Walkers can give parents a false impression that their babies are truly mobile and can control their actions. Exersaucers, as well as door jumpers, are much safer alternatives, but none of these options will help your child learn to walk earlier than usual.
At the age of six months, almost all babies start figuring out how to use the different muscles of their body. According to the experts, this is the first step of a baby learning or getting ready for walking.
In this second step a baby learns how to use different body muscles, which slowly encourages them to do some sort of movement. These are the essential steps that usually almost all the babies follow before they walk correctly.
Now some of you might be wondering about the importance of push walkers in this process or does it help. First, we must understand that push walker making companies are making thousands of walkers per year to supply all around the globe, which means people are using them for their babies.
Recently, we discussed the push walker’s benefits, now let’s take a look at the other side. Yeah, there is no doubt that there are some possible disadvantages also present of a baby push walker.
But most of them occur when you missed something meaningful about it, and you don’t know when actually to use it for your baby. The most common disadvantage of a baby push walker that people believe but it, not a problem.
We have already mentioned it before that it only happens when you introduce the baby walker too early. Another disadvantage of a push walker is that it can quickly move because of the wheels, which means it will improve the chances of your baby reaching a dangerous place like stairs, pools, etc.
And because with the help of a push walker, your baby can move too quickly; in short, it can increase the chances of collision with something hard and sharp. You can follow some safety guidelines such as buying the right type of walker, only using it on the flat surfaces, choosing a walker with a wheel brake system, and blocking the path to go on dangerous places such as stares and pools, and anything sharp and hard, etc.
In short, there is nothing wrong with introducing the push walker to your baby, and yes, it can surely help your baby learn to walk if you introduce it at the right time and follow all the safety measures. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents not to use baby walkers.
Trip and fall over Roll downstairs Get into dangerous places that would otherwise be difficult to reach Research also suggests that use of baby walkers doesn't help the process of learning to walk.
Ramadan SN, et al. Unintentional injury and its prevention in infant: Knowledge and self-reported practices of main caregivers. Safety standards for infant walkers: Final rule.
However, the developmental pace for every baby is different, and thus some might start walking after 12 months. Baby walkers are unsafe and are a leading cause of injury in children under the age of four (2).
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has also called for a ban on baby walkers with wheels (3). Moving at such incredible speeds is overwhelming for a baby and can result in the loss of balance.
A study has found that 82% of falls from a baby walker lead to a head injury in the infant (5). The head is extra delicate in babies due to their soft skull bones and developing brain.
Any grievous injury can cause a lasting impact on the baby’s life. Medical experts state that a baby on a walker can have access to upper shelves from where they may pull down large items that can fall on their heads.
The easy accessibility increases the risk of the baby getting access to poisonous substances, hot food items, and also places like the swimming pool or the bathtub where they can fall, choke, and even drown. Parents can do little during an untoward incident since things happen quickly with barely any time to react.
An infant will stand up and start cruising (walk with support) once their legs are ready, irrespective of whether they use a walker or not. This causes a miss on practicing important, repetitive movements needed for them to reach their walking milestones.
This tightens their leg muscles and interferes with normal walking development. A baby doesn’t balance in a walker, delaying their learning of this important skill.
Being in a walker also means less time on hands and knees in a crawling or pre-crawling position. Play yards or playpens and stationary activity centers are safer alternatives to a baby walker and are known to boost a baby’s physical development without causing any risks.
Stationary activity centers are like walkers with no wheels and can be used for a few hours every day (7). Play yards can be used for babies of any age since the baby can sit, stand, lie down, or try to walk in them safely.
From recording that first smile and rollover to proudly sharing your baby’s skill at sitting up and crawling, you’re on the edge of your rocking chair waiting for your little one’s next move. But you might also be wondering if walking early or “late” is related to intelligence and even physical performance in the future.
While a 2015 cross-national study correlated learning to walk with advancing language abilities in infancy, rest assured: Research suggests that there’s no proven association between walking early and becoming the next Isaac Newton or Serena Williams. We know you want to capture those first steps in your heart (and on video) forever, so let’s take a more in-depth look at these and other signs that toddling is imminent.
Over time, the mini workouts condition your baby to stand independently, and then, move ahead with a few wobbly steps. If, out of the corner of your eye, you catch your sweet Houdini suddenly standing on top of the couch and smiling while ready to nosedive, it might be a sign that their inner confidence is shining.
This shows that your tiny sport is learning how to shift weight and balance while taking steps. To promote cruising, create a path of safe objects for your baby to grab onto and move about.
But take caution with furniture, plants, and other items that aren’t safely secured to walls or the ground. Your baby’s brain and body could be working double time, leaving a slightly less tolerant tot.
Infant play grocery carts or musical walking toys with wheels and handles can bring joy and assistance to beginning walkers. They often test the waters for a few seconds, and then gradually stand for longer periods of time, boosting confidence to take it a step further.
Make it a fun learning activity by slowly counting for as long as your child stands. Baby proofing is important at this stage to create the safest environment possible for your baby to explore.
You might want your baby to defy all statistics, but it’s vital to encourage walking in a positive, safe, and developmentally appropriate way. Stationary infant activity centers (like a Jumper or Excersaucer) are safer bets.
You may also worry that even a slight delay in walking could indicate additional developmental and neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism. While walking may seem like it’s as simple as putting one foot in front of the other, for a baby, it’s a monumental achievement that takes physical strength, confidence, and a safe place to practice.
Lastly, if you’re ever concerned about your child’s physical development, speak to their pediatrician for professional guidance and support.