riding a bike w/ baby in ergo (w/ helmet) vs. baby in bicycle seat? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 03-01-2009, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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we just moved to a town with wonderful bike paths, and plan to take advantage of them this spring/summer. i'm trying to decide how to carry everyone safely while we ride. one option is to put both our 2.5 yr old and baby in a covered trailer, but i'm a little hesitant. the little guy would only be 9 or 10 months when we first use it, and i would feel better waiting until next summer. the other option is two bike seats, one on my bike and one on dh's bike. so what would be the difference with using a bike seat for the little guy versus carrying him in our ergo, if he was wearing a helmet? i feel like i could protect him more if he was on my body, and naturally would fall (if i fell) in a way to prevent harm to him. we would never ride on streets, and our bike paths are strictly for non-motorized vehicles, so falling is the only safety consideration.

Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)

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#2 of 22 Old 03-01-2009, 04:34 PM
 
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Honestly, and I have no real evidence to back this up, I wouldn't be comfortable with any of those situations. I feel like I've read that bike helmets aren't designed for babies under a year old and the trailers can get bumpy-even on a bike trail. Having the little one in an ergo with a helmet just seems awkward. Won't the helmet bump up against your back and force him to lean backwards or to the side to balance the extra weight?

I'd be inclined to wait until the fall or next spring when your little one is a bit older and can better support the weight of his head plus the helmet. Maybe others will chime in with more personal experience.

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#3 of 22 Old 03-01-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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You can't always control how you fall, no matter what your best intentions are.

I had a similar conondrum when my DD was smaller - I was desperate to ride my bike that summer, but I finally just gave in and waited until the next year.

There's a risk of shaken baby syndrome in both the trailers and in a seat when babies are so little. Definitely, I'd just wait until next summer when your baby is older. Can you use your stroller on those same bike paths?

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#4 of 22 Old 03-01-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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I would never ever babywear and bike. Just too dangerous because of you falling on top of LO. Here in the Netherlands helmets are only for kids who ride on their own bike, not when on mommys bike. At 9 months you can go bike with a LO, but I would not do long bike tours, just 10-20 minutes maximum.
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#5 of 22 Old 03-01-2009, 04:47 PM
 
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Every thing I've read says it's really not safe to ride with a baby before a year.

-Angela
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#6 of 22 Old 03-01-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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Living in Germany I saw many different options for biking with a baby. Most families that did bike with a baby eventually settled on a trailer; I remember one woman who wore a framed backpack.

Prior to 12 months I would worry about the rough ride and shaken baby syndrome as a pp said. I have tried the trailer at one year and honestly it wasn't much enjoyed by my little ones. My trailer was sold for 18months+ and that is when it was a joy all around. The biggest problem that posed for me is that my children are 2 to 2.5 years apart which didn't leave much time for riding.

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#7 of 22 Old 03-01-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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There is a good discussion here of various ways of hauling kids with you on a bike, & the safety aspects of each: [URL=http://www.ibike.org/education/infant.htm[/URL]
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#8 of 22 Old 03-01-2009, 06:22 PM
 
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Almost every baby carrier I've seen on the warnings say not to wear while biking, driving, etc, for a good reason. Is it really worth the risk?

Happily married to my dh, mama to ds1 (01/2005), ds2 (07/2007)  and dd (07/2009).
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#9 of 22 Old 03-01-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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I would put the baby in a bike seat instead of the Ergo for sure, but not before 18 months. The people who work at the bike shop dh uses said it's not safe before 18 months because their heads are still too soft. Even with a helmet on, the skull (and brain) can be badly damaged in a fall.
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#10 of 22 Old 03-01-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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What do people do with babies where the main mode of transportation is bicycling (eg. Sweden)?
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#11 of 22 Old 03-01-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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I have no idea as to the safety of it, but I have seen people who buckle the baby bucket car seat in the bike trailer (no helmet on baby)

Wouldn't leave much room for the 2 1/2 year old in the trailer though. Maybe a bikeseat for the older one and that option for the baby?
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#12 of 22 Old 03-02-2009, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you for the responses. my gut is telling me to wait. i'm even concerned for my little guy's head when we drive over bumpy road! we might start riding with both in the trailer this fall, when lil guy is 15/16 months. or maybe not.

Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)

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#13 of 22 Old 03-03-2009, 07:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post
What do people do with babies where the main mode of transportation is bicycling (eg. Sweden)?
Bicycles are really not the MAIN mode of transport in Sweden. It would rather cold in the winter...

In any case they have baby seats for trailers. See here:

http://www.chariot.de/en/chariot/fro...t-day-onwards/

Shaken baby syndrome from a bike trailer? I've nver heard of such a thing. Wow. Can anyone point me to some resources on that? We're getting a trailer this spring and my little guy will be three-ish months...
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#14 of 22 Old 03-03-2009, 08:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etoilech View Post
Bicycles are really not the MAIN mode of transport in Sweden. It would rather cold in the winter...

