DD is really close to walking, and DH wants to get her one of those push walkers to have around the house. I'm pretty against them, because I feel like she'll fall and pull it down on herself. It's just plastic, after all.
Naturally, since they are at my MIL's this weekend, that's what they got her for X-mas. He just posted a video of her in her socks, on hardwood, pushing it and I'm a little mad.
Am I just being crazy new Mom for not wanting her to have one? I let a lot of things slide, but this just screams too dangerous to me.
The old walkers on wheels that babies sat in were a serious hazard. Many babies fell down steps in them. They also slowed the development of normal walking because they promoted abnormal leg movements. Fortunately there aren't many of those old walkers around now.
I am not aware of any problems with babies learning to walk by pushing a cart or wheeled large toy. My own daughters learned to walk by pulling up on a large dog and then scrambling to stay upright while the dog slowly walked around the house.
Do a quick online search of the product that the grandparents are using. Make sure there are no open doors to basement stairs. Then don't worry about it. When parenting it is good to not sweat the small stuff.
I don't like those either...too easy for a kid to fall downstairs There is a reason they can't walk independently, yet .
It is back breaking to hold their hands while the practice walking (which they want to do ALL day once they are starting to get it). DH and I were in our 40s last time we went through this. Upper back pain from bending over! What we did was give DS10 a broom handle, so he could use that as a walking stick on one side and hold our hand on the other, that way he had the support he needed, but we weren't bending over so far to hold both his hands from behind. Still totally adult supervised while getting the walking thing down.
We didn't have a walker for son #1, but when son #2 came along four years later, we got one just because he so obviously wanted to be mobile to keep up with his big brother. Did it do any harm? No, other than putting a few scratches on the walls. Did it help him learn to walk any faster? Definitely not. In fact, I'm sure it delayed his first steps quite a bit. I'm talking about the ride-in variety. The push ones are cool, but you can bet she'll face-plant a few times.
I had one for my younger dd, adopted at 18 months, and somewhat delayed in walking skills. We loved it, and also had a very large hardwood floored living room, so she could motor around the room. Obviously, it requires some supervision, but seriously, if you can't block off the stairs to a walker, how are you going to keep your toddler safe anyway? Put up a baby gate with a good lock (the kind that screw into the wall, not the pressure kind).
We did have to talk to older dd, who thought rolling her sister across the room was great fun, but other than that, no problems. Not every kid needs one, for sure (my sister had a baby that walked at 9 months...eek!) but in general, I see no reason to consider them *dangerous* unless you're an idiot.
Walkers are actually illegal in Canada. We ended up with one, though and DD loved it! It probably did delay walking as she was about 15 months when the fun finally began, but she really had fun in the walker. So I am torn. We didn't have stairs at the time, so that wasn't an issue. This walker seemed very stable. It was wider on the bottom, narrower on top and difficult to tip. It was more dangerous when she was older and wanted to climb in and out of it on her own.
I found that it gave DD independence and the ability to follow us around without crawling. I think our maltese hated it, though! Poor guy was usually her target.
I am with the group that thinks "the kid will walk when they are ready" and never had walkers in the house. I also didn't allow sitter to put the kids in one at her house. She did use the walker outside to prevent kids eating grass! Walker didn't roll in the lawn, but did prevent "grazing" for the crawler age ones.
I don't know how many injuries to babies using walkers I heard about. Quite a few kids I knew did the trip down the basement stairs in their walkers! Some trips to the ER for those injuries!!
We didn't have push walkers then, but we did have a small wagon/cart toy, that kids could push around. Not really a walker, since it would tip over if they pushed down on it. They ALL loved putting things in cart and pushing them around.
I REALLY don't see the rush to get a child walking. That has always puzzled me about parents of small people. The constant endeavors to get kid up on their feet, walking along, THEN complaining about everything they get into now they are taller!! Bodies may not actually be developed enough for walking, but parents or caregivers KEEP standing the kid up, even if they don't want to. WHY does a baby need to be able to shoot himself around the room?
And the big one for me, was that babies who crawl longer, talk better. My mom was a teacher, taught Child Development, and told me this. She said none of us kids had any problems with speaking clearly and distinctly, which she put to all being such good crawlers as babies. We didn't walk early. Some kind of a brain, motor ability that connects as a child develops. Have to say my kids also were good talkers, and they crawled well, not early walkers. We never talked baby talk to them, not sure if that was any influence or not. Maybe you could throw out the longer crawling helping language skills as a No-Walker arguement. Put the push walker in the closet when it comes home, don't use it.
We had permanent gates across all stairs, archways and we adults just stepped over them. Good thing we are all long legged! They had baby-safe rooms to play in, no access to steps of any kind. Gates didn't come down until kids were much older than the floor crawler, learning to walk, ages. They could listen and follow directions, dependably, before the gates were removed. Never seemed to have a problem about them trying to climb out. My mom cut the doors in half for our safety gates as kids. They were 4ft tall, with only outside doorknobs that adults could reach!! Gates are popular in our family.
And the big one for me, was that babies who crawl longer, talk better. My mom was a teacher, taught Child Development, and told me this.
Interesting! I wonder if there is scientific proof to back this up. My daughter took forever to walk, yet speaks very clearly compared to her peers. Her little friend was running circles around her - literally - before she could walk (they were born 3 days apart), yet my DD seems to have better language skills.
I suppose it doesn't really matter. Kids all learn differently and I do not want to be the type of mother that is constantly comparing my child to others. It's just interesting to me as I had never heard of this connection before.
One of those push toys is not a traditional "walker" that is considered dangerous. A push toy is fine, IMO. My DS had a John Deere ride on/push tractor at home he liked. Babies are very well padded and a few slips are normal for development, just put up baby gates on all stairs.
My son also talked early but honestly there is little/no correlation between early talking and long-term educational success so I wouldn't worry about walking causing a delay. As my mom likes to remind me as i was a very late talker, Einstein didn't talk until he was 3.
That's all really interesting. Thanks! I guess I'll loosen up a little bit, our house is fairly well baby proofed with gates, sockets protector things, those lock things on the cabinet doors, etc. She is way more physical than oral right now, and has been since day one. I wouldn't be surprised if she was a late talker.
I can always count on COTH for perspective. Thanks.
No worries -- it's little wonder since I don't even think the bad "walkers" are sold any more. They were like an exersaucer with wheels. They were bad not only because they tipped down stairs but because the seat/foot propel was supposed to be bad for developing muscle tone/hip development and delayed walking. The push toys don't really do that because the baby still has to use proper mechanics to "walk" them. If your baby is walking a push toy she's cruising anyway so it isn't going to stop her to take the push toy away.
My daughter had so much fun pushing, riding, playing with it that her dad bought it as soon as we got home (It was cheaper than this- they change the character and as they are running out they go up.) I'm not a big plastic toy fan, but she is still playing with it at three- so at least we got a LOT of bang for our buck on it.