At What Age Your Baby Can Use a Walker
Now that your baby is showing rapid signs of growth, you must be keen to see him take his first steps. Walking is an important event in the baby’s life and the parents, too, as it signifies independence. To help your baby along this path of discovery and freedom, you may want to encourage him by bringing home a walker.
While there is no fixed appropriate age for a baby to use a walker, the baby’s strength, development and size will have to be considered before making a decision. Walkers are usually designed for babies between the ages of 4 to 16 months. Apart from this, the baby needs to be able to hold his head up quite steadily and have his feet touch the floor when placed in the walker, to be able to use it.
Advantages of Baby Walkers
Here are a few pros of buying a walker for your baby:
Engaging and Inspiring
Most baby walkers are fitted with simple toys or attractions to keep the baby engaged and busy. They are designed to stimulate mental growth and provide visual stimulation, too. A walker allows you to carry on with your daily tasks since the baby remains engaged with the attached toys.
Encourage Babies to Walk
With support at hand, your baby may be encouraged to take his first steps. It helps the baby understand how the standing pose will aid walking, and he will make attempts to get going on his own.
Children between the ages of 8 to 12 months are keen to explore their surroundings. A walker can provide them with the mobility they need and help them to manoeuvre themselves without any assistance.
Disadvantages of Using Baby Walkers
Here are a few disadvantages related to the use of baby walkers:
Babies using walkers may actually reach the walking or crawling milestones later than others who don’t.
Your baby should follow the roll-sit up-crawl-walk routine for which it is important for him to stay on the floor. This workout helps in strengthening all the muscles needed to stand or walk. A walker may prevent your baby from doing so and impair normal development.
Objects which are out of reach for a crawling baby may come within reach of a baby in a walker, and this could be the cause of injury.
Your baby’s toes and fingers could be injured as the walker’s design may have folding parts or hinges.
A walker with wheels reduces your reaction time if it picks up speed and can lead to an accident.
Does Baby Walker Help Balance?
The natural process of rolling over, crawling, standing, and then walking teaches a baby how to balance himself. When you allow the baby to use a walker, the baby’s position causes him to lean forward from the hip. The child does not have to balance himself in a walker. Whether a baby tips to the side or forward, the walker will prevent him from falling. The baby will need to learn to balance himself, afresh.
Are baby walkers safe?
Experts say baby walkers aren't safe – and they don't help babies learn to walk faster, either.
Baby walkers are circular, wheeled toys with suspended seats. They're designed so your baby's feet can touch the ground while they're seated, so they can propel themself around.
Even as new safety features have been implemented over the years, thousands of babies every year end up in emergency rooms and doctor's offices from falling down stairs or bumping into furniture while in a walker.
Walkers on the market now are required to have "stair-fall protection" – either a gripping mechanism that keeps the walker from going over the edge of a stairwell or a design that prevents the walker from fitting through a doorway. Older walkers (such as those bought secondhand) don't have these safety features.
But even with the extra safety features, experts say baby walkers aren't safe to use. Walkers make babies taller, so they might be able to reach dangerous objects (like hot cups of coffee or knives on countertops) or touch a hot stove. Babies could also tip and fall over objects.
(To find out whether a walker or other baby product you own has been recalled, check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's list of recalled products.)
Activity centers and jumpers are much safer alternatives. And baby walking toys – which have wheels so babies can stand in front of them and push them along as they learn to walk – are safe to use.
If you're looking for a toy that you can set your baby in and have a few moments to yourself, activity centers and freestanding jumpers will keep your baby occupied – and stationary, so you don't have to worry about them wandering off. Both offer your baby plenty of opportunities to safely explore and practice their fine motor skills like grasping, grabbing, and shaking, as well as gross motor skills like standing and bouncing.
Experts recommend a 15 to 20-minute limit on time in a jumper or activity center, though, since your baby also needs plenty of floor time to practice their skills independently.
Baby walking toys – also called push toys – are great for when your baby can pull themself up, stand, and even cruise. They give your baby extra support and help them balance. Once they start taking steps, your baby can push the walking toy in front of them.
Just make sure the walking toy is sturdy enough that it won't tip over if your baby uses it to pull themself up. Block off any stairways, as well as rooms you don't want your baby to go in, and supervise your baby while they're playing with the walking toy.
