What has a 5-point Harness, Side Bars, Shade Screen and DRINK HOLDER?

Hint: The old version of this vehicle used to have a seat, handlebars and three wheels, period. I can’t figure out if I’m more distressed by the safety equipment that seems better designed for the Turbo Drop, or the fact that we don’t seem capable of doing anything for more than two minutes without a drink at hand.-LLittle Tikes® 3-in-1 Trike (Purple/Pink)

The website copy says:

Designed for babies, toddlers and beginning riders, this attractive Pink/Purple, 3-in-1 Trike grows with your child!


Stage 1-Parent Push Trike-When the pink waist bar is
installed the child will be unable to turn the wheel
Stage 2-Parent Guided Trike with parent handle
Stage 3-Kid Powered Tricycle

• Seat adjusts to 4 positions to fit almost any size child
• Adjustable, detachable push handle
• Push handle lets parent control direction with 1 hand
• 5-point seat belt harness and protective safety bar
• Non-slip pedals
• Footrests fold away and detach
• Durable metal/plastic construction
• Convenient beverage holder
• Extra large storage bucket with dumping feature
• Removable shade canopy adjusts to any angle
• Durable, quiet-ride tires
• Weight limit up to 50lbs.
• Assembly Required

P.S. (from Lenore): Nothing wrong with toys! Nothing wrong with kids! Or parents! Just something WEIRD about all the bells and whistles and excess safety stuff.

161 Responses to What has a 5-point Harness, Side Bars, Shade Screen and DRINK HOLDER?

  1. christine June 4, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Designed to grow with your child!

    as little Jimmy gets fatter and fatter and fatter due to inactivity…

  2. pentamom June 4, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    What’s the fun of riding your trike if you can’t run in the house after every six trips up and down the sidewalk for a lemonade and a round of bugging mom? (NB, at the age kids generally still use tricycles, IMO they need that occasional “touch base with parent” thing. Not that it’s mandatory or about “safety”, but it’s natural and good for them.)

    Besides, doesn’t this set a bad example to our kids in the area of drinking and driving?

  3. TaraK June 4, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Weight limit up to 50 lbs??? My third grader is 50 lbs!

    And wouldn’t a 5 point harness be a little unnecessary? If you’re trying to teach a kid to ride a “bike” why give them the feeling of being strapped in as a normal feeling? (The cup holder does appear to be for the parents, can’t have a parent playing with their kid without a coffee cup in hand! Oh wait, was that disclaimer made?)

    Why not just encase it in bullet proof plastic like the Popemobile??

    The only people I can see riding in something like this are severely handicapped children who cannot ride a traditional bike/trike/big wheel. That’s what it looks like to me.

  4. Natashia June 4, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    I’m an extremely free range parent and I have this product. I’m not quite sure what the fuss is?
    We bought it when she was crawling so that I could take her for walks n the country road we lived on without having to stuff her in the pram (which she HATED), or carry her the whole damn time. It helped with her balance, and she felt very Independant and pleased with herself.

    The shade cloth is completely useless though, we took it off immediately. And the harness came off once she got used to the idea that leaning too far to one side didn’t end well.

    In summary, it’s a good pram replacement for kids who don’t like them, and turns into a trike once they get to the peddle/push stage. What’s not to like?

  5. Filioque June 4, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    “Why not just encase it in bullet proof plastic like the Popemobile??”

    Ha ha ha, that’s hysterical! Don’t give parents the idea, though. They’ll probably think it’s a great idea, complete with security detail surrounding it on all sides.

  6. Teri June 4, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    Actually, I don’t see the drink holder as such a problem, (although the handy storage bucket is just as good for holding a bottle of water). Adult cyclists often have a water bottle attached to the bike, and when we take our kids out to play in the sun (age 1 and 2.5) we always have a water bottle with us even if we only expect to be out a half hour. Running and playing and cycling is thirsty work. Not to mention how handy it is to have water available to wash out a mouth after checking what the sand tastes like today, like my 1-year-old is prone to doing.

  7. Mike in Virginia June 4, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    I think the confusion is that this LOOKS like a tricycle, but its actually a stroller. Hence the handle and drink cup holder (for the parent). You can sit a baby in it and, as the child grows, they can start to peddle and steer and, eventually, get upgraded to a “normal” tricycle at age 3 or so. It is NOT just a regular tricycle with safety features.

    Would I own one? No. But I see people with them all the time and its no big deal. They are pushing around very small toddlers in them. I have a 15-month old who would love one of these. She likes to sit in her brother’s tricycle and push it with her feet, but she can’t do much else. If she could sit in it while I push her around for a walk, she would really be happy. I’m still not going to buy one, since it has limited use, but I can see why people would own one.

  8. Earth.W June 4, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    I always saw these rear positioned handled contraptions as being good for stopping kids from riding out across the road, as I’ve seen parents use them for. One you start just pushing them and seizing control of their steering, you’ve lost the plot.

  9. Christina June 4, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    The cup holder is for the kid’s beverage?!? Oops, my bad. 😉

  10. M.H. June 4, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    We actually did buy a similar push trikes for my then 2 year old son. First of all I should note that I specifically did not buy one with a sun shade 5 point harness or cup holder. I thought it made the kid riding in it look like they had special needs. Ours had a push handle, and surround arms which we took off after about the second use and that is all it had. Our trike, and I believe the one pictured above are much smaller than a normal tricycle. My older son, who was 4 at the time was already too big for it when we bought it.

    I actually think we used our bike in a free range way. My family regularly goes on mile long walks. At the time my son was not yet old enough to walk or ride with us under his own power but we did not want him in a stroller. We thought the trike was perfect because it made him feel like a big kid on a bike. He could pedal and steer when he wanted to and could get on and off by himself. He also had to put some effort into staying balanced on the thing. So it was much more active for him than a stroller. Sometime around his third birthday we put him onto a balance bike. At 3 years 10 months he is an expert on the balance bike and we are now trying to convince him to try a 2 wheel bike with pedals. He can easily keep up with the rest of us for a mile or two long walk. Actually if he is going full speed we can’t keep up with him anymore. We regularly see 3 year olds in srollers looking at him longingly as he rides past them.

    So, I would say that if you are using one of the push trikes as a transition between a stroller and a real bike for a toddler, it is good. If it is being used to push a preschooler up the hill to the park, it is time to let them walk or ride on their own.

  11. Tana C June 4, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    I was just thinking that if I didn’t already have a stroller for my upcoming lo, I’d love to have one of these. All the bells and whistles are silly, but a stroller that turns into a tricycle? Cool. My very active son would have thought this was the best thing ever as a toddler.

  12. BL June 4, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    What? No TV? No Internet connection?

  13. Orange Roughy June 4, 2013 at 9:53 am #


  14. Suzanne June 4, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    I think this also reflects parent’s desire for their kids to be able to do anything a parent thinks should be part of toddlerhood from the time a baby can sit up. The best use for a 5 point harness on a trike like this is to strap in a 6 month old. Now baby can “ride’ and she’ll have so much fun while mommy pushes her, only not really because she doesn’t care that she’s on that bike, not really. Like Bumpo seats that are molded so baby can sit up before they have developed the muscles to do so (and prevent building those muscles and delay genuine sitting up.) I can’t stand junk like this for kids, one more way to stunt their development under the guise of them doing things earlier.

  15. Natalie June 4, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    I also don’t see the problem with it. More like a stroller for when they’re younger, more like a trike for when they’re older. It has a drink holder? Awesome. I also like drink holders on my bike.
    That being said, it probably costs more money than I’m willing to spend. I prefer second hand stuff.
    So there’s a lot of features. People like features and it gives companies a reason to charge more. Not a new concept. Not connected to helicopter vs free-range but to humanity’s desire to acquire bigger and better (or smaller and better, depending) stuff.

  16. Emily June 4, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    I’m on the fence. As a tricycle, yes, the safety features are excessive, but as a stroller-to-tricycle transition device, once you remove the features that’d be appropriate for an infant or toddler, but excessivie for a preschooler (like the five-point harness and the parent push handle), it seems okay. My only concern is, there doesn’t seem to be a way to remove the side bars.

  17. Melisa June 4, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    I just find the 5 part harness to be more dangerous than not being belted in at all. If that trike tips the kid is going down with it without being able to bail out.

  18. Natalie June 4, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    I just read pentamom’s drinking and driving comment. People at this ridiculous meeting are going to wonder why I just snorted coffee all over myself.

  19. Jim Collins June 4, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    You can blame this on the trial lawyers.

  20. Nicole June 4, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    I lived in a metro area where I wouldn’t be surprised to see this contraption being used. With a helmet. I think the concept is cool, minus the bells and whistles. I would have considered buying one for my daughter and chucked everything except for the parent handlebar when she was 2. She would’ve outgrown it by the age of 4, developmentally. Then again, I probably would have gotten her a regular tricycle again and let her control it all while we walked down the middle of the street. We had a quiet neighborhood.

    What bothers me most is that people would buy this because they feel the need to bubble wrap their kids against normal bumps and bruises. How are they going to learn if they aren’t allowed to fall on their faces once in a while?

  21. Michael June 4, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    I have a similar one of these types of devices for my son … wel, at least I did until he physically outgrew it at 24 months ….

    The primary goal for devices like this is to provide a gentle transition between a glorified stroller (I started using it at 8 months for my son) to when they can ride it themselves. The one we had went from the contraption above to a stand alone trike with no bars, restraints, parent handle, etc. My only real gripe was that by the time my son was capable of pedaling, his legs were too long.

    I actually see something like this as the perfect free range kid-type of device by slowly enabling them more and more freedom as they are capable. When you, as the parent, remove each of the safety devices depends on the child and environment, but it’s up to you.

  22. QuicoT June 4, 2013 at 10:33 am #


    Eventually they’ll think up a little computerized gizmo that electronically detects when a child is having ANY FUN AT ALL and locks the wheels in response.

  23. Jodie June 4, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    I use this with my son during his physical therapy. This trike lets him work on his balance and posture. We Velcro his shoes to the pedals because he suffers from global developmental delays and doesn’t understand how to move his legs. By strapping them in he gets the feel for how it feels to pedal in an environment that makes him happy… the outdoors. It is my hope that by pedaling, his brain will eventually be able to tell his legs how to move.

    We have turned the 5 point harness into a 3 point though because the straps are too short for my son.

  24. lollipoplover June 4, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Why not mount the bike to the floor like a spinning bike in front of the TV? Sign up for indoor, air-conditioned kiddie soulcycle- $300 for 8 weeks with free smoothies for the cup holders….

