Should I Buy a Baby Walker?

Updated on November 03, 2011
L.B. asks from New Rochelle, NY
11 answers

I would like to get my ten month old a baby walker, the kind you push, not the kind you sit in and wheel around in. My first question is, does anyone have a recommendation of a good one? I am leaning towards the Haba Wagon Walker, because it's sturdy, but sooooo expensive! Does anyone have the much cheaper Melissa and Doug alligator walker and like it?

My second question is, will it still work if you have a VERY small apartment? And the only room we can completely babyproof is the living room, so we wouldn't even be able to let him use it in the hallway (where we have some shelves.) Do people use them outside? Would it be weird to take it to the mall?

I think my son will get a lot of use out of it. He is very heavy, and thus a little behind on the motor skills. He doesn't even crawl yet, at least not in a way that gets him anywhere.

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answers from Dayton on

If my son were just a bit younger I would totally get him this new walker/ride on:
Looks like a LOT of fun to me! :)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I did not buy a baby walker. Primarily because there are some dangers as well as some evidence showing motor delays in babies who use them heavily. Please look at the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations.

Most accidents that occur with children in walkers HAPPEN WHILE AN ADULT IS SUPERVISING (not parents using it and heading off to answer the phone). Parents just don't move fast enough to prevent them. The anecdotal evidence that 3 of someone's kids are doing great does not in any way invalidate evidence that statistically children who use walkers fall behind children who do not use walkers. There is always individual variation and the developmental issues are not severe although they are real.

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answers from Norfolk on

Some kids walk a little sooner and some kids walk a little later.
My son was 25lbs at one year and walked at 14 months.
He was a great crawler!
I got him a few walker type toys but he didn't use them much.
Once he was cruising, he'd hold onto anything - tables, chairs, etc and step his way around.
Before you know it he'll be running so fast there will be no catching him!



answers from Savannah on

1st off, I would call the toy you are talking about a "push toy" so there is no confusion! :)

These types of toys do not need to be expensive. They all have the same type of features and in the long run, all children get the same use out of them. My son goes to a play group and there are a variety of these toys there, and they all get played with! We have a small apartment as well and we use our mostly in one room, but you can also take it outside. I would be careful about using on a sidewalk right next to the street though because if your son is not that stable, he might stumble into the street. I would definitely NOT take it to the mall because it is starting to be the time where people are going to be holiday shopping and they are going to be in a rush. They can easily run over your son or get very rude because they are stuck behind him. Plus, if he isn't the best at walking with it, the toy will most likely veer off to one side or another, and it will be hard for you to keep him out of the way. I know it is cold in new york, so outdoors might be off limits but he is able to walk in shoes and you can bundle him up, a park will probably give you more space.



answers from New York on

You mean a toy wagon etc. that you can push. He can use it all over the
apartment. You say it only one room is babyproofed. Kids learn by exploring all over. They also learn what they can touch and not touch.
Just make sure your cleaning products are away and kept behind closed/
locked doors. Let him investigate his surroundings. Of course this toy can
be used outside. Would I take it to the mall no especially because he is
not walking.



answers from Cleveland on

We had the BEST baby walker - the push kind. Not sure what it was but it was simple - a little triangle shaped cart. Both my kids LOVED it. It was a life saver. And we did use it outside. I just googled and the closest I see quickly is the VTech sit to stand learning walker. Ours was simpler but the same design. I went to look on google bc I dont' know what we would have done without ours. I even had the kind that they stand in bc I don't see how it's dangerous on the first floor of our house supervised... It was ok but they're so big that they're kind of impractical.



answers from Minneapolis on

Walkers were not recommeneded by my pediatrician, so didn't get that. The kind you push are more dangerous I think. I had one for my son (actually a gift - it was a ride on car which could be used as a push along walker as well). My son didn't learn to use it until he was standing and trying to walk on his own or by holding our hands. So if your son is not trying to walk then please be very careful using it, because they push it further without taking a step and then lose their balance and fall forward.



answers from Phoenix on

I would get a cheapie, personally. Your child may or may not like it, you just don't know. We got a Little Tikes version & that worked well. You could really get anything that had a handle on it, such as a play shopping cart, or a push/ride on toy. I don't think a toy like this is a necessity, though. My DD didn't really use it that much & as far as actually helping them learn to stand/walk, I don't think they have much of an effect.



answers from Albuquerque on

Yes - push toys are great. (I think you're really talking about a push toy, not a typical baby walker - which is like a circle around them) We had the wagon from Haba and it's beautiful. My girls both used it while learning to walk, and then as a cart to push their toys around in. My friend had the M&D alligator and it was just as nice for practicing to walk. My vote is save the $110 and get the M&D alligator.

Your son will get use out of it even in a small space... but remember... you don't need to totally baby proof everything. Let him walk up and down the hallway while you're right there and it doesn't matter if you have open shelves. We did the bare minimum of baby proofing (gates on the stairs, chemicals away) and both of my kids did just fine.



answers from Dallas on

My daughter loved the VTech walker, but it didn't do so well on carpets. It was only $25 at Toys R Us. I would never take it to the mall because people are not going to be on the look out for a kid using a walker. I would use it outside though.


answers from Richmond on

There is ONE walker left on the market without all the bells and whistles... the one with the plain white tray, blue seat with bears on it. That's as traditional as you can get... and yes, all 3 of my kids LOVED it.

1- The Pediatric Association discourages walkers. Most mom's translate that into 'OMG IT'S DANGEROUS, I'D NEVER PUT MY BABY IN ONE!!'... don't buy into that nonsense. The PA discourages them because too many idiot parents would use them as 'the babysitter', and next thing you knew, the kids flying down the stairs in the walker. Common sense says, you watch your kid, walker or no walker.

2- People will try to tell you it will hinder your child from learning to walk unassisted, or that it's bad for their bones. I have 3x the proof that this is NOT true (not to mention the fact that almost EVERYONE on here was in a walker at some point)...

3- Yes, a small, relatively childproofed, even carpeted space is fine and worth the $ spent. Do be super careful around stairs, any table baby can reach up and onto, anything hanging down within reach, etc. I used to put our walker in the grass so baby could get some fresh air. They couldn't move it in the grass, but it was better than the stroller, since they were still working those little legs.

The mall is pretty weird, yes.

Check the weight limits on the walker, and also, remember, this is not for 'all the time'... your kiddo still needs tummy time and time to sit up, learn to crawl, roll over, etc. I also used to put the kids in the walker and give them cheerios, they loved the walker... just not for every waking second of every day.

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