TODDLERS CORNER

Why baby walkers aren't advisable for your kid's development

Instead let them walk by themselves to strengthen the hip muscles

In Summary

• Let your baby crawl or use other alternatives like push walkers which help strengthen the whole leg muscles

• Walkers block this vision by delaying muscle control because they walk even before their muscles are ready.

Canada has banned baby walkers
Canada has banned baby walkers
Image: Courtesy: Pinterest

If you are considering buying your child a baby walker, you might want to reconsider.

In fact, baby walkers are banned in Canada because of the dangers they pose.

By giving the babies extra speed and height, walkers give them access to many hazards as they can tip and fall over or crash into furniture.

On top of that, research has shown that walkers don’t help your child to walk, as a matter of fact, they discourage babies from walking by themselves.

A study by Harvard University found out that babies using walkers may learn to walk about a month later than those who don’t.

“Babies get to walk by observing and understanding how their feet and legs move. Walkers block this vision by delaying muscle control because they walk even before their muscles are ready,” they say.

Walkers tend to strengthen the lower legs and not the upper legs and hips which are essential for walking; this can lead to ankle and leg problems as they get older because they are using their tiptoes.

Reliance on the walkers reduces their chances of crawling and demotivates them from ever wanting to explore their spaces as they are in a confined space.

    Switch to these alternatives instead

Let them crawl

You can remove any objects you think they might bump into and let them wear crawling knee pads that are anti-slip. 

Design a proper play area

Make a safe space for your child to explore on the floor so that he or she learns how to mix sitting up, rolling over, crawling and finding that stability without help before walking.

Ensure the play area has a soft colourful rubber mat that will help them learn better, build necessary muscles and be injury-free.

Image: Push walker

Use pushing toys instead.

Push toys like cars, provide support for babies that are not ready to walk yet.

Children between the ages of 8 to 12 months are keen to explore their surroundings.

A push walker can provide them with mobility and help them move with little supervision.

Kids like motion, so getting a stationary activity canter that can bounce but looks like a walker can also be a great alternative.

play mat
play mat
Image: Courtesy: Pinterest

Let your child interact with other kids

Just from watching others, babies get easily motivated as they see others stand and walk, they will want to do the same.

Remember each baby is different, so don’t worry if he or she learns to walk a little bit slower, your child can be spending that time learning other things.