When your baby reaches that all important milestone of taking their first steps, you may want to start looking for the best baby walker to help them with the transition of sitting, to standing to walking for the first time. There are a huge range of walkers on the market to suit a wide variety of tastes and budgets so we've rounded up some of the best to help you choose the right one for you and your tot.
The best baby walkers:
What is a baby walker?
A baby walker is a movable contraption that can help your baby take their first steps. You can have walkers your baby sits in, or Zimmer-frame type walkers, sit-and-stride bike types, or jumpers.
Their feet touch the floor, and with your guidance, they can learn to navigate a safe space and learn to walk and transition from a sitting position to a standing position. A baby walker is usually made of plastic or wood and it can be collapsible so that it can be easily folded away and stored.
It allows them to explore areas by themselves and helps their legs become stronger in preparation for future walking, developing muscles and coordination skills. Walkers should be used for around 20 minutes a day so as not too put too much strain on underdeveloped muscles, and most baby walkers are suitable for ages six months and up, or whenever your doctor says it's OK.
How do you choose a baby walker?
Baby walkers fall into four main categories:
- The seated walker – for very little ones who are just starting to sit up.
- The walking frame – basically like a baby Zimmer frame for tots who can stand up without trouble if they are leaning on something.
- The sit and stride - this could be like a little bike they can sit on and use their legs to move around.
- The jumper - a stationary bouncing seat that doesn't move around the floor but it does encourage your baby to use their legs, preparing them for the walker or walking frame stage, again assisting development and helping them build their muscles.
A walker with a wider base can prevent your baby from entering areas of the house you'd rather them not go into, like the kitchen and the bathroom. Make sure that the baby walker can move on carpets easily, otherwise your baby will probably just give up trying.
Adjustable height and a padded seat are always good extras to have. Another good extra would be lockable wheels for when you need your baby to stay in one place. The cost of a baby walker can range from about £30 to well over £100.
Are baby walkers safe?
There has been a lot of speculation about the safety of baby walkers because even though it should go without saying, a baby left unattended in a baby walker is never safe. In fact, the sale of baby walkers is banned in Canada. In the UK this is a matter of parent discretion and there are safety tips you can follow to minimise potential dangers.
A baby walker should only be used under adult supervision and a baby in a walker should never be left unattended.
- Check what’s now within your baby’s reach – can they now reach dangerous items or even a cup of coffee?
- Do not let your baby use a walker anywhere near stairs or steps.
- Make sure your baby can't reach electrical sockets.
- Make sure there aren't any cables your child can pull on.
- Walkers should have the safety mark BS EN 1273:2005.
The best baby walkers to buy
We've found the best baby walkers currently available to buy in the UK to suit every budget, style, and need.
This product also made the Mother & Baby awards 2018 shortlist for Best Baby Toy. This lovely zebra walker will definitely grab your baby’s attention with all the different colours and shapes. Lightweight enough to take with you to Granny’s house, our panel of testers loved the various lights and music features from the brand they trust. Any downsides? It would be easier to pop in the boot of a car if it folded.
It was Shortlisted in the 2018 M&B Awards Best Baby Toy category.
Tested by mum Harriet Morton for the Mother&Baby Awards 2018: "I'd definitely recommend this baby walker to anyone with a little one who is starting to move around. It is extremely easy to put up, only taking around five to 10 minutes. It’s wipe-clean, which I think is an essential with baby toys. The toy itself isn’t too big, which is great for someone who only has a very small front room, and means my little one can walk and play with plenty of space to do so."
Read our full review of the Fisher-Price Learn with Me Zebra Walker here
This baby walker, which was shortlisted in the M&B Best Baby Toy Award 2020, is not just great at helping your little one's balance and walking to develop, but is a great toy for them to play with too. You can remove the panel to play with separately, and there are plenty of interactive buttons and playthings to involved your baby.
Mum tester Nikita said: "This toy has been great in keeping my little ones entertained. Being able to remove the activity board from the actual walker is great because it means both my under twos can play with one each. The sounds, colours, and activities are great for keeping the kids busy while I'm doing something else, there is also enough on it for them to share and play together."
Read our full review of the Vtech Baby Walker here
You get quite a lot of return for your investment 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 the sliding mechanism switch at the base. It also includes a comfy foot pad. Any downsides? There have been reports that it’s not so great on deep carpets.
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 which are not included.
Tested by Jennifer Barclay, from Edinburgh, mum to Alexander, 12 months. She said: "A lovely, simple toy that works really well as a walker, although it’s a bit fiddly to convert it to a ride-on. It has a nice low seat – ideal for little legs. The steering wheel actually moves the wheels, which Alexander loves. The shape-sorter is a nice touch too. Just don’t forget to buy batteries if you’re buying this for a Christmas present."
Read our full review of the Wobble Toddle Ride-On here
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 well after 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.
Tested by Jennifer Barclay, from Edinburgh, mum to Alexander, 12 months. She said: "We have a love/hate relationship with this. Alexander loves it and spent ages playing with the activity centre, but we considered ‘losing’ the batteries after five minutes. It’s very loud and flashy. He's a bit small for riding it, but it’ll grow with him, so it’s good value for money."
Read our full review of the VTech Push and Ride Alphabet Train here
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 kids under 18 months (by which that time they'll probably be walking).
This product made the Mother & Baby awards 2018 shortlist for Best Baby Toy. The 3-in-1 activity walker is a walker, standing activity table, and sit-and-play activity centre all in one. There's even a cute little disco ball on the front that kids seem to love. Strong enough to withstand climbs and knocks, our panel of mum testers loved how interactive the walker was.
It was Shortlisted in the 2018 M&B Awards Best Baby Toy category.
Tested by mum Sarah Bennett for the Mother&Baby Awards 2018: "My daughter is 13 months old and loves the lights, meaning she’s happy to play with it for ages while I do things round the house. She is very happy with her new walker, and even my four-year-old will play with her when it's in table mode."
Read our full review of the Little Tikes 3-in-1 Baby Walker and Activity Table here
This baby walker will encourage your baby not only to move but also to grab and play at its many manual activities that make electronic sounds. It has a rigid backrest to offer maximum back support, and the padded seat is removable and hand-washable.
Encourage your baby to move in different ways by walking, rocking, bouncing and spinning with this Activity Walker which will help them develop their motor skills all while bringing a smile to their face. As well as allowing your tot to move freely, the walker also has plenty of textures, lights, sounds and melodies with activities to turn, slide, rattle, grab, push and even chew as they develop their cognitive and fine motor skills.