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Youngest age for balance bike?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
DD's birthday and Christmas are right at the same time and we're trying to figure out presents. We're definitely getting her a slide (purely for my own personal sanity with my little monkey ) for Christmas and we're thinking of getting her some sort of ride on toy for her birthday.

Here's the thing. I can't decide between getting a balance bike even though it's really early (she'll be 1) or a riding toy like the wheely bug. The thing about DD is she's really physically advanced (she can climb everything, can throw/kick balls, walk up and down stairs, etc.) so I'm wondering if the wheely bug would keep her entertained for long? Plus, I've been drooling over wooden balance bikes since way before I had kids (they are really common here) and I don't really what to spend money on a riding toy and then spend a lot of money a year later on a balance bike.

That being said... if DD isn't practically going to be able to use a balance bike for another year, maybe I should just wait and go with the wheely bug? How do you know if your kids is ready for a balance bike? And would I have to just buy a new balance bike in a year because she's grown that much?
post #2 of 17
I'm thinking of getting one for my 15 month old. I figure we'll walk her around with it for awhile. My main concern is the height, especially for your LO.

since they're all over where you are, could you see if someone would let your dd try it out?
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yep, I'm going to try and go to the store this weekend. I tried one today but they only had one in a box and the lady wasn't exactly the most friendly.

DD is really tall for her age too (she stays around the 95th percentile and at her 9 month appointment was already 29.5 inches tall...).
post #4 of 17
ds is 28 months, off the charts ( has always been) and can just reach on a wooden balance bike (not sure brand it was at a friend's house). some of the metal ones are shorter though.
post #5 of 17
What you might do is get a really cheap ride on toy, like from a thriftstore or resale shop, and then ditch it when she can use the balance bike?
post #6 of 17
We got my son a Skuut for Christmas this year, he will be 3 in Feb.

I would say that IMO it is too early and it might just be frustrating for your child. Even with flipping the frame over it will likely be too tall so no matter how physically advanced your child is it could be an exercise in futility.

We have an adorable wheeled wooden horse radio flyer thing that was a big hit when my son was one (he started walking before 10 mos and got it for his first birthday ~ both of my kids still love it ~ there is no way he would have been tall enough for a balance bike at 1) ~ maybe something like that would be more age appropriate?

HTH and good luck!
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks! That really helps a lot. I definitely want one of the wooden ones (I just think they are really cute. ) So I think I'll hold off then. But the question is, how do you know if your kids are ready or not? I've heard of some 18 month olds who can walk theirs around the house...

So I'm pretty set on one of those wheely bugs (I've been looking for other riding toys on craigslist in my area and I just haven't found anything!). But I'm confused on whether or not to get the large or the small, ahh!!!
post #8 of 17
DS was in the 97th percentile for height at 36 inches when we tried him on one, and he seemed too short for our comfort (maybe he just had a really short rise). We decided to wait a while.

We DID get him a wheelie bug at 13 mos, and he used it a lot for the next 8 months. If your child is on the larger side, I'd get the large one, for sure.
post #9 of 17
DD is a very sporty girl. We bought her a metal balance bike when she turned two, but even at the very lowest setting, it was way to high. She got on for literally 2 seconds and would not touch it again. Their feet must be able to be flat on the ground while still seated, so they can control their movements. So we put up the bike to the highest setting and let DS have it instead!

However, when she was 2.5 her daycare bought 4 balance bikes, and they were much smaller. She got on and took off - instantly. The daycare provider assumed she had one at home she was using. Point is, if they are sporty, I think they can use them from a very young age. However, they really have to be the right size.
post #10 of 17
My 14 month old ds is a little monkey and can climb most things even out of his crib and can use ride on toys for older kids like the plasma car correctly but there is no way he could use a balance bike yet. My 3 year old is very petitite and she just barely fits on my 10 inch haro balance bike. It is even still slightly big for her and most balance bikes are bigger than that. A bigger 2 year old can probably fit but not a 1 year old. I think when my ds is big enough he is the type to just get on and start flying unlike my cautious dd who doesn't do things until she is confident but he is way way to little right now.
post #11 of 17
my DD is 20m & about 29in tall. we tried her on the shortest balance bike we could find (Strider) & she was still atleast an inch or 2 too short for it on the smallest setting.

we have one of these that we got for her around her 1st birthday & she loves it! She can go really fast on it & the turning is pretty good.
post #12 of 17
I say get the wheely bug.
post #13 of 17
We got DS this for Christmas the year he was 1... (still 12 mos on Christmas day) http://www.target.com/Step-2-Ride-On.../dp/B00009XO8U

Kinda a in-between of ride-ons and balance bikes, it has 4 wheels but they are closer together and the bike is taller than typical toddler ride-ons. So it stands on it's own, but it can tip over.... makes it good for introducing the concept of balancing.... the front wheel doesn't turn, I've wished it did, but I guess that's good for younger kiddos....

(we had a blue one, it came w/ butterfly stickers and flame stickers, so you choose how to decorate).

Then we got a regular balance bike for him when he turned two, but he mostly just pushed it around w/out riding it til 2.5 so a new 1 yr old wouldn't use one for awhile.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I think we've definitely decided on the ride-on toy for now. I'll have to put aside my dreams for a balance bike for next year

I think we might take her to toys r us and try out a few just so I can get an idea of the size but I still have my heart set on the wheely bug... although, I just wish the price tag wasn't as high!
post #15 of 17
My ds has one of these. I couldn't believe how inexpensive it was compared to the other brands. He got it for his 3rd birthday, although I hope to pass it down to ds2 when he is 2. My ds1 is nearly on the tallest setting already at 3.5
post #16 of 17
My baby dd has been able to get on and off her bouncing zebra since about 11.5 months. (she is tall).


It is expensive though.
post #17 of 17
I would think 2 at the earliest (and my son rode a two wheeler, no training wheels, at 4 -- largely bc of using a balance bike -- I love 'em). You don't want the kid to be too uncoordinated and have an accident and be scared off from it.
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