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.
How to choose the perfect baby walker:
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
How often will I use a baby walker?
If your little one is in the mood, for a period of about 20 minutes every day. Baby walkers are fun but for the rest of the time encourage her to walk unaided.
How much should I spend on a baby walker?
They range in price from about £30 to well over £100.
Are baby walkers safe?
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.
Baby walker safety tips:
- They 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 BSEN 1273:2005.
What are the best baby walkers to buy?
We've summed up our top picks here:
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.
Any downsides? There are reports that it’s not 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, so don’t forget to buy some too.
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 baby walker for under £100: Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Sit, Stride and Ride Lion Set, RRP £59.99, Amazon
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.
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’s 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, RRP £32.99, Amazon
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.
This ride-on doubles as a walker, and there’s no doubt it’s a great looking piece of wood. It comes ready assembled which could save a headache if its given as a gift, and it even comes with storage space. Our testers asked: what’s not to love?
Any downsides? It’s so beautiful you won’t want to use it outside.