Last Updated On November 20th, 2018
Baby walkers are like bikes with training wheels for older children. Parents often wonder if such training products are necessary, or if they should just allow their children to learn without crutches or security blankets. New mommies and daddies often think about the accessories and products that can help their children to develop. One of the questions that come up is whether or not they should use baby walkers. They have positive and negative aspects to them, and each set of parents has to make a decision with which they feel comfortable.
Baby Walker Styles
In a nutshell, baby walkers are items that have raised seats with wheels that allow the baby to roll around the house in a sitting or standing position. Eventually, the advanced child can walk around outside of the walker and push it around the home. At that stage, the walker offers the child support much like a walker for an adult who suffers a leg or knee injury.
The walker device introduces the baby to using his or her legs to get from one destination to another. Many walker styles exist, and the prices vary from as little as $15 to almost $100. The bare-bones style walkers do not offer any toys or entertainment. They are inexpensive and only serve to hold the baby in position. Some of the advanced models have educational toys on them, steering wheels, mirrors, and other cool features.
The Benefits of Using a Baby Walker
Baby walkers can provide peace of mind to nervous mothers and fathers who are sensitive about their babies getting hurt. The baby can’t fall on her bottom as long as she’s inside of a walker. Walkers also allow children to learn how to exercise their legs, and it teaches them that they must work to get to where they want to be. Another positive feature of using a walker is that it has a tray on it for eating. Parents can serve their babies lunch without removing them from their special chairs.
The Disadvantages of Using a Baby Walker
One disadvantage of using a walker is that it can cause bow legs and awkward walking styles because of its seating design. Additionally, babies can’t see their legs while they are sitting in the walker. Therefore, they may not understand that they are using them to move around. A “freestyle” baby can understand the process of walking and thus may develop skills faster than a walker baby does. Furthermore, walker use could cause laziness. Many babies end up using their walkers to sit instead of walk. Oftentimes, their parents catch them sleeping in them, as well.
Should Parents Use Baby Walkers?
The answer to the question of whether to use a baby walker is personal between parents. It depends on the parents’ level of patience and willingness to help the babies learn to walk, and it depends on the parents’ nervousness levels. There is no harm in trying one and then deciding whether it is a good fit for the family later. Many parents have successfully raised their children with a little help from the walkers.
Where to Find Walkers
Parents can find walkers in a variety of locations. Some of the most common places to find walkers are department stores and baby-exclusive shops. They can also search auction sites, flea markets, thrift shops, and classified ads. Classified ads are great places to find inexpensive used items. Parents who prefer new items will be better off searching in the department stores.