As your body grows up and makes a transition from crawling all around the house to attempting to walk, some sort of physical assistance can be of great use. The first thing that comes straight to one’s mind is a baby walker. There have been quite a few debates going rounds whether baby walkers are a safe contraption for babies or not. However, with the advancement of technology, they have become as safe as one can hope.
Advantages of baby walkers
The numerous advantages that can be associated with baby walkers cannot be overlooked for even once. They offer babies all the liberty in the world to move around which definitely keeps them excited and less fussy. Having said that, it is imperative that the babies are not allowed to use walkers in areas where they can easily access things that are hazardous or any pointy furniture they can bump into. Open wide space is what is ideal for baby walkers.
In addition, baby walkers provide the much needed exercise to kids and help them get rid of their extra energy by bustling around the house in their walkers. There are a few baby walkers that can be used for a number of tasks such as high chair or a baby jumper. Moreover, modern day walkers are also loaded with music and lights to keep the baby engaged and adequately entertained.
Now let us check out the best baby walkers of the year.
1 – Safety 1st Sounds ‘n Lights Discovery
This is a vibrant unisex baby walker that is equipped with a couple of collapsible activity trays for easy storage. The five dinosaur toys are loaded with music and lights that will keep your baby entertained. The padded seat is detachable and machine washable and offers three different height adjustment positions to cater for your growing baby.
Coming at an affordable price, the Safety 1st Sounds ‘n Lights Discovery baby walker is quite solid and formidable. The plastic components are durable while the walker can be folded for easy storage. The height adjustment features are fabulous and function well while the wheels can easily glide on carpet or naked floor with exceptional ease. Parents can place more toys in the toy tray without any hassle.
Some parents complain that the baby walker is too tall for their baby despite setting it to its lowest height position. In addition, the batteries inserted in the steering wheel are inbuilt and cannot be replaced once they run out of juice.
2 – Bright Starts Walk-A-Bout
The Bright Starts Walk-A-Bout is a fantastic baby walker that has been built against the safari theme and comes with detachable toys that are incorporated with entertaining music and lights. Since the toys can be detached, this means that your baby can still play with them when the walker is no longer being used. The seat boasts an ergonomic design and provides nice support to the baby’s back. The seat also offers three different height adjustment positions while the walker is foldable for easy storage and portability.
This is a unisex baby walker boasting colors and textures that are aesthetically pleasing. You can easily remove the toy station from the walker and hence the baby can keep on playing with the toys even when the walker is not in use. The seat comes with height adjustment features that are nothing but a piece of cake. The seat provides ample support to the baby’s back when leans back on it.
The rear wheels rotate 360 degrees which can make it a bit tricky for the baby to get out of corners easily.
3 – Baby Einstein Baby Neptune
The Baby Einstein Baby Neptune is a fabulous baby walker that sports an elliptical frame and a steering wheel at the front that is fitted with attractive sounds and lights. The corners of the walker are fitted with a couple of loops for adding more toys while the wheels are incorporated with rubber brakes to prevent the walker from going too close to uneven surfaces.
The Baby Einstein Baby Neptune offers nice vibrant colors and patterns while the removable toys station means that the baby can play with the toys even when the baby walker is not being used. The rubber feet safety feature guarantees parents that their baby is not going to go close to uneven surfaces such as stairs.
The wheels cannot turn around 360 degrees and are restricted to moving in the forward and backward directions only. Moreover, the height can only be adjusted via the chair straps which tends to restrict space for the baby’s legs when set at the tallest height.
4 – Vtech Sit-to-Stand Learning
The Vtech Sit-to-Stand Learning is an interactive baby walker that is incorporated with tons of features to keep your baby entertained. The detachable play panel is loaded with 70 sounds, music, songs and phrases and lets your baby play and learn with it wherever he wants. In addition, there is a 5-key adorable piano to stimulate your baby’s creativity.
The Vtech Sit-to-Stand Learning is an affordable option for parents who want to save some money up their sleeves or are cash strapped. The design of the baby walker encourages your baby to stand and walk while the wheels come with a couple of speed settings in accordance with the growth and walking prowess of your baby. The speed can be adjusted to the underlying surface as well. For instance, you can set the speed to a faster setting when the walker is being run on carpet.
Some parents have put up complaints with regard to the play station that it is not easy to play with.
