Baby walkers are a great way of supporting your child when learning to walk and encouraging natural development. There is a wealth of options for any stage of your child's development. Now your child can discover the world independently without needing your help.
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1. Criticised by experts - loved by parents
Some babies start showing an interest in walking before they are one year old. Their parents try to support them in their efforts with baby walkers. Other children take more time in learning to walk, so parents try to encourage them with a baby walker. Clearly they all learn to walk sooner or later, but baby walkers can support the child in this process. Experts sometimes voice criticism and question if using a baby walker is sensible. But as so often in life, the rule is: it depends how much time the child spends in the baby walker. Plus parents need to be extra careful to avoid risks when the child is starting to walk. More on this below.
2. Advantages for children and parents
The range of available baby walkers is huge: There are baby walkers that encourage the child to take his or her first steps. Other walkers help making wobbly walking safer. And yet others are also toys. More on this in the next paragraph. First of all, let's mention the advantages of baby walkers:
Baby walkers support your child in learning to walk. Safely supported and held, the child can take the first steps on his or her own little legs.
Many baby walkers feature an activity centre, so the child can playfully hone the motor and sensitivity skills in between learning to walk.
Children who keep falling over while attempting to walk on their own can be a particular challenge for parents:
Of course, you don't want to stop your child from learning to walk, but in everyday life it's hardly possible for you to constantly provide assistance. A baby walker is a good alternative, but should of course always be used under parental supervision.
3. From the first step to walking steadily
As mentioned before, there are different types of baby walkers. Here an overview:
- Seated Walker
- The baby walkers have four wheels and a seat for the baby to sit in. Most models can be converted later so the seat is removed and it becomes a classic push-along walker. Plus many of these models have an activity centre.
- Standing Walker
- These baby walkers give the child something to hold on to during the first few attempts at walking. These models are suitable for children who can already walk but are not very steady yet.
- Sit on
This is an early version of a scooter with three wheels. The child can sit on it and push along by "walking".
4. Important: What to watch for when buying and using a baby walker
Safety is the order of the day when your child starts learning to walk. So baby walkers need to be safe and sturdy above everything else. Just as important is the proper use of baby walkers: children should never be allowed to use them on their own. A grown-up should be nearby at all times. Plus you should ensure that the child is not practising near stairs. There are some baby walkers that stop near stairs, but this is just an additional safety feature. An adult should supervise at all times.
5. When to buy?
The best time to purchase a baby walker depends on the development stage of your child. Which model is best for your child is determined by how you want to support your little learner or encourage him or her to walk.