  25. Maria June 4, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    On the other hand BALANCE BIKES are becoming more and more popular (if you don’t know what it is just google it, or better yet search it in YouTube). Allowing kids more freedom, speed, and sense of balance than any old school trike. We got outs when my daughter turned 2 and by 2.5 she had moved up to a normal two wheeler with no training wheels! So it’s not all doom and gloom, as I see more and more parents allowing their kids the confidence of balance with a balance bike. :)

  26. Jen C. June 4, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Suzanne, I couldn’t have put it better myself!
    Mike in Virginia… if your little one can only move the big wheel with her fee then she’s exercising and learning how to move the bike with her feet. Then she’ll want to go faster or do what the bigger kids are doing and learn how to work the pedals with her own will, mind and strength.
    And as far as a baby feeling independent? What about all of the people who grew up before the invention of this contraption? Are they suffering because they did not feel independence at 1 year of life? I don’t think so.

  27. Andy June 4, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    I have seen it used as smaller pram replacement too. Parents are pushing kids that can not pedal yet (think of a year and half old), are too slow or who tended not to listen when parent said “this way” (due to age or character).

    I don’t understand the problem with drink holder neither. I always have water for me and kid when we go outside for long. I do not see free range reason to keep two years old without water for four hours in hot weather. Drink holder might mean that you do not need to take a bag with you.

    Btw, if you want your kid to pedal, you have to buy something way lighter, preferably with chain instead of pedals tied to wheels. And you have to wait until kid is at least two and half (or whatever age they learn it).

  28. Sara June 4, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    I agree, it’s intended to be used like a stroller at first, and like a regular trike later. On the version I know, all the extra stuff (push thingie, harness etc.) can be taken off.

  29. J.T. Wenting June 4, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    “What? No TV? No Internet connection?”

    you’re too oldfashioned. I do miss the iPad and iPhone holders though…
    No self respecting 3 year old wants to be seen without those.

  30. Quornflour June 4, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    I don’t understand why the kid doesn’t get a cup holder in all of that??

  31. Sarah in WA June 4, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    What makes me laugh about this is the idea that the parent can truly control what the kid does with the handle in the back.

    A woman in my neighborhood was trying to steer her two-year-old in one of the these, and her daughter was very much working against her. The mom kept yelling at her that they needed to pull over, and the girl gleefully kept pedaling and steering the opposite direction. I’ll admit it was kind of funny to watch.

    I think some parents like the idea of control with this, but realistically after a certain age (like two) you just don’t have complete control. It’s something you have to accept.

  32. Bernadette Noll June 4, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    And it’s in the landfill in just 6 short months. MOre plastic crap to fill your child’s childhood with. Yuck.

  33. Warren June 4, 2013 at 12:02 pm #


    Miss the good old days of teaching my girls to ride. Even trikes. Put em on, gentle shove to aid in getting peddling started, and watch em go. Off the sidewalk, into the grass where they would tip over. Encourage, them and repeat as needed, until they are confident little Evil Kneviels.

    Put the parental control bar on the back, and the kids no longer learn the “feel” of free riding. They no longer get the full effect of speed, stopping, turning and crashing. Because the safety net is there. Now I know some parents are going to say, they will learn all that without getting hurt, no matter if it is just bruises, or road rash, and why not be able to avoid that. Well there is a very good reason to allow them to get banged up. They learn actual risk vs actual consequence. If I go at said speed and try to do whatever…………it gonna hurt. They need that knowledge, not just for bikes, but it lays the foundation for future life lessons.

    The marketing for the bike is the problem. The weight limit, the harness the side bars, and I guarantee you that a matching helmet and elbow, gloves and other gear are either available or coming.

  34. emandink June 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    My daughter received the primary color version of this for her 1st birthday. As a “starter” trike that is a more active and engaged than a stroller, it’s great. If people are buying this for their three year olds, then that’s a problem, but as a means of transporting a child who needs some sort of restraint, but hates being confined in a static manner, it’s a great compromise. And anything that makes it easier to get stuff to a hot park in the south in the summer, including necessary hydration when the water fountains don’t work, gets no snark from me.

  35. emandink June 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Also, once the restraining bar is off (which is the only thing that I think is truly rediculous here), parental control is not at all required.

  36. Emily June 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Now that I think about it, I remember that my parents got me a traditional (albeit scaled-down) plastic tricycle when I was a baby–maybe one year old, maybe eighteen months, but it was definitely before I was two. Anyway, it didn’t have any “safety” features like the one in the picture, but I don’t remember ever getting hurt on it.

  37. JJ June 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    While all the hating? It’s an open-air stroller. Does anyone make fun of the fact that “regular” strollers have straps that either are or are not used, a cover that can shade the babies’ little heads, or a place where you can put a cup? Do we also ridicule the babies who ride in other strollers as “getting fatter and fatter with inactivity”? For that matter, if and when this product is used as a trike, why would you ridicule the rider as “getting fatter and fatter with inactivity”? Sheesh!

  38. Natalie June 4, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    It must be a slow news day…

  39. JJ June 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Natalie, You read this blog during meetings (and presumably business meeting)!? LOL, I’m impressed!

  40. SKL June 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Yeah, I would consider this a very expensive stroller. (Of course it only works if you have only 1 kid needing a stroller.) (Which, if you had more than one kid needing a stroller, you wouldn’t waste time and money on stuff like this.)

    Three months after my youngest learned to walk, we all walked (no wheels involved) to the park a mile away. We never used the stroller again, except for 1 trip to the zoo.

    At 1.5 I bought my kids regular old-fashioned trikes. No belts, parental controls, sun protection. It took them a while to use them the “right way,” but the fallback of two feet always seemed sufficient.

    I didn’t use strollers if my kids could walk, because I felt they needed the exercise as much as I did.

    Oh, and neither of my kids (age 6) has reached 50 lbs as far as I know. They became too old for their trikes (in my judgment) years ago. Granted, there are some 4yos who are as big as my eldest, but really. If a child is 50lbs, he needs to move, not be pushed. His poor mother. When my kids were wee tots, the total weight of both kids and their double stroller was about 50 lbs, and I remember pushing that stroller up the hill. It was good exercise for me, I’ll admit.

  41. Papilio June 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    @JJ: Because our, or at least my, first thought is ‘will the parents ever let the kid reach Stage 3, or will they proceed pushing him and controlling him forever?’ – with all the straps etc it looks like the kid (and I was still thinking of a tricycle-aged kid) can’t get on and off on their own terms. So I’m glad to read that the control part doesn’t work with older kids, and that I should interpret this thing as a tricycle shaped stroller, not as an actual oldfashioned tricycle.

    @QuicoT: You’re right – I was way too oldfashioned when thinking I missed the rope to attach the tricycle to the house/tree/whatever to prevent the kid from wandering off more than 3 feet.

  42. Ravana June 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    I have to agree with everyone who found the weight limit disturbing. 50 lbs?!! That is the size of two two year olds. Also since it has a 5 point harness, where is the roll cage?

  43. f June 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    We have a similar version, bought used. It has a seatbelt (which we never used) instead of a harness, and no shade cover or drink holder. We zip-tied a dollar store basket to the handlebars so she could bring her teddy bear along.

    I liked it, because while my kid would happily ride the half mile to the park or pool on her own, she would be too tired after playing for an hour to pedal back home. So I would just lock the steering mechanism and push her home. Much easier than carrying a trike plus a tired kid.

    The downside was that she grew out of it rather quickly by height — her legs got too long to pedal comfortably.

  44. ND June 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    This is the problem with “grow with me” toys: the features that are reasonable for the youngest children often seem ridiculous for the oldest. In this case, the five point harness is for the youngest children using this — toddlers still at an age to wiggle out with no warning. It’s a fun substitute for a stroller that the kid can keep using as they get older. Similarly, the sun shade is a holdover from strollers and not designed for the tricycle age group. (Though if I could have a sun shade on my bike I wouldn’t turn it down. Some of us have skin that burns even when we put 75SPF sunblock on every hour.)

    Everyone acting as if the drink holder is for the child clearly hasn’t bothered looking at the picture. The drink holder is for the parent. It’s on the push bar and couldn’t be accessed by the child even if they wanted to. If you’re out walking with your kid and want a water bottle with you I don’t see a problem. There aren’t drinking fountains on every corner anymore, if you want a drink when out you have to take it with you.

  45. AMG Momma June 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    My daughter has this by Smart Trike and she loves it. In her mind, it’s different that a big ol’ stroller (she’s 2 and it’s actually the only stroller I can get her into) and when her legs are long enough, we can use it as a back-up trike. The only downside about the Smart Trike (and I can’t tell if this one has them) are the terribly cheap plastic wheels. You take it off-road on gravel or something once, and they’re done.

  46. Natalie June 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    I read this blog in two situations at work. Meetings (this is a government institution and the meetings are a waste of time and we’ve been having way too many meetings in the current DoD budget cuts and isn’t the whole purpose of budget cuts to make you more efficient and they could really just send a 2 sentence email instead of bringing in the entire workforce and I’m going to stop now before I go on a rant) and troubleshooting (tweak instrument, wait 3 min, tweak and wait, tweak and wait, bang on the damn thing with a wrench, tweak and wait- ah! Finally working!

  47. Buffy June 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    JJ watch out! I love this blog, but the stroller hate (even for kids who are young enough for a stroller to still be appropriate) is way out of a proportion. Not on this particular post, but on many others.

  48. Natalie June 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Why is everyone up in arms about the 50 lbs? its just another selling point/disclaimer. It has to support a kid who will abuse it as kids do. Abusing a plastic toys can break them, which is one reason people complain about plastic products. The company had to test it and found that 50 lbs is enough to break it. There you go. No Liability and a selling point in one sentence.
    If the trike was made of metal, like things used to be, it could support 150 pounds.

  49. grenacia June 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    I was just thinking about the overuse of strollers the other day. This makes an excellent stroller substitute to enable small children to go on long walks with their parents and switch off between being self propelled and being pushed depending on their energy level. Many kids who can tricycle on their own quite well still don’t have the energy to keep up with an athletic parent for the entirety of a long walk, but it sucks to put them in a stroller the whole time. It is very modifiable to suit the needs of a different children. Some kids will outgrow it long before they hit the weight limit, but that is true of many products, and the high weight limit is useful for special needs children.

