Dutch kids grow up on bikes – and it is never too early to get them out on two wheels. Until they are old enough to cycle on their own, they will need a little help. This post outlines my experiences of cycling with kids in tow.
Living in a country with more bikes than people and with a great infrastructure of bicycle lanes, in many cases it’s easier to cycle than drive, even with kids. Fortunately, nowadays there are lots of options of how you can cycle with little ones – from babies to toddlers.
Baby on the back
When our first daughter turned 2 months, we decided it was time to get back on our bikes and resume our cycling. To accommodate our baby on the bike, we bought a special device to attach a car seat to the back of the bike.
- The baby can sleep in it comfortably and is not disturbed when we reach the destination as she can continue sleeping without interruption – the seat gets easily unattached from the bike and you can carry it where you need.
- It gives you mobility, as you keep using your normal bike.
- It’s definitely safer than carrying the baby in a sling while cycling.
- It can be challenging for an inexperienced cyclist to keep balance.
Child on the front
From around 8 months to 27 months, we opted for a front seat (we have a Bobike).
• It’s easy to keep balance.
• Allows for good communication with your kid.
• It gives you mobility, as you keep using your normal bike.
• It is not comfortable for your child to to sleep in (and our baby likes falling asleep on the go!), which means it is only good for short distances – it is possible for longer journeys, just more challenging.
When you child gets older, then it is time to swop to the back seat – which is suitable for kids from 27 months.
- Due to its high back rest, it is great for sleeping in (as you can see).
- It’s still possible to communicate. We have a Polisport and love it. This brand also makes raincovers for their seats which helps to keep your kid cosy and dry when it is wet outside.
- You’re still as mobile as can be.
Transporting multiple kids
When we had two kids to get around the city, we gave the bakfiets or cargo bike a go. This is a very popular in the Netherlands, but we tried it a couple of times and didn’t feel comfortable with it.
- It’s practical – you can load it with several kids and lots of groceries.
- Having an electric bakfiets makes your life much easier.
- It’s long, heavy and awkward.
- It can be difficult to handle when you aren’t used to it.
We also considered another option: a trailer (we got a Thule Chariot). A trailer is a great way to transport two kids – they can sleep there without interruption even when you reach your destination – just unhook the trailer from the bike and it turns into a double stroller – very convenient and efficient! This way, we could cycle with our second daughter from when she was 1.5 months old.
- It’s super easy to balance – like riding an empty bike, just have to remember that you are longer now and be a bit more cautious at turns.
- It’s not easy to communicate with kids.
- It’s not easy to go backwards, thus you need a bigger space to turn around – but we’ve always managed to find enough space.
How do you cycle with kids? What way do you prefer? You are welcome to comment under this post.
This article is based on the original blogpost on Frogs in the Box.
There are lots of options of how you can cycle with little ones – from babies to toddlers