I'm looking to get a walker for my baby. Need help choosing

Mariah - posted on 07/18/2010 ( 68 moms have responded )

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We have mostly carpet so I need one that rolls easily. Does anyone have any suggestions on which ones their baby enjoyed & rolled easily on carpet? Thanks for the recommendations



**Edit**

I never really was interested in the sit-in style walkers and now that I'm armed with all the information on injuries and safety risks I'm definitely not going to get a sit-in style walker. Although I do have to say that I honestly think most of the injuries that occur with these items are due to lack of proper adult supervision. Sure there are honest unpreventable accidents, however if you're vigilant those should be few and far between.



With that being said, this post was asking for suggestions on style & brands to help me choose one that will keep her engaged and be easy for her to use. I was thinking of the mower/push cart style walkers, something she could hold onto and walk behind. I wanted one that had a wide stable base so she could pull herself up with it if needed. So does anyone have any suggestions for one that their kids enjoyed or got a lot of use out of it?



Thanks again for everyone's replies and suggestions. Lets try to not attack each other as we all have our own way of parenting and shouldn't be judging folks just because they do things differently.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Cheryl - posted on 07/27/2010

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As this previous writter stated there are dangers to using a walker but mostly these accidents can be avoided by using common sence and suppervision. Personally I feel if we avoid everything that our children might get hurt on they would have to live in a bubble! All of the newer walkers that I have seen have been specially made to keep the child safe. So much so that the walking portion of the walker has been virtually removed! If I were you, I would hit up the garage sales and used a bit shops to see if I could find a good old fasioned walker. Back when they wern't afraid of lawsuits and they just made things that worked!

Kelina - posted on 07/22/2010

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I think we need to agree to disagree here. Some people believe they are safe with supervision, others do not. But everyone is entitled to their opinion, and sherri has given us hers. Whether we agree with it or not is not the question, the original question was if anyone had advice on which walker was the best!

Sherri - posted on 07/18/2010

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I am so sorry that happened to you. However, you can't just plop them in it and not watch them. You still need to watch your child just like you do no matter where they are. 2 of my kids were running by 10mo's so the walker never hurt there development. If used only for a short time everyday and they still get plenty of tummy and floor time the will still be absolutely fine.

Iridescent - posted on 07/18/2010

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Walkers do not help a baby learn to walk. They can also contribute to injuries. This is proven by multiple studies, which is why they are banned completely in Canada. We used an exersaucer for the stage where the babies wanted to be upright and couldn't on their own, and they worked wonders.

"Since the days when my first son was an infant, we have learned that walkers are detrimental to normal development. Because the babies can get around too easily, their urge to move across the floor is satisfied, and many of them will not undertake the important task of crawling, creeping, scooting, or hitching. This stage is important for developing strength and coordination.

Many parents think that walkers will help children learn to walk. As it turns out, walkers interfere with learning to walk. In addition to decreasing the desire to walk by providing an easier alternative, walkers strengthen the wrong muscles. The lower legs are strengthened, but the upper legs and hips become relatively weak. The upper legs and hips are most important for walking.

Moreover, children in walkers have more accidents than their counterparts. Walkers often tip over when a child bumps into a small toy or the edge of a rug. They are also more likely to take a dangerous fall down a flight of stairs.

Read more: http://www.drgreene.com/qa/baby-walkers#..."

Kelina - posted on 07/18/2010

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where do you live? they're banned in canada, too many accidents. It can also be detrimental to them learning to walk on their own, as well as crawl because they have freedom and mobility they're not really ready for. Maybe try and exersaucer if baby is getting frustrated being on the floor. That way he/she is up and can see and play and bounce and get his/her legs nice and strong!

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Mariah - posted on 07/27/2010

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I want to thank everyone for their comments, suggestions, and feedback. I especially want to thank those who answered my original question. I'm now locking this thread to further comments.

Stacey - posted on 07/27/2010

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We used the Chicco Activity Baby Walker with our son. He took his first steps at 10 months and was walking on his own at 13 months. He LOVED this walker! Just put it in your google search engine and you'll find lots of places that sell them. Good luck!

Melinda - posted on 07/27/2010

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Wow, this has been an extremely UNHELPFUL thread. Which is why I usually try to stay away from these controversial threads, it just turns into a contest of who can be nastier by snubbing orther mothers and playing the "if you do that you're a bad mother" game. Sheesh, why do mothers do that to each other? This world is stressful and unsupportive enough... But I want to help the original poster.

