When your baby transitions from crawling to cruising, you may want to help them take their first independent steps. That’s when baby walkers can come in handy. But there are a huge variety of walkers on the market to suit a wide variety of tastes and budgets. Here’s how to choose the best one for you.
What is a baby walker?
A baby walker is usually made of plastic or wood and it can be open or closed. A baby walker is a support for babies, allowing them to explore areas by themselves and to help their legs to become stronger to future walking developing muscles and coordination skills.
How often will you use a baby walker?
Use is dependent on your little one’s mood, though it’s suggested that baby walkers are used up to 20 minutes a day. Baby walkers are fun but for the rest of the time encourage them to walk unaided. Most baby walkers are suitable for ages 6 months and up.
How do you choose a baby walker?
It’s a given that baby walkers should help your toddler take their first steps and should be safe for them to use, but what other factors are there when choosing one?
The types of a baby walker
Baby walkers fall into three main categories:
- The seated walker – for very little ones
- The walking frame – basically a baby Zimmer frame
- The trailer – the most traditional, it will still be useful when your tot gets into transporting their toys
There is also another one called stationary baby walker without wheels. If you choose this one, your baby won’t be able to walk but instead will be able to stand up on their own and bounce, helping their development as well.
What other things should I look out for on a baby walker?
It's always best to invest in one with a wider base, as it will prevent your baby from entering dangerous areas, like the kitchen and the bathroom. Make sure that the baby walker can move on carpets easily. Beside this, always select a baby walker with an adjustable height and a padded seat. To make it easier for storage, buy one foldable as well. Another feature of a baby walker is the mechanism that prevents your baby from falling down stairs. With this mechanism, you can lock the wheels into place.
The price of a baby walker
The price of a baby walker can range from about £30 to well over £100.
Important points about a baby walker safety
Most parents have this doubt: Are baby walkers safe? And this is a controversial issue. Some people believe that they lead to an increased risk of accidents as your baby can reach things that previously were too high for them, such as hot drinks. Plus there’s more risk of falls. In fact, the sale of baby walkers is banned in Canada. But there are safety tips you can follow to minimise potential dangers.
General usage tips about the best baby walker
- A baby walker should only be used under supervision – this is a piece of nursery equipment that does not have the ‘I’ll just nip to the loo’ factor.
- Check what’s now within your baby’s reach – could they pull a cup of coffee down onto their head with their new height?
- Do not let your baby use a walker anywhere near the top of stairs.
- Walkers should have safety mark BS EN 1273:2005.
What are the best baby walkers to buy?
Best walker for young babies: Red Kite Baby Go Round Twist Walker
You get quite a lot of bang for your buck with this walker. There’s an array of toys on a removable tray and it converts from a static rocker to a walker at the flick of a sliding mechanism at the base. It also includes a comfy foot pad. Any downsides? There are reports that it’s not great on deep carpets.
Best walker for one-year-old: Early Learning Centre Wobble Toddle Ride on
This colourful two-in-one toy converts from a walker to a ride-on toy car, so it grows with your baby. Our testers say it has lots of fun features to keep babies and toddlers occupied, including a steering wheel, gear stick, musical buttons, and a built-in shape-sorter. Any downsides? It needs batteries, so don’t forget to buy some too.
Best baby walkers for toddlers: VTech Baby Push and Ride Alphabet Train
It sounds like an oxymoron, but with four play modes – sit-down play, walker, pull-along wagon and ride-on train – this is packed with features to keep little ones occupied even when they’re walking independently. Our testers loved the letter blocks, light-up piano keys, turning book, beads, and cogs. Any downsides? It can be a bit tricky to steer.
Best playful baby walker: Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Sit, Stride and Ride Lion Set
This converts from an activity unit to a walker and ride-on toy. There are lots of light and sound features, including songs and fun phrases, plus light-up buttons that help teach numbers and colours. Our testers enjoyed ‘feeding’ the balls to the lion. Any downsides? It appealed most to those under 18 months.
Best budget baby walker: Little Tikes 3-in-1 Walker and Activity Table
The 3-in-1 Activity Walker is a walker, standing activity table, and sit and play activity centre all in one. One of our favourite things about this cute little walker is the disco ball on the front. Strong enough to withstand climbs and knocks, our panel of mum testers loved how interactive the walker was. And it was Shortlisted for Best Baby Toy in the Mother & Baby Awards 2018.
Best baby walker for easy transportation: Fisher-Price Learn with Me Zebra Walker
Transportation by you, that is. This lovely zebra walker will definitely grab your baby’s attention. Lightweight enough to take with you to Granny’s house, our panel of testers loved the various lights and music features from a brand they trust. In fact, it made the Mother & Baby awards 2018 shortlist for Best Baby Toy. Any downsides: it would be easier to pop in the boot of a car if it folded.
Best lightweight baby walker: Bright Starts Walkin' Wild Walker Door Bouncers
This 5 start baby walker on Amazon can be used in different forms providing sturdy support for little ones "on the go". Also, it comes with lights and melodies activated by the steering wheel.
Best baby walker that converts to rocker: Bebe Style Baby Walker
This baby walker will encourage your baby not only to move but also with its electronic sounds and manual activities. It has a rigid backrest to offer maximum back support, the padded seat is removable and hands washable.
Best baby walker for support: Bebe Style Deluxe Teddy Walker
This is a fantastic teddy themed walker with sounds and activities. For this price, you are taking home a fantastic high-quality walker with all the required features such as adjustable seat and padded abdominal protection, Front swivel wheels and Rigid backrest.
Best baby walker for storage: Fascol Baby Walker with Eight Wheels Multi-function Child
If you don't have space at your home this is the best one for you and your baby. In addition, you have a bunch of features: adjustment Seat Height, Ultra-quiet swivel universal wheel without scratches, and a Dining Table.
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