Should you use baby walkers ?

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This is a follow-up post on our earlier post on Di Di is able to walk now.

Many parents ask me whether they should start their child on “baby walkers” when training their child to walk.

My answer is yes, provided you have taken the following precautions.

1. Before a child learns to walk, he would crawl. Babies generally crawl quite slowly and thus you have time to react if you see your child is crawling towards somewhere dangerous like towards a staircase or going down a staircase.

With baby walkers, the child is able to move much faster by leaning against the walker and pushing the walker. You need to be very alert and intervene quickly if you see your child moving towards dangerous area.

2. Try not to allow your child to rely on the walker too much. Have you tried learning how to cycle by using the small support wheels attached to the rear bicycle wheel? The support wheel prevents you from falling down if you do not know how to cycle. But over reliance on the support wheel will make it difficult for you to learn cycling as you are used to the support wheel.

This is similar to using baby walker. If your child is used to the walker, he would not learn how to walk by himself. Thus when you know your baby is ready to walk (eg he is able to stand for a minute or more without support, he is trying to move by standing and holding other support along the wall), you should stop using the support and try to let him learn to walk on his own.

Thus, baby walker will be useful for the child to learn to stand and walk, but not to rely on it too much.



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