Home > Mom's Life > Mom's Health and Fitness > Exercise Tips > Working Out with Babies and Toddlers

Working Out with Babies and Toddlers

A Bicycle Built for Mom and Baby
We know a woman who was the number-one ranked road cyclist in Montana who had her eye on the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials. A year before the race, she became pregnant and had a baby girl. Instead of compromising her dream, as soon as she was up to it, she set her new little training partner in a bike trailer and trained like a madwoman. Ironically (or not), she became fitter fast. So much so, in fact, that many of her unencumbered teammates starting pulling weighted wagons as well.

Baby seats come in two types – front or rear mount – while trailers put the child at ground level behind your bike. We recently read about a family of five – mother, dad, and three kids – who cycled across the United States on a rather ingenious bicycle built for four – with the youngest riding comfortably in a trailer. Ambitious, no doubt, but doable.

Baby Bicycle Seats
As we just mentioned, baby seats are attached to either the back of the bicycle (the most common) or the front. Most are recommended for children eight months of age or up to 40 pounds. Check with the individual manufacturers for the specifics. Most are outfitted with a padded seat, armrests, and adjustable footrests along with a lap and shoulder harness. No matter which model you buy, start slowly and get your infant used to the idea – even have him or her sit in it a few times inside without pedaling at all. Start slowly and you'll be able to go further, longer, later.

According to the journal The Physician and Sports Medicine, while rear-mounted baby seats are more popular, the safety of the front-mounted seats is preferred. The journal points to the improved stability and balance of the front mounts as well as the ability for the parent and child to communicate more easily. If you use a rear-mounted one, make sure that the child's hands are well shielded from the wheel and exercise caution when climbing out of the saddle, as there will be an unusual shift of weight to the rear of the bike.

Most manufacturers recommend their seats for children as young as 9 to 12 months, though you should check with your (child's) pediatrician. The main concern is your child's ability to maintain proper head and neck control. The capacity of most seats is 30 to 40 pounds. After that, a trailer is the way to go.


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Short Workouts © 2001 by Deidre Johnson-Cane, Jonathan Cane, and Joe Glickman. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

earth day

celebrate our
planet with
these activities
and crafts.



Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.