When does a baby begin walking?
Most babies start walking between nine and fifteen months old. However, some babies start walking as early as six months old and others as late as eighteen months old. There is no one right answer. Some babies walk sooner than expected and some take a little longer, but all babies eventually learn to walk.
What helps a baby learn to walk?
One of the best ways for a baby to learn how to walk is by using a baby walker. Baby walkers help babies develop their balance and coordination, which are important skills for walking. Baby walkers also give babies practice with walking, so they learn how to do it more quickly. It consists of a frame that surrounds the baby and has four or more wheels. The baby can then push themselves around using their feet.
Construction of baby walkers
Baby walkers are toys shaped like strollers. They have four base-shaped legs on the bottom fixed in wheels. The front of the baby walker has a tray, which is used to support toys or snacks while the baby plays. Some baby walkers attach toys to the tray, so these can dangle in front of the baby as he pushes it around.
The tray on some baby walkers can be removed or folded up to make room for storage underneath other supplies, such as diapers and wipes. Baby walkers usually have a seat with a safety belt to keep babies from falling out when they push themselves forward with their feet.
Some models also come with a vibrating feature that attaches directly to the seat cushion and provides extra stimulation for the baby.
Materials for baby walkers
The base of the walker is made out of plastic which is mostly in the form of hollow squares or rectangles.
This plastic may be clear to allow the child to see their feet through it while they push themselves forward. The tray at the top can be in a variety of shapes including oval, rectangular, square, L-shaped, and U-shaped. It usually has crossbar support to prevent it from hitting the baby's crotch when he sits on the seat. The seat generally has upholstery covering it for comfort and padding that holds its shape when children bounce on it. Some models have adjustable height options so the seat can accommodate growing babies better.
Some seats are designed with special features such as an electronic toy bar, music player, or mobile with dangling toys.
The fabric used to cover the seat and crossbars is usually colorful and patterned. Straps might be used to hold the baby in while they play or sleep. There are also walkers that come in different colors, such as pink, blue, green, and yellow.
At what age can your child use a baby walker?
Most babies are ready to use a baby walker at around six months old. However, you should check with your doctor to make sure that your child is ready.
Types of baby walkers
There are two types of baby walkers: traditional and activity. Traditional walkers are the most common type and simply help the baby to walk. Activity walkers have added features, such as toys that can be played with or a tray on which the baby can eat.
Also, there is another classification of baby walkers.
- seated walkers: these walkers keep the baby in a seated position and they typically have a harness to keep the baby in place
- standing walkers: these walkers allow the baby to stand and they typically have a bar that the baby can hold onto for support
- sit to stand walkers: these walkers allow the baby to go between a seated and standing position
How to use a baby walker:
- Assemble and fasten the baby walker properly. Read all of the instructions carefully before assembling your baby walker and make sure you understand how it is supposed to work and what parts are included. If you have any questions, contact the manufacturer or another adult with experience using a baby walker.
- Make sure that there is nothing blocking the front of the tray so that it can be pushed underneath tables and chairs as needed. Some manufacturers recommend keeping at least three-quarters of an inch between the wheels and furniture as a safety precaution when pushing a baby walker around close to tables or other pieces of furniture.
- Make sure that the floor is clear of any cords, wires, or other objects that could be a tripping hazard.
- Place your baby in the baby walker and fasten the safety belt. Some baby walkers have a five-point harness system while others have only a three-point harness system.
- If your baby walker has a vibrating feature, turn it on and adjust the intensity as necessary.
- Gently push your baby forward with his feet to encourage him to walk. As he becomes more confident, you can increase the amount of resistance by pushing harder against the back of the walker.
- Be sure to keep an eye on your baby at all times when he is in the baby walker and never leave him alone.
Safety precautions for babies using baby walkers
One of the biggest concerns that parents have is whether their baby might fall out or get injured when they use a walker. However, most parents find that it is actually much safer to use a baby walker than to allow their babies to crawl around unsupervised on hard flooring where they can easily bump into sharp corners and other objects.
Some parents also worry about the safety belt used to keep babies from falling out while pushing themselves around in a baby walker. The truth is, the safety belt doesn't really prevent them from falling completely because it could break under too much pressure and tension if your child were to pull against it very hard, such as during an accidental fall.
However, the belt does help to keep babies from crawling out of the walker and helps to prevent falls if they do push themselves forward with their feet.
Are there any dangers of using a baby walker?
There are a few dangers associated with baby walkers. Firstly, they can be a tripping hazard - particularly if your child is walking in a busy area. They can be dangerous if used near stairs as the baby can easily fall down them.
Secondly, they can give the baby a false sense of security and lead them to walk before they are ready. This can cause problems with their development - for example, they may start to crawl later than other babies.
Baby walkers can be also dangerous if the child falls asleep in them as they can easily roll into a hot oven or fireplace. Finally, some babies have been known to climb out of baby walkers and fall downstairs. For this reason, it is important to always keep an eye on your child when they are using a baby walker.
What are other disadvantages of baby walkers?
Firstly, they can be expensive to buy - many cost upwards of $100. They also take up a large amount of space which can be inconvenient if you live in a small house or flat. Finally, there is the inconvenience when it comes to storing them when your child no longer uses them.
What are the benefits of baby walkers?
The main benefit of baby walkers is that they allow the child to move around independently. They are also a good way of keeping your child entertained when you need to do something else, such as prepare dinner.
What are the alternatives to using a baby walker?
You may want to consider using a stationary activity center instead of a baby walker. These have many benefits - for example, they encourage walking and provide entertainment for your child - but they tend to be cheaper, smaller, and more convenient than traditional baby walkers.
How to encourage your baby for walking?
There are a few tips that can help your baby to walk before they are ready.
- If you have a long narrow room at home, try walking alongside your baby and encouraging them to walk from one side of the room to the other. This will encourage them to lean forward. You can then try pushing their legs from behind or just waiting for them to fall over on their own if they don't get it right away.
- Try giving your child toys that can be pushed along the floor. For example, you could buy them an activity car with large plastic wheels or a plush toy such as a trolley or shopping cart.
- Once your baby is able to stand, place them in an upright position against a counter or sturdy piece of furniture and allow them to hold on and practice standing.
- If you have a carpet, place some objects (like books or balls) just out of your baby's reach and encourage them to crawl over and get them. You can also do the same thing on hard floors but make sure that there are no obstacles that your baby could trip over.
If you have any other questions about using a baby walker, please don't hesitate to contact your doctor or local parenting group.
To buy or not to buy?
If you feel that your child is ready to walk and you don't mind the extra expense, inconvenience, and safety issues then a baby walker might be a good choice for you. However, if you would prefer not to use a baby walker or can't afford one then there are other options available - such as stationary play equipment and crawling.
How to choose a good baby walker?
- Ensure that the handles are wide enough to fit your hand through.
- Check for stability. Look for a broad base and heavy construction materials.
- Choose one with brakes if you have stairs in your home or carpets - this will prevent it from rolling away when your child stops walking with it.
- Make sure there is nothing on the steering column, tray, or wheels that could trap your baby's fingers. If anything is removable, make sure that you can put it back together easily. Ensure any moving parts are well guarded by plastic covers
- Make sure that there are no gaps between the frame and tray or floorboard - these can trap toys or other objects which might pose a choking hazard
Choosing a baby walker to help encourage your child to begin walking is generally considered safe, but it's important for you to be aware of the issues involved. If you want to ensure that your child enjoys using their baby walker safely, make sure you buy one with good construction materials and take care when they are around stairs or other hazards.