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Walking Babies – When Should Baby Learn to Drive?

24/07/2013 | Child Health, Exercise, Nutrition, Room to Grow, Safety | by Catherine Godiva

Aaah, gotcha!  Yep, I know babies don’t get to drive – or not in the usual sense anyway.  However, babies do need to learn to manoeuvre both themselves and their toys.  Once baby starts to move from one spot to another, whether by crawling, pulling themselves along or bottom-shuffling, parents are likely never to have another peaceful moment for several years!  You adapt your own home as you go along as baby becomes more and more mobile, stair gates, cupboard locks, appliance locks, fridge locks, and socket stoppers – you need to kid proof your home in a big way.  That’s one of the joys of parenthood – life is never the same again.

So, you have a rug rat whizzing around your home and before too long your little one wants a set of wheels.  You know – a pedal car or a trike or some fluffy ride on animal.  Basically, something with wheels, something that ‘goes’.  This will essentially turn your home, your previously chic and stylish abode, into a toddler highway.  Well, that’s one of the joys of parenthood too – and there are ways of making it work.

There are some really impressive looking cars and vehicles for kids and most of the really cool looking ones are quite large.  These are great for kids, but wait until your little one has learned to ‘drive’ first.  That’ll be when they’ll be content to use them in the garden and not in and out of every room in your house.

Baby’s first vehicle needs to be something tiny that can be used from quite a young age – a bit like having a Mini for a first car used to be years ago.  My daughter had a tiny wooden trike made and painted by a friend and about the size of a small footstool.  She fitted on it and rode it with help from a really early age, it had no pedals – she just scooted with her feet.  She used it all day, every day – to sit on, to climb on to reach things, to chase the dog, even as a tiny table.  That really was a useful little vehicle!  Even when my daughter got older, she kept the trike around as a little stool on wheels and it now belongs to my first granddaughter.

There’s a huge array of wheels suitable for all ages of kids so it’s worth choosing something that will start your baby off with confidence – small, stable and easy to steer.  Leave the really cool stuff until they’re about three or four years old and have learned some driving skills.

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