Bike Baby Carrier Basics
I have 5 children. I like to think I basically know what I’m doing, but my mother-in-law disagrees with me about one thing our family loves to do. We go biking as a family. I use a device on with my baby apparently invented to torture small infants on bicycles. Yes, I use a bike baby carrier. I wouldn’t recommend someone who was just learning to ride a bike put their baby on board. If you’re confident in your biking skills, by all means, take your kids along for the ride, but know the safety basics for using this type of baby carrier.
3 Basic Types of Bike Baby Carrier
There are three basic types of bicycle seats for infants. Seats that place baby on the back of the bike, seats that place baby on the front of the bike, and baby trailers. Personally we use rear mounting baby carriers on our bicycles and have for years through all of our kids until they were old enough to navigate their own bikes, first in training wheels, then on their own. I personally never recommend a front mounting bicycle seat for your baby.
Is Your Baby Ready?
This is a huge question you have to answer honestly. In our state of New York, it’s illegal to transport any child under 12 months of age in a bike seat. Other cities and states have similar laws, make sure you know what your local laws are regarding that. The main thing you must consider before your baby can ride with you is if your child has enough head and neck strength to wear a bike helmet. Keeping on the bike helmet is also a big consideration. You’d be amazed how fast those little fingers can manage to get a helmet off. If that happens to you, your baby isn’t ready to go along for the ride yet.
Safely Selecting Your Bike Baby Carrier
It’s definitely a personal choice. When you’re considering whether to use a bike mounted baby carrier or a trailer-type baby carrier, make sure that the seat you choose has basic safety features. Basic safety features any baby bike carrier should have include a five-point harness and a footrest, so your baby’s feet don’t fall asleep. Another consideration is whether or not your choice in a baby carrier comes with spare parts for fast repairs.
Let’s Talk Helmets
Did you notice I didn’t bring up helmets under safety? That’s because a helmet is a complete, 100%, must-have item for your baby to ride in any type of baby bike carrier. A few things to note, make sure that your baby can hold her head up comfortably when wearing the helmet. If not, your child is not ready. The helmet should cover your child’s forehead and should not be tipped back or falling into her eyes. Last but not least, a helmet is good for one impact only. Never buy a used helmet and you never have to worry about whether or not your baby is protected if an accident occurs. We’ve been riding for years, before and after we had kids and we have had only one accident. A man lost his grip on his dog’s leash, and the dog bolted out and hit the front wheel of my bike. I fell over the front handlebars of my bike, and thankfully the dog nor I escaped harm. Poor doggie was just as scared as I was! The incident made me very aware about scanning longer distances around bike paths as we’re riding.
Whether you choose a seat mounted bike baby carrier or a trailer carrier, take your time to learn exactly how it is mounted on the bike or trailer is attached. This is no time to skip the instructions. Also, call me paranoid, but I check the bike carrier before every ride to be sure it’s secure and ready for our baby. My mother-in-law may not agree with our baby going along for the ride, but our little one won’t be in a bike carrier seat for too long as I’ve become all too aware, children grow up fast.