A high-quality and adorably fun choice for babies and young toddlers, the Nutcase Baby Nutty’s flatter back makes it especially suited for riding in bike trailers or child bike seats. Quite possibly the cutest helmets on the market for boys and girls, the Baby Nutty is also one of the safest. Now featuring MIPS safety technology, this little helmet has an impressive resume. Read the review below for all the details!
Nutcase Baby Nutty Overview
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Toddlers riding in child bike seats, trailers, and balance bikes. Not in hot climates.
SIZE: 48 – 52 cm (narrow to average head width, and average to tall head height)
ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM: Dial adjust
WEIGHT: 336 g
- Comes standard with MIPS safety technology
- Durable in-mold construction
- CPSC 1+ certified with extended protection for babies
- High-quality dial adjust tightens down for a snug fit
- Soft chin pad and magnetic “no pinch” buckle
- Flat back for use in bike trailers and baby bike seats
- Overall exceptional quality
- Matching bells available
- No side vents can make for sweaty heads in hot climates
- MIPS anchors can snap longer hair
- Overlap in sizing with the Little Nutty Toddler is a bit confusing
- Rear dial adjust cage hangs lower than normal and can rub against the back of the neck
Nutcase Baby Nutty Review – Results of our Test Rides
A good helmet for babies and young toddlers is hard to come by. Ideally, it should be lightweight, easily adjustable, and fit snuggly so it’s not flopping around all the time. We’re all too familiar with the tantrums toddlers can throw if something is uncomfortable!
Fun, fresh, and a little funky, Nutcase’s newly designed Baby Nutty is certainly one of the best bike helmets on the market. Significantly lighter than their youth helmets, and with adorable designs for boys and girls, the Nutcase Baby Nutty is one of our favorites for young toddlers. Based on our experiences and testing, it’s likely a better fit for toddlers than for babies.
Baby Nutty Sizing
The Baby Nutty has a head circumference range of 48 – 52 cm. For a baby helmet this is on the high end. Most baby helmets are as small as 44 cm, 45 cm, or 46 cm. We’ve never seen a baby helmet start at 48 cm, because most babies don’t have heads that large. Realistically, this is more of a toddler helmet.
Just make sure to measure your child’s head before purchase. As with any helmet, no matter if it’s called Baby, Toddler, or Youth, your child’s head circumference is key to determining if the helmet will fit your child.
Baby Nutty vs Little Nutty Sizing
Both the Baby Nutty and the Little Nutty (toddler size) have the same head circumference range: 48 – 52 cm. However, we found the 2022 Baby Nutty to be more narrow than the Little Nutty toddler (but not as narrow as the 2020 Baby Nutty was.)
The Baby Nutty is also much lighter, coming in at 336 grams vs. the Little Nutty’s 460 grams. The Little Nutty is far too heavy for a baby with developing neck strength, which is one primary reason Nutcase created a lighter version of their smallest helmet.
Both helmets are on the deeper side, as are many skate-style helmets. If your child has a shallower head, these helmets may be too deep for them and come down too far over their eyebrows.
Choosing Between the Baby Nutty and Little Nutty Toddler
So if the Baby Nutty and Little Nutty toddler are made for the same head circumference range, how do you know which one to get? If your child’s head is narrow to average in width, the Baby Nutty will probably be a better fit for them.
One 3 year-old tester with a 48.5 cm head was a great fit in the Baby Nutty, while the Little Nutty was far too loose for her. Two of our 4 and 5-year-old testers with heads ranging from 49.5 – 51 cm (and average head width) were also a great fit for the Baby Nutty, while the Little Nutty toddler was a bit looser on them, but still a decent fit.
In the end, the sizing overlap between these two helmets is a bit confusing. If you are uncertain, we highly recommend purchasing from a retailer that offers free returns. Amazon usually does this, and Prime members may even be able to “try before you buy”.
Important Note: The sizing sticker inside the helmet and the sizing indicated on the box show the head circumference range in inches and centimeters. The inches are wrong and should be ignored. The 48 cm – 52 cm measurement is correct.
Dial-Adjust for a More Accurate Fit
Previous versions of the Baby Nutty had an elastic band adjustment system in the back. This system worked great for some of our testers, but was not great for others. We’re happy to report that Nutcase recently replaced the elastic band system with a more traditional and precise dial-adjust, which is found on all of their other helmets.
Note: This dial adjust can be dialed down much smaller than the 48 cm indicated by its sizing range. However, in our testing with our toddler with a 46.5 cm head, her skull hadn’t yet grown tall enough to wear this helmet. Although the dial adjust allowed for a snug fit, it rested against her neck instead of on the back of her skull. It dug into her skin and was extremely uncomfortable. (Sorry, no pic available, too much crying going on.)
