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Car free pregnancy?

Old 12-01-13, 02:26 PM
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LoRoK
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Car free pregnancy?

Howdy folks. I've been car free for my entire life, essentially. I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way. My wife has been car free since about the 2nd year of our marriage. She seems to love it too. We live in what is probably the greatest bike city in the country, and it's totally easy to take care of the two of us. But now…what to do when we have a baby? How long can she ride before birth? How do I get the baby home from the hospital? How soon is too soon to haul the little poop-factory around in a trailer? Surely someone here has had a car free pregnancy before. I mean, poor people do it all the time with some sort of reliance on other people's cars, so I'm sure we can manage on what we have, right? I'd love to hear advice, stories, cautions etc from those of you proud car free and/or low car parents. Thanks!
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Old 12-01-13, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by LoRoK View Post
Howdy folks. I've been car free for my entire life, essentially. I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way. My wife has been car free since about the 2nd year of our marriage. She seems to love it too. We live in what is probably the greatest bike city in the country, and it's totally easy to take care of the two of us. But now…what to do when we have a baby? How long can she ride before birth? How do I get the baby home from the hospital? How soon is too soon to haul the little poop-factory around in a trailer? Surely someone here has had a car free pregnancy before. I mean, poor people do it all the time with some sort of reliance on other people's cars, so I'm sure we can manage on what we have, right? I'd love to hear advice, stories, cautions etc from those of you proud car free and/or low car parents. Thanks!
My wife rode up to about a month before the baby was born, obviously taking it easy. After that it was simply not comfortable for her. We did find her a very wide seat off of an Electra Townie. She mentioned the widening of her hips not getting along with her normal seat, that made a HUGE difference for her.

The official recommendation from all the doctors I talked with said 1 year, mostly because they do not have the strength to support their head. One thing you can do when you need to take the baby is use the bus or taxi's until they get older. If it is not a long walk to most places you go for shopping that could be much easier than the bus though.
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Old 12-01-13, 05:08 PM
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Regarding her riding... your doctor and ultimately your wife are in the best position to make that call. If it's OK with the doctor, and she feels OK about it, it's probably OK then.

Our baby came home in a taxi. We have a kid trailer, but you should wait until 12 months, as mentioned already. You COULD rig a baby car seat into a trailer. I thought about it but decided we can wait until he's old enough. We walked a lot, rode buses and used taxi.

Thinking back, a Bakfiet would have been better than the trailer in some aspects - you can interact with your kid during the ride, for example. Then again, our trailer converts to a stroller and to a ski pulk, both useful features for us. And fitting the cargo bike in our limited storage space would have been difficult.

We're being pretty pragmatic about the whole car free with family issue. If at some point we feel we need to own a car, we'll buy it then. Family first.

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Old 12-02-13, 06:38 AM
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I would think that if a child was in a proper car seat that you could pull them in a trailer as soon as it was feasible. There are quite a few blogs out there where some women have detailed their pregnancies and living car free. One family was in your general area. The other was in either Iowa or Illinois. I do like the idea of a box bike (baksfiet) for hauling smaller children and infants, much easier to keep an eye on them while riding.

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Old 12-02-13, 07:50 AM
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The SO and I have discussed this a bit, though we're a few years off from having kids yet. We figured a trailer would work, but we're also liking the idea of a bakfiets. We're in the midst of buying a house which is really close to the elementary school (like, too close to bother biking, even), but we plan to try and help them commute to the middle school and let them bike commute to high school so we want to start them young.

We hadn't considered a 12 month "no fly", though, good tip.

M.
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Old 12-02-13, 09:06 PM
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You will find my opinion quite biased but...

My wife rode to the hospital 2 miles from our house to have our baby at the nine month mark: http://303cycling.com/denver-woman-r...al-gives-birth

With our second child I threw down on a bakfiets versus a trailer for a number of reasons. While we generally rode less than normal, the bakfiets allowed for a car seat to be connected to it with considerably less jarring (trailers pop around more than you'd imagine) and a direct eye on my little one to be able to notice if anything was awry (plus, my oldest could also ride with us). We took only slow, smooth streets with careful consideration for every block traveled. It has developed into a really nice way to travel with the kids - my oldest draws my youngest plays with her doll and we cruise from here to there. My wife is a big advocate for riding while pregnant for a number of health reasons and my kids absolutely love riding bikes. (now 1.5 and 4 years old)
In fact, this morning I took my oldest to a new school and I was talking to her about what you do when you meet new people, what you say, how you act and she asked me if she should just talk to people the way I do when we are out on bike rides.