  50. Emily June 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    >>@JJ: Because our, or at least my, first thought is ‘will the parents ever let the kid reach Stage 3, or will they proceed pushing him and controlling him forever?’ <>If the trike was made of metal, like things used to be, it could support 150 pounds.<<

    @Natalie–That's another good point. You'd think the "uber safety" movement would have been accompanied by a resurgence in the use of metal in kids' ride-on toys, but that hasn't happened. Metal is much sturdier than plastic, so why don't toy manufacturers use it for things that are meant to be ridden, climbed, or swung on?

  51. Emily June 4, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Okay, my reply to Papillo’s reply to JJ’s comment disappeared. Anyway, I said that I agreed, that some parents might never allow their kids to reach the “free-wheeling” Stage 3 of the Smart Trike, and continue to push and control them forever, and that unfortunately, this mentality can be extrapolated to pretty much every other milestone in a child’s life–not just transitioning from a stroller to a trike to a bike, but also things like sleepovers, summer camp, playing outside and walking to school alone, and even going away to college or university.

  52. Natalie June 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Plastic doesn’t rust, and it’s cheaper to process, lighter without sacrificing too much strength, (sorry, materials science is kind of my thing)

    There’s a downside too. Easier to break. Properties deteriorate with time (hence car seat expiration dates that people dont understand and therefore shout CONSPIRACY all the time).

    You can also make plastic trikes that support 150 pounds but it will be more expensive, and a trike that supports 150 pounds isn’t enough of a selling point to justify the increase in the cost of materials.

  53. Andy Harris June 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    What kind of gas mileage do you get with this thing?

  54. Warren June 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    The drink holder is funny because at somepoint, I cannot pinpoint it, but at some point in time people decided they can never let their little darlings leave the house without some form of hydration. When did it become mandatory to have a bottle of water in your hand at all times?

    I do not care how hot you think it is, or how many hot weather warnings the tv posts, do you know how long it takes to become even remotely dehydrated? Unless you are in an activity that is pushing you physically, normal activities can be carried out without the need to constanty replenish your fluids. We never took drinks when we went out as kids. And not one of us ever shriveled up and got carried off by buzzards.

  55. Robin from Israel June 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    I’m pretty free-range, but I don’t see the issue with this one. As an earlier poster said, most of those extra safety features are for when it’s being used as a stroller, for a child too young to peddle a tricycle, and the features like the cupholder and pushbar are a real boon to those of us who live in cities where home and lemonade are often much further than a few feet away.

    My kids used a simpler version of this – it was fabulous when they wanted to ride like the big kids they saw in the park but didn’t have the stability or stamina for the long walks around the neighborhood that my husband and I liked to take with them. They could peddle a bit, ride when tired, walk or run nearby when they felt like it, and in the hot Israeli sun there were plenty of time that I wished I could crawl under that sunshade too.

    Would I have bought it if I lived in American suburbia? Probably not, but it was sure a lifesaver for *me the parent* in the heat of a Tel Aviv summer, when the previous poster’s comments to the contrary, you really CAN become dangerously dehydrated in a remarkably short period of time.

  56. Marlet June 4, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    I think the idea of a removable, parent-push bar is genius. Would have saved my back a few aches.

  57. pentamom June 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    “I think the idea of a removable, parent-push bar is genius. Would have saved my back a few aches.”

    I think I’m showing the advance of age here, but whatever happened to, “You can ride on a toy like this when you’re big enough to do it yourself?” My kids had cheapie little plastic four-wheeled things that they pushed around with their feet when they were toddlers, before they were big enough to really ride alone. At no point did I ever really consider it my job to push my kid around on a toy he or she couldn’t manage alone.

    I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it if you want to do it, but the idea that you “need” this because otherwise you “have to” bend over and push is premised on the idea that you HAVE to help your kid ride a toy before they’re big enough anyway.

  58. Andy June 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    I feed my kids sooner then they are starved and I allow them to drink sooner then they are dangerously dehydrated. I also drink sooner then I’m completely dehydrated.

    Water with me has nothing to do with deadly dehydration. It has a lot to do with us staying longer outside cause we (including me) feel more comfortable. It has a lot to do with us being more active when we are not thirsty.

    When in the history was the time when parents let 2-3 years old in hot sun without water for hours? And even older kids that used to play alone outside whole afternoon used to run home once in a while to drink.

  59. Natalie June 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    I have a horrible confession to make.

    I am an overprotective, coddling parent.
    I’m stunting my daughters’ growth and impeding their progress towards adulthood!

    Why, you ask?

    Because I sometimes plan ahead and pack a juicebox or water bottle in the event that my girls (or me) may or may not want to drink whenever we go somewhere!

    They’ll be living in my basement forever!
    They won’t be able to take care of themselves!
    They’ll have no tolerance for weather outside of 68 – 72 degF! (that’s 20 – 22 degC for the non-Americans)
    They won’t be able to do anything, anything at all without having the comfort of a water bottle within arm’s reach!

    I’m infantilizing them!!!!!!!!!!

    When did society come to this? When! When, I ask you!

    What’s that? The advent of water bottles? Water companies went in a new marketing direction and it was genius you say? And people bought water bottles because people get thirsty! Water companies found a demand and they supplied it?

    It’s the end of the world as we know it! Companies produce things to make our lives more convenient than they were 80 years ago when people walked to school barefoot in the school uphill 5 miles both ways, how DARE they try to produce things that make our lives more convenient and how DARE we buy them!

    When did society come to this? When?

    I’m going to purposely not drink for the next 5 hours as I contemplate how I’ve ruined my daughters lives with a water bottle.

    (yeah, my instrument isn’t working again and I’m frustrated)

  60. pentamom June 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    “And even older kids that used to play alone outside whole afternoon used to run home once in a while to drink.”

    Yes, that’s kind of the point. Used to run home to drink.

    There is nothing wrong with water bottles or cup holders, but it’s not a given that a child not big enough to wander out of sight of the house alone is going to need a drink always within arm’s reach. She can go inside and get a drink.

    It’s not the curse of civilization, but it’s not a necessity, yet it’s sort of treated like it is.

  61. hineata June 4, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    @Natalie -Lol! Yep, society will definitely fall apart, now we’re all drinking more water.

    This trike looks pretty darn cool actually. Midge would have loved it….she wasn’t 50 pounds til she was ten or eleven. Her big brother used to tie her to one of those little baby motor bike type cheapo plastic things and then tie said bike to his metal trike. They would then spend the afternoon speeding around the deck until she got sick of being splattered into the verandah posts and would start squealing. This contraption would have enabled him to keep her interested longer – it looks rather less painful and messy :-) . You could tie it on backward, and fit a third child in the tray in between. Help, the possibilities are endless!

  62. Papilio June 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    @Natalie: Are you still breathing?

  63. hineata June 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Ooh, I just read the tray has a ‘dumping feature’. Even more possibilities for fun. You could dump your annoying baby sister at high speed as you run down the footpath.

    Seriously, anyone remember proper metal trikes with the big trays in the back that could be used for dubbing the baby? Or taking your best kindly mate for a spin, mate standing up of course holding onto shoulders? Please tell me somebody still does that? Our kids’ old one fell apart from rust, and I haven’t noticed any recently.

  64. Andy June 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    @pentamom I prefere to take water with me over going home for it. Not everyone has house with yard full of kids to play with. Packing sand toys a kid, going home drink and back can easily takes half hour.

    I’m just too lazy for that. I would rather havr the drink with me and play or chat with other parents.

    And that is if we are in close park. The bigger one is almost half hour away if i’m taking the kid on shoulders. And i actually like the bigger one and i like long walks too, so your suggestion to go home would make my favourite places very impractical.

    There is some difference between toys and tools you use when you spend most of the time around a house and what you use when you wander far away.

  65. hineata June 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    As for worries about kids being in strollers too long, I am not convinced much has changed over the past fifty or sixty years anyway. We got pushed around a lot forty plus years ago, the difference being that it was a few of us in a big pram. Mum would also kick we older ones out when she got the groceries, because they had to go in there instead:-) . Am not sure how my baby brother avoided being brained by the tins of peas – maybe they went underneath. So no safety straps, but still rides at least part ways. And I suppose prams were easier because they had decent suspension, so more kids could ride in them.

    I had bung knees, so still got the odd dub at four….Mum reported it was easier than listening to the whining, and having to do the whole leg rub thing at home, with two or three other younger kids getting up to mischief at the same time. Lazy parenting, or sanity-keeping? :-)

  66. Warren June 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Typical overthetop response by Natalie, that I have come to expect. If you cannot read the essence of the message without it being explained to you, then please refrain from expressing your drivel.

    For Natalie, and her limited intellect. I was not talking about being out for hours. So many people cannot even walk around the block without a bottle in their hand, their kids go to play at friends and they send water with them just incase
    And yes it is an issue, considering most of this plastic ends up in landfills contaminating drinking water.

    If you still cannot understand Natalie, sucks to be stupid.

  67. Donna June 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Many keep saying this is a transition from a stroller to a trike. My question is why do kids suddenly in 2013 NEED a transition from a stroller to a trike?

    I am rarely one to insist that just because we didn’t have it in our childhood, it is wrong now but this item does seem utterly unnecessary. Older generations were not failing to learn to ride trikes and needing help to transition from not riding a trike to riding a trike. We learned to ride a trike when developmentally appropriate without a transition toy.

    I agree with Suzanne here. This item is simply a reflection of parents desire to have kids do things faster. Whatever can be done in childhood must be done as early as possible even if you need to be strapped in and pushed around because earlier is better and the kid that does it the earliest has the bestest parents ever. Except, of course, independence. That must come as late as possible.

  68. pentamom June 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Andy, great. But that means the kid needs a cupholder ON THE TRIKE, why?

    This is the thing — I think it makes perfect sense to take water with you while going on an outing.

    I find it less necessary that a child not even have to get out of her seat to get a drink.

    Again, it’s not a terrible thing. I just think the fact that some designer somewhere thought it a good feature to put on a trike means that people are positively impressed by the idea of a child not even having to stand up to get a drink, and I find that strange.

  69. JJ June 4, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    @Natalie, don’t you realize that water is a gateway drug? Sure today it’s just water, but wait until they’re in 8th grade.

  70. Rachel June 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    I sort of get it, but it makes me weary. You’re just expected to have so much STUFF. It’s just one more transitional piece that keeps kids from walking and interacting freely, likely to break before it’s quite fulfilled it’s purpose, and whose assorted removable bits either have to be stored indefinitely in case the trike survives to be handed down, unless you just give up and throw them out so they can be landfill for generations.

