Today, I am going to share with you a very proud mummy moment that I am sure many parents have treasured before me. It is the day, your little one sits on their first pedal bike and realises that they can do it.
Although, Noah got it in his first attempt we have been preparing him for his pedal bike for two years and I am going to share with you how we did that.
My son was 2 years old when we got him a balance bike. I got him the Yedoo Fifty (this model is now discontinued to make way for their new balance bikes). I can’t remember the name of the store I bought from as I bough online and the company was based in London and donated old bikes to Africa.
I knew Noah would love it and. It was lightweight and easy for him to maneuver and he was whizzing around in no time.
Recommendation: I recommend choosing a lightweight balance bike that’s easy for a young child to manage and for you to carry when their legs get tired (you may be carrying them & the bike). In addition, balance bikes teach them the skill of balancing which they need when they take to a real bike. When choosing a balance bike you want their feet to be flat on the floor.
An alternative to a balance bike is a scooter. Many of my friends chose a scooter for their kids due to cost, size or appeal.
I wanted to buy my son a pedal bike back in 2016 for Christmas, when he was three but his grandparents wanted to buy it. I wanted to get him a Frog 43 and offered to pay for it but they’d found a cute one with stickers and stabilisers from a high street store.
Sadly, the bike wasn’t as appealing as it looked. The stabilisers kept coming loose and causing the bike to tip. The pedals were stiff and difficult to move. My son hated using it and kept returning to his balance bike. It was redundant before Easter, collecting dust. I was going to order him the Frog when I was made redundant so all unnecessary purchases went on hold – Noah return to his trusty balance bike.
Recommendation: I don’t recommend stabilisers as they cause the child to rely on them to balance and changes the way they turn as tilting will cause them to tip over. In addition, cheap bikes tend to be made out of heavier materials and are difficult for young children. The one we had took Noah from wanting a pedal bike to hating them. Honestly, avoid them!
The staff measured Noah to recommend the best size for him. When choosing a pedal bike you want their feet to only just touch the floor, this encourages them to pedal instead of scoot along like on a balance bike.
I could have bough stabilisers to attach to the bike but chose not to – the staff also didn’t recommend them (for similar reasons given above).
Noah was excited to use pedals until he sat on the bike and realised it’s trickier than it looks. He wanted to place both feet on the pedals before setting off – which, doesn’t work. We held his seat to get him started and he quickly got the idea of pedaling. We had to remind him to look where he’s going not at his feet or over his shoulder at us. We were encouraging him to start on his own with one foot on the floor and he managed it a few times – it’s something for us to work on.
Recommendation: I do believe it is worth investing in a quality pedal bike. This bike isn’t too heavy if you end up carrying it and its light enough for a child to manage. It was also very useful visiting a store with bike experts. The guys at Elmy Cycles really do know their stuff and their advice was incredibly useful in making our decision.
It is worth doing some research into the bike before purchasing as they aren’t cheap but you want to make sure that the one you buy will be easy for your child to use and love and be worth the money. If it is the most expensive present you are buying them then you need to be confident that it will be the best and most used present.
I used the internet to read reviews on bikes. One of the best websites I found was by Two Wheeling Tots. The site is aimed for people in America but they test a number of makes and model and have universal advice for parents choosing a bike for a child. It is a fabulous result that can save you a lot of disappointment and wasted money.