Everything You Need To Know Before Cycling With Your Child
Going on a bike ride is one of the best ways to spend some quality time with your little one. As a parent though, we can’t help but worry about the safety and comfort of our baby during the ride. These issues often prevent us from taking our children on a fun cycling ride.
However, biking with your child can be a fun and convenient experience for both of you. Just make sure you know the important things to make when biking with babies and have suitable equipment. Also, it’s an excellent way to get your daily dose of exercise.
How Safe Is It To Cycle With My Baby?
Cycling with a child is a topic that has sparked a lot of debate. The Dutch believe that it’s safe to take a newborn for a bike ride while to Brits it’s safer if your baby is at least nine months old. Americans, on the other hand, think it’s better to wait until a baby is one year old.
It doesn’t matter what advise your family or friends give you. Eventually, what the appropriate age you think and feel your baby is safest for cycling is the most important thing here. If you’re not 100% comfortable and sure of your little one’s safety, then listen to your gut feeling.
But if you truly want to share the joys of the outdoors and nature with your baby onboard your bike, then make sure to consider several factors before making your final decision.
Falling from the bike is an obvious thing for parents to worry about. While most biker parents say that it’s more likely for them to fall down the stairs with their child in their arms, it doesn’t mean that the low chance of a bike fall with your baby is an unreasonable worry, and here are the reasons why:
- Your little angel is a fragile little thing compared to toddlers and older children. And a slight accident can cause him to suffer serious injuries.
- Bike rides can be quite bumpy. The delicate head of your baby is prone to injuries from the continuous shaking and vibrations he may feel when you’re pedaling away. So it will be safer to take your baby on his first ride with you when he’s a bit older.
- Your baby’s head and neck are not strong enough to support a safety helmet.
- It is not advisable for a young baby to sit upright for longer periods.
The majority of cycling organizations and bike shops recommend that the safest cycling age is when your baby can sit up on his own and when he’s at least nine months. It’s also best if you can wait until he’s a year older.
When your baby reaches the right age for him to safely cycle with you, there are various carrier and bike seat options you can purchase. Every parent is different. What works with your friend may not work for you and vice versa.
Also, your choice will depend on your budget and needs. Make sure to check out the available options you have. It is also advisable to read toddler bike seat reviews to see which one is the most suitable for you and your child before making any purchase.
Different Types Of Child Bike Seats
The popularity of child bike seats is increasing because more and more parents want to contribute to the preservation of our environment by opting to ride a bike. Also, they are more affordable than getting your kid an entire bike.
There are three main types of child bike seats you can choose:
- Rear-mounted child bike seat
- Front-mount child bike seat
- Bike trailer
Rear-Mounted Bike Seats
This bike seat is the most common type used by many biker parents. It fits above your bike’s back wheel. A rear bike seat normally has a harness, leg guards, raised sides, and a high back. It’s a great option if you like going on long bike rides and if you have a taller baby.
It’s larger than the front-mounted model and can carry children up to five or six years old. Keep in mind that you’ll need to switch to a rear-mount seat if you begin with a front bike seat as your baby grows.
This type has two mounting styles:
- Frame-mounted rear bike seat. This style is suitable for your nine months old baby weighing up to 45 lbs. You can attach it directly to your bike’s frame allowing it to have suspension. It’s cost-effective since you need to buy a separate rack. It also comes with more features like suspension, recline ability, footrests, and adjustable harness.
- Rack-mounted rear bike seat. You mount this style to a rack attached to your bike’s frame over its rear tire. It’s easier to fit to a wide range of adult bikes. However, you need to purchase a separate rack for this with at least 60 lbs weight capacity.
Front-Mounted Bike Seats
This bike seat is more compact. A front-mounted seat is suitable for kids with age ranging between nine months to around two years old. It is placed in front of you and attached to the handlebars of your bike, which can affect its maneuverability. However, since it is positioned between your arms, your toddler will feel more carefree and comfortable.
You can attach it to the stem of the handlebars through a mounting bracket. The stem’s height and width, as well as the mounting bracket diameter, will determine if you can mount the bike seat to it. Each bike has a different mounting bracket. Some may need an entire vertical inch to mount, while others barely need any space.
A bike trailer allows you to tow your toddler behind you. It usually has a couple of bike-type wheels as well a long hitching arm which you can attach to your bike. You simply place your baby in a seated position, strap him inside the ventilated, weatherproof, and zipped compartment, and you’re good to go.
This type of bike seat is spacious, features comfortable seating, storage for toys, and available in two-seaters. It’s a bit more expensive, but they often feel more stable than the other bike seats. There are even some models that you can transform into a pushchair.
Tips On Safe Cycling With Your Child
Cycling is an activity that you and your child can both enjoy. Generally, it’s safe, and most parents feel that the health benefits it presents outweigh any risks. Letting your child wear a helmet is a personal choice and your responsibility.
Keep in mind that a helmet will not be able to protect you or your little one from any eventualities. They’re not designed specifically for accidents involving other traveling vehicles at relatively high speeds. However, using bike helmets can provide you and your child with added safety in minor falls and accidents.
With that in mind, here are some safety tips to remember when going on a bike ride with your little one:
- Make sure your baby is old enough to support his head and can sit up without any help. If not, it is advisable not to take him cycling yet.
- Since not every bike out there is suitable for child bike seats, check first if it will accurately fit your bike before buying one.
- It’s worth investing in a good quality helmet as it can aid in reducing the risk of head and brain injuries in certain situations. The skull of your baby is fragile, so wearing a cycling helmet is vital.
- It is crucial for you to practice getting your baby in and out of his bike seat. Make sure that you can safely balance your bike and get your child out before cycling.
- Choose a bike seat with footrests to prevent the feet of your child from getting caught in the spokes of your bike’s wheel.
Cycling with your baby is a fun bonding activity where you can also introduce the beauty of nature with him. Make sure to choose the best bike seat for your baby and follow our safety tips so that both of you can enjoy a safe, relaxing, and comfortable cycling adventure.