My best friend and I are pregnant right alongside each other and it’s been wonderful to share this experience with someone I’ve known for 15 years. We got into a debate last night about whether or not she should keep the baby walker she was gifted. I told her to burn the thing and get rid of it ASAP!
I was ALWAYS anti walkers, I hated the things. They are giant chunks of plastic that take up TONS of space and they really have NO benefit for your child. She asked me why and she couldn’t believe all the reasons I listed, she said I was silly. I was like come on dude I am being for real. Do you want your kid to walk or do you just want to toss him somewhere so he can keep “busy”? From all the kids that I have seen who used one they were all “lazy” walkers. I knew once I had a baby that walkers along with strollers would never be things that I would buy. I was determined to baby wear and let her have lots of floor, exploring time. I did agree finally with my mom to get a sit to stand toy and that actually worked out pretty well. She loved that toy way after she learned how to walk and it was so hard for her to let it go to someone else. Now that I am having baby #2 I wish I would have kept it, but I guess I can try to score a 2nd hand one somewhere. Someone also got us a Johnny Jumper and she loved that for about 2 days and hated it after.
I know its all a difference in opinion and varies from child to child, but from my personal experience I have yet to see any benefits. Some people swear by them and say it actually helped their kid learn to walk faster and it taught them how to “run”, but I beg to differ. Even our family chiropractor strongly suggested that we do not get one because it impairs so many of their developing bones sitting in that position.
There’s no point in getting into a fight about it, I just wanted to share this information along to anyone who may be considering getting one to just think twice. Exersaucers and jumpers are much better and safer alternatives along with sit to stand toys. But ultimately you want your child to have as much floor time as possible and let them explore and learn how their limbs should function.
Here is some of the info I found to help back up what I am saying:
Studies have shown that babies who use a walker may actually learn to walk about a month later than those who don’t. Walkers allow babies to move around before they are physically ready for it, which can cause unusual movement patterns and delayed muscle control.
Babies learn to walk in part by watching and understanding how their feet and legs move. If a walker has a tray, they can’t see what’s happening with their lower body and don’t get the information they need about their motor development.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using walkers not only because they can discourage your child from learning to walk on his own, but also because they can be dangerous.
From another article: Many parents think that walkers will help children learn to walk. As it turns out, walkers interfere with learning to walk. In addition to decreasing the desire to walk by providing an easier alternative, walkers strengthen the wrong muscles. The lower legs are strengthened, but the upper legs and hips become relatively weak. The upper legs and hips are most important for walking.