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  1. #1
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    Kids in a trailer how young is ok

    My wife and I had a daughter on Dec 1st. I have negotiated three months off work between my job and a promotion this will be April to June. Hence our daughter will be four months old. We were considering cycling from the Baltic sea to the Mediterranean on a tandem with the baby in a trailer.

    I have read that the kid should be a year old before being put in a trailer, that there is a risk of bruised brain from vibration. Is this just ultra conservative, precautionary principle stuff or is there a real risk on good smooth roads.

    I have plenty of friends who use trailers with young babies but these tend to be round the houses trips of a few hours not weeks on the road.

    Does any one have good solid info on this ie have you done it. Any info much appreciated.

    All best

  2. #2
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Good question! I don't have any good solid info on it, but I would tend to think I'd wait until the child could at least sit up on her own. But then again, we take them in cars when they are itty, bitty, so if you had some kind of good "car seat" thingie where you could strap her in real well, it might be ok. I do know people have have done long, extended trips with toddlers though! Good luck!
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  3. #3
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Sula,

    Ask your newborn's doctor for his/her opinion. No one on this forum or any other internet forum is qualified to give you a medical opinion.

  4. #4
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
    Sula,

    Ask your newborn's doctor for his/her opinion. No one on this forum or any other internet forum is qualified to give you a medical opinion.
    Absolutely.

    My gut feeling is that you should wait til the child's life is established as being healthy and past some of the concerns of new-borns and pre toddlers.

  5. #5
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    We are living in Kuwait right now so asking a doctor is not really the go. Here they think its a good idear to dress there women in a sack!

  6. #6
    Just ride it. MrPolak's Avatar
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    My youngest son is 7 months old and we're almost ready to ride! Whoo-hoo!

    I think the baby should at least be able to sit up before you ride. You need to make allowances for diaper change stops, feeding stops, and baby interaction stops - that's a lot of stops. That would make for slow progress, but progress nonetheless.

    If I had a chance to do what you have a chance of doing, I'd combine biking with train travel to make it easier on the baby and parents.

  7. #7
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    Four months seems really young to be putting your daughter in the trailer for long rides. I'd definitely wait until she's older.

    Many years ago I started taking my 6-month old son on rides in a Burley trailer, but that was just around town and to the grocery store. At first I had to use a bunch of soft stuff to help keep him upright.

    We celebrated his second birthday by participating in an organized ride from Omaha to Lincoln, Nebraska. We stopped several times along the way, including at a small city park playground. I forgot his raincoat, so when it rained he wore mine. We survived and I think he enjoyed the ride. He's now 22.

  8. #8
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    My daughters trailer had a warning on it advising the child should be at least 1 year old.
    Treks, 79-710, 83-500,600, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930, 91-1000, 92-1000, 93-930, 95-930, 96-930, 1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

  9. #9
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    I towed my daughter shortly after she was 6 months old. I would consider it a minimum - a kid needs well developed neck muscles before they can be trailered. We have a Chariot brand trailer and used the neck support - which she still uses (she's 2 now). The neck support is nice to fall asleep against

    As for the 1 year thing - I can't understand that. Especially for Chariots (suspension) and towing on a smooth trail.

  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    I towed my daughter shortly after she was 6 months old. I would consider it a minimum - a kid needs well developed neck muscles before they can be trailered. We have a Chariot brand trailer and used the neck support - which she still uses (she's 2 now). The neck support is nice to fall asleep against

    As for the 1 year thing - I can't understand that. Especially for Chariots (suspension) and towing on a smooth trail.
    If the child is going to sit up on their own, a year is probably best. However, I put mine in a car seat, facing rearward and laying down at 1 month. She'll graduate from college in April, so I guess she survived it

    Towing around a 1 month old is probably not something I'd do now but I was young and stupid then
    Stuart Black
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  11. #11
    Bike4Peace Vernon Huffman's Avatar
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    We rode 4500 miles with twins who turned 2 at the end of the six month adventure.
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  12. #12
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    A friend of mine and his partner toured the Himalayas on bikes with a child, I think, about three months old. She's now 19 years old, and rides a tandem with her younger sister like you wouldn't believe... in fact, did so all the way through France and Spain in 2003. Her head seems in pretty good shape, too, both physically and emotionally.

    In fact, I think touring with a child that age would be advantageous. Why does the child have to be able to sit upright, if the trailer allows it to remain lying (say, as in a car capsule)? It's a bit like saying you can't take a baby in a car, which patently isn't true.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  13. #13
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    "No one on this forum or any other internet forum is qualified to give you a medical opinion".

    If you want a scientific opinion, you would need some kind of test that hasn't probably been done, it would be necessary to quantify the kinds of vibrations that are damaging, and a test of the planed route and it's load inputs. Good luck with that. Meanwhile many of us have actually done what is described and would know at a minimum if it was immediately fatal, which at least brackets the results somewhat.

    Happily some of that route passes though areas that may not be too strict. Here we are not allowed to put child seats in the trailers, from what my wife tells me (Mmmm?). Or at least the kids are too small and the seats are not designed for helmets, and as we all know it is suicide not to wear a helmet while cycling, up here it is required for trailer use. So the forward facing upright seated posture does create risks, the need to wear a helmet creates risk, should the child not be strong enough to deal with the swaying of it's own head. Presumably a bit like what happens when a child is shaken back and forth for "disciplinary" reasons.

    I was listening this evening to an interview with a Psych, who had studied Ohio children from cradle to 15-16 in one study. The study stimulated young children with new things. Colours, voices, and smells they were not familiar with. The stimulations were chosen for newness not offensiveness. about 20 % of the kids were very upset, and fall into a highly reactive group. At the other end about 40% were positive, low reactive types. These traits are permanent, at least for the length of the study. So if there is any truth to that, one would not expect all kids to benefit from a stream of new sights and smells presented on a tour. The 1 hr. interview was on CBC radio Ideas.

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