Having a baby on board during a bike ride isn’t something that should be taken lightly. There are many safety precautions and other things to consider before you take your infant for a cycle. To find the right bike to facilitate for you and your young child, please look here: http://99bikes.com.au/bikes/road-bikes
The Right Age
It’s a fairly universal belief that babies shouldn’t be taken for a bike ride until their necks are strong enough to comfortably wear a helmet (this is just as crucial as you wearing your helmet, so make sure you’ve found and purchased a well-fitting helmet for you baby before you take them for a ride). Unless your child develops particularly quickly, this won’t be until they are at least one year old. So if your baby’s age is still only countable in months, it’s safest to cycle without them.
You also have to be aware of when your child is no longer young enough to be carried on your bike and may need to start learning to ride by themselves (e.g. on a tricycle or bicycle with training wheels). Signs of this include being too tall for the seat, getting to be around 20kg, or approximately around 4 or 5 years old.
Dozing Off While on the Move
If your baby is at the stage where they will easily fall asleep, even while you’re cycling with them, it’s a good idea to have a pillow handy to support their head. There isn’t a huge risk involved with this, but cautious parents often feel uneasy when their baby’s head is bobbing about freely.
Is a Front-Mounted or Rear-Mounted Seat Safer?
There isn’t a lot of difference between the two when it comes to what’s safer. Cycling parents who aren’t 100% confident on their bike might be best off with a rear-mounted seat, as there is the possibility of getting caught on a front-mounted seat, which can also restrict your manoeuvrability at times. However, if you expect you’ll be carrying your infant and a backpack simultaneously, you’ll probably prefer a front-mounted seat.
What About Using a Trailer Instead of a Seat?
For many cyclists, trailers are the preferred option; a lot of people find it easier to cycle with a trailer than with a child seat. Also, there are some health and safety benefits that trailers have over seats, including the fact that they are generally more enclosed, which is particularly protective in the case of you falling on your bike. Trailers also offer protection from the elements, whereas a seat might leave your baby exposed to the sun (sunburn) and rain (colds/flu).
It’s perfectly safe to take your baby for a bike ride, as long as you are aware of all the risks and take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of yourself and your precious cargo. When in doubt, either choose not to ride with your child, or speak to a local bike store about what measures you can take to make your next cycle a pleasant and secure trip for you and your baby.