    The stuff that really, really interests babies and small children is not the stuff we are “supposed” to give them. Everything has to be bright, stimulating, and above all, SAFE plastic, when really they’d be better off climbing on other people and crawling in the dirt.

    I’m sure I’m extra annoyed today because, once again, I saw a woman pushing a child, who was at least 8 years old, in a stroller. While I am more than cognizant that children sometimes have special needs, which require adaptations, I see really big, apparently neurotypical, and physically able kids in strollers much, much more often than can be explained by disability.

  71. Taradlion June 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    Every time Lenore posts something about a product she finds ridiculous, anybody who CHOSES to use it for convenience or because of their own specific circumstances gets defensive….

    I’ve seen it for juice box holders, strollers (at Disney world and in general), kid leashes, safety vests for walking, and a bunch of other things.

    You need to carry water because you live in Tel Aviv or the Atizona dessert, good. You don’t need it for a 20 minute walk during a autumn morning in Vermont. You WANT to carry water in Vermont, that’s fine too.

    You want to use a kid leash on your kid who is a non verbal runner, or use a flourescent vest on your kids walking to school before its light on a windy dirt road, great, that’s reasonable. No need to defend yourself, but please, don’t make it seem like ALL kids in ALL situations need thaws things to be safe.

    Same thing with this trike. No one will revoke your free range parent card because it makes sense for your stroller-hating 15 month old on long family walks. The issue is when these things are marketed as needed for safety or to promote child development.

  72. JJ June 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    And another thing about cupholders. You know those fancy grocery store carts with cup holders? We don’t *need* those either but being able to bring my coffee with me, and still have hands free for the groceries, sure does take the edge off grocery shopping.

  73. Natalie June 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    JJ – wine glass holders next!

  74. hineata June 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Okay, why would the bottles end up in landfills? What happened to taking the lid off the bottle and refilling it from the tap, putting the lid back on and using it again?

    Not exactly rocket science.

  75. Donald June 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Sales have been targeting the gullible for decades. Whether the product is practical, useful, or ridiculously over the top is irrelevant. If there is a demand, there is a product.

    I heard their next model has more safety features. It’s complete with a roll cage, air bag, gps, hands free mobile phone, and back up lights/alarm. This is a limited edition and only available to parents that love their children and don’t withhold safety because of price.

  76. ariel June 4, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    I’ve seen these. And the kids using it are never actually *riding* it using the pedals to make themselves go; they’re always just, sitting there, like a lump, while their adult is pushing them. It’s like they turned a Big Wheels into nothing more than a pimped-out stroller.

  77. Donna June 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    “Okay, why would the bottles end up in landfills? What happened to taking the lid off the bottle and refilling it from the tap, putting the lid back on and using it again?”

    (a) Many don’t do this so their bottles do end up in the landfill.

    (b) Many of us drink bottled water because the tap water tastes like crap where we live or isn’t drinkable at all. I’ve lived in both places, and while the latter isn’t common in 1st World countries, the former is not particularly uncommon.

    But I don’t think anyone is really complaining about taking a bottle of water out and about with you. I usually have one because it is hot as heck here, you are constantly sweating and do need to hydrate regularly. But cupholders on everything is a symptom of the recent notion that you MUST have a drink available constantly. Combined with the insistence that you cannot possibly leave the house, even for 5 minutes, without a bag full of snacks and drinks if you have children.

    There does seem to be a bit of a drink and food obsession surrounding kids today. When I was a kid, we only took snacks and drinks if we were going to be gone much of the day. A routine trip to the playground down the road didn’t require provisions. Today, most of my kid’s friends’ parents bring snacks and drinks every time they leave the house. They even bring drinks and snacks to school pickup every day, as if the child will die of thirst or hunger in the 15 minute drive home. And think that I am the weird one for telling my kid that she can wait until she gets home.

  78. Jenna K. June 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    I like the idea of an adjustable seat. My 2-year-old would love to ride his tricycle but his legs don’t reach the pedals. He does sail down the slope in it but can’t ride back up. And I like the idea of a the push-handle for parents. Would be useful on my 2-year-old’s tricycle to push him back up the hill without killing my back. But, I usually lean over him with my hands on the handles, put his feet up on the handle bars, and push it like a scooter, standing on the back end. He thinks it’s great fun. But the 5-point harness, sun shade, and cup holder? That’s a little too far.

  79. Jenn June 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Best way to teach a kid to ride a bike: a run bike (it’s a two wheeler but no pedals so you make it go by running. Think Flintstones powered!) We bought one for our sone when he turned two and he sometimes he fell but he was pretty proud that he had a big kid bike. That summer he learned how to coast and glide on it and would get quite a bit of speed for a little guy (certainly faster than his peers on trikes or training wheels). At five he had outgrown it so we bought him a real two wheeler and after a brief period where he had to learn how to pedal, he was riding a two wheeler easily. My daughter inherited the run bike that year and by four, she was on a two wheeler, and keeping up with the family on bike rides. Why buy a the Little Tykes trike when you can get your kids riding independently at a younger age?

  80. Lucy June 4, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Here’s my perspective on the whole water thing… I grew up back in the sixties, when apparently no one understood the need for good hydration. There was one drinking fountain in the hall of my school for more than a hundred kids, and you could drink from it only before school and during a few scheduled breaks. You could not get a drink at any other time, no matter how thirsty you were, and bringing water into the classroom was forbidden. The lines at the drinking fountain were long and breaks were very short, so unless you were at or near the front of the line, you wouldn’t get a chance to drink before the bell rang and you had to be back in your seat.

    And of course children could not use the bathroom except at a few specified times, so in some ways it was to a child’s advantage to be dehydrated. The upshot of all this was that we all grew used to being dehydrated. Once your body becomes accustomed to it, you eventually stop feeling thirsty. Our health surely suffered as a result, but back then no one connected it to dehydration, or thought to improve our health by allowing us to drink water more frequently.

    Fast forward a few decades, and you have people who grew up the way I did, who understand how unhealthful it was for us to be going about in a state of near-constant dehydration, and it’s understandable that some would overreact and go to the other extreme — always making sure Junior has a water bottle with him every time he goes outdoors, always taking bottled water everywhere, etc. Yes, it gets excessive sometimes, often comically so, but it’s understandable. And it beats the hell out of the way kids of my generation were raised.

  81. hineata June 4, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    @Donna – fair enough. I was basically engaged in work avoidance when I made the comment (as I am again, LOL!). The only experience I have with truly crappy water was in areas where we couldn’t buy bottled stuff anyway- it was either unavailable or too expensive – so boiling was the only option. We did resort to bottled water in Johor Bahru once when some moron managed to destroy the water pipe running into the city. 1.9 million people dependent on one water pipe (two flow through the city to Singapore, which proceeds to treat all the water and sends one pipe back). Anyway that was fun, but almost broke our budget for that week.

    Speaking of which, this trike should also have a dispenser for Huggies Wet Wipes – now there’s something that really is darn useful. Three Huggies Wet Wipes will give an adult a decent clean down (sans hair) – two will serve a child. I can see a dispenser sitting between the handlebars…

  82. lollipoplover June 4, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    I was the youngest of 10 and my first trike was a Radio Flyer red one that had been used (and survived) all of my older siblings. I still have it.

    My kids also learned on the metal Radio Flyer and Big Wheels. There’s a difference between the child learning to pedal and turn and and adult doing it for them. I don’t understand the whole restraint here as kids get on an off the trikes all the time and this seems rather labor intensive. My toddlers had the attention span of gnats- they rode their trike, saw a pine cone, got off, got back on, had to pee, got back on, etc. And foot rests for…more resting and sedentary activity? Why bother if it’s not going to tire the kid out?

  83. Kristycat June 4, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    …wow, really?

    I have this for my daughter. (WEll, not the silly purple and pink one – hers is green with jungle animals!) She’s not even a year old yet; she couldn’t ride a real trike if you paid her in binkies. She loves it, so much more than a regular stroller, and it makes more sense too – she can only ride in a stroller for so long, but as she gets older and gains independence we can adjust this bike so she can ride it herself, and therefore she can enjoy it for years.

    It lets us explore the neighborhood together, and it will let me get a good idea of when she starts to want to control it herself, so i’ll know when to move to the next stage and “give her her head.”

    As for the safety features, the sun shade and the drink holder – look, first off the sun shade comes off as the kid gets bigger, but for a baby? No. A small baby does not need to be getting a sunburn. And the drink holder… ok, I don’t know where the rest of you are, but I live and grew up in Florida. Growing up, as I rode my bike all around town, I would have KILLED for the ability to have a water bottle holder on my bike!

    This is a cool toy. It’s not over-the-top on safety features, and a lot of the innovations are actually really useful. I just get tired of seeing stuff that’s actually not anti-free-range at all held up as an example of “coddling” kids.

  84. Emily June 4, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    1. Why all the hate between Warren and Natalie? Seriously, Warren–you say sarcastic things all the time, that aren’t meant to be taken seriously, but then when Natalie does it, you jump on her? Also, calling someone stupid on a public Internet forum crosses the line between expressing an opinion and being inflammatory–and yet, you did it multiple times. Do you really think that that makes you look smarter?

    2. Hineata has a good point about the need for a “transition toy” between a stroller and a tricycle–I mean, most people (myself included) didn’t need one, and yeah, I remember my parents telling me, on multiple occasions, that some things were meant for older kids–that I could ride a bike once I learned to balance, that I could go off the diving board/slide/Tarzan rope at the swimming pool once I’d learned to swim, and so on, and so forth.

    3. Rachel has a very good point about the sheer amount of STUFF associated with these tricked-out, convertible toys. When the sun shade, safety bars, push handle, and harness come off, they’ll have to be stored somewhere, to be used with the next sibling, or handed down to a friend with a younger child, or sold, donated, or Freecycled. However, by the time that happens, there’ll be safety recalls, or a new toy that has even more “safety features,” and of course, every other week, there’s an article about how secondhand car seats or whatever are dangerous, and GOOD parents buy everything new for each child. So, yeah, most likely, this toy is going to end up in the landfill after Child #1 outgrows it.

    4. Balance bikes are a good idea; however, the concept actually predates “traditional” pedal bicycles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dandy_horse

  85. Sara June 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    As others have said, this gadget is meant more for use as a stroller than as a tricycle. There’s nothing wrong with having a normal stroller of course or a normal tricycle (we have both) but there is definitely a phase when a kid is way too young to actually pedal a tricycle but may reject riding in a stroller–especially if they see an older sibling riding their bike around the neighborhood.