In any case they have baby seats for trailers. See here:

http://www.chariot.de/en/chariot/fro...t-day-onwards/

Shaken baby syndrome from a bike trailer? I've nver heard of such a thing. Wow. Can anyone point me to some resources on that? We're getting a trailer this spring and my little guy will be three-ish months...
Sorry about that I just remember being there as a schild and it seemed most people rode bikes - although this was the fall...

That link is great for ways to bike with baby - thanks!
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#15 of 22 Old 03-04-2009, 06:26 AM
 
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oh lots people bike in Sweden, but I wouldn't say it's a main mode of transport. More like a quick way to get to the train... unless you're in the city. Distances can be a bit too vast to rely only on a bicycle and then there are the winters...

Any how, does any have any info on SBS and bicycling? I'd really like to know... I don't want to put my little guy at risk. I would think that having a trailer with good suspention and a baby hammock would prevent any risk?
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#16 of 22 Old 03-04-2009, 08:39 AM
 
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Here's a good link on the issue:

http://www.bhsi.org/little1s.htm

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#17 of 22 Old 03-04-2009, 09:33 AM
 
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Another link:

http://www.ibike.org/education/infant.htm

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#18 of 22 Old 03-04-2009, 09:40 AM
 
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As far as I know, the "shaken baby syndrome due to bike riding" fear is purely theoretical. As someone who rides a bike as my main mode of transportation 60% of the year, I find it rather bogus myself. In the netherlands people ride with babies all the time and there have been no reports of this happening.

I would not use an ergo on a bike. I started biking with my ds when he was 8 or 9 months old, after consulting with local biking experts who deemed him sturdy enough. His head was quite large, so the helmet fit him just fine, and he'd been sitting up unassisted since 4 months. I used the Ibert seat on the front of my bike (where passengers feel the fewest bumps). Maybe we just lucked out, but nothing horrible happened to him at all; he's now a thriving two-year-old.

Lex

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#19 of 22 Old 03-04-2009, 09:51 AM
 
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I'm on fire to bike with dd, but it's not going to happen before she's at least a year old. I don't plan to find out if the shaken baby thing is true using her as a test baby.
I would not wear her on me while biking either. As the pp said, you might fall on her and I can't picture the helmet working properly in that situation. I don't like the seats that go on the back of bikes for the same reason -- they're unwieldy, IMO. I'm going to wait until she can be in the trailer.
Hope I don't sound too alarmist!

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#20 of 22 Old 03-04-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Materfamilias View Post
Hope I don't sound too alarmist!
It's sounds a little alarmist to me, but I am a biased bike-lover . I just hope that you are trusting your instincts, and not basing your decision solely on fear-based philosophy. I believe that there is plenty of evidence that biking (in the right conditions) with babies is "safe" (at least as safe as driving in a car), and I've yet to see any evidence that it's not. So I choose to go with my gut.

At one point I took my then 3-month-old for an off-roading walk in his all-terrain stroller (my shoulders were bothering me or I would have worn him in a carrier), and the ground was so bumpy that I soon decided I wasn't comfortable with the amount of jostling my baby was getting. I was just pushing a stroller on a dirt road, something that I've never heard is "unsafe" or "similar to shaken baby syndrome," but my gut told me it wasn't a good idea. On the other hand, riding my bike on smooth, paved bike paths with my baby on board not getting bounced at all doesn't feel at all dangerous to me just because someone somewhere has theorized that the teensy vibrations that I can't even see with my eyes are going to be causing brain damage.

I also wouldn't choose to do recreational biking with my baby on my bike, just like I wouldn't choose to do recreational driving with my baby in the car. But when you're using your bike as a means of transportation, I truly believe that there is a safe way to make it work. We're planning to get a car seat attachment to put in our cargo bike for our new baby that has built-in springs that help to lessen the effects of any possible jostling.

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#21 of 22 Old 03-04-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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I find the shaken baby syndrome speculation a little questionable... why would it be any different/worse than pushing a baby in jogging stroller, which you can do starting at ~6 months?? I can see if you were going FAST but seems like most people I have seen toting bike trailers tend to bike on the leasurly side and on smooth surfaces. (sorry for spelling) Yeah you COULD go fast on bumpy surfaces but it seems like most people don't, and you certainly don't have to.

Me, personally, with kids that age, I'd *probably* go with a bike trailer... my primary concern would not be SBS though but the older child harassing the younger one!!! I've seen some of the things my DS does to his baby sisters, LOL.

I definately would not go the Ergo route because I'd worry about the baby suddenly throwing his weight around and throwing me off balance.

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#22 of 22 Old 03-04-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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Well, I do occasionally bike with my DS on my back in an Ergo, my DD on the bike seat in the back, and my dog attached to a running guard on the side. Kids wear helmets. It works fine and DS doesn't bump into me from it. He's now over a year old, but I did it with him in a front carry with the Ergo a few times last summer (he was 6 months or so). It's not ideal, but it isn't particularly hard either (well, the front carry was a little hard, if I recall correctly). I am sure if we fell over we would all have a couple of bumps/bruises, but I think that is what happens if you fall off a bike... I try not to.

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