feels all grown up with her own 'schoolbag' as she calls it. She loves the animal embroidery on the front of the backpack and I love the fact that there is a safety reflector there too. I have peace of mind knowing that she can't wriggle out of it as well as the fact that she can't stray too far away from me (and that I don't have to fish her out of the water filled ditches). It also has an emergency handle that comes in useful when Noelie trips over her own feet (which happens at least once a day). The rein is easily removable and clips back on in no time at all, allowing the child to have a bit of freedom but also allowing the parent to regain control fast, should the need arise. No wonder it won the Mother and Baby Gold Award for BEST SAFETY PRODUCT 2010/11! And it comes in 4 different colours too.

So whether you're travelling home this Christmas or just finding the school run a bit of a challenge, hop over to the Travelling with Children website and see what products they have on offer. They are also offering a 15% discount if you buy any Lodger product (check out these hats or this fleece wrapper. Don't they look cosy?). You can also find Travelling with Children on Twitter and Facebook too. 

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