Riding High: Taking Your 9-Month-Old on Their First Mountain Bike Adventure - dAdventure

Riding High: Taking Your 9-Month-Old on Their First Mountain Bike Adventure

Introducing your child to the great outdoors at an early age is a wonderful way to foster a lifelong love for adventure and nature. For parents who are avid mountain bikers, the idea of taking your 9-month-old on their first mountain bike ride might sound daunting, but with careful planning and the right precautions, it can be a rewarding and memorable experience. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the steps to ensure a safe and enjoyable mountain biking adventure with your little one, and talk about some things we learned on our first ride with Lachlan! 

Safety First

Before embarking on your mountain bike journey with your 9-month-old, it's crucial to prioritize safety. Here are some essential safety measures to consider:

  1. Check Your Gear: Ensure your mountain bike is in excellent condition, with properly functioning brakes and tires. Wearing a well-fitted helmet is non-negotiable for both you and your child. Your bebe also needs to have full control of their head, so make sure they are old enough and strong enough before you go on your first ride together. 

  2. Child Carrier Selection: Invest in a reliable child bike carrier designed for infants. It should provide proper head and neck support, secure harnesses, and a comfortable seat. Popular choices include rear-mounted and front-mounted carriers, each with its advantages. For our 9-month old, we chose the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini. It's a front-mounted seat that can fit a child 9 months+. Note that you want the Nexxt version not simply the Mini if you have a real mtb, the Mini will be at the same angle as your head tube and doesn't leave room for your knees when pedaling or your chest (baby's head will be in your chest haha).

  3. Bike Handling Skills: Make sure you are confident in your mountain biking skills, as riding on rough terrain can be challenging even without a child onboard.

  4. Practice at Home: Familiarize your baby with the child carrier by taking short rides around your neighborhood or local park. This will help them get used to the experience. I'd start with just installing the bike seat first and riding without the baby so you get used to it before adding weight (baby). You also lose some steering range with the front-mounted seat so be prepared for that and don't plan on making tight turns. 

  5. Weather Conditions: Pay attention to the weather forecast and choose a day with mild temperatures. Avoid extreme heat, cold, or wet conditions.

Choosing the Right Trail

Selecting an appropriate trail is key to a successful mountain biking adventure with your 9-month-old. Here are some considerations:

  1. Easy Terrain: Opt for well-maintained, beginner-friendly trails with minimal technical challenges and moderate elevation gain. Smooth paths and wide trails are ideal. We started out on some fire roads instead of single track and we're glad we did! 

  2. Avoid Crowds: Try to pick a time when the trail is less crowded to minimize the risk of accidents and to create a more peaceful atmosphere for your baby. It's going to take some getting-used-to, you don't want to have to stop quickly and pull over if you don't have to so get wwaaaaayyyyy outside and away from crowded trails while you get the hang of it! 

  3. Trail Duration: Keep the ride short and sweet. One to two hours is usually a good duration for a first-time adventure. We went 2 miles on our first ride because baby fell asleep, and then loses head control, so we had to wake him up and keep him awake while we turned around back to our campsite. On day 2, we went right after a nap and he stayed awake for 5.5 miles and had a great time! 

Packing Essentials

Don't forget to pack the essentials for both you and your baby:

  1. Baby Essentials: Bring baby wipes, diapers, extra clothes, sun protection, and any comfort items your child may need, like a favorite toy or blanket.

  2. Snacks and Feeding: Ensure you have enough snacks and milk/formula for your baby, as well as a way to feed them comfortably during breaks.

  3. First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first-aid kit with items like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary medications for both you and your baby.

On the Trail

Once you've prepared and are on the trail, here are some tips to ensure a smooth ride:

  1. Frequent Breaks: Take regular breaks to check on your child, change diapers if necessary, and allow them to stretch and move around.

  2. Stay Relaxed: Your baby will pick up on your mood, so stay calm and relaxed to keep the ride enjoyable for both of you.

  3. Engage and Communicate: Talk to your baby, point out interesting sights, and engage with them during the ride to make it an enriching experience.


Taking your 9-month-old on their first mountain bike ride can be a memorable and enjoyable experience for both you and your child. By prioritizing safety, choosing the right trail, packing essential items, and maintaining a positive attitude, you can create lasting memories while instilling a love for outdoor adventures in your little one. Remember, it's not about the destination; it's about the journey and the quality time spent together in the great outdoors. Happy trails!

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