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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 10-07-06, 10:28 AM   #1
gosmsgo
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haulin' babies!

So im curious to hear if any of the truley car free on here have small children.

I am not yet a parent but I am interested to know if the safety claims of "no bike trailers until child is 9 months-1 year old" is relavent.

I am keeping in mind that if the safety people thought anyone could live without cars they would ban them immediately since they are the number one killer of children in the U.S.
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Old 10-07-06, 11:00 AM   #2
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I honestly can't imagine the objections could be to putting an infant in a rearward facing child seat inside a trailer. Sure, there's a risk that you get smacked by a car, but that risk is there if you're a pedestrian on a sidewalk with a stroller. People in just about every other country in the world manage to carry infants on bicycles in some fashion. I can't imagine it's any more risky than walking around with an infant dangling in a sheet tied around your neck.

Cars ARE dangerous. 40,000 deaths a year in the US and something like a quarter million injuries show that putting a big metal cage around yourself does not make you safer.
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Old 10-09-06, 07:06 PM   #3
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The infant brain is quite susceptible to damage from shaking. I'm sure the suspension and mass of a car do a lot to dampen the shaking that a bike trailer couldn't.

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Infants' brains are not myelinated; myelin sheaths form in childhood and are complete in adolescence. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or brain water, content is reduced as neurons gain myelin during development, so babies have a greater percentage of CSF than adults (Stock and Singer, 2004). Because of this higher water content, children's brains are softer and are much more susceptible to acceleration-deceleration injuries and diffuse axonal injury, including the axons of the respiratory control center (Stock and Singer, 2004). Infants also have a larger subarachnoid space than young adults, and so the veins traversing the space are in greater danger of being torn during violent movement of the head, causing subdural hematoma (Patel and Moorjani, 2005).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaken_baby_syndrome

I sure as hell wouldn't risk it.
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Old 10-09-06, 10:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by INTP
The infant brain is quite susceptible to damage from shaking. I'm sure the suspension and mass of a car do a lot to dampen the shaking that a bike trailer couldn't.

I sure as hell wouldn't risk it
.
Maybe not mountain biking or hopping curbs, but why would a trailer on smooth pavement shake a baby?
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Old 10-10-06, 03:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Roody
Maybe not mountain biking or hopping curbs, but why would a trailer on smooth pavement shake a baby?
It wouldn't. Americans are paranoid and hyper-obsessed with safety.
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Old 10-10-06, 04:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Maybe not mountain biking or hopping curbs, but why would a trailer on smooth pavement shake a baby?
Well, it's not the smooth pavement that is the problem. You just have to be careful about potholes, curbs, etc.

I started carting my daughter at 8 months or so (I lived in the US and had a car, so it wasn't out of necessity), but I know people here (Denmark) who just drop the baby carrier in a trailer and off they go. Lots of bike mounted seats with kids, as well. If you have the money, get one of these:

http://www.christianiabikes.com/imag...groceries_.jpg

Drop the baby carrier in and you're all set.
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Old 10-10-06, 11:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Maybe not mountain biking or hopping curbs, but why would a trailer on smooth pavement shake a baby?
I almost never encounter such thing as smooth pavement for more than about, oh, 100 meters?.. I hardly notice the smaller bumps/cracks of course since I know how to use my body to cushion the vibration, but the baby's body doesn't know how to do that...

I agree that in general Americans are far too paranoid and safety-obsessed, but in this case I would join the paranoid crowd. Little babies are such damn fragile things. If I ever carried one while riding, I think I'd attach it to myself since I absorb shocks better than a bike trailer, I think. Then I'd have to be supercareful about not falling, of course...
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Old 10-10-06, 11:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chephy
Little babies are such damn fragile things.
Do you have any children? My experience as a dad of two kids (2.5 and 1) are that they are damn tough! Sure they cry when they "hurt" themselves, but after a quick "kiss better" they are back up doing exactly what they were doing before! Sure there is a risk of brain damage in infants while traveling by bike, well newsflash, the same risk exists in a car! IMO violent deceleration is the biggest risk in transporting children, one can get lots more velocity in a car than on a bike. Regarding vibration, a good trailer with suspension like a Chariot Cougar, would offer quite a smooth ride imo with the tires aired up to 30psi. Any road vibration would have to travel through the tires, the suspension, then through the floating fabric support that the kids sit on.

That said, I only ride with my kids for fun and exercise and avoid any busy streets as I'm not "car free".
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Old 10-11-06, 10:57 AM   #9
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All five of our children rode in trailers in rear-facing infant seats on roads and gravel trails. Many factors (fabric seat, flexible cantilever axles, tire pressure etc.) dampen the ride. The cover protects from chill or rain. Don't worry, the kids are developing just fine! You (the parent) are the best judge of your child's safety and well-being.

Edit: I should note that they were generally around 6 to 8 weeks old as that was when my wife was able to comfortably ride again.
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Old 10-11-06, 11:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Maybe not mountain biking or hopping curbs, but why would a trailer on smooth pavement shake a baby?
Where is this "smooth pavement" you speak of?
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Old 10-11-06, 02:39 PM   #11
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It's the road vibration because of the speed you're going, and it's also that when kids get comfortable and try to sleep, they have nothing to lean on and thus bend their necks at awkward looking angles when napping (because of being strapped in). I suppose you could try using a travel pillow, but with kids, it won't be around their necks for long (not to mention the helmet that gets in their way).

If you have two kids, it's better because they can lean on each other when sleeping. Never got the opportunity to use a solo trailer; always have used a double. And "smooth pavement" exists... theoretically.

