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Balance bike vs scooter for toddlers

Balance Bike Vs Scooter for Toddler – What is the Best Option?

Your baby is now a toddler and is on the move constantly. Now is the time to start looking at a balance bike vs a scooter for your toddler.

Each type of bike comes with its own set of pros and cons, we are going to help you figure out which one is best for your toddler.

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Basic Difference Between Balance Bike and Scooter

There are a few notable differences between a balance bike and a toddler scooter, but both can be hugely beneficial to your child. Let us look at the balance bike vs a scooter!

  • Weight: The balance bike is a lot sturdier than a scooter and as a result it is a lot heavier and could be harder for your toddler to lift if it falls over. The scooter, however, is much lighter and so easier for a little person to manage.
  • Stability: This will be a challenge for your child in the beginning on either one of the bikes. A balance bike has two wheels while a scooter has three, this does make the scooter more stable and might be easier for your toddler to master initially.
  • Control: Do to the fact that the balance bike is heaver and has handles that need to be controlled, the scooter can seem easier to maneuver and control. A scooter can’t really turn as well as a bike which can also be challenging.
  • Sit or stand: With a balance bike your child will sit down to move the bike while a scooter requires a little balance as you make it move by standing up.
  • One leg or two: To get a scooter to move, one foot is needed to move along the ground to build momentum. On a bike both feet are needed to ensure the bike moves forward.

3 Reasons Why You Need Your Toddler to Try One of These

Perhaps you are wondering whether your toddler needs a balance bike or a scooter. We have outlined a few reasons why teaching your child to ride is very beneficial. These reasons will also further help you decide balance bike vs scooter.

When you introduce a balance bike or a scooter for the first time, your child must learn a new set of skills to get the bike or scooter to move.

  • New Skills: One of these skills is balance, which is so important for a child to develop as it has so many benefits for their posture and how they move. Learning how to ride a bike or a scooter also improves their sense of direction and awareness of their surroundings – as they ride, they must figure out where they want to go and how they are going to get there. Riding is also great for developing your toddlers motor skills. 
  • Confidence booster: Riding can also be a great confidence booster for your toddler. Initially they may struggle to balance or control the bike but once they have mastered it, they will feel such a sense of accomplishment and this will help to develop their confidence in trying new things as they grow older.
  • Let them decide: Children are all different, some take naturally to a scooter while others will prefer a balance bike, it might be worthwhile to try both out and see which one suits your child.

Benefits & Trade-offs with Balance Bike

  • Transition: Prepares your toddler to transition to a bike. A balance bike is a great way to get your toddler ready to move to a pedal bike
  • Control: Gives your toddler more control. Balance bikes require you child to have both legs on the ground and this helps them feel in control and more stable on the bike
  • Good physical exercise: Riding around on their balance bike is great exercise for your child and can make outings like family walks easier as your child is able to move easier
  • Heavier: Balance bikes are generally bigger, bulkier, and heavier so they can be harder to store and transport and they are not easy to carry around
  • Hard to maneuver: Since the balance bike is a little bulkier and heaver, it can be difficult for toddlers to figure out how to move around easily
  • Cost: Overall, the cost of a balance bike is more than that of a scooter. Balance bikes also have a short life span, so this does make them expensive
  • Punctures: Balance bikes obviously have wheels, and these can get punctures which will need to be repaired or even replaced depending on the extend of the damage

Benefits & Trade-offs with Scooter

  • Lighter: Scooters are generally much lighter which makes it easier for your toddler to move it around. Many scooters can be folded up which makes carrying them around so much easier
  • Cheaper: Scooters are generally cheaper than balance bikes and many can be adjusted which means they can be made bigger to meet the growing needs of your child
  • Moving uphill is easier: Because scooters are lighter, they make going uphill much easier than a balance bike does, this offers you a lot more freedom in terms of where you can go with your toddler
  • Easier to maneuver: Many toddlers to find scooters easier to maneuver than a balance bike due to the fact they are lighter, and steering is easier
  • They use only one leg: This can be tricky to master for a toddler and it also can end up strengthening the muscle in the leg they are using to steer and move the scooter
  • They will want electric scooter next: As your child grows and spends more and more time on their scooter, they may start asking for an electrical scooter which can be very costly

Whatever You Choose Focus on Safety

Whether you decide on a balance bike or a scooter, it is essential you teach your child how to ride safely from the beginning.

If you compare balance bike vs scooter safety, you will find both come with certain stresses and worries you as a parent, but that is not a reason to avoid getting one. If you are considering a balance bike or scooter for 18-month-old, a balance bike might be the safer option.

Your child will probably fall a few times, this is an important step in how they learn. You just need to make sure they are wearing a helmet every time they get on their scooter or balance bike.

This must be a non-negotiable and if you teach your child to wear their helmet from the beginning it will develop into a good habit.

Wearing shoes when they ride is also a good idea to prevent them from grazing or scratching as they move along. Both the scooter and the balance bike require your toddler to use their feet to move. 

The Winner

So, balance bike vs scooter which one gets our vote?

There is no actual real right answer here, it depends on your child and what you feel as a parent is the better of the two.

That said, we favor the balance bike over the scooter for many of the reasons we mentioned above. It is also a good idea to ask your child which one they prefer. If they have friends who have bikes, or if you cycle, they may also prefer to get a balance bike.

Another possible solution is the balance bike scooter 2-in-1 which offers the best of both worlds.

When it comes to specific bikes, we recommend this lightweight balance bike for 2-year-olds. It is a great beginner bike for toddlers that allows them to focus on their balance.

The seat can be easily adjusted to meet your child’s needs and as they grow it can grow with them. The tires allow you to take the bike on any types of terrain safely and securely. 

Why We Choose Balance Bike?

Why did we choose the balance bike, there a few reasons? The balance bike helps to prepare your child for a bicycle. They learn how to balance and control the handlebars, so when the time comes to introduce a pedal bike, it will be easier.

In the long term a bicycle is a better investment than an electrical scooter as it encourages more physical activity. A balance bike requires the use of both legs to maneuver it, which means both leg muscles are being used at the same time.

It is important to understand that this is merely our finding, buying your child a scooter is not wrong and does have many benefits.

The Only Mistakes You Can Make

When it comes to deciding balance bike vs scooter remember to listen to your child and avoid forcing what you want onto them. If your child prefers a scooter, then get them a scooter rather.

Picking the right size balance bike is very important. If the bike is too big it will be very hard for them to control it and they will end up not wanting to ride it. When looking at the size if the bike, your toddlers’ feet should easily touch the ground.

Sometimes all you need to do is adjust the seat a little. You also want to avoid a bike that is too heavy for your child to move around.

FAQs

What age is best for a balance bike? 

Toddlers can start riding balance bikes from around the age of 18-months and will generally be able to ride them until they are about 5 years old.

Do you need a helmet for a balance bike? 

Absolutely! Wearing a helmet is crucial every time your child gets on their bike. Protecting their head is non-negotiable. Make sure their helmet is the right size.

Is a bike or a scooter better for toddler? 

There is no clear answer to this. The above pros and cons highlight that both are beneficial to your toddler. It comes down to your personal choice.

Is there something wrong with scooters for toddlers? 

Absolutely not. Scooters can teach your child many new skills and if they have asked for one, there is no reason not to get them one. 

Conclusion

We hope that you have enjoyed this article and found it useful in deciding balance bike vs scooter. There is absolutely nothing wrong with scooters, but the balance bike gets our vote.

We would love to hear which one you chose so please leave a comment letting us know. If you feel this article was helpful, please share with your family and friends.

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