Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Each phase of raising a child brings its own challenges. And anyone who has a little one at home knows that when they start wanting to walk by themselves, the worry doubles. For this, having a baby walker can be a great help! This mini vehicle helps to keep the child safe while moving around the environment.

If you have any doubts about the effectiveness and risks of the baby walker, this article is the place to clarify everything. We will show you the advantages, care when choosing one and leave a selection of the best sellers on the market. Come check it out!




Summary

  • The baby walker was developed to help in the locomotion of the child while he/she is still unable to change steps autonomously, without supports.
  • The opinion of experts is that the baby walker can harm the child's development, especially if adopted in the wrong phase.
  • To use a baby walker safely, it is important that adult supervision is always present, avoiding the child's movement in dangerous environments.

The Best Best Baby Walker: Our Picks

Buying guide: everything you need to know about baby walkers

You may have heard a lot of things about baby walkers. But to decide whether or not it's right for your child, you need to do some research. In this section, we'll tell you everything we know about this accessory and how it can be useful in everyday life.

andador para bebê

The baby walker can help your child to move around while he or she is still unable to move without support. Source: patrykkosmider / 123rf.com

What is a baby walker?

A baby walker is a mini vehicle that helps in the locomotion of the child while he is not yet able to balance and change steps without the help of another person. This way, it is an ally for the parents, who can leave the little one safely out of the cradle or the pram.

In general, it is composed of a seat with side protection and a lower bar with wheels to facilitate the baby's mobility.

By placing his feet on the ground, the child can walk. But if he loses his balance, there is no risk of falling

What are the different types of baby walkers?

Originally, the baby walker was a device like we described earlier: a kind of seat with protection on all sides and a wider bottom bar to ensure balance and stability.

However, as time went by, other models appeared. Although there is much variation in design and features, currently we can highlight basically two types of baby walkers:

Push walker Traditional walker
Structure Reminds a child of a shopping cart, with a bar on which the child holds on while pushing the toy A suspended seat with side supports and wheels that facilitate locomotion
Risk of accidents Bigger, because there is no safety structure around the child Smaller, but you need to watch out for steps so the pram does not tip over
Child development Bigger Smaller
Playfulness Varies with the model, but is usually bigger Depends on the model. In general, it is smaller
Interaction with the environment Total Limited

Does the baby walker impair the baby's development?

This is an issue that has caused controversy for some time. Until the 1990s, the walker was used by almost all children. The 2000s brought with them concern about the muscle and motor development of children using a baby walker.

The reality is that there is no type of study that proved the effectiveness of the equipment, but it is undeniable that it brings more peace of mind to parents on a daily basis. Currently, the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics is working hard on a campaign against the use of baby walkers (1).

According to specialists, it may compromise muscle strengthening, with no benefits to gait development. Our recommendation is that, if you are thinking of acquiring a baby walker, you should use the equipment moderately and always under supervision.

andador para bebê

According to specialists, the baby walker impairs the child's development if adopted in the wrong phase.
Source: Anek Suwannaphoom / 123rf.com

Is it worth investing in a baby walker?

Considering all the studies on this topic, we know that there is no way to prove the benefits of the walker for baby's physical and cognitive development. In this sense, we will stick to the advantages that it can bring in a practical way to the routine at home.

Thus, we can make a list of pros and cons of the baby walker:

Advantages
  • Can stimulate balance
  • Gives freedom of movement
  • Ensures a point of support for the child
  • Models with playful activities help to develop the senses and motor coordination
  • Promotes interaction with the environment
Disadvantages
  • Can cause accidents if used unsupervised
  • The traditional model can leave the baby "lazy"
  • It is necessary to be extra careful with steps and ramps

What care should I take when using a baby walker?

We have just said that the use of a baby walker needs constant monitoring to avoid accidents with the little one. Therefore, we highlight some points of attention that may go unnoticed on a daily basis. Being aware of these precautions can make the difference in your child's safety. So, whenever you put him/her in the baby walker, remember:

  • The baby walker is indicated for children who are already able to stand up by themselves;
  • The terrain must be free of steps, stairs and ramps;
  • It is forbidden to use in places with a lot of furniture, carpets or dangerous items;
  • The walker is an aid for the child's locomotion. Stimulate free movement;
  • Never leave your child in the baby walker without supervision.

Purchase criteria: What to take into account when choosing a baby walker

If, in view of this information, you still have doubts about whether or not to buy a baby walker, it is good to know that there are ways to ensure the safe use of the equipment. One of them is to carefully check some technical and practical points when choosing.

Child's age

Consider the stage of development of your baby before putting him/her in a walker. The very young do not yet have the physical and spatial maturity to be subjected to this equipment.

To know the right moment, a tip is to wait until your child can already balance on his own. This is a sign that he will be able to interact well with the device, without the risk of compromising his development.

Frequency of use

This point is crucial to ensure the proper development of the baby. If your intention is to have an accessory to leave the child for a long time, the walker may not be the most indicated, according to what we have already seen here.

However, if you intend to use it only eventually, it is a good option. But it is always good to reinforce that you must respect the baby's development when choosing the most appropriate model.

andador para bebê

To use the baby walker safely, it is important to have an adult nearby. Source: patrykkosmider / 123rf.com

Type of baby walker

And speaking of the appropriate model, the type of baby walker is a choice that also determines the best use of the accessory. Our recommendation is for you to evaluate the possibilities attached to each of them.

In the push walker, which resembles a doll's carriage, besides the playful aspect, the baby is freer to move around. For this reason, it may be more suitable than the traditional one.

Safety items

Observe some small details makes the difference when buying an accessory such as the baby walker. Some models bring safety items that ensure more tranquility to parents and protection to the child.

Therefore, before deciding, observe if the model has a system that prevents the wheels from locking, safety belt (in traditional walkers) and anti-tipping technology, which may be essential for those who have more agitated babies.

Summary

Every decision that involves the development and safety of a child generates apprehension and uncertainty. For this reason, we have decided to speak clearly here about the pros and cons of the baby walker. In this article, we show what the purpose of this equipment is and what experts say about the use of a baby walker.

We remind you that, under supervision and in moderation, it can be advantageous for the routine at home, but it is important to talk to your pediatrician before deciding whether or not to use a walker. We hope this material has been helpful to you. Leave us a comment about your experience and take the opportunity to share our guide with your friends. Thank you very much!

(Featured image source: Kyryl Gorlov / 123rf.com)

References (1)

1. Andador: perigoso e desnecessário! Campanha pela proibição dos andadores. Sociedade Brasileira de Pediatria. 2014.
Source

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Andador: perigoso e desnecessário! Campanha pela proibição dos andadores. Sociedade Brasileira de Pediatria. 2014.
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