For most babies, the path to walking begins with rolling over, then comes the crawl and later, cruising, which is a walk while being continuously supported by using a couch, crib, chair or other object for support. All this time, your baby is working on coordination, balance and motor skills – it takes a lot of skill to get to walking! There are some great aids for babies as they begin learning to walk. Baby walkers, a term which describes a variety of items – are perfect for supporting your baby’s first steps and beyond. Let’s take a look at a few.
Sit-to-Stand Learning Walkers
These fun walkers serve double duty, both as a toy for crawling or sitting babies and later as a walking aid. The toy is typically 4-wheeled with a panel of beads, mirrors or other eye-catching objects in the front and a bar handle to push it from behind (similar to pushing a stroller) as baby begins walking. These are great walking aids because they provide some support, but also promote balance and weight distribution for the baby because they move freely. Thus, don’t be surprised if baby pushes the walker out too far in front and toddles – it’s all part of this fun, exciting learning process.
These walking aids are more traditional in form and function, and they’re a great option for most babies. Initially, the seated position may be lower to allow baby to sit more than standing. As baby grows, the seat is raised until baby is essentially walking on their own. In the meantime, the multi-wheel frame with activity tray provides protection and support against falls and provides entertainment when baby just wants to sit and play or eat of the plastic tray. The greatest benefit to these walkers is that they allow baby the freedom to move, but keeps them contained and safe. As with any of these walking aids, do not leave baby unattended in them and be sure to block off areas such as stairs to prevent falls.
Baby Walker Harnesses
As your baby starts to walk with more confidence, you can increase their exploration with the help of a baby walker harness. Think of one of those “Johnny Jump-Ups” but instead of mounting to a door frame, Mom or Dad holds the top, enabling the baby to take a walk with gentle support. Parents will like this because there’s no bending over to hold hands or steady the little one, which saves wear and tear on the lower back!
Baby walkers are perfect for supporting your baby’s first steps and beyond. There are many motels and options to choose and you may find that getting more than one will facilitate your child’s walking development even more. These walking aids build confidence, help with physical coordination and strength, and provide a safe way for your baby to begin walking and exploring. Before you know it, they’ll be confident walkers with no need for additional support.