Baby walkers. When they come up in a discussion, the same question always arises: are they good for my baby? Well, the answer is both yes and no. On the one hand, they help them get around during their first months of life, but on the other hand, they may delay your child’s development. Why is that? Don’t worry: we’ve outlined all the details below.
Why are baby walkers not good?
It’s true that when a baby is born, people usually buy more things than are necessary. One of these items is a baby walker. Contrary to what many people think, they can harm a child’s correct development. Here’s why!
THEY DON’T TEACH YOUR BABY TO WALK
In general, walkers are considered the ideal complement when it comes to helping your little one take their first steps but that’s not the case. In fact, it’s quite the opposite!
Sitting, dragging oneself along, crawling, standing up and then walking. This is the process the majority of babies complete before walking. You’ll be asking why it doesn’t necessarily happen that way: it’s because each baby undergoes mental development that cannot be forced. They all have their own rhythm and they’ll take their first step when they’re ready. Your baby won’t stand up if their mental maturity is not yet sufficiently developed to match this physical capacity.
By placing a baby in a walker when they aren’t ready for it, their mind will be incapable of reacting to that movement. The result is they cannot coordinate their movements. It prevents them from seeing their own feet and being aware of space. For this reason, it could be said that a walker delays a baby from taking their first steps.
If you’re still not convinced, the Spanish Paediatric Association says that “the best walker is one that is not used”. What do you think?
THEY CHANGE THE NATURAL DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Have you noticed how babies “walk” in a walker? They do so with their legs apart, which is an unnatural movement. This causes them to force their postures and movements. In fact, baby development specialists state that they run the risk of causing anomalies in a baby’s knees and feet. Furthermore, they prevent the baby from experiencing a fall which allows them to develop their sense of balance and caution.
In addition, they affect the back as their body is not yet prepared to maintain that posture. Did you consider that?
THERE IS A RISK OF ACCIDENTS
A baby’s bones are not as strong as an adult’s, meaning a fall involves a risk. If your child does not control their movements in their walker, it could cause them to crash against obstacles in their path and hurt them. Safety first!
You must be thinking we’re exaggerating a little. Of course, using a walker in moderation is fine but remember that this item is not essential. However, if you do use one, make sure your baby is between six and 15 months old. They should never be used after 18 months of age, as there is a risk the baby will become accustomed to it and fail to develop correctly. So, if you’re deciding whether or not to buy a walker for your little one, remember it should be used sporadically and always under supervision.
What do you think about baby walkers now?
Now that you’ve read our post, have you changed your opinion about walkers? If you have any questions, here at QPlay we can advise you on anything during your first years of motherhood, offering you all the details you need. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!