At around 10 months, I started noticing that change in Rory. That shift from being a baby, to wanting to do more. The realisation that there is lots to learn about mobility – and with it, a determination to stand, to crawl, to balance, and to crave new experiences that don’t always involve being strapped into a buggy or sling for long periods of time.
It will be, on average, around 18 months before a baby will be walking steadily enough to make good use of a scooter or a balance bike, so that’s a whole 8 months before this point when a Smart Trike is the ideal vehicle to securely and comfortably begin introducing your baby to a world of outdoor fun.
Almost three years ago, Arlo got a similar trike for his first birthday, and more recently, Rory has been reviewing the Smart Trike 4 in 1 Dream since he turned 10 months old.
I can’t say I noticed it much with Arlo, but Rory seems to really relish his opportunity to sit in his Smart Trike like a ‘big boy’ – Different personality types maybe? Or maybe it’s because Rory has an older sibling and he’s been constantly watching Arlo whizzing around on his bike from the boring confines of his buggy.
It’s hard to tell what a 10 month old baby is thinking, but perhaps I haven’t been imagining Rory’s genuine appreciation for being able to join in with his own trike and maintain the illusion of keeping up with his speedy brother (with some help from mum and dad and the super-useful pushing handle, of course).
Rory’s first go in the Smart Trike
I also think we’ve been using the Smart Trike more with Rory at this age than we did with Arlo, as we are heading into summer as opposed to heading into winter as we were when Arlo turned one. Timing the purchase right depending on your baby’s age during the fairer seasons is something to think about, and could impact on how much you actually use your Smart Trike. It is, of course, possible to use a Smart Trike outdoors in winter on a dry day, and we did do this when Arlo was little, but I definitely feel more motivated to do this in spring or summer!
By the age of two, your toddler may well have graduated to more compact options for every day, out-of-the-house use, such as a scooter or balance bike. Arlo has both of these things, but his trike is still very much in daily use in our garden in the summertime. Between practising the tricky co-ordination of pedalling with his trike, and mastering his balancing skills on his balance bike, I’m anticipating that he’ll make a very quick and easy transition to a no-stabiliser pedal bike when he turns 4.
Over the years, we’ve found the ‘grows with your child’ aspect of an adjustable trike has given this toy a real long-lasting appeal for Arlo. He loves his trike very much and I would guess that we are still a long way off it being relegated to the ‘not played with any more pile’. Especially now that his little brother has one too – the fun has doubled. Here’s what Smart Trike have to say about their clever 4 in 1 design:
Starting at 10 months parents take full control with the steering handle. As they grow they can practice steering, but thanks to the clever handlebar clutch, Mum and Dad still determine where the trike is headed! Once confidence grows they can start to try out the pedals. In the fourth stage, remove the parent handle and little one can wheel about independently from 30 months+.
Rory’s Smart Trike has a few useful and carefully though-through features compared to Arlo’s 3-year-old model:
The toy phone is the perfect toy for this age group, and is certainly one of Rory’s favourite aspects of the trike.
I am a big fan of the addition of the zipped bag underneath the parent handle, which negates the need to juggle a changing bag plus trike plus toddler when all you need is a pocket for a few essentials – keys, phone, money – for a short trip to the park or down the road to the local newsagent.
The seat padding is also new, adding a welcoming level of comfort for the 10-18 month age range – once your child is 18 months, the padding can be removed.
Lastly, I was pleased to see the inclusion of a parent foot-brake – very useful and important if you need to pause whilst walking a busy road, which, for us London-dwellers, is pretty much every time we pop out.
Should you buy a Smart Trike? I think they are one of the best present options for the ‘older baby’ age group. I also think their longevity of use makes it a great value for money purchase. A Smart Trike 4-in-1 Dream is a great choice for a first birthday present, and even better as a Christmas present for a 6 month old – although they will be too young to use it straight away, they will be the perfect age to maximise the Smart Trike’s age range once Spring (and more favourable weather) arrives.
Rory was provided with his Smart Trike for the purpose of this review.