    We have a similar kind of pushable ride-in car (it comes with a seat belt but no drink holder or sunshade alas 😉 and both my kids have LOVED it for walks around the neighborhood. My one-year-old is happy sitting in it while his four year old sister plays with all her bikes, scooters, etc. So yeah, I can see how this toy might seem a bit silly, but I don’t see why free rangers should have a problem with it.

  86. bmj2k June 4, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    A five-point harness? A few years ago I took a ride in a two-seat open cockpit biplane. The whole plane could fit in a large room. The pilot did some basic maneuvers, no loop the loops, but enough to make me nervous. And my seatbelt? A lap belt that was not even as protective as an average cars. No shoulder harness, no special buckle, just a thin lap belt and a basic buckle.

    Does this really need a five point harness? No one wants a child to get hurt, but if they fall out, the odds are they will get a bruise or a lump. People need to remember that A- small things like that are a part of growing up and B- if a kid falls out and gets hurt, he or she was likely fooling around or being unsafe so falling down will be a lesson to them. But the odds of falling out are small anyway, since it has a safety bar, and I suspect that the product recommends wearing a helmet.

    Bottom line, society places kids in cocoons yet somehow expects them to grow, explore, and learn. HOW?

  87. Emily June 5, 2013 at 12:21 am #

    Another thing with the five-point harness–it may keep the child in the tricycle seat (except, not really, because numerous Amazon reviewers complained about the straps being too loose for their toddlers), but it won’t prevent the tricycle from tipping over. Unfortunately, these tricycles are said to tip over quite often in Stage 2, if the parent steers the handle one way, and the child tries to steer the handlebars the other way.

  88. Celeste June 5, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    Very useful, fun product for those of us with toddlers who live in urban areas with busy streets. The kid gets to pedal along his or her merry way; the parent gets to stroll; everyone’s out enjoying the fresh air and if whoever gets thirsty gets a sip of liquid. Good times…No biggie.

  89. Lissa June 5, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    This doesn’t bother me as badly as most of the things on here. The five point harness made me raise an eyebrow, but I did buy my daughter this for her birthday last year (she turned two): http://www.amazon.com/Radio-Flyer-Deluxe-Steer-Stroll/dp/B006LMZJY8/ref=pd_sim_sbs_misc_1

    It was only ten bucks more than a regular trike, and she is such a tiny wisp of a thing; I figured the handle would help introduce her to the bike until she was strong enough to actually propel herself. I was also tired of carrying her back from the park and she had long outgrown the stroller.

  90. Jenny Islander June 5, 2013 at 2:26 am #

    I see something like this quite often here, and the kid in the “driver’s seat” always has a great big grin, probably because getting to pretend-steer helps him feel active and capable. But the ones I see are wider and lower to the ground, probably because they aren’t convertible. Also, they have no sidebars or harnesses. I agree with the above poster: this model is tippy, and a five-point harness won’t help that. As for an attached sunshade, it’s just one more sticky-outy bit to get bent in storage. Put the kid in a hat.

    I see no problem with buying a used wide-bottomed ridey-ride (what a little kid I know calls his) and then giving it away and buying a sturdy used metal trike. This is the flying car of kiddie transportation: either it’s a tippy, narrow ridey-ride, or it’s a plastic trike.

  91. Andy June 5, 2013 at 3:25 am #

    @Taradlion The above flyer did not marketed stuff as needed for safety or to promote child development. I did not heard anybody market this that way. Sometimes it looks like free rangers are looking for reasons to be offended and assume helicoptering first.

    That kind of annoys me. There should be difference between “I do not need it or find useless” and “it is proof how ridiculous and crazy everybody become”.

  92. Andy June 5, 2013 at 3:28 am #

    @pentamom “But that means the kid needs a cupholder ON THE TRIKE, why?”

    The cupholder is on a place where kid can not reach. It is on handle – it is for parent. I did not heard anybody say that kid needs it within his own reach. I’m sure I did not said that.

    But yes, I tend to leave bottle on places where my kid can reach. That way I do not have to stop whatever I’m doing to give kid water. The kid takes it when it want it. Yes, I’m often lazy parent.

    Kid at the age where they are strapped into trike would not have to get out of seat anyway. Parent would hand him bottle no matter where it is stored, because getting out and in takes annoying time too. That would be like taking the kid out of stroller for drinking.

    Good designers try to put things on places where those things would be practical. We do not have to assume helicopter thinking behind every little act or helper. Things are on places not only because someone thought they upper case need to be there. They are there often because it look cool to somebody or because they might be practical.

  93. Natalie June 5, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    “Sometimes it looks like free-rangers are looking for reasons to be offended and assume helicoptering first”


    Well said Andy.

    This whole thread is a non-discussion.

  94. Natalie June 5, 2013 at 5:50 am #

    Warren- your comment about landfills was actually a good one, but not relevant since its not the point. You can just as easily use a reusable thermos or cup or whatever. A good 30 posts on this thread were dedicated to a cup holder on a product, which I found ridiculous, even though a lot of the comments were funny. You don’t need to take my comment personally as it wasn’t directed at you only, but at you and everyone else who thinks that people bringing along a drink is over-parenting. And even if my comment was directed at you personally, why can’t you laugh? It was supposed to be in jest. If you don’t find it funny, fine. So our sense of humors differ.

    Why can’t you handle disagreement? Or criticism?

    It’s how people learn things. That’s why I like comment threads. We’ve got a few experts in 19th century history, an expert in Aboriginal people, a lawyer, a psychologist, teachers of kids of all ages, people with varied childhood experiences that they draw from, people with 5 kids, people with no kids, people from Several continents all expressing their opinions. We’re not all going to agree, and we shouldn’t, that would be scary.

  95. NicoleK June 5, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    The side bars seem annoying as it makes it too hard for the kid to come in and out of. The cup feature sounds awesome, though.

  96. Taradlion June 5, 2013 at 8:00 am #


    “Sometimes it looks like free-rangers are looking for reasons to be offended and assume helicoptering first”

    Andy, you misunderstood. I am not offended by the trike, leashes, juice box holders, safety vests, stroller use, cup holders…any of it, if a parent finds it convienient or has circumstances where something makes a safety product useful. My point was that people become defensive if they like or use a products Lenore posts and often start defending their free range use of the product.

    As for the trike not being marketed for safety….
    “• 5-point seat belt harness and protective safety bar”
    It’s a tricycle.

    The “child development” part of the comment had more to to with other products, but was in part a reaction to the idea that kids NEED a product to transition from stroller to trike (and perhaps that really little toddlers, unable to use a tricycle safely yet, could use this sooner).

    As I said, if the trike works for you, great. Other safety products work for you, great. My issue with overuse of safety products which ultimately impede a child’s learning real skills or inhibits independence when they are ready and circumstances make it appropriate.

  97. Mark Swan June 5, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    The 5 point harness and side rails bug me, but Natashia makes a good point that it makes sense for kids who haven’t been sitting up long and this is used as a stroller.

    But I suspect there are parents out there strapping their 4 year olds in this harness. Then when they tip over they are stuck, possibly getting hurt worse.

    Are the side rails removable? If you remove those and the harness once they can actually pedal it I think it is a great toy. Seriously, the trunk can dump?! I love that!

    Having a cup holder is actually a nice way to encourage parents to take longer walks with their kids by having an easy spot for water.

    All the bells and whistles still attached is crazy for a 4 year old, but used as a stroller for an 18 month old make a lot of sense.

  98. Lola June 5, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    What they don’t tell you is that you must attend a 40hr course on how to install and uninstall all those accesories (also, keep in mind you’ll have to rent a big space to keep the ones your kid has outgrown).
    That’s why I’ll normally stick with the simpler stuff, though I guess it makes me a bad mum to value these things more than my children’s comfort and “safety” (they somehow manage to find new and exciting ways to attempt suicide, no matter how much I bubblewrap them).

  99. Brian June 5, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    We bought one of these at a garage sale. My problem with the cup holder is the placement. Because it is over my kid’s head he always comes home smelling of coffee. One solution might be to just install the sun shield.

  100. Yan Seiner June 5, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    @Andy, Natalie:

    Not really. I’m not looking “to be offended”; I think it’s stupid to have product after product competing in “early advancement” and “safety” while at the same time insuring that the parent can and does control the child and hinders development.

    On a regular trike, kid loses control, kid runs into curb, kid falls off. Kid learns to be more careful next time. Kid goes too far and gets tired, kid still has to get home. Kid learns to persevere and persist. My kids started off by jumping off the bike when it got going too fast. Bad idea, but they caught on after a few scrapes. Now they race triathlons.

    This contraption fails on both the “advancement” and “safety”. One, kid will never really learn unless the parent relinquishes control of the handle, which they won’t, because they don’t want kid hurt. And if kid gets tired, parent will then take over and “help” him.

    On the 5 point harness – if a kid is not old enough to sit up and hold his head up, kid should not be sitting up. Period. End of story. Strapping a kid up when he can’t do it himself is just silly. And if a kid can sit up, then she does not need a 5 point harness. How fast does the parent intend to go, anyway?

    Get a simple stroller (we used a baby jogger) and a trike/bike with training wheels. If your kid can’t sit up on the bike, then they should not be on the bike.

    The biggest issue I have with these kinds of toys is that they are disposable, and fill up our landfills, and are made to be replaced next year with the “better, safer, improved” model. And if a part breaks the whole thing gets tossed since replacement parts are not available. The whole idea of “grows with your child” is a joke with most of these contraptions; the thing will break long before your child will grow.

    Our inexpensive baby jogger has now raised at least 4 kids over 15 years. Ditto for the bike trailer. Not sure where the training wheel bike is, but I know it it’s raised at least 4 kids as well.

    None had a 5 point harness or a water bottle holder, although the bike trailer did have lap belts.

  101. JamieC0403 June 5, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    I have a similar trike for my two year old. He really, really wanted a bike, but was too little for most of them. His is nice because he can peddle when he wants but on longer trips I can take over pushing him. He frequently tries to escape the stroller when we go for walks, but the trike is just more fun for him.

  102. pentamom June 5, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Andy, you make good points. I keep overlooking the fact that the kid is strapped in. I guess. I just have trouble wrapping my mind around a kid strapped into a tricycle, making it so inconvenient for a child to stop pedaling and jump up and get a drink when he wants. I still have it in my mind that a kid can jump in and out, get a drink when he wants, take a break when he wants…that everything does not need to be made so that the parent “doesn’t have to” do stuff that wouldn’t really require a parent “doing” anything in the first place — if the kid didn’t have to be strapped into stuff all the time.

