At What Age Your Baby Can Use a Walker?
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- Video: When Your Baby Can Start Using a Walker?
- Is It Safe to Use Baby Walkers?
- When to Let Your Baby Start Using a Baby Walker?
- How Long You Can Use a Baby Walker?
- Advantages of Baby Walkers
- Disadvantages of Using Baby Walkers
- Does Baby Walker Help Balance?
- Things to Remember When Buying Baby Walker
- Precautions to Take While Making Your Child Use a Walker
- Alternatives to Baby Walkers
Now that your baby is showing rapid growth and is at baby walker age, you must be keen to see him take his first steps. Walking is important in the baby’s life and the parents, 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. Many parents who want their children to learn to walk more quickly put them on a baby walker. What is a baby walker, exactly? A baby walker is an item designed for infants who cannot walk on their own. It consists of a connected seat and a rigid frame on wheels. This seat allows babies to sit and move from one spot in the house to another.
Video: When Your Baby Can Start Using a Walker?
Is It Safe to Use Baby Walkers?
Are walkers safe for babies? Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, baby walkers can be dangerous:
- Baby walkers might roll away if they are not utilised on a level, flat surface or if the brakes are not applied properly. Falls or collisions with furniture or other objects could result in injuries as a result of this.
- Baby walkers can easily roll down steps, posing a major risk of death or serious injury.
- Due to the risk of burns from exposed heating sources or hot liquids, some baby walkers have been recalled.
- Infants may become entrapped and suffer injuries or amputations if their fingers or toes get caught in the walker’s moving elements.
- Using a baby walker can impede a child’s natural progress towards crawling, walking, and balance.
Parents should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, ensure the walker is used on a smooth, level surface, and ensure the brakes are co-strength, guaranteeing the walker is safe to use. The walker should not be used near stairs or other risks, and parents should always watch their infants while in it. Also, it’s critical to confirm that the baby walker complies with current safety requirements and is introduced at the proper age and developmental stage.
When to Let Your Baby Start Using a Baby Walker?
While there is no fixed appropriate age for a baby to use a walker, the baby’s strength, development and size must 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.
How Long You Can Use a Baby Walker?
A baby cannot be left in the walker all day or for an extended period of time. It could harm their back if you do that. Thus, you can follow these simple suggestions from physicians to prevent any harm:
- You should educate your youngster on riding a walker once the baby is active enough during the day.
- You can initially give him two or three minutes to use it.
- You can progressively extend the 3-5 minutes daily after he becomes accustomed to it and likes it.
- You should only let the toddler use the walker for 40 minutes as he learns to use it swiftly and run faster. Then, you can divide it into three or four sets, such as four 10-minute or two 20-minute sets.
- It would be better if you didn’t exceed the suggested time limit. Otherwise, it can cause spinal damage to your child.
Advantages of Baby Walkers
Here are a few pros of buying a walker for your baby:
1. Engaging and Inspiring
Most baby walkers are fitted with simple toys or attractions to keep the baby engaged and busy. They are designed to stimulate mental growth and provide visual stimulation, too. A walker allows you to continue your daily tasks since the baby remains engaged with the attached toys.
2. Encourage Babies to Walk
With support, your baby may be encouraged to take his first steps. In addition, it helps the baby understand how the standing pose will aid walking, and he will attempt to get going independently.
3. Promote Mobility
Children between the ages of 8 to 12 months are keen to explore their surroundings. A walker can provide them with the mobility they need and help them manoeuvre themselves without assistance.
4. Develop coordination
A baby walker can assist in your child’s coordination development. They learn how to manoeuvre the walker by coordinating their arms and legs. Also, it may enhance their gross motor skills.
5. Muscular development
Muscular development: Their leg muscles will especially benefit from this. Your child will use their legs more when walking with a baby walker, resulting in stronger muscles.
Disadvantages of Using Baby Walkers
Here are a few disadvantages related to the use of baby walkers:
- First, babies using walkers may 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 strengthen all the muscles needed to stand or walk. A walker may prevent your baby from doing so and impair normal development.
- Objects out of reach for a crawling baby may come within reach of a baby in a walker, which could cause 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?
Rolling over, crawling, standing, and walking teach a baby to balance himself. When you allow the baby to use a walker, his position causes him to lean forward from the hip. The child does not have to balance himself on 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.
Things to Remember When Buying Baby Walker
Consider some of the following advice before choosing a baby walker for your child:
- Safety for your child
- Adjustability for height and comfort for your child comes first.
- Check out the reviews first
- Choose a walker that has a wide base.
- Verify the walker’s weight and mobility.
- See the safety features.
- Choose non-toxic materials.
- Thoroughly inspect for flaws.
- Price Comparision
Precautions to Take While Making Your Child Use a Walker
It is highly recommended that you address some baby walker safety issues before your child makes active use of one:
- Ensure that the baby walker is used on a flat and even surface only.
- Keep the baby and walked away from staircases and water bodies of any kind
- It is mandatory for you or a responsible adult to be around while the baby is using the walker.
- Remove sharp and pointed objects or surfaces from the vicinity. Heavy or breakable objects should be moved into another area.
Alternatives to Baby Walkers
Several alternatives to baby walkers might give your child similar advantages without the possible risks connected with walkers:
1. Exersaucers: These stationary activity centres provide a safe and secure environment for your baby to play and explore.
2. Jumpers: Jumpers allow your baby to leap and bounce in a safe and secure environment. They are comparable to exersaucers.
3. Play yards: They give your child a secure area to play and explore. Some play areas can include toys and built-in activity centres.
4. Walk-behind toys: These are toys that your baby can push or pull while learning to walk.
5. Push walkers: They are similar to walkers, but without wheels, so your infant can practise walking by pushing and pulling on the grip.
6. Baby carriers: Carriers let you walk around with your baby while keeping them close to you, providing the stimulation and security they require.
7. Bouncers: When your baby moves, a bouncer seat softly bobs back and forth, amusing them and fostering the growth of their motor abilities.
8. Playmats: They give your child a soft, secure area to play and explore. A lot of play mats have built-in toys and games.
1. Can Walkers Help In Baby’s Development?
Baby walkers may not be the ideal option for promoting infant growth, but it’s still necessary to use them under adult supervision, check that they are suitable for the baby’s age and developmental stage, and ensure they comply with current safety regulations.
2. Can Walkers Damage Baby’s Legs?
Parents often ask, ‘do walkers help babies walk?’ Baby walkers put force into the improper muscles in the legs, which can affect how normally the muscles and joints develop. Moreover, walkers might cause infants to control their weight using their knees and hips, resulting in incorrect walking patterns and an elevated risk of hip issues.
As we have seen, baby walkers have their own pros and cons and may often raise the question, “are baby walkers safe?” As an alert parent, you must take care so that the advantages can be driven home while the disadvantages can be avoided. It is, after all, a parent’s responsibility to ensure that the baby’s development is unhindered due to the use of such objects.
Also Read: Baby Walking Signs