We also found that those bottom points of the dial adjust cage hang lower than typical, even for a child that the helmet is a good fit for. For our 4-year-old primary tester that regularly wears this helmet, we see them hitting his neck, but he does not complain.
CPSC 1+ Extended Coverage
There are two different CPSC certifications for helmets. Once is CSPC 1+ for babies, and the other is CSPC 5+ for everyone else. Not all baby-sized helmets are CPSC 1+ certified, but the Baby Nutty is. CPSC 1+ certification requires extended coverage to increase the protection to a baby’s head.
This certainly is a nice-to-have, but also isn’t a make-or-break. If the CPSC 1+ makes you feel better, great! But if your toddler’s head is larger and you need to get the CPSC 5+ certified Little Nutty, it’s not a big deal and is completely safe.
Flat Back for Use In a Trailer or Child Bike Seat
In addition to being CPSC certified specifically for babies, the shape of the Baby Nutty makes it ideal for babies in trailers or bike seats. While many helmets are bulky or slightly pointed in the back, the Baby Nutty is flat and smooth. The flatter surface prevents kids’ heads from being pushed forward by the back of a trailer or bike seat.
As you can see below, many popular helmets like the the Joovy Noodle come to a point in the back. By comparison, the Baby Nutty is much flatter in the back.
MIPS Safety Technology
Nutcase upgraded all of their helmets in 2020 to include MIPS safety technology. MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) consists of a yellow plastic layer inside the helmet that is anchored in place by four yellow anchors.
In the event of a crash, these anchors flex to allow the plastic layer to shift and rotate upon impact. In simple terms, this reduces rotational forces that can cause more severe brain damage.
While some MIPS systems have those yellow anchors covered by the helmet’s interior padding, the Baby Nutty’s are not covered. Longer hair can snag on the anchors, so be careful when taking off your baby’s helmet.
Magnetic Fidlock Buckle and Chin Strap
We’ve used a lot of helmets with our babies and toddlers. The one feature we are always wishing for is a magnetic buckle. LOTS of bonus points to the Baby Nutty for featuring the “no pinch” magnetic Fidlock buckle!
Squirming babies and toddlers don’t care that you’re trying to put a helmet on them to keep them safe. And in our experience, they often want to make it as hard as possible for you to get that helmet on them. A magnetic buckle is faster and much less likely to pinch a baby’s neck. (Although no buckle is 100% pinch free, so still be careful!)
As an added preventative measurement against pinching, the Baby Nutty has a wide chin strap pad that acts as a barrier between the buckle and the neck skin.
Side Straps and Locking Sliders
The Baby Nutty’s side straps are flat and soft, which will minimize any potential irritation on the points of contact with the face. They feature reflective faux stitching for increased visibility on the road.
The locking sliders (which keep those straps in place) are one of our very favorite features of this helmet! The side straps need to form a “V” below your child’s ear. This helps keep the helmet centered on the head. The sliders slide up and down the straps so you can adjust them perfectly for your child.
Most side straps can slip down quite easily, which requires you to re-adjust them often. And unfortunately, even the most safety-conscious parent can forget to re-adjust them if they’re in a hurry! The Baby Nutty’s sliders lock, which makes them much less likely to slide out of place.
Limited Ventilation, but Sealed Padding
One limitation the Baby Nutty has is its lack of vents. Although it does have 10 smaller circle vents, it doesn’t offer any side vents and has only two rear vents, which minimizes air flow. The small number of vents, however, is standard with skater-style helmets. If you want a bike helmet with a lot of vents, a skate-style helmet is not your best bet.
The high-quality sealed padding does help to wick sweat away from the head, and also keeps that sweat trapped instead of dripping down your child’s face.
Durable In-Mold Construction, NOT Dual-Certified
If you’re familiar with Nutcase helmets, we want to point out that the Baby Nutty is only CPSC certified for bicycle use. All other Nutcase helmets are dual-certified CSPC/ASTM for bicycle and skateboard use.
So while the Baby Nutty is a skate-style helmet, it is not meant to be used for skateboarding. (But really, should your baby be on a skateboard? :-))
The upside of this is that the Baby Nutty is much lighter than a skateboard helmet. Hardshell construction skateboard helmets are much heavier than standard bike helmets.
With in-mold construction, the Baby Nutty weighs just 336 grams compared to the hardshell Little Nutty which weighs 460 grams! With babies still developing their neck strength, a lightweight helmet is a must!
Don’t Forget the Matching Bell!
Bottom Line on the Nutcase Baby Nutty
The Nutcase Baby Nutty is an excellent-quality, adorable helmet for toddlers who will be riding in trailers, child bike seats, or riding balance bikes. Due to its lack of side vents, we do not recommend it for hot climates. It is more narrow than the Nutcase Little Nutty which is designed for the same head circumference range (48 cm – 52 cm).