Baby carriers, wraps, and slings are one way of keeping your baby close to you. There are many benefits to these carriers and slings. However, is biking with baby carrier a smart thing to do? Well, the answer is up to you; however, to help you make a sound decision, we have the following information for you. We can’t decide for you, but laying down all the facts clearly will help you make an adequate decision, one that you can back up with facts if need be. Here are the observations and facts from a number of companies as well as experts that will help you with the question, what is the safest way to ride a bike with a baby?
Recommendation and Suggestions of Baby Carrier Industry
Every baby carrier company has a set of instruction manual that comes with their product, and it’s also published on its website. Most of them prohibit using these wraps and slings for sports or other extreme activities. Here are some pointers to help you make sense of what some of the more popular ones suggest and claim.
- According to the BabyBjorn, A baby carrier isn’t appropriate to be used in sports or during leisure activities
- Another baby carrier, as well as sling manufacturer Boba, advises that a baby wrap is not a safety device. Hence it shouldn’t be used as one; it cannot replace a car seat, which is common sense.
- Many companies also explain this by telling parents that wearing a sling is as good as being pregnant. Avoid doing all the things while wearing a sling that you would avoid while being pregnant. If there’s an activity you wouldn’t do while pregnant or one that requires protective gear, don’t do it while babywearing. This includes cycling, running, climbing ladders, weightlifting, horse riding, grout cleaning, using harsh chemicals as well as swimming, skating and lawn mowing. The list is exceptionally long.
- While wearing a sling, there will be times when you will need to bend over, lean forward or over, adjust the wrap or even move swiftly. In such cases, make sure that your hands are supporting your baby adequately till you adjust back in your natural position.
- Carriers aren’t weatherproof, so make sure your baby isn’t too hot or too cold while in the sling, also make sure that while in the sun, your baby is wearing sunscreen as slings aren’t equipped with visors.
Here’s what all Baby Carrier manufacturers caution their customers about their product:
Avoid Certain Activities
All companies warn against using the baby carrier while doing anything that requires you to wear safety gear, i.e., climbing heights, hiking, biking, etc. A carrier is good for low to medium risk and exertion, and that excludes biking.
As far as exercising with a baby carrier is a concern, you can very well do that, but only if your movement is moderate and doesn’t shake or discomfort the baby in any way. This includes yoga, walk or sling dancing, but excludes swimming, running, jogging, biking, etc. you can also check out the graphic illustrations on these baby carrier websites to understand these terms and conditions even better.
One of the many reasons for not allowing the sling while biking is that the product isn’t tested for this particular activity. Hence, the company is compelled to warn against biking with baby in a backpack. Unlike the child bike seat industry, the baby carriers aren’t tested, especially for this sport, which is why the company has no data or tips or hacks about it. Even after this, you do choose to go biking with the baby carrier; it’s entirely your choice and responsibility.
As per the whole discussion above, can you go riding a bike with the baby carriers? Isn’t that the million-dollar question? Well, this one, we can’t answer for you, but we can provide as much information as we can so you can make the decision yourself.
Every parent is responsible for their action, and they must make all decisions for the betterment, health, and safety of their kids. Consider this, according to BabyBjorn’s; you can’t use the sling or baby carrier during sports or leisure activities. Now chess is a sport and running errands on a bike isn’t a leisure activity or a sport. A walk is a leisure activity, running errands isn’t. Cycling or biking is a sport, but so is chess, so it’s entirely up to you to decide the rules for your baby carrier.
According to another baby carrier manufacturer, Boba and Action Baby Carriers, sports that require safety helmet or safety gear shouldn’t be mixed with a baby carrier. Now, that’s understandable. You can go mountain biking with your baby in a sling on your cheat or back, but can’t you go for cycling down a protected lane?
In the end, it’s up to the parents to decide what is risky for them and what isn’t. It’s not necessary that all parents think along the same lines, so what’s dangerous for one may not be the same for another. However, here are some frequently asked questions and answers that may help you get more calcification on the subject of should you or should you not go biking with ergo baby carrier. As parents, we make more significant and more important decisions than biking with the baby carrier is safe or not.
Let’s Come to a Decision
Does the riding position effect the safety of the baby in the sling?
There are two common positions that a rider takes while cycling or biking; upright or crouched. Both of them are extremely different. While crouching down or riding upright, you need to be mindful of the distance between your baby and the handlebars. Moreover, you need to consider the comfort of your baby as well, crouching down can smother your baby, or restrict his oxygen supply, so be careful about that as well. From that, we can conclude that between the two positions, upright is preferred and safe if you are riding bike with baby carrier. Here is a checklist, if all of these are positive, you are good to go.
- Is it secure enough?
- Can you see the baby all the time?
- Can you touch, comfort, or kiss your baby easily?
- Is his chin off the chest?
Are You Are Competent or Professional Rider?
There is a difference between I can ride, and I am a good rider. Your confidence on a bike matters a lot if you are seeking to go riding a bike with a baby in a carrier. If you have been a cyclist for years and have been cycling daily, you are good to go, but if you are a beginner, don’t even think about it. You have a long way to go before adding a sling while riding.
What Do Others May think?
Now, this is an interesting thing, and if what people are going to say, comments and stares are enough to agitate you or make you nervous, you shouldn’t add a baby carrier to your biking routine. The pressure and overthinking about what people might say may decrease your confidence level and may put the baby at risk.
Where Are You Located?
The city, your location, and the kind of biking you want to do matters a lot, if you are thinking of when can a baby ride in a bike seat. If you battle rush hour traffic every day, if you live on a rough patch of the town or if you regularly bike over cobbles or on under-construction roads, you might want to rethink your decision.
Have you thought about the risks?
Any decision that you may come to should be taken after considering all the risks and cons of biking with a baby carrier. These may include:
- What if you fall over?
- Biking on an uneven surface can dislodge the baby or hurt his neck or spine.
- Injury in case the sling comes loose.
- No protection against impact
The risks mentioned above aren’t to scare you but give you an idea of the things that can happen while riding a bike with a baby carrier.
Your Attitude to Risk Matters
This is an important question to ask yourself. Every parent has a different definition of risk, some may never let their kids ride a bike, and some may gift them one from the start. Safety is always relative, whether you are on a bike or in a car. There is always a risk, but your attitude to risk matters a lot.
The end decision is yours and yours alone. We can’t decide for you, and no one else can either. How good of a rider you are and how keen are you to ride the bike with a kid in tow matters a lot. Better to avoid it to be extremely safe; however, most parents don’t have that choice. Be safe, read all the risks, and then come to a safe conclusion. Cycling with a baby carrier isn’t easy, but it’s not the hardest thing as well.
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