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A trike, or tricycle, is a three-wheeled bicycle that dates all the way back to the middle of the 17th century. Sometime during the intervening three and a half centuries, someone probably accidentally discovered that toddlers absolutely love trikes. Since then, trikes have been a feature in most homes. A toddler can be taught to use a trike bike as soon as he or she is able to comfortably walk, although it’s perfectly fine to wait until the baby is older if you would prefer.
Tips for buying a good value baby trike for your little one
Like most parents, you probably just want a simple trike that your toddler can use inside the house. Most of the low-end trike bikes will fit the bill perfectly, so no pressure there. However, make sure you bring your child along to the store so they can test drive it.
Pay attention to the height and alignment of the seat, pedal and handlebar. Make sure your baby can easily reach all three simultaneously without the need to hunch or stretch. Never ever buy for the future, and hope your baby will grow into the trike. This will merely create an unnecessary obstacle for your child and impede your baby’s development. As a concession, you could perhaps buy a trike with an adjustable seat and handlebar. This will allow you to adjust the trike as your baby grows taller.
Tips for teaching your toddler to ride a trike
The key to teaching your baby to ride a trike is through visualisation and familiarity. Using first your hand, and after that, your feet, demonstrate to your baby how placing pressure on the pedal will move it forward.
Next, put the trike in centre of a large room or the garden. Put your baby on the seat and place their foot on the pedal. Then gently press their foot on the pedal. You may have to repeat this numerous times before your baby will catch on. Or it could take just a couple of tries. Don’t tire the baby. If he doesn’t start pedalling, try again in a few hours or even the following day.
Once your toddler starts pedalling, push the trike gently forwards. This will encourage your toddler to continue pedalling. If their foot slips, help to reposition it. Keep the sessions short but repeat them daily. This will allow your toddler to gradually develop their muscular strength in their legs and their sense of spatial awareness. The process could take days or months, so it’s important to be patient.
Trike safety tips
1. If you purchased a self-assembled trike, don’t assemble it in your toddler’s room or in an area your toddler frequents. You may lose a bolt or a screw which your baby may find later on and swallow.
2. Buy a helmet for your toddler and ensure that they wear it once they have learned how to pedal.
3. Never allow your child to ride the trike unsupervised by an adult.
4. Don’t allow your child to ride on a hard pavement or an asphalt road without wearing knee and elbow pads. And don’t allow them to ride their trike on a surface with an incline.
5. Inspect the trike regularly to make sure that the tyres, brake, reflector lights and all other parts of the trike are working perfectly.
Does your toddler have a trike? Do you have any tips for trike buying?
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Photograph credit: FamVeld / shutterstock.com