A baby walker is among the many things that new parents often buy for their little one. Read on for more information about baby walkers to help you decide whether you should buy one for your baby.

What is a baby walker?

A baby walker is a frame-like plastic structure on wheels with a suspended fabric seat that helps babies move from one place to another. Baby walkers can be used for babies between four and 16 months old and can be lots of fun for your little one. Contrary to popular belief, baby walkers do not encourage babies to learn how to walk faster. Rather, they give babies the freedom to move easily and explore as they learn to walk. 

Understanding the risks of a baby walker

Although baby walkers offer infants an enjoyable experience, they also pose several risks. In fact, baby walkers have been known to cause serious injuries, prompting many medical experts to discourage use of walkers. Baby walkers can be dangerous because they allow a little too much mobility, giving babies access to areas they wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach (e.g., kitchen counters or bathtubs). Children can fall down the stairs or even roll out of the house because of the wheels attached to the walker.

Studies have also suggested that although baby walkers strengthen a baby’s lower legs, they make babies crawl and squat less, which may make their hips and upper legs weak.

If you’re really keen on buying a baby walker, make sure that your choice meets product safety standards. The most common standards are that the walker should be wide enough not to slide through doors and should have some sort of mechanism that stops the walker at the edge of stairs.

  • To ensure the safety of your baby, always keep an eye on them while they scurry around in their walker.
  • To counter act this potential risk, make sure you don’t leave your baby in a walker for hours on end but rather give them time during the day to enjoy it.
  • Second, choose a baby walker that meets the weight and height specifications of your baby.
  • Ensure that the walker has an extra-wide non-skid friction base, covered springs to prevent tiny fingers from getting trapped, a comfy seat pad and lots of safety padding. Lastly, never leave your baby unsupervised in the walker.

Popular brands for baby walkers

Chelino, Fisher-Price, Chicco, Bright Starts, Graco, Jeep, Baby Trend, Kolcraft, Safety 1st and Vtech are all reliable, popular and affordable brands for baby walkers. For maximum value for money, buy a baby walker equipped with an adjustable height mechanism, different activities (melodies, colours, shapes and lights), a high back, teething station, and a toy tray.

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