    I guess I’m still stuck in my own childhood of the late 60s and 70s and my young-child-rearing years of mostly the 90s, when people did not equip their kids for outings in the park as though they were moon landings, and the structure of “equipment” didn’t almost force them to.

  103. pentamom June 5, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Yan pretty much expressed my thoughts on this, as well.

  104. Christine Hancock June 5, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    I’d say it’s a stroller, not a trike. I have a good idea. If you have children that do not suffer from developmental delays, don’t bother with the “transition” from stroller to trike. Just get them a trike or have them walk.

    At age two, I put my kids’ strollers away and had them start walking. They loved it. I never got them trikes. I gave them bikes with training wheels. My two oldest are five and three years old, they both got their first bikes this spring and I anticipate the training wheels will come off the five year old’s bike this summer.

  105. Dave June 5, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    This started out as a first tricycle. The idea was to let the kid learn to get around on their own. I never understood the handle for the parent. Either the kid peddles him/her self or walks. Why do they need to be pushed everywhere. I couldn’t wait until my children could get around without my help. I can’t even begin to speak about the safety issues. If you fall off a big wheel how bad can it be? What are you three inches off the ground. Its about as dangerous as falling over while sitting on the floor.

  106. Amanda Matthews June 5, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    “I use this with my son during his physical therapy.”

    So here is another example of something that is for special needs children, which is being used instead for children that don’t need it… and slowly turning them INTO special needs children.


    “Does anyone make fun of the fact that “regular” strollers have straps that either are or are not used, a cover that can shade the babies’ little heads, or a place where you can put a cup? Do we also ridicule the babies who ride in other strollers as “getting fatter and fatter with inactivity”?”

    Ridicule? No. But I do often say it’s a shame that people constantly put their babies/toddlers in plastic contraptions instead of actually touching and interacting with them.

    Use a sling if they’re too young to walk, and let them out when you get where you’re going- they’ll walk faster if they aren’t constantly in plastic contraptions. Then once they can walk, have them walk. If they want to ride a trike, instead of getting a glorified stroller, let them ride an actual trike. Will they assert their independence/control over their own body by sometimes not going the exact way you want them to go? Sure, but that’s really something you have to deal with and learn to accept – you CAN’T completely control them, and they need to learn to make wise choices about themselves. It’s much better to deal with this while they are young than when they are a teenager…

    This looks like the kid is going to “transition” into the motorized carts at stores, because walking for a prolonged period is too difficult – because they never did it. Of course, it’s completely possible that this is the only plastic contraption the parents will ever buy, this device will be used sparingly, and the kid will get lots of exercise aside from it – but how often does that actually happen? Usually this is not the first nor the last unnecessary contraption people buy, not the first nor the last time parents want more control than they should have…

  107. Natalie June 5, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    @Yan –
    I’m absolutely with you on consumerism, disposability, land fills, and the staggering amount of crap the western world produces. I always check garage sales, craigs list and freecycle before buying something new (if at all) because that’s something I care about, but it has nothing to do with being free range.

    Babies and toddlers could use this trike (or not) and become triatheletes like your awesome kids (triatheletes have enormous amounts of devotion) regardless. i just don’t see this as a free range issue. It’s a people issue. People have money, they spend it on stuff they want for various reasons. Maybe not justifiable to you but justifiable to them.

    I see a company looking at the market and seeing where they can make money. People buy strollers, people buy trikes. Why not combine them into a… Trikaroller? Except I’m not in marketing and that’s a lousy name.

    What bothers me about this blog entry and a few others, is that it’s another reason for people to nitpick. Instead of obsessing over children and their activities in a way which leans towards helicoptering, we’re obsessing over children and their activities to make it free range, and we all define free range differently.

    Are we going to have periodic assessments of products and whether or not they mesh with the free range philosophy? Are we going to criticize each other and make others justify the use of strollers and the bringing of drinks? As if its a competition to who’s more free range. It’s not just this blog post, there are quite a few others. And that’s when things start getting petty.

    I’m not going to qualify my use of water bottles by the heat, how far I expect to be from the house, whether I’m out for 5 minutes or 500, whether I’m going around the block or across town. As if there was some line which separated obsessive helicoptering with what I’m starting to realize is obsessive free ranging. And that’s just one example of some of the over-analysis that goes on.

    Who cares? This product is not a microcosm of a helicoptering over-protective culture, but that’s how the blog is written. There’s enough busy bodies in our neighborhoods telling us how to raise our children. We don’t need busy bodies here too.

    Live and let live.

  108. Warren June 5, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    You want to disagree, that’s great, you want to dramatize and mock, suck it up, that is different.
    I really do not care how much water you or anyone else drinks. My point was about marketing and views of the public in general. On how god forbid they go anywhere without fluids. A point obviosly missed by you entirely.

    As for transitional equipment such as the one here, that everone needs to remember, any piece of equipment meant to be multi functional, never fully meets the needs of one form of use. There is always compromises made for for another use.

    People want to buy one item that does 10 things, instead of individual items meant for specific purposes.

    Ask any mechanic worth their salt, no multifunctional tool is worth the material it is made from. The right piece of equipment for the right task.

  109. Emily June 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    >>Ask any mechanic worth their salt, no multifunctional tool is worth the material it is made from. The right piece of equipment for the right task.<<

    That may be true, but it doesn't prevent multifunctional items from becoming incredibly popular. For example, just look at how popular smartphones have become. People love having cell phones that are also MP3 players, handheld game consoles, cameras, camcorders, and mobile Internet devices.

  110. Natalie June 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    Stones and glass houses Warren.

    Disagreement is a good thing and you don’t need to get upset over it.

  111. pentamom June 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    “But I do often say it’s a shame that people constantly put their babies/toddlers in plastic contraptions instead of actually touching and interacting with them. ”

    That’s a bit of a false choice. That I put my kids in strollers to go on expeditions that involved a long period of a lot of walking (e.g. the zoo) does not mean I did not “touch and interact with them” on a regular basis, on ordinary occasions.

    I’ve never been strong enough to carry a child around all day long (not that I have any particular disability, I’m just not a terribly strong person) and I prefer not to have my toddlers running loose where they get in other people’s way or need to be constantly chased down, not to mention get very tired on a trip long enough to be interesting to the older kids.

    But I guess those practical ways of addressing situations mean I’m lazy and don’t want to train my kids or interact with them, not merely that I train my kids an interact with them at times and places where it is more feasible to do so.

  112. JJ June 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    “But I do often say it’s a shame that people constantly put their babies/toddlers in plastic contraptions instead of actually touching and interacting with them. ”

    Holy sanctimommy.

    Can we agree that because some other people do things slightly different than we do it doesn’t make them bad parents? That there is more than one good way of doing things? That whether you carry your baby a sling or push him in a stroller, even a plastic one, that is really a minor detail in a child’s overall experience? Sometimes a plastic pushing contraption is just a plastic pushing contraption.

  113. Natalie June 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    No, no.
    It’s: holy sanctimommy batman!

  114. Natalie June 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Also, Emily, Swiss Army knives.

    There’s a big push in R&D for multi-functional materials.

  115. Emily June 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    That’s it……I’m going to skip having kids, and just get a puppy instead; preferably from a place that doesn’t background-check everyone within an inch of their lives.

  116. Rachel June 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    I just really wish kid stuff was not so disposable. Most stuff that transitions, from cribs to roller skates, is not made from sturdy enough stuff to last the expected life of the item, and most of it is neither compostable, nor recyclable.

    It’s a complaint that is applicable to almost all modern products, but it’s so much more glaring with kid stuff, because there is just so very much of it.

    I can imagine a construction based on the Radio Flyer trikes of my childhood that could be handed down all around the neighborhood for 20 years, but this thing is going to be a collection of scattered parts (for most people) within two or three years.

  117. Warren June 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Yes Emily, but popular does not mean they are useful, quality or anything other than new.
    Even the phone industry is finding out that there is a large part of the market that does not want smart phones. Because with all the new and wonderful gadgets, they are no longer durable or reliable for alot of businesses.

    As for Swiss Army knives, great little tool for what? It proves my point, does alot of things poorly, and not one thing well. Thanks Natalie.

  118. Emily June 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    @Warren–I know that just because something is popular doesn’t make it good, but that’s beside the point. As long as smartphones, Smart Trikes, video baby monitors, bathtub temperature ducks, babies’ pajamas that monitor the child’s vitals while they sleep, and countless other unnecessary “safety” products are popular, people will buy them, and the companies will keep making them. That’s why we need people like Lenore, and her Free Range movement–it’s a breath of fresh common sense.

  119. Donna June 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    I don’t think anyone here is “offended” by this product. Many of us, including Lenore, are mocking this product and the society that created a demand for it. Nothing more. None of us are going to run out and protest its existence to the company. None of us are looking to revoke free range cards for people who use this product (can we actually get free range cards).

    Some here take themselves way too seriously. Push trikes with safety features akin to nascar cars are entertaining to comment about on a lazy summer morning, not something that anyone is offended by. Smartass comments about cupholders are meant as social commentary and should not be something that you feel that you have to defend yourself against. I take water everywhere with me and love a good cupholder but I can still find humor in the fact that a trike has a cupholder.

  120. Emily June 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    P.S., Warren, I thought you had a Swiss Army knife, and liked it. Actually, anyone on this board could have mentioned Swiss Army knives, and you probably wouldn’t have snarked at them like you did at Natalie. Can we please all be adults here?

  121. Michele June 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Oy Vey. I laugh frequently because everywhere you go, people/adults are constantly clutching a water bottle, grande coffee or other drink as if it was their last dying breath. You can’t walk into a meeting at work, stroll down the street, take a quick jog or do grocery shopping without folks glued to their dag gum bottles. Adult sized baby bottles. Now we teach our kids the same thing. This trike is comical. Pathetic.

  122. Beth June 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    “But I do often say it’s a shame that people constantly put their babies/toddlers in plastic contraptions instead of actually touching and interacting with them.”

    Holy sanctimommy!

    When my youngest was 3, we took a family trip to Washington DC. Anyone who’s been there knows that seeing the sights of DC requires a lot of walking, and at the last minute I threw a borrowed umbrella stroller in the van. (Oh no, a GAS GUZZLER! And all that plastic, and fabric!)

    Smartest thing I ever did. Sure he could walk, AND DID, (no I wasn’t about to wear him so that we could touch, and interact) but there were times when he was tired or we had a lot of ground to cover, and the stroller was a perfect solution. I didn’t keep him tied in it all day every day; in fact, I’m pretty sure I didn’t even use the attached ‘seatbelt’.

