Why Should I Purchase a Baby Walker?
To improve baby’s health and support their growth, there are several baby gear products. Among them, baby walkers help them take their first steps towards walking. Some baby walkers also come with accessories like lights, music, toys and other entertainment stuff. They help your kid enjoy using the baby walker.
Types of Baby Walkers
Depending on the mode of functioning baby walkers are classified in different types. Below are the broad categories of baby walkers available in the market.
- Seated Walker
These walkers are for the babies who can sit by their own, for younger ones. They are built with plastic frames and a piece of fabric with hole cuts, which enables baby to touch the ground with their feet. They can hold weight of 15 to 20 pounds.
To keep your baby occupied many of the walkers comes with the toys or music, some also have gender themes like if it’s for boy it has toy cars and if it’s for girl it has princess images.
- Standing/Sit-to-Stand Walker
This portable walker is for slightly older babies to help the baby stand and move around on their own and helps to learn balancing and walking skills. Some of these walkers come with detachable toy stations so that kids play with when resting on the floor.
The body of the walker is built with sturdy plastic or wood and aim at teaching your kid different shapes, animals, colours and other subjects. The best sit-to-stand walkers offer your baby many activities to keep your baby encouraged. Some walkers also have speed control and braking options.
Features To Consider When Buying A Baby Walker
There is wide range of various walkers with style, colour and price options available in the market with unique set of features. This must be confusing for you to choose the right walker for your baby. Consider the below factors before you plan to buy the walker.
Baby safety is most important feature to consider while you buy the walker, some points to remember related to safety are:
- Wide Base: For the babies who are capable of walking choose a wide base walker with wheels, this prevents the baby to get injured and from getting hit by the corners of your furniture.
- Stationary baby walker without wheels: This walker is suitable for babies who are too young to walk, though baby won’t be able to walk; this walker helps them to stand up on their own with their own strength.
- Anti- slip pads: Including anti-slip pad the walker should also have non skid grips, safety bumpers or other built in measures to prevent accidents. The anti slip pads are helpful to hold the baby in correct position.
2. Seat fabric and padding
Support, comfort and sensitivity of your baby skin are the three things that come to mind, when we talk about seat and its padding.
To prevent the injuries to baby’s spinal cord, a good seat provides proper back and head support. For the comfort of your baby the type of material used to pad the seat is important.
A walker comes with different fabric materials. Few have plush and soft fabric while others have hard or tough fabric materials.
According to your baby skin choose the fabric of the walker, if your baby skin is sensitive then plush and soft fabrics is suitable otherwise use hard or tough fabric walkers.
- Manoeuvrability: The first thing we look for in the wheels is manoeuvrability; this means wheels should be swivelled to make the walker to move around easily it should be allowed to rotate independently.
- Monitored: Your kid should be monitored all time when they are using walkers, as the walkers may cause serious problems if you leave your baby to walk on their own.
- Lockable: For safety purpose the wheels should be lockable; it helps to keep your baby stationary in one place.
- Size: This is another factor to consider as the smaller wheels are difficult to manoeuvre over the rough or uneven surface.
Larger wheels are best to opt as it is suitable for any kind of surfaces without any difficulty.
4. Entertainment console
It is the small electronic unit that is integrated in the activity tray for the baby to interact. There are lights, sounds, vibration in a good entertainment console and in some cases a steering wheel.
This will help baby to develop with the cognitive skills while keeping the baby entertained. In motor skills development also walker is helpful.
Check if the console can be removed for portability, when console is removed a snack or toy tray also should be revealed.
5. Adjustable Height
Select the baby walker with the adjustable height option as babies grows quickly fixed height walkers may get uncomfortable for your baby.
For long run purpose adjustable walkers are good option, otherwise you will have to buy new according to your baby growth.
All the babies are not in same heights, some are tall and some are short, to provide the best walking positions for your baby most baby walkers can be adjusted to three different positions.
If your baby is short use the lowest height position to enable baby feet to touch ground for comfortable walk, for tall babies use highest position.
5. Folding mechanism
A foldable walker makes convenient for parents to carry it anywhere, the compact size after it is folded makes a big space saver when packed in boot of the car.
When the walker is not being used by the baby the good walker should be able to fold easily and quickly for easy storage.
6. Build Quality
Parents must ensure that all the fittings of the walker are properly fitted as any small detachable parts that baby can break off and insert in their mouth it may be dangerous.
Make sure that no part of the walker possesses sharp edges as they may cut the soft skin of the baby.
7. Size and weight
Walkers comes in different sizes and weights, you should consider these factors when choosing a walker for your baby.
According to your baby preference while using the walker choose the bigger snack or toy tray to store all the snacks and toys.
Opt for the lighter walker if you want your baby to move around easily, It’ll be little difficult for your baby to move if the walker is heavy but have added advantages as heavy walkers prevents them from tripping over easily and it is more stable.
8. Anti-skid safety pads
The main purpose of this feature is to halt the walker when baby accidentally goes over step of the stair. If they are riding over uneven or rough surface to prevent accidents it stops the walker.
Almost all the walker comes with these safety pads but it is wise to check before you buy the walker.
The walkers should be sturdy especially to push walkers as they may easily tip over and injure your baby.
You can get an idea of the sturdiness by looking at the design and size of the wheel
10. Easy Maintenance
The walker should provide efficient cleaning facility, as the baby mess up the walker the fabric of the walker should be detachable and washable.
This makes you easy to maintain the walker without much effort.
Design and durability will relate to material of the walker, wood is much durable, for smaller babies it might be heavy.
Plastic will not get damaged easily and will be perfect, polyester fibre is lightweight, durable and little more expensive.