-onemorebike
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Old 12-02-13, 09:29 PM
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My wife walked the mile and a half or so to the hospital when it was time to induce (pre-eclampsia, so one week early, but her OB said it was time to get to the hospital at her 39 week check up- she stopped by her work for an hour or two first), but she was never much into cycling. The baby rode home in a taxi (nurses wouldn't let us out without a car seat - carrying an empty car seat 2 miles from home to hospital gets heavy and made me feel stupid). We did the bus/stroller thing everywhere for her first 9 months or so before I started putting her in a trailer to take her to day care. That was in Boston, so we got a fair bit more snow than I imagine you get. A Bob revolution jogging stroller with the attachment for our car seat and plastic wheels (metal ones rust in that much snow) made life easier for fighting through snow and curbs and up steps onto buses/trains, but we got a lot of nasty looks because of how much room it took up. Sure was easy to push though. When you do look at trailers, think about how size limitations might work. I got a great one that was a double (for potential baby #2 ) that had a nice trunk and converts into a stroller/jogger, but it's too big to get into the doors of most of the smaller shops and even grocery stores with double sliding doors it would take up the whole aisle, so getting a double to make it future proof with extra storage room and expecting it to be a do everything stroller didn't really work out for us.
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Old 12-03-13, 02:17 AM
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The last two posts are amazing. In modern times, I think most have forgotten that human movement is the normal and correct way for people to get around...even when they're not pregnant.
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Old 12-03-13, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by davidmcowan View Post
It has developed into a really nice way to travel with the kids - my oldest draws my youngest plays with her doll and we cruise from here to there. My wife is a big advocate for riding while pregnant for a number of health reasons and my kids absolutely love riding bikes. (now 1.5 and 4 years old)
In fact, this morning I took my oldest to a new school and I was talking to her about what you do when you meet new people, what you say, how you act and she asked me if she should just talk to people the way I do when we are out on bike rides.

-onemorebike
I was looking for an icon to demonstrate just how utterly sweet I found this post to be. Couldn't find one that reflected how touched I was by your description of your children's experiences on the bike. Keep up the good work!
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Old 12-03-13, 12:49 PM
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Thanks guys. I should look up Emily whatever-her-name-is who's all famous for being the six-kids-no-car mom. Although she got her bakefeets ripped off.
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Old 12-03-13, 07:18 PM
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I had restrictions during my first pregnancy so I was stuck with relatively sedate walking for the second half. The second time around I was good until about 8 months. We used buses more when the kids were babies/toddlers, but my friends who biked started going on gentle, sedate rides when the kids were in the 9-12 month range.

On the bright side of parenting without a car, my kids (10 and 13) are quite bus, bike, and pedestrian savvy so that they can get themselves to and from a number of places on their own. Sweet freedom for them and us.
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Old 12-04-13, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
I had restrictions during my first pregnancy so I was stuck with relatively sedate walking for the second half. The second time around I was good until about 8 months. We used buses more when the kids were babies/toddlers, but my friends who biked started going on gentle, sedate rides when the kids were in the 9-12 month range.

On the bright side of parenting without a car, my kids (10 and 13) are quite bus, bike, and pedestrian savvy so that they can get themselves to and from a number of places on their own. Sweet freedom for them and us.
That's a good point, as I have observed with my 14 yo grandson. It also removes some of the pressure of getting the license the second they turn 16. My grandson is ambivalent about getting a license. Sometimes he can't wait, sometimes he says he would rather spend his time and money on electronics.
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Old 12-04-13, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
On the bright side of parenting without a car, my kids (10 and 13) are quite bus, bike, and pedestrian savvy so that they can get themselves to and from a number of places on their own. Sweet freedom for them and us.
That's great! You should be proud of yourself for bringing them up that way.
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Old 12-05-13, 01:55 AM
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My wife rode to/from work the day before giving birth. The hospital our midwife used was fifteen miles from our home, so we drove to it eight hours after she finished work (when her water broke) and drove our child home two days later. We would have put a car seat into our cargo trike, but the roads between our home and the hospital weren't the type I was going to risk my first and only child's life on.

After one year, he was pretty much done with traveling in a car. Now, at age twenty-three, he's one of those many millennials who has never had a drivers license and makes a comfortable living as a computer programmer.
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