    Maybe, Amanda Mathews, you could try to understand that very few parents are trying to avoid their children. You feel free to take a 3-year-old to Washington DC and touch and interact all day long; for me, that wasn’t the right decision.

  123. Tsu Dho Nimh June 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    That reminds me of the “Cowboy with OSHA Gear” cartoon.


  124. Warren June 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    No Emily, I carry a lock knife with 5 inch blade. A Swiss Army Knife is useless in my line of work. The blade it too weak and does not lock. Also the ones with a long enough blade, are to bulky for the back pocket.

  125. SKL June 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    At least when my kids were little, the cost of that kind of contraption (they did exist) was far, far, far more than the cost of an umbrella stroller plus a traditional trike. I mean, it’s a cute idea, but I doubt it adds actual value. Besides, once a kid gets old enough to really zoom around on a trike (in front of other kids), he’s not going to want something that looks like a baby product.

    I do see people pushing their babies in these contraptions in my neighborhood, at times. Whatever floats your boat. Personally I have a really hard time spending that kind of money for something that’s going to become obsolete in no time.

  126. bmommyx2 June 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    I don’t have one & probably wouldn’t get one, but each kid is different & has different likes & needs. The only thing I will say in it’s defense is if you wanted to you could use in in place of a stroller & then you might want those things. If you have a child who will not stay on & is a runner like mine the straps might be nice & give you peace of mind & keep little johnny from darting out in the street. That said I think it’s a bit overkill. My son is such a wiggle worm that he can get out of the shoulder straps on both his highchair & stroller

  127. Let_Her_Eat_Dirt June 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    Is this for real?

    These kind of things only make it harder for a kid to learn how to ride a bike. Throw that ridiculous tricycle away, get the kid a balance bike, and give her some space!

    Let Her Eat Dirt
    A dad’s take on raising tough, adventurous girls

  128. Natalie June 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Really? Really? Are you trying to tell me that swiss army knives and smart phones are not useful? Not good products? Are we REALLY having this discussion? I know I said you can’t handle disagreement without flying off the handle, but you don’t need to argue just for the sake of arguing. You should have been a lawyer, not a tire mechanic. Ask Donna about a career change.

    Think about it. The best way to see if a multi-functional product is worth it, is to see if it holds up over time against the individual objects it incorporates. If sales are good and stay good, or increase, and sales decrease of the individual products, you’ve got a winner. If its a truly great product, it may make one or more of the objects that are incorporated obsolete. Does it mean it’s great for everyone? No.

    The product doesn’t have to be great at any particular function or surpass one of the individual products its replacing in performance, you’re missing the point. They have to be good enough for the need they are meeting. The convenience, or money saved in only buying one product as opposed to several, has to be worth it in what you sacrifice in quality or performance in buying several specialty objects.

    Swiss Army knives are great for camping trips, or just keeping in your pocket. They’re really convenient and oh boy are they useful, which is why they’ve been around for longer than anyone still alive. Do they cut better than one of those fancy Japanese kitchen knives? No, but they cut. And I’m not about to bring a fancy Japanese kitchen knife or hack saw with me on a camping trip. And do they cut my nails as well as nail clippers? Well, yes. Yes, they do. Do they open beer bottles and uncork wine bottles as well as… Oh, yeah. That too. And does it open cans as easily as one of those fancy electric can openers? No, but I have yet to meet a can my swiss army knife couldn’t open. And how well does it function as a screwdriver? Well, it depends on what you’re screwing or unscrewing. But few people walk around with a craftsman toolbox equipped with 4 different sizes of a Philipshead and 6 different sizes of a flat head. Many people (at least I do) walk around with a Swiss Army knife. It has other doohickeys that have been useful for prying things open, scraping things off, getting things unjammed, etc. Do you get the point? No, they don’t always function as well as single function products, nobody was making that claim, only you, but they provide other services/conveniences that the single-function product doesn’t.

    Even an adjustable wrench. A wrench with one size on either end works better than an adjustable wrench. But even though the adjusting mechanism gets stuck sometimes and sometimes the wrench loosens and slips over the fitting and dulls the edges, I still use the adjustable wrench. Why? Because I only need about 3, whereas I’d need at least a dozen or more of the kind with only two sizes and of course the size you need is the size that you can NEVER FIND. And so, adjustable it is.

    Smart phones. Not useful? Large part of the market doesn’t want them? If 100% of Earth does not want to buy a smart phone that does not mean it’s not a good product, or useful. I guess these billion dollar patent lawsuits that Apple and Samsung keep filing against each other is for some kind of niche product that no one wants, eh? Can a smartphone camera take as good a picture as one of those cameras that have a lens attachments 5 feet long? No. But you also don’t need a separate bag for all those extra attachments and UV filters. A smartphone can survive being dropped, a fancy camera? Not so much. Does a smartphone play music as well as a record player (I’ve been told by my audiophile husband that records have better sound than digitized music – i cant tell the difference) and receiver equipped with speakers the size of a closet? Nope. But I can’t take an entire stereo system with me.

    And there’s no more, “Wait honey while I get the camera!” The kids have already hammed it up, pictures and videos have been taken, emailed to relatives and posted to Facebook before the other half of this smartphone free couple has made it back outside with the camera.

    Not to mention the advent of apps. A subject so broad I’d rather not start.

    That’s not to say that people need to get smartphones, or that they should. Are you anti-smartphone? More power to you. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good, multi-functional product.

    But really this whole ridiculous multi-functional discussion stems from the even more ridiculous discussion of a trikaroller (I decided I like my name for it). Is it as good as a stroller? (Depends on the stroller) Is it as good as a trike? (Depends on the trike) Or is it just another option in the average parent’s arsenal of kid crap? (I’m going to guess the latter) But how do we really know if its a good multi-functional product? We’ll have to wait and see what the market says.

    Companies make crap for kids because parents buy it. Babies and toddlers really don’t need that much. Tupperware, random objects around the house, paper cups, spoons to bang with, oranges to roll across the floor, cabinets to open and close, sticks, leaves, rocks, dirt. If it’s there, they will play with it (mess with it, break it). I have never seen a bored 2 1/2 yr old. And how many people buy baby and toddler toys? Not because they need to, but because they want to. And if they want to, companies will make those products, we’re not arguing about consumerism, we agree on that, I’m just preaching to the choir at this point.

    Are we done now? Or do you have something else to get off your chest?

  129. Natalie June 5, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Hi Donna, some choice comments made me snarf my coffee. If I wasn’t trying to troubleshoot a broken instrument the same day this post went up, I might not have said anything since it’s really a non-discussion. Maybe I would have added my own snark:

    Some assembly required, assembly may require advanced degree.
    Landfill not included.

    Maybe not as funny as Pentamom’s drinking and driving comment, she gets the prize.

    But I like pointing out irony. The irony being that free rangers oppose judgemental busy bodies telling us how to raise our kids, and parents obsessing over details of their childs life, activities and toys. And then free rangers do the same. Just like any other parenting blog in the history of forever. I shouldn’t be surprised, but that won’t stop me from making note of it.

  130. Warren June 5, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    Sorry Natalie you are right. Swiss Army knives are fantastic for women that cannot handle real knives or tools. So you keep yours and good luck.
    You let the men folk handle the real knives and tools.

  131. Warren June 5, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    Sorry ladies and gentlemen, ever since Natalie labelled me a sexist, she has had a stick up her ass for me.

  132. Emily June 6, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    >>Sorry ladies and gentlemen, ever since Natalie labelled me a sexist, she has had a stick up her ass for me.<>Sorry Natalie you are right. Swiss Army knives are fantastic for women that cannot handle real knives or tools. So you keep yours and good luck.
    You let the men folk handle the real knives and tools.<<

    Warren, this comment really isn't helping your case on the "sexism" front.

  133. SKL June 6, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    This reminds me of the time I let a dumbass grad student (friend’s nephew) “watch” my kids for a few minutes (they were 2 or 3). He “watched” them ride their trikes from our nice flat patio to our steeply sloping driveway. Then acted surprised that they both accelerated uncontrollably, toward the road, until they crashed. (They were OK.) This is what comes of kids being brought up with no real responsibility for self or others (the nephew, I mean). Can’t think past their nose. (And no, he’s not an up-and-coming free-ranger. This is the same guy who refused to allow my kids to take themselves to the restroom in a restaurant, though I insisted it was OK.)

  134. socalledauthor June 6, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    When I was younger, if I complained that my legs were SOOO TIRED, my parents told me, “You’re legs aren’t broken. Let’s go.” So, I continue the grand tradition in my family of teaching my kid to suck it up, buttercup. I won’t use a parent push handle– if he’s not ready to ride by himself, he’s not ready. He can try again. (He’s still working on his balance bike, which will take some time I’m sure, as he’s not very coordinated at all.)

    I find the whole harness-and-side-bars thing so curious. Then again, I only used the waist belt on my son’s stroller, before cutting him off on stroller rides between a year and eighteen months (though the stroller is rated for FIFTY POUNDS). His legs are not broken– when playing he runs, runs, runs, jumps, runs, jumps far, far longer than any walk we would take him on! So, he can keep going.

  135. Warren June 6, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    It was sarcasm directed at Natalie, for the express purpose of showing how moronic she is being about the whole thing.

    Like any extremist she loves to twist words and context to try and further her weak points. Examples below.
    1. Never said Swiss Army knives were useless for everyone, just in my line of work. Natalie twisted it to mean useless overall.
    2. Never said smartphones were useless. Said there is a large part of the market that does not want a smart phone. For example, businesses that supply phones to drivers, also alot of the older population just want a simple phone. Yet Natalie twisted that as well.

    Either Natalie is in need of reading comprehension tutoring, or she reads well and is just an emotionally unstabe chick. Either way, I do not give a rat’s ass what she thinks of me. You know me “I don’t give a damn, what other people think. What do ya think about that?”

  136. gap.runner June 6, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    Oh dear Lord, what will they think of next? I didn’t have time to wade through all of the comments, so I hope I’m not repeating too much of what was already said.

    I can see something like this for kids with special needs who may not be able to pedal a tricycle on their own or for an extended time. But the trend for kids without special needs seems to be balance bikes and then graduating to a regular 2-wheeler without the step of riding a tricycle.

    It seems like a lot of products that are designed for kids with special needs are now being marketed for non-disabled kids. I remember the backpack for kids up to 60 pounds. That is another product that seems to be something for the special needs community that is marketed to families with kids without special needs.