Anyways, Mariah, someone gave my sister's youngest a V-tech one (I'm 99% sure that was the brand). It's a little wider and sturdier than most I'm seen. I've never had luck with push walkers myself, because we had the dinky fisher price one, and that one really, IMO, is only for confident walkers (it would always roll out from them too fast and they would fall over so I put it away until they can actually walk), but this V-tech is definitely different, wider, sturdier, rolled well on carpet, etc. and does have lots more activities on it so it can be played with from a sitting or standing position. My nephew loved it. Hope that helps.

Tanasha - posted on 07/27/2010

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I think you need to talk to your pediatrician... most (and I know for sure mine) will not recommend a walker because it doesnt help a child walk any sooner and in fact can delay walking because the child doesnt learn how to support thier weight on thier legs and hips properly and can actually delay proper walking, not to mention there are hundred of thousands of walker-related accidents every year and walkers are in fact banned in many countries around the world because of this. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the American Academy of Pediatrics, they have not been able to get a walker bann passed here in the US. If you still insist on a "walker" you should get one that is stationary, like an ExerSaucer. While the AAP still doesn't recommend them, they acknowledge they are overall safer than mobile ones.

Kerri - posted on 07/27/2010

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If you want something to help them walk, I'd suggest one that they push, like one of those toy lawn mowers or something. If you want to keep them in one place but still active, I would get an exersaucer.

Kerri - posted on 07/27/2010

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if there was nothing wrong with them, they wouldn't have been banned. They don't ban thingslike that lightly, there are always good reasons. That's like using an unsafe crib, just because YOU didn't have anything bad happen in it. Also, about just keeping an eye on them and everything will be fine...well for an accident to happen, it only takes a second. you only need to look away for a split second and something bad can happen. So unless you expect Mothers to never avert their eyes and also ignore the ban on the products, you shouldn't recommend these to people.

Jennifer - posted on 07/26/2010

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I used a walker with my first child, my second never wanted it and my last baby used only a Fisher Price shopping cart. It has a wide wheel base and is very stable, he walked faster on his own and steadier than my first two children did. I wish I had used a push toy like that sooner. Jake was off and running one week after his first birthday and hasn't sat still since!

[deleted account]

I remember there being a Fisher Price walker that converted to a ride-on toy for later. I can't remember what it was called though. Maybe have a search through the Fisher Price range of products to see if they still make it or something similar. Sorry I can't be more help.

[deleted account]

My son is 11 months and I don't recommend a walker. He started walking a week before he turned 10 months. They will learn on their own and I think its better for them to do it at their own pace. Nothing is better than hanging on to those little fingers with yours as you help them to walk.

Francesca - posted on 07/25/2010

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The very best Walker Trainer is none at all. PLEASE PLEASE Mums DON'T get one.
Did you know they were designed to help children who were physically or mentally impaired to walk.
They were never designed for normal children.
As part of your Childs development they have to learn to crawl and practice this leg arm co-ordination. The part of the brain used for this process is the same part that is used later when learning to read. If children are put into walker trainers and this process is shortened it may cause learning issues later in life.
Let mother nature take its course.
I have four children one had a walker trainer because I didn't know about this and guess who has Learning issues He is married know with a child of his own ( I still feel guilty )

Sherri - posted on 07/23/2010

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2 of my son's never crawled they went from scooting around straight to walking. Not every child needs to crawl. They were my earliest two walkers and did it all on there own not because I did something to force them to walk. However, all my kids despised tummy time so instead we just kept them upright so they felt they weren't missing anything the walker or johnny jumper were great for that. We also allowed them to just sit with the bobby pillow and just play on the floor with all there toys. We only used the walker and johnny jumper for about an hour a day combined. The rest was floor time, just not tummy time and they were walking by 9 & 10mo's.

Raquel - posted on 07/23/2010

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I don't know why one of the Mom's found my last post "funny". It is well known that alternate hand-leg movements in crawling are crucial to a child's brain development. Encouraging early walking is really not a good idea.

Adeline - posted on 07/23/2010

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I have raised 7 children including a set of twins , so there were 2 walkers and I never had one incident with them and I also had carpeting. I also was too busy to keep a constant eye on them but I just removed anything on my end tables and coffee table that they may get hurt with and they had a ball. I come from a family of 12 sisters and brothers and I have 37 nieces and nephews and 48 great nieces and nephews and they all had walkers.... none ever got hurt. I must tell u that if u have stairs and now protection then they will be dangerous. I am 64 yrs of age with 15 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild and I love them with every inch of my heart and I would never put them in harms way....They all had a sit in walker.U are the parent of your child so u do what u feel is best. I am not attacking anyone I am just voicing my opinion.Good Luck with your baby and remember that the walker is only to help them learn to balance , the steps they take come natural with or without the walker,Maybe they are better off on carpet cause they don't slide as much and they get to stand up more so they take more steps than rolling across the floor.

