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Infant in a Bike Trailer?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
We are a one car family, and I'm interested in getting a bike to ride around with 5 mth old DS around town for entertainment as well as for errands. There are great bike paths next to the roads (think really wide asphalt side walks), and some side walks I'd be riding on, never in the road.

I plan to get a bike trailer, with a 5 point harness in it, as well as a super light weight helmet designed for babies.

DS is big for his age, if that matters: 19 pounds, 27 inches (?).

I've read multiple threads on here about the differences in bike seats versus trailers, as well as several websites these threads pointed to, which detail safety on bikes/in trailers for LOs.

It seems at least one company makes infant seats for trailers, as an extra insert, but most of the descriptions I've read about bike trailers don't indicate an age range.

How young is too young? DS has great head control, and has for at least two months now. We would be riding exclusively on paved trails/side walks, with few bumps, though I'm sure there will be occasional bumps.

I plan to ask the pediatrician what her thoughts are, considering his head control, before we go riding, too, just to have all the bases covered.

Finally, my question is, Are there options for putting infants in bike trailers? Are certain trailers designed for infants, with the harnesses small enough for them?
post #2 of 43
I dont have any links but I have read that the minimum age is 1 year. I definately would not do it that young. And if it is the infant insert I am thinking of, that is only for use as a stroller, not a bike trailer, until at least 1 year.
post #3 of 43
I am interested in this too. I had even thought about placing the infant car seat in the trailer somehow. I haven't seen one in person to even know if that is an option though. We have 2 kids, 2.5 y/o DD and currently 3 mo old DS. DH doesn't drive so it would be him on the bike. Ideas?
post #4 of 43
We use a bike trailer for our kids but I wouldn't use it that young. The number one thing is that it is jarring. even on paved trails my 2 yo is bobbing around in there and when he falls asleep forget it, I freak out.
But we don't have an infant insert or anything like that and the seat is very upright, maybe it's different with some kind of accessory.
post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrsboyko View Post
I am interested in this too. I had even thought about placing the infant car seat in the trailer somehow. I haven't seen one in person to even know if that is an option though. We have 2 kids, 2.5 y/o DD and currently 3 mo old DS. DH doesn't drive so it would be him on the bike. Ideas?
A friend has one, and I've seen it from afar. I don't think you could put an infant carrier and another child in it.

I did see infant inserts made by the trailer companies that accommodate another child next to them.
post #6 of 43
Everything I've seen says it's not safe before a year.

-Angela
post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eli's mama View Post
We use a bike trailer for our kids but I wouldn't use it that young. The number one thing is that it is jarring. even on paved trails my 2 yo is bobbing around in there and when he falls asleep forget it, I freak out.
But we don't have an infant insert or anything like that and the seat is very upright, maybe it's different with some kind of accessory.
The infant seats I've seen are called "slings" and they hang from the top bar, which may reduce some of the jostling while riding.
post #8 of 43
I wouldn't use a trailer for a five-month-old without putting the baby in an infant car seat.

I do think it's wise to read all of the anti-biking-with-infants information that there is out there before making your own informed choice.

I started biking with ds3 when he was 8 months old, using the iBert seat on the front of my bike. It worked very well for us. My sister is now using the same seat with her 7-month-old. I am considering starting to bike with our fourth baby starting when he's about 3 months old (following the lead of what's recommended in the Netherlands, where biking with babies and children is the norm). If I decide to ride with him when he's that young, he will be in an infant car seat installed in the front of my dutch cargo bike.

Lex
post #9 of 43
I think the general recommendation is one year-when they have good head control and can get a safe fit with the 5 point harness. Now, in my bike trailer, it's hard to get a good and safe fit. The straps are just not as easy to maneuver as they are in a car seat. I started using my bike trailer when my youngest was almost 2. I used the harness to keep her from standing, but that is all it is good for.

Now, if you really need to be biking your infant around (like a one or no car situation) I have heard that some people actually buy a cheaper car seat and physically attach it into the trailer - like fastening it to the trailer with screws and such. I don't know the specifics but it certainly sounds like a safer alternative.

