From guest blogger Dena Driscoll.
Biking is a fun activity for the whole family. Grandmas, parents, kids, and even babies love to go for a bike ride. But helmets can be a tricky addition to baby’s wardrobe.
Here are my ten steps for getting helmet babies to be happy babies. (I promise – it is easier then herding cats!)
1. Buy a comfortable, well-fitting helmet. I know I am writing on a Nutcase blog, but the moment I laid my hands on the new Baby Nutty baby bike helmet I did not want to give it back. Mrs. Nutcase made me – it was one of the few initial prototypes. I loved it as the weight and the fit were superb, much better than I had found when I started putting helmets on my children (around 9 months). I highly recommend you check out the fit of these new gems at your local bike shop.
2. Play around with adjusting the strap before you put it on the baby. Babies are not known for their patience, after all.
3. Store their new helmet amongst their toys or clothes. In other words, keep in where they will see it, with stuff that is already familiar.
4. Start wearing your own helmet around the house. Yes, it does seem kind of dorky, but monkey see, monkey do is powerful psychology.
5. Positive reinforcement. In other words, pour on the praise when the baby gets within an inch of the helmet, holds it, or plays with it.
6. During a golden moment of good baby mood and helmet accessibility, try it on them. Don’t forget to let them know how awesome they look. Babies love looking awesome.
7. Are they not buying the above steps? That can happen, so alternatively, try putting them on the bike first and then put the helmet on them.
8. If they can pull the helmet off, keep your cool. Without impatience, adjust the straps; they are too loose.
9. When/if they tug at the helmet, always smile and pat the top of the helmet. Again, it’s monkey see, monkey do, and it’s my belief this builds a positive connotation with the helmet.
10. Make sure to start riding tout de suite after getting the helmet on. Yes, START RIDING THE BIKE! Do not fiddle about trying to figure out what you forgot to pack (you probably forgot diapers). Instead, get on the bike and start pedaling, because biking is fun and makes babies forget about the new accessory.
Over time they will know that if the helmet goes on, a fun ride is just around the corner. And then it’s Baby on Board…on board the bike.
Dena Driscoll is a family biking advocate who lives with her two kids, two cats, and husband in Philadelphia (all of whom have ridden in her cargo bike). When not riding or writing about family biking, she can be found working at Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse.