Are Push-Along Walkers Bad for Babies?
Are push-along walkers bad for babies?
Do a quick search on google and the overwhelming opinion is that baby walkers are bad for babies. However, these articles refer to sit-in baby walkers rather than push-along baby walkers and even sit in walkers should be safe for short periods if supervised.
A sit-in wheel around baby walker is dangerous for a number of reasons.
Firstly they put babies in an unnatural position for their stage of development and cause them to use their muscles and limbs in an unnatural way. They don't learn to balance and they use different muscles to scoot than they would use to walk. This can lead to developmental delays and even long-lasting hip, knee and ankle issues.
Secondly as babies, like being upright, and enjoy the feeling of being able to move around so, are often very happy to be in a walker. This can lead to parents leaving babies in a walker when they need to get things done without realising how dangerous they can be if babies are left unattended.
One of the reasons baby walkers have been banned in Canada is the number of walker related injuries including burns, scooting into things and crushing their fingers, pulling things down on top of them and even falling down steps or stairs.
A push-along wooden baby walker, however, is a completely different toy that can support babies natural development and be a fun tool in their journey towards walking.
The difference of a standing/push-along baby walker
A stand up walker is different in a number of key ways.
Firstly providing you get a good quality walker babies can use them to pull themselves up to standing which is an important part of learning to balance and walk. They'll probably want to use you or the sofa to pull themselves up, to begin with, but a push-along walker is essentially just another great bit of furniture as far as babies are concerned.
Just make sure you are there to make sure the walker doesn't tip.
Secondly the fact that they are not sitting in the walker allows them to drop back down on their bottoms when they lose their balance. Sitting in a walker leaves them dangling which can damage both their spine and hips. Sitting unassisted builds strength and develops muscles needed for walking and balance.
Thirdly, babies can see their feet which is vital when learning to walk.
And finally they can let go.
Wooden baby walkers also tend to support walking and development in other ways as well. An activity walker is fun long before a baby can stand and walk and will encourage sitting and crawling which are both important developmental milestones.
An activity walker for baby might come with blocks or other activities which are perfect for developing fine motor skills and again are perfect for playing with before babies can walk. And of course, pushing toys around in a little cart, or building block towers is fun for years making these great value toys.