Trust us. We will not be surprised if you slip in the “they grow up so fast, don’t they” comment from time to time in your conversation with fellow moms because they really do! And it is crazy how fast! It is like a quintessential “blink and you miss it” moment.
We mean you were just cradling your baby gently in your arms just the day before yesterday! And they just started crawling yesterday! And now it is already time to get the baby walker out?!
Wait a minute. Hold up. Is it really time to break out the baby walker or should you wait? What exactly, if any, is the right age for a baby walker? And how to use it? And is it really good? Safe?
That and more of your questions are about to be answered, dear parent. We promise we will not keep it too long but we will give you a LOT of useful information about baby walkers!
When to introduce a walker to a baby?
Well, there is a simple answer. And that is frankly not-so-simple. So let us start with the latter first because the former has to do with age and we will get to that.
The right time to get your baby started on a walker depends on a few factors, which you must be mindful of. These are:
- The stability of your baby’s head: Newborns have a hard time managing the weight of their head. Something that changes as they grow older and develop the required skills and strength to control their head. Which means moving it or holding it up without any support from you. Once you see your baby sitting up on their own, you can consider introducing them to a baby walker.
- Their mobility level: This is probably a no-brainer but yes your baby should have begun crawling and sitting up already before you break out that shiny new walker that has been lying in its brand new, albeit a little dusty, box. Standing in their crib on their own is another sign that your little one is ready for the walker now.
- Your baby’s foot position in the walker: Okay for this one your baby will have to be in the walker already but it will still give you a good idea if you should get your baby to use one. So pick your baby up and put them in the walker and see if their feet touch the ground. If they do, bingo! Now is the perfect time to have your baby use it. If they do not, tough luck. Perhaps it is still too early for your baby to start using their walker.
- Your baby’s curiosity: And comfort! It is very important for your baby to feel ready and curious enough to want to explore their environment on their own. Call it a sure sign, if you will.
If your baby checks all of these boxes, you can definitely get your walker out and start using it. However, if you were wondering what would be the right age for baby walker, wonder no more!
Experts say the best age to introduce your child to a baby walker is 6 to 8 months. As that is the age when they generally feel ready to walk on their own, having already learned the art of sitting up and crawling like a baby pro!
How to use a walker?
It is very simple actually. All baby walkers come with a seat and leg holes. You just need to scoop your baby up in your arms and place them in the seat with their legs coming out of the holes so their feet can touch the ground. Easy-peasy!
After that, you can just sit back and watch the magic! It is going to be so beautiful watching them move on their teeny-tiny feet!
That said, there are few things you should keep in mind when making your baby use a walker for the first time:
- Make your place babyproof so your baby does not hurt themselves while exploring the house on their walker.
- Make your baby wear shoes if you are using the walker outside of your house.
- Make sure the walker is comfy for your baby.
- Be patient with them and teach them how to use and move around in the walker with slow gentle movements.
- Limit walker time to about 15 minutes a day so your baby gets used to it but not dependent on it to move about.
Is a walker good for babies?
Lately, there has been some debate around whether baby walkers are safe or not. A lot of parents are concerned and often wonder ‘is a walker good for babies or is it just an age-old marketing gimmick?’
The thing you need to know is that not all baby walkers are bad. It depends on the way they have been designed. Old-school baby walkers generally had a flimsy design with poor weight management, often leading them to tip over and causing babies injury or harm. Many baby walkers are also designed in a way in which the little feets or hands of babies can get stuck. The attached toys too can pose a choking hazard if they come loose and are ingested by accident.
Moreover, it is absolutely not recommended to use baby walkers near pools or stairs as babies can easily tip over and fall down, leading to grave injuries. So as parents, it is important that you are mindful of when and where you use the walker. Plus, constant supervision is necessary so you can prevent any untoward incidents from cropping up. Which is why our suggestion is do not leave your baby alone in a walker and go about your business.
So what to use instead of a conventional walker for kids?
The good news is there are many new and advanced walkers in the market that can help your baby have a good time standing and exploring without causing them any harm! As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid getting walkers with wheels and drawstrings. Those are a real injury hazard.
Your focus should be more on getting stationary walkers. These are designed to make your baby stand upright so they can spend a good amount of time enjoying the thrill of being on their own two feet without facing any of the potential risks involved with wheely walkers! If you scout the market, you will find plenty of stationary walkers that double as activity/play zones for your baby.
Replete with sensory toys and a proper support surface your baby can rest their upper half on, these provide your baby with both support and the chance to indulge in engaging activities. Plus, there is no scope of your baby bending in them as their top half is completely covered so that is another injury-risk situation averted. There are plenty of these stationary stations available both online and offline!
Watching your baby walk is such a pure moment of unbelievable joy! Soon they will be grown up enough that you would be watching them walk to their preschool, holding your hand and carrying their little school bag on their shoulders! Well, we know when that time comes, you would want to enrol your child in the best preschool, and at EuroKids, we have got you covered on that front. Visit us to know more about our award-winning preschool that has a smart and engaging curriculum in place for your kids!