For most contemporary parents the walker has become outdated and unnecessary. Over the years people have come to realize the many flaws this contraption had featured. Some manufacturers have corrected them and introduced new safety measures while others have entirely abandoned the idea of a walker as a necessary part of childhood.
Nowadays, the question remains: is a walker for babies good or bad? We have considered every purpose walkers can serve in a household and provided you with helpful information on the matter. What is more, we have listed potential risks using a walker can bring upon your child and methods of preventing such problems.
Although a walker can be beneficial be sure to consider how a walker can negatively affect your baby’s development and slow down their process of learning how to walk. Stay informed on how you can use a walker to a certain extent to keep it safe for your baby.
Practical for Parents
One helpful feature of owning baby walkers is that it is a safe spot to place your baby while you are multitasking. This is a life-saver if your baby is grown and agile enough, you would not be leaving it on the bed or on the floor unattended. In these cases, walkers can be especially helpful as they will keep your baby safely in place while you finish up your usual chores.
Fun for Babies
Babies tend to enjoy walkers because it makes them more mobile than they actually are. They can move freely and swiftly using just the light pitter-patter of their little legs. Also, they can bring a variety of toys on their adventures, as most walkers have a wide tray.
As a parent, you will be happy to learn that the design of walkers has improved in the last two decades. Today’s walkers will include extra safety measures made to predict and prevent potential risks. Be aware that not all new manufacturers will have a wide array of safety features, so be sure to choose your walker carefully.
The average walker has some legitimate disadvantages as well as several downsides yet to be proven. The well-founded liabilities include potential injuries due to the walker tipping over, problematic and dangerous areas being more accessible for the baby, and developmental issues it can cause.
Though walkers have been believed to help babies get accustomed to walking at an early age, this is not the cause. Quite the contrary, walkers slow down babies in their natural learning process. They negatively influence babies’ physical abilities to control their muscles and develop motor skills.
This detriment should not be overlooked even if it is that of small-scale. Babies need to learn how to control their muscles on their own.
If you think about it, babies do not actually walk in walkers. Instead, they use their toes to push themselves around which is not an activity we do not naturally associate with walking. Babies that have spent a lot of time in walkers tend to keep walking on their toes once the walker is removed.
This activity can negatively affect their posture and development. They will not form a natural sense of balance and might lack overall physical strength.
A baby’s journey to walking has to include vital parts which cannot be rushed or skipped. The essential steps every baby should go through include rolling from their backs to their bellies and vice versa, sitting, crawling, and pulling themselves up. These experiences are a valuable contribution to developing healthy motor skills and muscle control.
These activities cannot happen if your baby spends a significant amount of time a walker. Spending time on the floor is how they will go through all of these activities and learn how to control their body movement.
If you decide to use a walker make sure you stick to some restrictions and recommendations which will help you keep your child as safe as possible. Every parent should learn when is baby walker good or bad for their child.
Up to Code
Be sure to check if the contraption is up to modern safety codes. Don’t opt for older secondhand walkers as they will not be up to code.
The walker for babies should have a built-in brake mechanism which prevents it from going down stairs. It is advisable to get one that will be wide enough not to fit through door frames.
Never leave your baby unsupervised if it is in the walker while the wheels are not in lock safety mode. Also, don’t leave your baby in the device for more than 30 minutes.
Not Before Sitting
Don’t put your baby in a walker if your baby hasn’t learned how to sit yet. This can severely damage their posture and physical development.
Mobile VS Stationary
Ultimately, it is your choice whether you want to lock the wheels on the device and use it only for sitting purposes or if you want it to move around. If you want it to be mobile, make sure you do a thorough safety check beforehand and remove any potential hazards out of baby’s reach. Also, make sure that the walker is nowhere near any uneven terrain, stairs or water.
Walking Development Alternatives
Today’s parents are stuck between generations and often have trouble deciding between the old ways and the modern approach to parenting. The walker can be a symbol of how parenting styles vary and change through the ages. Young parents often have to find alternatives for walking developments on their own which is why we have prepared some helpful suggestions.
Create an area in your home where there will be no sharp objects, sturdy furniture or hard floors. This can become your baby’s safe area in which they will crawl, roll, and eventually walk. Be sure to have suitable furniture for them to pull themselves up when the time comes.
Some parents feel safer if the area is more legitimately restricted which is why they opt for a larger play pen. This option is perfect for parents who do not feel comfortable merely blocking off an area of the house as a make-shift playpen for their child.
Using a walker in itself does not have to be detrimental for your baby if you make certain restrictions. By following general guidelines, rules, and recommendations, you will be happy to know that no harm can come to your baby.
As a parent, you need to remember that you are perfectly capable of choosing what is best for your baby. You could also read more about when do babies use walkers. And you can rest assured that your kid will be satisfied to be moving around in walker even if it is for limited periods, with supervision, and in restricted safe areas.
Some parents do not feel comfortable using this device which is fine, too. If you decide not to indulge in getting a walker for your little one, be sure to designate a playpen or play area for them to practice their motor skills and head towards developing their walking skills.