Hi everyone from all of us at the Baby & Toddler Awards. OK, so my youngest, Eric, is no longer a baby or toddler; he turns five on the first day of Spring. But yesterday was a significant day in our family since it was the first time we were able to go for a proper bike ride all together.
Now I don’t want to boast as there’s a lot I’ve got wrong in my fatherhood career so far but I can’t hide how proud I am of both him and his brother when it comes to their bike-riding. Frank, my older son learned to ride a bike (without stabilizers) aged 2 and nine months. Eric learned aged 3.5 months. In this blog I’ll talk you through our journey, the bikes we used and the challenges we faced.
I bought a balance bike for Frank when he was about 18 months old. I was of the (probably misplaced) view that toddlers often only really need a bike and a football as essential equipment; all other toys were secondary. This suited us quite well and after getting home from work every day, I’d take him to the park. We were lucky as though where we lived wasn’t the nicest area, our flat did back on to a big park and at the other end of the park was a lovely playground which had been constructed with lottery money and was fantastic for babies, toddlers and young children; offering a variety of equipment which they could gradually master as they grew
The balance -bike was bought used from eBay was in great condition. After some in-depth googling and scouring for bargains I found a WeeRide First Baby Balance Bike. The team at WeeRide seemed genuinely passionate about their products and improving the experience of bike-riding for babies and toddlers. They had also won several awards which gave me further confidence for the purchase. of a quality bike that was in my limited price range. I have to say I was very happy with the bike; it has since been used by a friend of a friend for a year and then returned to us in time for Eric to start riding. It’s still in great nick and I would definitely recommend the company.
Now 18 months is considered slightly on the young side for toddlers to start on a balance bike, although obviously it depends on the individual child. Frank’s first few attempts weren’t very successful, and he did get a bit frustrated but credit to him (and me!) we persevered and once he got the hang of it his ability one the bike improved rapidly. We went out to the park every day, weather permitting, and also took a football with us. This was great on the way to the playground (about 800m away) and he loved whizzing around on the bike and getting involved on the playground equipment. Returning home was usually quite hard work as he’d insist on a piggyback which meant I had to balance him on my shoulders while carrying the bike and kicking the football. Inevitably he would pull of my hat and throw it to the ground which then met I had to squat down to retrieve the hat while holding the bike and and not dropping him. By two and a half he was so confident on the balance bike that I knew it would be worth trying him on a pedal bike. I’ll tell you more about that in our second blog.
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