Should I buy a baby walker for my child?
It is best not to buy a baby walker. Most experts and doctors strongly discourage the use of baby walkers as they are known to cause serious injuries and accidents.
Baby walkers are dangerous as they give babies extra speed, extra height and access to many hazards. They are also unstable on uneven surfaces. The use of baby walkers is a huge concern for many countries. In Canada, the sale of baby walkers is banned.
Most injuries are caused by falls when the baby walker tips and the baby is thrown to the ground. Or when a baby in a walker falls down the stairs, or bumps her head somewhere.
Babies in walkers can also crash into furniture, household equipment, indoor plants, doors or windows. There is also an increased risk of your baby being burnt by previously out-of-reach objects, such as candles, diyas, agarbattis, and cups of hot drinks.
A walker also allows your baby to reach for household poisons, such as perfume, mouthwash, alcohol, medicines and household cleaners that used to be at a safe level.
Walkers can give parents a false impression that their babies are truly mobile and can control their actions. Some parents even leave their babies alone to navigate their way around the home in a walker. But walkers won't help your baby learn to walk. Using one too much may even delay her development slightly.
In fact, walkers allow babies to move around before they are physically ready for it, which can cause unusual movement patterns and delayed muscle control. Babies learn to walk in part by watching and understanding how their feet and legs move. If a walker has a tray or a rim around, they can't see what's happening with their lower body and don't get the information they need about their motor development.
Your baby needs to roll, crawl, sit and to play on the floor, in order to reach her developmental milestones. So try to get your baby to exercise and build in some "floor time" to firm up those muscles.
If you'd really like to give baby the walking practice you think she needs, do so at home, in parks or wide open spaces. You can actually take her hand in yours and guide her in taking her steps. This way, she gets a better feel of her legs in motion and a better feel of the ground under her feet. An open space also lets her explore moving in a wide area.
You may feel that if your baby were occupied in her walker, she could be left unwatched for short periods. In reality, extra care is needed when your baby is in a walker. Even with supervision, accidents in baby walkers can easily occur.
A baby in a baby walker can travel one metre per second, so an accident can happen before you are able to stop it. Your baby would be safer left on the floor in a hazard-free room. Read tips on baby-proofing your house.
Health Benefits of Riding Bikes and Adult Trikes
Being fit and healthy requires physical activity. Regular activity helps to ward of serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Great harm is done to bodies that live a sedentary life style. Most people do not like going to gyms because they find them expensive and boring.
Bicycle and adult tricycle riding is a great way to keep active while also keeping a smile on your face. Cycling is a low-impact activity, which means that it something that can be enjoyed by almost everyone. Running is a high impact sport that does damage to knees, feet, and ankles.
Cargo BikesWorksman Adult Tricycles come in various designs, with a wide range of options.
What are some of the health benefits of riding trikes and bikes?
Cycling uses all muscle groups, meaning that riding a bike gives a person a full body work out. Those that go to the gym tend to only work on specific sections at a time rather than the whole body.
Once someone gets the hang of riding, it becomes an easy activity. For those that have balance issues, consider purchasing an adult tricycle. Those that haven’t ridden in a while can still get on a bike and ride.
Using a trike is considered an aerobic activity, which means that heart rates go up and stay up for at least twenty minutes. Riding a bike is regarded as a great way to build strength and stamina.
Biking and triking can be as hard as you want it to be. You can get on your bicycle and go for a casual ride or a fast-paced, uphill climb.
It is hard to find people that ride bikes and do not have fun in the process. There is something special about the wind on your face as you cruise along.
When using a cargo bike to commute and shop, you can save yourself a great deal of time. Get your exercise while running errands.
Things About Swing Cars
If you’re honest with yourself, you will admit that you secretly envy your baby a little for being born in a decade where he has access to such cool and fancy toys and baby gear. How you wish you could play with those fine quality wooden toys or ride those cute and colourful swing cars which were popular back when you were a kid, but maybe not so affordable. Now, these are not just new and improved but they also come in various types and price ranges, making it possible for every parent to get one for their little racers. Watching your munchkin giggling and flaunting their shiny new toy is bound to get you excited!
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At What Age Your Baby Can Use a Walker