ETA: I just did a quick Google search and found some threads on carseat.org about this very subject. Not many people feel an "installed" car seat in the trailer is safe at all.
post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDSmomma View Post
The infant seats I've seen are called "slings" and they hang from the top bar, which may reduce some of the jostling while riding.
I've seen these slings. The one I saw said it was for use with the stroller attachment for ages 6 weeks and up.

I also saw someone using one with a 3 or maybe 6 week old (but what's the diff?). They said he was as happy as could be and slept the whole time. They rode for 6 miles round trip on pavement and sidewalks.
post #11 of 43
The most important thing is that your child needs to use a helmet, and their bodies aren't strong enough to hold a helmet until they are older. I know in Sweden, where most people bike (not as a hobby, as transport), the medical association (something like the AAP) recommends 9 months to a year.
post #12 of 43
Chariot and Trek recommend that babies be at least a year old before the trailer is used as a bike trailer.
I think the insert is used only if it is in jogging stroller mode.
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AislinCarys View Post
The most important thing is that your child needs to use a helmet, and their bodies aren't strong enough to hold a helmet until they are older. I know in Sweden, where most people bike (not as a hobby, as transport), the medical association (something like the AAP) recommends 9 months to a year.
But if the baby were to be secure in an infant car seat, the helmet would be somewhat redundant, wouldn't it?

Lex
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
Chariot and Trek recommend that babies be at least a year old before the trailer is used as a bike trailer.
I think the insert is used only if it is in jogging stroller mode.
Burley has the same recommendation.

That said, I know two families who have had their tiny infants (4ish weeks) in Chariot trailers with the sling/hammock inserts. No helmets. And I have seen several other families with infant car seats installed in trailers.

Friends of our family who run a bike shop say the child should have good head control whilst wearing a helmet before you take them on a bike, sometimes kids get that at 7-8 months, sometimes not until over a year.

Our son rode in a Burley trailer behind our bikes from 9.5 months.
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AislinCarys View Post
The most important thing is that your child needs to use a helmet
Sorry. Not true if they are in a trailer.

If the child is secured in a 5-point harness within the confines of the aluminum or steel frame of the covered trailer, they do not need to wear a helmet. The helmet is to protect a child's head in case of a fall off of a bicycle. Secured in the trailer, the child is not going to suffer a fall. You can check your local laws concerning bicycling with children.

You might check out this recent discussion on similar topic:
http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...=#post13725866
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AislinCarys View Post
The most important thing is that your child needs to use a helmet, and their bodies aren't strong enough to hold a helmet until they are older. I know in Sweden, where most people bike (not as a hobby, as transport), the medical association (something like the AAP) recommends 9 months to a year.
IMO, this is not important at all. Especially if they are in their infant carseat in a trailer. Does your child wear a helmet in the car? In most places where people ride bikes as their primary mode of transportation, nobody wears helmets, including little children and babies.

http://www.ski-epic.com/amsterdam_bicycles/
post #17 of 43
We used a bucket car seat starting when dd was very young. It was more secure and comfortable for her then than now at 2 she rides in the regular sling seat and it is a pretty rough ride for her. I'd rather have her in a car seat still. The harness in the bike trailer doesn't seem secure enough to me. The helmet seems redundant and is very uncomfortable for her to wear while in the bike trailer.
post #18 of 43
I think the concern more about having children under a year in these things would be shaken baby syndrome.
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
I think the concern more about having children under a year in these things would be shaken baby syndrome.
That is purely hypothetical (it's never been reported), and doesn't really make sense to me if you think about the amount of force involved in shaken baby syndrome. It would be hard--maybe even impossible--to replicate that in a bicycle trailer even on an incredibly bumpy road. In other countries, it is common for people to bike with their babies, and if "shaken bike baby syndrome" was a real thing, I'm sure there would be warnings against it. Also, a 12-month-old is not immune to the real shaken baby syndrome, so if the bike version was real, why would it then be OK for people to start biking with their 12-month-olds?

Lex
post #20 of 43
When DS was little, we rigged the bucket car seat into the bike trailer. Worked great, and it seemed very safe.
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