Deirdre O - posted on 07/23/2010

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hey girl i have used a walker for my 3 boys and it did them well. my youngest didnt really like so he got a present of a push along musical toy for his 1st birthday and it did him the same as having a walker he still plays with it if he has nothing else to play with he is 3yrs old now i dont think there is any trouble with the walkers

Raquel - posted on 07/23/2010

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Crawling is really important for a child's brain development. Walking too early has been associated with learning disabilities later on. Save your money (and future problems) and let your child get around on their own two feet (or feet and hands, if that's what they do right now)!

Sherri - posted on 07/22/2010

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Well the powers to be in the US disagree with you. They are still manufactured and sold here.

Kathy - posted on 07/22/2010

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Well Sherri the powers that be here in Canada who made the call to ban them disagree with you....

Sherri - posted on 07/22/2010

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They have up'd the safety on them since the 2000's they now are made with stair fall protection. By the way it is not the walkers that are unsafe it is parent's not watching there children in them that is not safe. If you watch your child make sure they aren't used around stairs or on uneven surfaces they are perfectly safe and should never be a problem. You wouldn't put your child in a safety seat in the pool and not watch them why would anyone think they don't have to watch them in a walker as well. It is the parent's that are to blame not the walkers.

Angie - posted on 07/22/2010

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17 years ago when my son was born, it was determined that they were not safe. I didn't think were made anymore. I found this quote on iVillage:
"Safety, however, is an entirely different issue, and is one in which there is a lot known. In 1997, baby walkers sent more than 14,000 babies to the hospital emergency room. Walkers were even involved in 34 deaths from 1973 to 1998."

Kathy - posted on 07/22/2010

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I'm in Canada, and as some mom's have already said they are banned here. (that is the kind they sit in) we have an exersaucer for my daughter and she likes it, sometimes wants to move on her own, but is very happy with crawling around and playing on the floor. Mostly I use the exersaucer now if I have to have her out of my sight for any amount of time. Even if walkers weren't banned I would NOT use one. Me and my brothers all used them, and my brothers were great at picking up speed hitting a bump and tipping them over, and I don't want her to go down any stairs.
Sherri, I just wanna say you do sound like you are advising for them, I just want to say that there is a reason that they are banned here, its because of their safety, yes you are entitled to your opinion, I just wanted to say that theres that reason.

Melanie - posted on 07/22/2010

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In New Zealand they are strongly discouraged by most professionals. I know they are VERY convenient, but they are really bad for bub's hips and posture in the long run. (Sorry to be a party pooper)

Jeanette - posted on 07/22/2010

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A walker is the worse thing in could get for your child. A child learns only to use the tips of his toes nor his whole foot. In the early ages of your childs live he would need therpy all due to a dumb walker. I learned that the hard way, ask you baby's doctor for better advice.

Kimberly - posted on 07/22/2010

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I agree with Kelina, Using a walker can retard their walking as they are walking and pushing the walker at a different angle then you use walking. That doesn't include the chance of accident while using one of these. I used an exersaucer for all my previous daycare kids and for all of my grandbabies. It is so much more fun and safe. They also need that floor time to learn to sit up and roll. Don't know how old your baby is? Google walkers or do research on it, then make your own decision. :)

Mariah - posted on 07/21/2010

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Well I'm leaning towards the bike/walker combo. I do not want to get one she sits in as the more confined she is when she wants to play the less time she spends playing. She spends pretty much all day crawling & cruising everywhere so I really want to get her something that will help her make the connection from cruising to walking.

I understand everyone's concerns about safety and the risks of accidents but everyone has a different situation and set up. I feel confident in my parenting abilities to supervise her when using any toy and there are no major safety risks like stairs in my home.

Leslie - posted on 07/21/2010

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I used the Playschool Walk and Ride. It's not a traditional walker but I found it more safe and reliable than those. It was a great toy because it converts between a little bicycle type riding toy and a standing handle walker that does not confine the little one at all. The worst accident my child had on it was when it was the in the standing walker position and she stubbed her toe because the was already close to walking on her own and didn't notice that she had walked it into a wall and kept going. It is wide enough that they can't run into anything head on and it doesn't tip with the child in it because they are never "in" anything. They either or riding on it or they are pushing behind it.

