A baby walker allows infants to stand, walk and move from one location to another in the home before they have learned to walk. They are usually made of hard plastic with wheels underneath and a fabric seat with two holes for legs.
Some of the modern and best baby walkers may have toys and games in a panel at eye length, so the baby can play while inside the device.
Baby walkers keep children engaged but may have safety issues if not used properly. Never leave your child unattended when the walker is in use.
Here are a few basic types of baby walkers and how they are used.
A convertible walker is a seated walker that can be flipped to a sit-to-stand walker when the child gets older and starts walking (or wobbling) on their own. Most of these convertible walkers also have a toy station or activity center that may or may detach.
Convertible walkers save parents money because you don’t need to buy a new unit when the child starts to walk – you simply convert the walker to a stand-up unit. The toy stations on these walkers keep your child engaged, and the holding bar keeps steady while he learns how to walk.
A seated walker usually supports children from 15 to 26 pounds who can sit on their own and raise their head on their own. They consist of a frame made of plastic or steel a seta and fabric with leg holes cut out so their legs can touch the floor.
Seated walkers help prepare babies to walk on their own but should not be used extensively. These baby walkers usually have toy or music stations to keep the baby occupied and boost their cognitive skills.
A seated walker may have a gender-specific theme like a car for boys) or princess (for girls).
Sit to stand walker
A sit to stand walker helps your child master walking and balancing skills. It consists of a toy station or interactive panel and a bar your child holds on to and pushes to maintain balance while he walks around the house. Your child pushes it around like a shopping cart and can stop to play with the toys or listen to the music from the panel’s toys.
Some learning walkers have detachable toy panels, so your child can play with them on the floor. Most learning walkers are made of tough plastic and are designed to teach kids colors, shapes, animals and other subjects.
The perks and pitfalls of baby walkers
Like any other item you use to help your baby’s development, baby walkers have advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of baby walkers
Some infants take longer to stand up on their own than others. A baby walker places the child in a walking pose and helps them get used to walking. Ensure the walker is always on a flat surface and massage the infant after walking practice.
Baby walkers, with all their chimes, bells, and whistles, prompt children to use them and have fun while walking. The toys attached to a walker keep your baby busy and improve cognitive function at the same time.
The walker provides physical support for babies who may have trouble standing and walking on their own.
Cons of baby walkers
Slower mastery of walking
The walker supports your baby while he or she walks. While this is fine to use for infants and children who are having a hard time walking on their own, don’t let your child depend on it. Using a baby walker exclusively delay a child’s ability to walk solo.
Access to harmful items
Walkers make it easier for babies to reach items on shelves, desks, tables or other areas they normally couldn’t reach. Your child may also be able to touch a stove top or other kitchen appliances that can cause injury.
Although baby walkers are more popular than ever, accidents and injuries are common when these products aren’t used according to directions. Keep walkers away from slanted surfaces or stairs, and never let your baby use a walker without adults nearby.