5 – Kolcraft Tiny Steps 2-in-1 Activity
The Kolcraft Tiny Steps 2-in-1 Activity is JPMA certified and can be transformed from a baby walker to walk behind contraption that accommodates a growing baby. There are toys located in the front that help in the stimulation of creativity and motor skills of your baby while the foldable frames allows for easy storage. Similarly, the seat pad can be detached and machine washed with ease.
If you are still not sure regarding the type of baby walker that is suitable for you, then the Kolcraft Tiny Steps 2-in-1 Activity baby walker is probably the one you should be going for. As discussed above, in addition to being used a conventional walker, it can also be converted into a walk-behind walker. It is an ideal choice for parents who are perplexed regarding the walking learning approach that should be employed for their kid. The non-skid friction pad placed on the base prevents the baby from falling down while the baby walker itself is adorable and reliable. The wheels glide on carpeted floors with seamless ease.
Some parents have put up complaints regarding the vacancies designed to accommodate the legs of a baby since they are small and may not be able to accommodate bulkier babies with thicker legs.
6 – Delta Children Lil’ Drive Baby Activity
The Delta Children Lil’ Drive Baby Activity is a vehicle themed baby walker that is ASTM, CPSC and JPMA certified and comes with a nice stable square base providing ample support. The toy tray can be detached to convert the walker into a feeding tray while the three height adjustment levels in the seat allows it to accommodate a baby throughout his growing years. The electronic tray is operated on a couple of AA batteries.
Boasting an impressive design, the Delta Children Lil’ Drive Baby Activity is compliant with a number of safety certifications. The holes in the seat can accommodate chunkier legs and the walker is a great choice even for taller babies.
Some parents complained that the wheels were too rough on a hardwood floor since there were scratches left behind on the flooring. In addition, some peoples had a gripe regarding the height adjustment feature which according to them is not as solid as it should be and does not lock into place because of plastic construction.
7 – Chicco Lil Piano Splash
The Chicco Lil Piano Splash boasts a pastel-colored pattern and is made of plastic, nylon and stainless steel components. The activity station is fitted with attractive music while the seat can be detached for comfortable cleaning and maintenance. The baby walker can be stored easily by folding its frame while the brake pads ensure that the baby does not access uneven surfaces or stairs.
The brake pad feature is a nifty one if your house features plenty of uneven surfaces. It prevents the baby from tipping over and getting hurt. The sound volume of the activity station is just right and does not irritate people in the surroundings. It is quite easy to put the Chicco Lil Piano Splash baby walker together while the music tray can be detached to make way for the feeding tray.
The Chicco Lil Piano Splash is placed on the higher end of the price spectrum in contrast to other baby walkers while it may also not be suitable for chunkier kids.
8 – Fisher-Price Bright Beginnings Activity Walker
The Fisher-Price Bright Beginnings Activity Walker comes with four large sized wheels to provide the much needed stability. The activity station is placed at the front and is adorned with numerous rotating gears and sliding beads which can also be used by the baby while sitting down. The baby walker can be folded for easy storage.
The Fisher-Price Bright Beginnings Activity Walker is being touted as a brilliant walking assistant. There are numerous parents who claim that their baby learnt how to walk when this great contraption was introduced to them. While encouraging walking freedom, the Fisher-Price Bright Beginnings Activity Walker also provides ample support while the baby makes an attempt to stand against it. The toy station does not include any electronic components so there is no need for batteries to be installed which is a bit of an advantage if you get irritated by loud sounds. The baby walker is also ideal for different surfaces such as carpeted and hardwood floors.
Since the activity station is not musical, so there is a probability that some babies may not get to much thrilled by the Fisher-Price Bright Beginnings Activity Walker.
9 – Joovy Spoon
The Joovy Spoon baby walker sports a minimalist design and is available in white color and a green colored seat cushion. The massive tray at the front can be detached for easy cleaning while the base is nice and solid and provides the much needed stability. The seat can be adjusted to three height levels while the non-slip stair pad provides additional safety.
The Joovy Spoon baby walker offers the largest tray amongst all the walkers that have been discussed so far. There are no toys that come in default but the tray is large enough for you to place number of your baby’s favorite toys. The padded seat can be detached for easy cleaning while the non-slip stair pad keeps the baby out of harm’s way.
The Joovy Spoon baby walker is slightly expensive in contrast to other baby walkers out there.
10 – Combi All-in-One Mobile Entertainer
Designed after an automobile, the Combi All-in-One Mobile Entertainer baby walker boasts a formidable broad base that provides ample support. With the help of three height adjustment levels and a lockable jumper feature, the baby walker accommodates your baby throughout his growing years. The play station tray comes adorned with lights and sounds to keep your baby adequately entertained.