12. Brand Reputation & Reviews
Brand of the product is another important factor everyone should consider while buying any product.
A reputed brand builds trust in customers as they provide high quality products and services. If you don’t want to prefer branded one then there are chances that you dwell into fraud models and poor customer support service.
Based on the reviews on variety of baby walkers you can choose the walker suitable for your baby.
13. Price and Warranty
The price and warranty of the product is also very important to consider before you buy the baby walker. Warranty is anyways important for any damage part replacement.
Advantages of using a Baby Walker
The following are some of the advantages of the baby walker
Some babies take lot of time to walk on their own, walkers gives them confidence to walk on their own. Always make sure that the walker is on flat surface to avoid accidents.
2. Maintaining Balance:
During the first few months babies will learn how to balance on their feet, to keep themselves upright. Walkers give them proper assistance and keep them secure. By the support provided by the walker the muscle of the leg is developed.
3. Moving Independently:
As the baby has not learned to walk on her own, the walker with the smoothly rolling castor wheels helps the baby to move around the house independently and explore new things.
4. Gives parents a chance to carry out other activities:
As the baby learns walking with help of walker you can always monitor your baby by doing household activities too. This helps parents to spend time with kids even when they are in other works.
5. Source of entertainment:
It is not easy to keep you baby happily occupied and playing while you are busy at house hold works. These walkers comes with number of entertaining toys, musical rattles, colourful electronic light buttons and pop- ups that can keep your baby happy and busy for a while.
6. Promotes eye-hand coordination:
Your kid will always try to reach out the toys that come with walkers when learning to walk. They focus their eyes on toys that help them to coordinate their hand and eyes.
Tips of using a Baby Walker
Below are few tips to look for when using baby walker
- When your kid is using the walker, never leave them unsupervised
- As prolonged usage of the walker may cause developmental delays, don’t allow your kid to use it more than 20 min.
- Avoid carrying the walker when your baby is in it
- Before you start using the walker make sure to read all the instructions from manufacturer.
- Block all the staircases before you start using the walker.
- Remove all rugs and carpet on the floor as they may cause interference in the movement of the walkers and get baby injured
- Make sure it is sturdy: once all the setup is done, move it around to check if it will tip over. This will help you understand the weakness in the design that needs to be addressed.
- Keep the walker away from stairs: Stairs may be dangerous as baby may fall and cause serious injury. Invest in safety gate for stairs and make sure it gets blocked.
Most Frequent Questions?
10 to 15 kg is the weight range where most of the baby walkers are designed.
Baby walker can be used till the baby outgrows the walker, if the walker is no longer used you can invest in push walkers. The push walkers will help for the future development of the baby cognitive and motor skills.
Most babies take first steps in-between 9 and 12 months and do the walking perfectly when they attain 15-18 months. If your children are not responding properly then use baby walkers that encourage them to walk more comfortably.
Choosing the branded baby walker for your child is difficult unless you do a bit of research work on the particular product. They provide a strong support so that the baby does not fall while trying to walk and gives them rest in a comfortable upright position.
Some of the baby walkers have come with toys which are a source of entertainment while the parent is busy with household activities like cleaning, washing, cooking etc.
*Baby walker types
*Size and weight
*Comfortable seat and padding
*Wheels and braking system
*Price and warranty
It’s not that easy to make your children get into the baby walker. Being a parent, you must be able to know which Walker is the best, its usage and check whether the walker is comfortable for the toddler or not. Here are a few things that every parent must look into while purchasing/using the walker for babies…
*Firstly, determine whether the infant is ready to walk or not.
*Teach your baby about how to move the walker.
*Make sure the home you live in is absolutely a walker-friendly.
*Keep an eye on your kid when he/she is in the walker.
*Encourage your little ones to walk freely in the room i.e. in all directions.
*Walk along with the baby to make him/her feel comfortable when on the walker.
*You can also keep a small soft cushion at the back of the baby seat for extra comfort.
*Allow him/her to move at least 15-30 minutes a day as using it on a long run may impose negative results.
Given below are some of the possible benefits of using walkers for the baby. Have a look!
*Develops better eye-hand coordination.
*Produces fun and entertainment for little ones.
*Gives soothing and extreme comfort while walking.
*Develops confidence and encourages the baby to walk.
*Parents can spend more time on other household activities.
*Boosts the imagination level and sometimes as an educator.
*Helps to improve focus on children while playing with toys or moving in walkers.
Many people treat baby walker as a normal device and lack of cleaning. Listen, you are using a walker for kids to give them an extra support while walking. Babies put hands on toys while playing, and also rest their head while sleeping.
So you must properly maintain the walker by cleaning it from time to time. To make it clean and hygiene, pour few drops of antiseptic liquid in a bowl of warm water and then dip a cotton cloth. Take out the cloth, squeeze and wipe on handles, toys, sides, footrest, etc. to deter germs, bacteria and other dust particles present on the device.
Long term usage of walkers may indeed affect a child’s ability to learn to walk. Walkers need to be used as an initial source of movement and general movement for infants.
Walkers have been proven to delay the child’s ability to learn to walk because the child does not have full contact of both feet with the ground. Thus the kid may get comfortable with this type of walking than actual walking which will slowly put additional strain on the hips and spine.
Never use a walker for more than 20-30 minutes a day or an hour at max.
Almost any type of walker is best for a carpet if it has smooth wheels and can move about easily. But walkers with grooves in their wheels may have some friction while they are being rolled on a carpet.
Moreover, unless the carpet is very large and broad for the baby to be able to move about freely, we recommend to let the baby use the floor to walk and not the carpet.