Biking is one of the most popular and most relaxing ways to spend time outdoors. If you are a parent of a toddler and have not found time for your favorite hobby, this should not be a problem. You can still spend quality time with your little ones while biking by simply taking them with you on the bike!
When Can I Start Taking My Toddler Biking?
If you have gone biking before and during pregnancy, chances are you will most likely continue going biking with your toddler. But when is the right time to take the baby biking, you might ask? This is one of the most frequently asked questions by new parents. It goes without saying that toddlers are sensitive to temperatures, air changes, atmospheric conditions, dust, and much more. Consequently, when they are little, going out biking with toddlers comes with a few responsibilities.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, one year old is the right age for a toddler to take biking. The AAP rule is also supported by the fact that babies younger than one year do not have strong bones; their heads and necks are weak and cannot hold the helmet. Besides, helmets are not produced for babies under one year old.
However, this rule is not widely accepted. There are other opinions according to which toddlers should not wear helmets because it can cause breathing difficulties. There are ways to get toddlers biking without endangering their health.
It is worth noting that in addition to the age rule, when you decide to take your toddler biking, you should see how prepared they are for such a thing, regardless of age, as every child grows up to their own pace.
The right age to take your kid biking is also determined by the traffic laws and the helmet rules in the country/region where you live.
How to Cycle with Your Kids?
Regardless of whether you take your child biking from the age of one or even younger, there are some rules you should follow to avoid accidents and to make riding more enjoyable for you and your baby.
- Secure the child in the seat, tying them to the seat belts and placing the helmet (depending on toddler’s age).
- The child’s seat should be well placed on the bike. Make sure it is stable, especially when the road is potholed so that the child does not vibrate strongly.
- You should ride slower when you are with your child than when you are alone.
- Make sure your child feels comfortable while biking, does not get too much sun, and enjoys biking properly.
When children start riding their bikes for the first time, it is very important to teach them how to ride a balance bike. They should be selected based on your children’s age. Since maintaining balance is an essential part of riding a bike, balance bikes teach children the principle of balance in the best and easiest way.
In an ideal world, cargo bikes can replace cars, and they are more than convenient and useful to carry children and groceries. They are a good solution for families that prefer to go biking frequently. Their space makes it possible to put, in addition to the child, other things, and go out in the town, for a picnic and so on.
Bike seats can be another way for you to get out there on the road. They should be suitable for the child and not cause vibrations. When choosing a seat, you must first determine its type (rear-mounted, front-mounted, mid-mounted), its size, and take consider your child’s age.
- Rear-mounted seat is one of the most popular seats for biking; they are suitable for biking, but you cannot see the baby behind your back.
- Front-mounted seat is also quite popular and widely used; one big advantage of them is that you can see your child in front of you.
- Mid-mounted seat is a type of seat where you place your child between yourself and the handlebars. It is mainly used for children older than two years old, and it is preferable since it saves more space in the front and back of the bike.
Another suitable solution for biking with kids is the bike trailer. Simple and convenient, they offer a lot of comfort to you and your kid. In the trailer, the child has enough space and can feel quite cozy. Also, the design of the trailers offers high security, which is one of its main advantages. On the other hand, one of their drawbacks is that you cannot see your child and maybe not even hear them if they speak to you.
Tow ropes & bars
If your kids start to love biking, they will soon want to ride their bikes themselves. Because they might still be young and not ready to go out on their own, you can make use of tows and bars to go biking with your kids. Your bike is connected to your child’s through the tows, and you will have every movement under control. They are especially highly suggested for biking in rural terrains.
What You Need to Know About Biking with Kids
Biking with kids is not only enjoyable but also quite challenging. There are quite a few things you need to take into consideration before taking your kids biking. Find some of them down below.
Choose a safe destination to ride to
Always remember that the chosen destination for biking is very important. Do not take your toddler in steep terrain where vibration may occur; choose flatter and more convenient spaces.
Prepare what you’re bringing with you
When deciding to go biking, especially with children, it is best to prepare in advance and take the necessary items with you. Depending on their age, children need their own things: water, milk or a drink, tissues, any toys, something extra to wear if it is cold and similar items. You can keep your belongings in your bag, kid’s bag, or the trailer if you have one.
Do a bike check
As with the car, when riding a bike alike, it is advisable to do a bike check for any possible defects and make sure everything is alright. Once you do that, you won’t feel the need to worry about the bike’s condition during your ride.
Put on your helmets
Helmets must always be worn and even become an ingrained habit for you. They will protect you from possible injuries and will give you the security you need.
Involve your kids
The most important cargo on your bike is your little one. Ensure they feel comfortable, enjoy the ride, and want to spend more time biking. The more you make them feel present at the moment, the more they’ll enjoy this particular experience.
Dress for the weather
You should adapt clothes to atmospheric conditions when going out biking. It is usually preferable to wear lighter and more sporty clothes when you go biking. Check the weather in advance and prepare your clothes on time.
Bike during the daytime
Going biking during the day when it is still light is safer and more enjoyable due to road safety. You will have the opportunity to see more clearly, and your children will have the chance to better enjoy the view.
Going on a bike ride with your little ones will give you a great sense of relaxation. In order to feel comfortable, secure your toddler well in the seat, wear appropriate clothes, choose your favorite place and spend a nice afternoon.