  137. Natalie June 6, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    No Warren, you claimed that multi-functional products are not worth the materials they’re made of, and that single-function products are always better. If you speak in absolutes it’s easy to shoot down.

    Your response was name calling.

  138. Emily June 6, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Warren, it’s fine not to care what people think, but if you really feel that way, there’s no need to constantly insult that person. You just claimed not to care what Natalie thought, but then insulted her reading comprehension and her mental health in one post. That tells me that, on some level, you do care, because you have some strange desire to “win” the argument that’s been going on between the two of you since you met. Actually, about the Swiss Army knife debate, part of that was my fault, because I got your flip knife confused with a Swiss Army knife. The only person I know who carries a pocket knife on a regular basis, is (I think) my steel band teacher.

  139. Warren June 6, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    No I do not care, I just like playing with her little mind, once in awhile. She makes it so easy, because she wants to do things like argue on the quality of tools, with someone who depends on their tools daily to make a living. And nothing was your fault, she was the one that took my statement and went on to write an overthetop novel length response. Ever since she labelled me a sexist, Natalie has been trying to best me, or knock me down a peg ever since. Really she has no chance of either.

    I am done debating you on the quality of tools. I would prefer to do that with a person that has some actual knowledge of what tools are.

  140. SKL June 6, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Remember when our parents used to say, “you have young legs, go fetch xyz”? Now some seem to believe that young legs are a disability.

  141. Donna June 6, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    @Natalie – I don’t view commenting on something I think stupid as “obsessing over it.” I particularly don’t view snark as obsessing over anything. Nor being judgmental. Snark is just fun. It appears that “judgmental” and “obsess” are simply synonymous with “have an opinion about” particularly if that opinion differs from yours.

    There are certainly a few judgmental people here. There are certainly people who obsess over every little thing here. But it is not the trust of the blog and they are often smacked down for it like several did over the comment that using this toy means that you are not interacting with your children. THAT was judgmental and several pointed it out.

  142. Papilio June 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    @Tsu Dho Nimh: WHAT IF he falls into a lake? :))

  143. Amanda Matthews June 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    If not wanting to constantly put my kids in plastic contraptions makes me a sanctimommy, then I guess a sanctimommy is not a bad thing.

    I didn’t say it was bad or wrong; just that I think it is a shame. Of course, everyone else is free to only interact with their kids when it is convenient; I’m free to think that is a shame.

  144. JJ June 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    “I didn’t say it was bad or wrong; just that I think it is a shame”

    Um, what???

  145. Beth June 6, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    @Amanda, I wrote a little story above about a time when it was necessary for me to use a stroller. I would like a direct response from you describing how that was “a shame”, and how the fact of using that stroller means I only interact with my kids when it’s convenient (given that you know nothing else about me).


  146. SKL June 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    I am reminded of a friend’s daughter who, age 5, told me that she was using the neighborhood training bike (13″ two wheeler) to learn how to ride, but her mom had to hold the handle behind, because the bike was designed with no brakes! This girl is huge for her age, and I can’t imagine that she could successfully learn on a 13″ bike, but her parents don’t let her take any age-appropriate risks. (I do think the idea of a neighborhood sharing a lil bike is awesome! But if your kid’s turn doesn’t come until she’s as big as a third-grader, maybe go buy her something appropriately sized in the mean time?)

  147. Natalie June 7, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Donna –

    First, it’s not the snark. Kid crap is landfill fodder regardless.

    I don’t have an opinion about whether this product represents the free-range philosophy or helicopter, uber-safety philosophy. It does neither. The parents do.

    I have no idea where I fall on the scale of water bringing or trike riding or stroller pushing because I haven’t dedicated much thought to it. I have no overall philosophy on any of those things. I don’t think to myself at all about what is best for my kids before buying a trike or stroller or combination thereof because I don’t believe that a product or lack thereof determines who my daughters will be. I take what’s handed down to me pretty much.

    Which is my point. Way too much discussion about things that really don’t matter. If someone wants to make sure their kid is hydrated for fear of dehydration, fine. If they want to prepare their kid for a post-Apocalyptic future in which water costs more than gold, great. People want to use strollers? Slings? Encourge their kids to walk a mile? Awesome.

    But why be judgemental? Because we’re people and people are judgemental. It’s just hypocritical to go around shouting “Don’t judge me for being free range!” and then doing the same because someone does something different. But again, people are hypocritical. I’m just pointing it out, you don’t have to agree.

    As for being obsessive? Not any single person, no, but the overall tone of the site is. But again, it’s a parenting blog. That’s pretty much the par.

  148. Natalie June 7, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    Emily –
    Thanks, I appreciate you trying to explain things. I don’t think it will do much good.

    Warren –
    We’re not debating. A debate is when someone presents a talking point, and the other explains why they disagree and they present counter talking points. I’ve presented you with talking points, you respond with:

    1) You’re stupid, off the wall, moronic, female.
    2) You need a reality check. A mental check. An intelligence check. A reading comprehension check.
    3) Get some therapy, life skillz, reading skillz, experience.
    3) Shut up, suck it up, shut your yap, f*** off, etc, etc, etc.

    For whatever reason, you can’t handle extended disagreement. Not just with me, but with anyone. Some of threads in the past between you are others are like a reality tv show. It’s a shame. If you could put your antagonism to the side, others could learn from you, and you could learn from others.

  149. SKL June 7, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    So I have been wondering just what it is about this product that rubs me the wrong way. I think I got it. It’s the fact that this really goes into the category of “if you buy this baby product, your baby will ___ before all the others and that’s more than worth the extra money and hassle!”

    That’s not really a free-range issue; in fact, some of the things we free-rangers say are similar.

    To me, a trike is a kid thing. A little rite of passage for the child to join his peers in puttering around while getting some exercise. A stroller is an adult thing – a convenience (nothing wrong with that!) or a necessity to allow the adults to do their parenting thing. The idea of combining the two seems weird to me. Of course, we do this with other stuff. Pull-ups come to mind. It’s convenient that you don’t have to lay your tot down to change a diaper, yet the idea of calling it “big kid underwear” when it’s designed to be peed in is frankly stupid. And this is probably the biggest reason why it’s now considered unusual for a young 2yo to go about in actual cloth underwear, though this used to be the norm. Now you put a mom push handle on a trike, and the kid is going to decide “if” he wants to pedal or be pushed. Let’ get real. Most kids are going to take longer to do “big-kid things” consistently, as long as they can fall back on mommy’s help whenever they want to. And for those kids who have an independent “I do myself” streak, the last thing they need is a training trike, LOL.

    As for kids who hate being in a stroller, so they need an expensive and fancy pretend trike to keep them happy, I don’t know what to say about that. Sounds like an issue that is going to have to be dealt with sooner or later. I don’t let my kids decide *whether* they are going to sit where I need them to sit. In the “old days,” those whose kids needed something to distract from the awfulness of not having their own way would attach toys to the stroller or discipline their kids, whichever seemed appropriate. Seems to me that the novelty of being on a pretend trike would wear off pretty soon after the child notices he’s actually not in control. And the straps and bars etc. would tick him off as much as any stroller. But what do I know?

  150. Natalie June 7, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    Can I just shake your hand SKL? I’m glad you understood what I was I trying to say. Or maybe you didn’t bother to read my bible-length posts, but it’s nice to see someone stepping back and seeing the forest.

  151. pentamom June 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    “Of course, everyone else is free to only interact with their kids when it is convenient; I’m free to think that is a shame.”

    And you’re free to put the most sanctimonious spin possible on other people’s words, not that that’s bad or wrong, it’s just a shame.

  152. SKL June 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    LOL, Pentamom.

    I guess we’ll never know whether the world would be a better place – or a worse place – if moms never ceased to carry, caress, and interact face-to-face with each of their precious darlings. Personally I would have been aching for a bit of alone time, but that’s probably just me. :)

  153. SKL June 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    In my last post, I meant that as a baby/child, I would have been aching for a bit of alone time if I had a “selfless” mom like that. Blah.

  154. Cynthia June 8, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    We bought a trike like this (albeit without the harness and sun cover) for our youngest because it allowed us to go on our 3km evening stroll while our little ones ‘rode’ their bikes. The push handle was useful when my 3yo got tired pedaling on his own or decided he wanted to walk along the way. Although, I’m not sure if this particular brand would’ve been much use to us as the push handle looks too short for even me (5’4″) to use without stooping down. The back trailer was also nice for all the rocks and flowers (usually dandelions) that the kids would collect along the way.

    I agree that this particular model is a bit over the top but also feel you can be free-range and still take advantage of some of the features of a trike like this one.

  155. Warren June 8, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    When you overdramatize your points, and write Old Testament length posts to try and make your point you lose credibility.

    You venture into areas of discussion, such as tools, with little or no knowledge, and expect people to listen. For example an adjustable wrench is not a multi functional tool. It is a wrench, it does not double as a knife, a screwdriver or a saw. It is a wrench that has size matching capabilities. And if you know what you are doing you will never round off the points on the nut or fitting. Adjustable wrenches are not to be used on soft metals. Personally I have 12, six in the shop box and six in my service truck.

    I have to back track slightly. There is one multi function tool that is absolutely incredible, and that is Vise Grips. Not only are they great locking toothed pliers, but they are great quick clamps as well.

    As for your prized swiss army knife, go ahead. You go camping with that, and enjoy. I will bring my knives, saw, axe, and tool box. Yes my equipment is bulky and heavy by comparison. Then again, my camping experience will be that much more enjoyable, because I will not have to struggle to do any tasks.

  156. Cynthia June 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Wow. I just read through some of the comments and am shocked by how quickly it moved away from promoting free-range parenting (which I’m beginning to think has different and wide-ranging meanings for many people) and degenerated to antagonistic remarks about one’s personal choices and experiences unrelated to the free-range philosophy.

    As I see it, whether or not someone owns this product or a similar one or a baby-sling does not define his/her parenting philosophy. (Nor does wanting to take a drink bottle with you on your short, long or very long walks with your toddler, for that matter.) Product choice is too much a reflection of one’s socio-economic status, financial status, education, geography, age, physical ability, etc for it to have any relevant meaning to a discussion on how raise independent kids. A product post will almost always become a battle between the have-got-it and the wouldn’t-think-of-buying-it which does nothing but put passionate free-range parents against other passionate free-range parents in a never-ending debate about …. Swiss Army Knives … Huh?! …. What was the point of this article again?


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