Monday, 5 March 2012

Product Review: Boomerein

Of all items to help with children we've come across, especially since having twins, this has to be the one with the really big tick next to it.

The opportunity to review the Boomerein was something I was really excited about. I have a very independent, head strong two year old, who cannot understand why she needs to be on a rein.

Seren is 22 months older than the boys, and we went through all the pros and cons of investing in a triple pushchair, to decide we would settle with a buggy board on an Out 'n' About Nipper. As it turned out the bugy board didn't suit us to begin with, the changing bag has to go somewhere and Seren didn't like having her arms above her head for long periods.

In addition, as Seren started walking at 15 months, we had already been testing reins. To date, we have invested in wrist reins, a traditional rein from Sunshine Kids and a Littlelife Ladybird rein. These have all had temporary success. 

I loved the wrist rein, and so did Seren to begin with, she would even hold her hand out to put in on, and after the boys were born we added one to the buggy so to make it hers as well.
It was great, until she discovered how to adjust it and take it off.
Despite meeting Mr Bloom, Seren was still unhappy with her wrist rein!

I loved the LittleLife Ladybird Backpack Safety Rein, I think I bought it as soon as Seren started walking. I thought Seren would love 'being a ladybird'. And she does, as long as the safety rein isn't attached.Again, it started well, and it still does, but now after about ten minutes we go into negotiation as to who is holding the rein (and it's not allowed to be mummy!), and then Seren refuses to move as she attempts to undo the clasps on the rucksack.
Happy now the rein isn't attached.

We have the same problems with the Sunshine Kids reins as the LittleLife safety reins, although these reins have one more positive on their side which is they are a bit longer, so Seren can sit on the front of the Nipper and the reins can come over the top so I can still hold her.
Distraction is a wonderful thing

And herein lies the problem. None of this would be such a problem if it weren't for the little ones. I wouldn't mind any of this if I was only had to negotiate with Seren, but there are three children of equal importance in the safety stakes.
I cannot negotiate with Seren, she must wear reins, because we walk along streets and I can't think of the consequences of her taking a wrong footing.
And because if the twins need my attention I need to know Seren is safe.

So, having more or less opted to accept this existence the opportunity to review a new approach to toddler reins was welcomed with open arms.

Kool Kangeroos has introduced the Boomerein as "A retractable child safety rein that clips easily between you and your children around the waist using adjustable straps, allowing them to stick close to you, while you can carry on using both hands to get on with your day."

When the Boomerein arrived I was very eager to get out and try it. Our first attempt was a walk around a local lake. It was quite a substantive walk so we were able to really get a feel for it.
The easy freedom of being unclipped to take care of your little brothers

The safety of being attached to mummy as you make new friends.

The pros for us were that Seren and I had matching belts, the problem with the rein was, I think, the inequality, that Seren was being held or lead, the belts meant that we were together but no-one was in charge.
I loved the retractable lead, Seren could get far enough away for a bit of independence, but was never far enough to be remotely in danger.
I also loved the clip for the reins, so Seren was easily released to play in the park but just as easily back on her rein.

You do have to get used to the casing for the retractable rein, if your child is likely to run rings round you. This is the same for all reins, and in the case of the wrist rein one of our biggest issues was having to swop over when we crossed roads, this is eliminated with the Boomerein.

The only negative for us was that the retractable rein was not suitable for Seren sitting on the front of the buggy and me still being connected as I push. In fairness, as the front of the buggy isn't designed for sitting on I shouldn't really complain.

However this negative did lead us on to a big positive, Seren is now a more confident walker loves to help push the buggy. As a result of all the positives of using the Boomerein I decided to get the buggyboard back out to overcome the negative, and the Boomerein once again comes out tops. I am assured of Seren's safety on the buggyboard with the Boomerein on, knowing that she can come off to walk or ride on the buggyboard, and there is nothing for me to faff with, Seren and I remain connected by the rein, and I am do no thave reins in hand as well as pushing the buggy.

I have intentionally waited a few weeks before doing this review, I wanted to make sure it wasn't rose tinted spectacles, and to ensure Seren didn't easily tire of the Boomerein.

Because having used this for one child, the biggest plus is yet to come, the Boomerein is perfect for multiples, whether it be children of different ages, or twins, etc. As the adult you can add multiple retractable reins to your belt, so you have all children, but they each have their piece of independence.

Knowing what Seren is like for her determination, we have been nervous about the time arriving when two little boys want to their own thing, but the Boomerein offers a great solution... and it may even be that Seren is even happier to have her belt on if the boys have as well!

 The Boomerein is available from Kool Kangeroos for £15.95

 Disclosure: for the purposes of this review we recieved a Boomerein.

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