Parenting and motherhood have evolved not only drastically but dramatically over the years. Mums of this era would prefer to have their spy glasses on and investigate before they make choices for their babies, instead of wearing blinders and following the old school rules.
One such decision I had to make for my baby was – whether or not to use a Baby Walker! I heard a zillion contradictory advice and ideas. I heard them all and spoke to my trusted paediatrician about the same before I made a choice.
Because my husband and other family members were insistent, we bought a baby walker and used it for a few weeks unless I was convinced my baby did not need it at all.
Babies between the age of 6 to 12 months have a strong urge of movement. A a parent I was tempted to help my boy take tiny little steps. As a means of support or to aid this developmental stage, one is likely to resort to baby walker.
What is a baby walker?
Baby walker is a gear that helps your child maintain balance and take her tiny steps forward to imitate walking. Walkers apparently help strengthen some muscles to further develop motor skills. Even though a lot of baby walker available in the market today are designed to keep a baby safe, a baby should be placed in a walker only under adult supervision.
Baby Walker – Does A Baby Really Need It?
A lot of parents believe that the walkers help a baby learn to walk. However, as explained by an expert – using a walker does not help a baby in learning to walk in anyway. Infact it allows babies to walk before they are physically ready for it. This may lead to unusual movements and delayed muscle control.
Some of the disadvantages of Baby Walkers include
• Using a walker interferes in the natural process of learning and development. A baby learns to walk through observation and understanding how their legs move.
• Baby walkers are known to weaken the hip muscles, and upper leg muscles which are important for walking.
• If a baby walker is offered at an early stage, the baby is sufficiently mobile and her urge to move around the ground could be suppressed. This may lead to delay in achieving significant milestones like crawling, hitching, climbing or scooting. These are significant developmental stages that boost strength and co-ordination.
• Most baby walkers have a tray in front for balance. A baby cannot see how the legs are moving and the movement is taking place. A baby is unable to gain information about how the lower body is moving which may lead to delayed motor development.
• Not only do walkers discourage babies from walking on their own but are also very dangerous. A baby is at the risk of turning over, banging with another object or furniture, or falling down stairs.
My heart shivers when I call to mind an incident when my baby’s walker wheel got stuck at the edge of a
If your little one is nearing the milestone of walking, you may want to analyse the pros and cons of using baby walker. It is important to analyse the positive and ill effects of the walker before buying one. I could not avoid it completely but within a few days it was dumped and packed in the store room. After all as parents, we always want the best for our little ones!!