If you've been asking yourself this question: 'will a baby walker really make my child walk faster?'. You're not alone. So, your little one has started taking his first steps, occasionally standing him/ herself up against things, and quickly falling down. And, you are wondering whether buying a baby walker will really help her walk faster on her own, without you being afraid that s/he will fall face down when you're not looking? Read on to find out how the baby walker works. This post will provide you with helpful information that will enable you decide whether or not to buy a baby walker. Read on, but first see the demo video below of a child playing and learning to walk in a baby walker.
>>Click to play the above video, and see how your child would engage with a new baby walker.
But, What is a Baby Walker Really?
According to the trusty Wikipedia, "a baby walker is a device that can be used by infants who cannot walk on their own to move from one place to another". Furthermore, Wikipedia reveals that baby walkers are not a modern baby gadget, but it's use dates back to the year 1440 in Europe.
So, you may ask 'in what way has the changed in the modern baby walker changed from the old?' I bet you can guess the answer - well, the difference is that the early baby walkers were not fanciful. Now, the walkers now come with a seat with leg holes, as well as entertaining toys which babies absolutely love.
WHAT THE DOCTORS SAY ABOUT IT ALL?
Will a baby Walker Really Make Your Child Walk Faster? Read the FACTSThere's a Worldwide controversy about the efficacy of baby walkers. Among parents, opinions vary. Many say it does and others say that the baby walking aid did not help their little one. Yet, Yet, that is one of the questions that most parents still ask, while trying to decide whether or not to invest in a baby walker.
WHAT THE DOCTORS SAY ABOUT IT ALL?
- Many parents believe that such walkers teach a child to walk faster; however, studies suggest that it is not true. A baby will only walk when s/he has fully developed the core muscles in the head, neck, spines, hips etc that will enable him to stand, balance and WALK. Not because they don't want to. Hence, some children don't start vwalking even after their first birthday. And, that's perfectly okay - they will, later.
- If used unattended, the baby walker poses some safety hazard (read on to find out about the risks). For more on the risks involved in using baby walkers, read this.
So, Should You Not Use a baby Walker?
Yes and No. No, because the medics say so - with proofs. And, yes - if you choose to (some parents do use it successfully) and if there's an adult around. Well, just don't oversuse it.
ON DEVELOPMENTAL GROUNDS: It's best to use them when your child is from age 4 months - that is, if his neck and head .
ON SAFETY GROUNDS: There are several real stories of accidents and injuries due to unsupervised use of baby walker. It is advisable to only use a baby walker if you or another adult is closely supervising your child. Furthermore, don't keep your child in a walker for too long.
Benefits of a Baby Walker (The Pros)Now, here's are the facts about baby walkers - backed by research:
- For Busy Moms: A baby walker will keep your baby busy and motivated to move around, while you're busy with some house work - because it is packed full of interesting fun toys that children find it hard to let go off. Your child would love the music from the walker, the other little toys too.
- For the Lazy Babies: Most babies instantly get sort of addicted to their walkers, the first time. Even the lazy ones are 'tricked' to moving around while standing in the walker - even if they previously never want to leave the ground crawling.
- Comfortable Seat: Modern baby walkers come with comfortable seats, such that most babies can lean on and sleep once they are tired of playing alone.
- Baby Fitness: Babies tend to exercise the brain and body muscles when using a baby walker. Plus, most toys bundled with the device are educational.
So, When Is It Safe to Buy a Baby Walker for Your Child?
Most baby walkers are manufactured for children between ages 4 and 16 months - at which time he can sit on his own and hold his head up. It's rare for a child's support system to be fully developed before age 4. And so, if your child is below 4 months, wait a while before putting him/her on a walker.
How to Get the Most From a baby Walker
Only a few parents realise how important it is that a child's feet to be flat on the ground in a walker. So, if you decide to put your baby on a walking aide, encourage him/ her to balance the feet. This helps them build the 'walking' confidence they need to learn how to walk without falling.
When Should A Child Start Using A Baby Walker?
- Baby walker can be used by any child within the ages of 3 months and above. You can introduce your child to a baby walker when the baby has already started sitting and crawling or already standing, preferably when the baby has started standing then be rest assured that at 9 months old your baby must have started walking.
- Pay attention on your baby; take a close watch while your baby is in a baby in a walker. To make the baby walker move babies have to lean forward and at that point they learn that there is instant drive. If you have an advanced baby to begin with, it probably won't affect development.
- Most babies learn to walk by watching and understanding how their feet and legs move. If a walker has a tray underneath blocking their view, they can't see what the movement of the legs look is like.
Precautionary Measures you must take when using Infant Walkers
- So, ensure you avoid leaving your baby in the walker for too long else your baby may end up walking on tip toes or develop a bow leg. Their bones are still developing and because pressure rests on their legs it is advice to allow them at most up to twenty minutes.
- Try to lock the rooms of home with a childproof lock, so that your child can't go outside the main door of the house to the backyard or garage without the help of any elder person.
- It is better that your remove the furniture with sharp edges and insert an soft edge.
- You should cover the electrical switches and other places of plug insertion.
- Also the latches of drawers and cabinets should be covered.
- Remove all the breakable items from tables and shelves where your infant can reach safely.
- Don't carry hot water or food in vessel near the child. He might knock it against you with the thrust of the walker causing a dangerous accident.
- Don't allow your child near the stove heater or other heating appliances.
ConclusionFinal takeaway - the appropriate age to use a baby walker is from age 4 months up.
So, that's it on the pros and cons of baby walkers. Hopefully, you now have enough information to make an informed decision whether to buy or not to buy a baby walker for your little one.
Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading, please help us to share this this post with other mommies and daddies out there - tweet this article; facebook it, email it to someone.
Finally, before you leave, drop us a comment. Tell us - what is your stand on the baby walker - yes or no?