Baby walkers have been in existence since 1870. In those days, people used to see a baby walker as something within which a baby would sit and move around by using only his toes and feet, which barely touched the ground.
For years, loads of parents have been using the aid of baby walkers to entertain and keep their babies occupied. It is usually a common notion that a baby walker can be utilized to encourage a baby to walk. However, this may not be the case.
Can a Baby Walker Truly Help a Baby to Learn Walking?
Usually, as a child ages, he or she goes through very specific developmental milestones. Every milestone develops a particular set of skills children need to function normally.
Learning how to sit only happens after the child has mastered proper head control. By sitting, your child gets ready for crawling, which in turn prepares him for standing independently, and eventually, he walks.
A lot of babies automatically master the skill of walking on their own, but only if their little bodies are prepared to do so. Before your baby steps, he needs to know some specific balance skills. His muscles need to be sufficiently strong to keep him upright and balance his body over his legs and feet.
Furthermore, he must be strong enough to guard himself when he falls while trying to walk.
Reasons Why Baby Walkers May not be Suitable
Slows down Natural Walking: Today, a lot of toys and aids are designed to motivate and stimulate babies to develop their skills. Walkers were originally used to help babies learn how to move in an upright position before they had mastered how to do so on their own.
As you can see, walkers were never made to motivate and stimulate regular walking.
Wrong Posture and Balance: Before any child can walk she needs to learn how to properly balance and bare weight well on her legs and feet. When a small child spends most of his or her early weeks in a walker, the child is bound to start walking on the toes.
This walking style is viewed as abnormal and may shorten the Achilles tendon, leading to distortion of the baby’s balance when she eventually starts to walk-on her own.
In addition to that, the standing position in a baby walker does not assist a baby in improving his balance. The ability of the knees to learn how to take weight is messed up and usually fails to develop naturally.
Crawling Issue: Research has shown that most children who spend most of their earlier weeks on a walker have a problem with crawling or never crawl at all. Crawling is important because it teaches the baby some motor and perceptual skills like distance and depth, and concepts like how to get in, out, over and under.
It is very likely that a child who doesn’t crawl as much will not correctly learn or take more time to know those skills.
Baby walkers also motivate random leg movements when the child pushes it in different directions while moving about. Crawling, however, teaches your child rhythmic leg movements, which is essential for mastering the skill of walking.
Exposure to Accidents:
By using a baby walker, your child is very likely to fall over and injure his head. This is probably the biggest reason that should motivate you to use this aid wisely and under strict supervision.
In short, spending a lot of time in a baby walker rarely motivates your baby to learn how to walk. The baby will walk when the time is right, and that’s often after mastering all the critical skills.
Babies develop their walking skills at different paces. Herein, Many may walk as early as 9 months of age, while others take longer to master the skill.
It is clear that, when given sufficient encouragement and allowance to develop muscular strength and balance, all children will eventually walk when they’re completely ready.
Without a doubt, babies like the fun of cruising about in a walker, but unfortunately it takes her away from the important aspects that offer the real preparation for walking.
Baby Walkers are Still Good – It Depends
In conclusion, baby walkers are not totally bad. For as long as you use a baby walker wisely and for a short while to keep the baby entertained as you do something else, it is still a good option.
Have tummy time as much as you can and give your child the freedom to move about to build strength and coordination. Your baby’s clothes should not be tight fitting, and you should not tuck him or her in too tightly.
Provide your child with soft toys to play with, throw, kick and so on. Even better, provide toys that produce a sound when banged together. It is an exciting activity to stimulate the use of hands and arms efficiently.
Herein, you should consider buying a steady push-type walker when your child can stand independently.
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