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Old 10-11-06, 03:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisA
Do you have any children? My experience as a dad of two kids (2.5 and 1) are that they are damn tough! Sure they cry when they "hurt" themselves, but after a quick "kiss better" they are back up doing exactly what they were doing before!
2.5-year-olds and even 1-year-olds are very different from newborns. You can kill a little baby by shaking it a little bit too violently - a similar shaking applied to an adult won't cause any damage, not even a concussion. I call that fragile.
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Old 10-12-06, 01:39 PM   #13
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Yeah I'm not keen on the idea of taking a really small infant in one of those things. I take my 2 year old all the time, but I do think it is different with infants. I'd prefer to be cautious, without being overprotective. Something like 9 months or so, when they start cruising would seem to be safe.
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Old 10-13-06, 05:47 AM   #14
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A large part of the problem with using one of the trailers with a true infant is that is impossible for the parent to hear or observe the child while riding. Although many Americans can be overprotective, primates in general keep babies where they can be seen or heard at least until their offspring can locomote on their own. Mounting a baby seat on the handlebars would be a better option, although it's probably not practical for normal bicycles.
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Old 10-13-06, 11:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NevisBob
Mounting a baby seat on the handlebars would be a better option, although it's probably not practical for normal bicycles.
What kind of bike would work for this?
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Old 10-13-06, 02:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NevisBob
Mounting a baby seat on the handlebars would be a better option, although it's probably not practical for normal bicycles.

There are child seats that mount on the top tube, in front of the rider, but these are upright and so the child must be able to hold up it's own head (several months). Until then, the best bet is a car seat or other seat that can be mounted in a trailer or in front of the bike.

See my other post or the picture on the left: http://www.mip.sdu.dk/~glewin/cyklin...s/Page459.html

I'd want something that is independent of the rider remaining upright. Going down with a 2 month old baby on the handlebars would not be good.
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Old 10-13-06, 04:46 PM   #17
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I would tend to err on the side of paranoia too. But I can't help but wonder what the difference is between a baby in a trailer and a baby in a jogging stroller. Pretty sure I used to take my daughter out in that before her first year. No helmet. No dire warnings from parenting "experts". Lots and lots of people expressed the desire to get a ride though ...
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Old 10-13-06, 04:58 PM   #18
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We didn't have our kids in a jog stroller until they were... a size I would sit them up in the bike trailer. Too much room for them to flop around in, and they were too small for the straps to hold them in place. Until then, they went in a stroller that the carseat would snap into. Setting aside that bike trailer goes 3-6x jog stroller speed so bumps can get magnified.

I agree w/ NevisBob that there is a lot of isolation between you and the kid in the trailer (esp. in bad weather w/ rainshield down). Our daughter was a regular in the trailer by 10 months (maybe 8 months?) but she a) could sit up, more or less, by then and b) was pretty much always w/ her older brother who could yell over road noise so I could get a sense of when anything was up that needed immediate attention. Man, you forget how helpful it is when your kid finally can talk to you until you get a new one who can't.
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Old 10-13-06, 09:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
What kind of bike would work for this?
I believe Tfahmer took some of these pictures, I know I took the one of the Dutch mom in Leiden:
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Old 10-13-06, 09:41 PM   #20
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see also http://todd.cleverchimp.com/blog/cp/scale.html

the seat is a Bobike Mini. Google it.

Also:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006...ets_move_i.php
http://daddytypes.com/2006/01/31/bak...the_fellas.php
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Old 10-15-06, 07:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chephy
If I ever carried one while riding, I think I'd attach it to myself since I absorb shocks better than a bike trailer, I think. Then I'd have to be supercareful about not falling, of course...
just toss it in a messenger bag
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Old 10-19-06, 10:28 AM   #22
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I would tend to err on the side of paranoia too. But I can't help but wonder what the difference is between a baby in a trailer and a baby in a jogging stroller

The difference is that in a baby jogger you can see and hear and observe the baby. Baby joggers aren't recommended for infants, either. Young babies (first few months) are relatively delicate; many societies keep them strapped on boards when transporting them.
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Old 05-06-09, 04:01 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
So im curious to hear if any of the truley car free on here have small children.

I am not yet a parent but I am interested to know if the safety claims of "no bike trailers until child is 9 months-1 year old" is relavent.

I am keeping in mind that if the safety people thought anyone could live without cars they would ban them immediately since they are the number one killer of children in the U.S.

Hello friends.I am totally opposed to usage of bike trailers and baby jogger until the baby is 1 year old.I have Hauck Tandem stroller for carrying my twin babies.It has got the option of using it has bike trailer but I never use it. I think it is very unsafe to use them.
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Old 05-06-09, 04:34 AM   #24
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I believe Tfahmer took some of these pictures, I know I took the one of the Dutch mom in Leiden:
better to have infants on the front, than the back.
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Old 05-06-09, 05:09 AM   #25
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I thought I would throw my 2 cents in. Keep in mind that I do not have kids but have dealt with them quite a bit and I am also not a doctor.

A chimpanze's brain is almost %80 fully developed by the time of its birth, meaning that there is little room for it to rattle around in it skull. In contrast most humans are born with about %25 of their brain developed. This is because humans walk upright and thus must have much narrower pelvic canals that the baby must pass through. As a side note it has alos been hypothesized that this change in baby brain size help our species to become more inteligent. Because less of our brain is delveoped at birth it means that a lot of its growth is down outside the womb it a MUCH more stimulating evironment, thus aiding education. This may also help explain the origins of both love and monogomy as babies who are born in such a menally and physically helpless state require far more care and nuturing from more than one individual and for an extended peroid of time.

That being said, I would ask a doctor that I trusted and go with whatever he says. I cant imagine that the baby would be too fragile after 9 months but...
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