How do you know if a baby walker is best for your baby?
Now that your precious little one is finally mobile and able to hold her head up, you might be tempted to purchase a baby walker to help facilitate the process of learning to walk.
But how can you know if there are any true benefits for getting a baby bouncer seat for your new crawler?
Once you little one starts trying to explore the world around them, it is important to keep them safe, but sometimes I wonder if the true benefit of a baby walker is for baby, or mum?
There’s no denying that having a fun alternative for baby to play and be entertained without mum having to hold them all the time is very helpful.
When I was exploring this article I wanted to be able to present to you both the good and the bad when it comes to baby walkers. As well as offer an easy alternative.
One of the biggest concerns for new parents is for the safety of their new precious bundle of joy. I have an entire article about baby proofing your home and the 10 must have things I recommend here.
However, there are those moments when you need to put your little one down to stir something on the stove, or put something away. In these cases having a fun walker for your baby to explore safely is a nice perk.
If your baby is at that phase when they want to see and explore their surroundings, but they are not yet capable of holding themselves up yet, then you may be tempted to assist them with a bouncer or walker. The walker may be a good transition to assist your child to see their surroundings from a new view.
A few key indicators to know if you, your baby, and your home are ready for a mobile baby are:
- Your child is able to hold their head up and is sitting on their own.
- Your home is baby proofed and safe from tripping hazards such as rugs as well as making sure that any stairs that might be accessible are gated off.
- If you are going to be available to keep an eye out on your little toddler as they explore their new surroundings, then you know that you and your child are ready for a mobile and exploring little one.
Be careful what you wish for though!
Once your little one finds independence and starts exploring, it’s near impossible to keep him happy just lying on the floor playing quietly! Keeping baby entertained can be half the battle..
..and like most mums, I face this on a daily basis with Mia!
Most baby walkers come with toys attached to keep your baby entertained for a few minutes, and some play songs or make fun sounds as well. These items are great to keep your child entertained for a few quick minutes to get something done, or even just give your shoulders a rest!
However, are baby walkers really a necessity?
There aren’t any studies that show they are necessary to learn to walk. In fact, according to BabyCentre UK, using a walker too much can slightly delay your baby’s ability to learn key developmental milestones. Milestones such as crawling and sitting on their own which are key to muscle development as well as learning to explore their surroundings.
Baby walkers can also be dangerous if baby is left unsupervised.
If you have stairs down to a basement right off your kitchen then a walker while you’re cooking might not be the best decision.
Also be sure you don’t put your afternoon hot cup of tea on a low table that your baby might be able to reach while they are in their walkers!. In fact anything that used to be safe while your child was mostly down on the floor will soon become a hazard once they are upright and mobile.
I like to get down on my baby’s level and see our home from her perspective. This way I can see if there is anything she might trip over, or if there is anything that might be dangerous or breakable within reach.
I got some funny looks from my husband Graham when I did this for the first time!
As you are making dinner and looking for a safe alternative to entertain baby, an immobile bouncer chair might also be a better alternative.
On some types of flooring, baby walkers can move at one metre per second. So even with your close supervision, accidents can still happen when your little one is finally mobile. This new found freedom of mobility and their ability to explore their world just means we, as parents, need to keep an extra vigilant eye out for any hazards.
Conclusion: Walker for babies – Good or bad?
To sum it all up, baby bouncers and walkers can be helpful to a busy mum who needs to put down their curious little one for a few minutes.
However, they shouldn’t be used for long periods of time and should definitely not be used unsupervised.
Baby walkers and bouncy seats are popular for a reason. Being able to get dinner on the table without holding your little one, or having a way to entertain them while you take a shower, are invaluable.
However, more is not always better in this case – as in most cases in life. So be sure to limit the time you plop your child into a walker in order to take advantage of a few moments of having both your hands and arms again.
In our home, we found that suggesting a few quiet toys for Mia to sit and play at my feet was a better alternative. I also like to have a drawer down at her level with only plastics that she cannot break for her to explore on her own.
Ultimately it’s up to you.
Now that your little one is able to sit up and see around, they will want to be in the room you are in most of the time. It can be challenging to get anything done with your tiny tot underfoot, and each family will need to decide what is best for them and the layout of their home when it comes to mobile baby walkers.
I hope this article was helpful in giving you both sides of the argument.
What do you think about baby walkers? Please feel free to comment below