The Combi All-in-One Mobile Entertainer baby walker is quite flamboyant and is a sure head turner. The walker can house chubbier babies while the jump feature is a cool addition. The play tray can be detached to convert it into a feeding tray which is a nifty tool if your baby is learning to feed himself. The baby walker is quite reliable and long lasting.
Some parents have complained that the wheels are too flimsy. This can be resolved by replacing them with a new set of wheels available from your local hardware store.
Some words of advice
Baby walkers are still in vogue and you cannot overlook them completely simply because of the rumors doing the rounds about their safety concerns. Manufacturers are conjuring an ever-increasing number of safe baby walkers with every passing day so that should take care of your safety concerns.
We highly recommend the Joovy Spoon baby walker despite it being different in contrast to other walkers and probably not as attractive as opposed to its competitors. But it is quite safe and boasts a blend of contemporary and classic appeal that will definitely gel in well with your home or nursery environment.
The Combi All-in-One Mobile Entertainer baby walker is also a great deal to be had. In addition to being a baby walker, it can also serve the purpose of a jumper which will keep your baby entertained while you finished you household chores.
We suggest you to try out the walk-behind walkers which are great if your baby is in the stage of learning to be an independent walker.
Ensure that you purchase products that are compliant with the safety regulations formulated by the relevant government authorities.
What should be taken into account when purchasing a baby walker
Keep in mind that there are baby walkers that come packaged in a box and you will not to assemble them first. When put together such a baby walker yourself, ensure that the tires and handles are screwed appropriately in order to avoid any untoward situation that may result in an injury to your little one. A pink drill screwdriver can be handy for this purpose. However, I would strongly encourage you to opt for the ones that have already been set up by the manufacturer.
There are safety issues related to baby walkers so do not attempt to buy a low cost one and expect miracles to happen. Purchase well-tested and certified products that ensure the safety of your little one.
Safety features: You should keep an eye at the safety features of the baby walker that you are about to purchase. A baby walker with a broad base will keep it stable and prevent your baby from tipping over. The non-slip pads will be an added support on uneven surfaces while the option to tinker with the speed settings will enable you to make appropriate adjustments for different floorings.
Amusements: The baby walker should be loaded with some attractions to keep your baby entertained. They are generally in the form of lights, sounds, music and sounds.
Comfort: A padded seat is what you should be looking into. A detachable seat is easy to clean and maintain.
Versatility: Some parents use a baby walker only for a few months and as soon as their little one starts walking by himself, the walker is left out in the cold. You should look out for a baby walker that can cater the growing needs of your baby. A walker that can be converted into a high chair or a conventional chair can be handy. Moreover, height adjustment features are also important so that the baby walker can accommodate your baby as he grows through the years.
Can baby walkers be hazardous?
There are critics of baby walkers who claim that baby walkers do not help the baby learn how to walk. As a matter of fact, they believe that these contraptions retard the pace at which a baby is supposed to learn how to walk.
Here are some risks associated with kids in baby walkers:
- A baby may tumble down the staircase which may result in injuries and broken bones. This is the most common way of children getting hurt in baby walkers.
- A baby gets elevated while sitting in a walker and can access higher places. He may be able to pull a table cloth off a table and in the process end up spilling hot coffee on himself. Children can also grab pot handles from the stove and access heaters which can result in burns.
- While treading on a walker, a baby may fall down into a pool or a bath of tub.
- Since it becomes easier to access higher objects, so a baby in a walker can easily get poisoned.
What can be done?
- Stop using baby walkers while ensuring that there are no walkers in places where your baby is being taken care of
- Try out something that is equally entertaining but safer such as:
- Stationary activity centers which appear like walkers but have no wheels. They come with seats that swivel, tip and bounce.
- Play yards or play pens as they can be safe zones for babies to learn how to crawl, walk and sit.
- High chairs can be a lot of fun for older kids who love to sit in them while they play with toys on the tray
Safety standards for baby walkers have been in place since 1997. Most of the contemporary baby walkers are being built wider so that they cannot pass through doorways and they come equipped with brakes to stop them at the edge of a step. Having said that, these precautions may not be able to prevent injuries and accidents from happening. These contraptions are loaded with wheels which help babies run faster and reach higher places.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has called for a complete ban on the manufacture and sale of baby walkers.