Now that your baby is showing rapid signs of growth, you must be keen to see him take his first steps. Walking is an important event in the baby’s life and the parents, too, as it signifies independence. To help your baby along this path of discovery and freedom, you may want to encourage him by bringing home a walker.
While there is no fixed appropriate age for a baby to use a walker, the baby’s strength, development and size will have to be considered before making a decision. Walkers are usually designed for babies between the ages of 4 to 16 months. Apart from this, the baby needs to be able to hold his head up quite steadily and have his feet touch the floor when placed in the walker, to be able to use it.
Advantages of Baby Walkers
Here are a few pros of buying a walker for your baby:
Disadvantages of Using Baby Walkers
Here are a few disadvantages related to the use of baby walkers:
Babies using walkers may actually reach the walking or crawling milestones later than others who don’t.
Your baby should follow the roll-sit up-crawl-walk routine for which it is important for him to stay on the floor. This workout helps in strengthening all the muscles needed to stand or walk. A walker may prevent your baby from doing so and impair normal development.
Objects which are out of reach for a crawling baby may come within reach of a baby in a walker, and this could be the cause of injury.
Your baby’s toes and fingers could be injured as the walker’s design may have folding parts or hinges.
A walker with wheels reduces your reaction time if it picks up speed and can lead to an accident.
Does Baby Walker Help Balance?
The natural process of rolling over, crawling, standing, and then walking teaches a baby how to balance himself. When you allow the baby to use a walker, the baby’s position causes him to lean forward from the hip. The child does not have to balance himself in a walker. Whether a baby tips to the side or forward, the walker will prevent him from falling. The baby will need to learn to balance himself, afresh.