To Walker Or Not To Walker? We Answer The Question…

I grew up playing in a Jolly Jumper and turned out perfectly fine. My mom to this day says it was one of the few things she bought that gave her some peace and quiet. Unfortunately, too many experts have now advised against using them citing possible developmental delays.

But what about walkers?

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Most of us grew up using them, but these days many experts similarly warn against their usage saying that they don’t actually help children learn to walk, and in fact, can delay walking because children feel like they need the walker to walk – i.e. they are less confident and therefore don’t “go for it.” But there’s some good news in all of this!

A push walker is different and can actually work to support babies natural development, while being a fun toy for them to enjoy. Because my son was late to learn to crawl, I have a physical therapist on speed dial. I was naturally afraid of giving him anything that might contribute to delays, but she explained that push walkers are great for toddlers who are walking as well as for those who are working on those pulling up skills (or before as a baby can play with a push toy while on their stomach).

This one pictured here from iPlay, iLearn, their 3 in 1 Baby Walker, is particularly great because it works as an activity table, baby push walker and then as a sketch board meaning it can last for multiple stages of development. My son loved to touch and move the various pieces and was able to push this whether on a carpet or hardwood floor. It also has a bunch of sounds to teach cause and effect and help stimulate.

To read more about the benefits of push toys from a physical therapist perspective, click here.