Katherine - posted on 07/20/2010

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Nicola,
Please refrain from personal attacks. We all know America has a poor health system

Thanks,

Katherine
Administrator

Nicola - posted on 07/20/2010

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My sister in law also has a degree, honours and is currently doing here masters in early childhood education she knows the effects now even though she used one for her youngest but that was before she studied. They do not use them in daycares in New Zealand and research has shown that you should encourage you baby to crawl as much as possible even if there walking as it developes cross co-ordination skills.

@Sherri you intitled to an opion but you are like I said acting like a sales rep, just because you kids and your familys were fine just means you where lucky its still a risk your willing to take, kind of like drinking while pregnant has high risks but not all children has disablities. Like a said my sister in law is more qualified then most and I know about daycares over here, I presume you live in america a country with one of the worst health care systems in the world?

Kelina - posted on 07/20/2010

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if she's already pushing around larger lighter items why not try a sit n' stand push n' ride? It'll give her a little more confidence to move around and won't be supporting her and it converts to a toddler bike when she learns to walk on her own. My son had one and was not at all interested in using it as a walker(he had mommy for that. I was also a baby taxi) but went straight to using as a bike. Good luck!

Victoria - posted on 07/20/2010

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I heard that walkers aren't good for babies who are learning to walk and by time they can walk they wont want to be strapped in a walker, so i suggest you get a baby play saucer. That is what I bought my daughter when she was about 5 months old and she loved it! I took it with me to my friends and relatives house and she would sit in there forever it seemed like! (of course a good 15 minutes seems like forever when you are constantly at their beck and call! lol) You can out them in it to watch a movie, watch you cook, and there is a tray all the way around so you can put some toys on there for baby to play with! Your baby will be walking befor you know it!

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I was recommended by my health visitor not to buy a baby walker because it actually delays them learning to walk properly as they walk on their tiptoes in a walker and plus they can be so dangerous.If you want one make sure you take extra precautions to make sure your baby is safe.

Ruth - posted on 07/20/2010

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I recommend the walker my 6 month old enjoys. It is the Graco Mobile Entertainer. It is a real simple design that easily adjusts to your child's height. It is easy to clean and take apart. We have both carpet and tile in our home as well as a small step. It comes with rubber stops on the bottom to keep him from going down one small step we have leading to our living room. He is able to cruise around without a problem as long as the height is at the appropriate setting. I didn't like the other models because they are a bit more tricky to adjust and some have battery operated parts. We also use it to feed him in, so easy to clean was important. Walkers are only a problem for those babies that are practically abandoned in it. I still make time for him to practice his tummy time and sitting up as well as crucial snuggling time with mommy. He is almost crawling now even with the use of the walker so don't believe walkers are a bad thing. He is meeting all the milestones his older sister (that had no walker) has met. I also recommend getting a jumper over the doorway. It helps bring variety to the child's life and it comes in handy while I cook and talk to him he is all smiles and babbles jumping around.

Jennifer - posted on 07/20/2010

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Neither of my kids had one and both of mine were walking by 10 months as well....makes no difference if you have one or not....

Amanda - posted on 07/20/2010

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Walkers allow a young child to get around easily but it can give them too much freedom before they know how to handle it. If a child learns to walk without it they have to learn many things prior like balance and how to catch themselves if they fall. With a walker they are provided the balance aspect and may have problems changing to walking with out when it is time. They MIGHT provide confidence, but will be thrown off when they go to walk with out it and depend on the support of the walker. i think it you are better off with one that is not free range, but attached to a toy table or something i saw someone mention, that is not focused on walking but more supporting them for upright time to play like an exersaucer.

Robin - posted on 07/20/2010

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All 4 of my children used walkers...all were walking (by themselves) by 12 months...not one had any developmental delays...not one had an "accident" because I used the product as recomended (with adult supervision and for short periods of time). Good luck in your search.

Sherri - posted on 07/20/2010

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There is nothing wrong with them Nicola. If you are watchful and use them as intended there shouldn't be any harm. I used them for all my children and all of my daycare kids too. All of my friends and family have them for there children as well. We have never had problems and I do love them. Sorry if I am not allowed to my opinion please let me know.

Christina - posted on 07/20/2010

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My daughter just had twins in oct 2009 and her ped. doc does not want her to use walkers says to only use saucer dish if bouces and spins and really builds up leg muscles, that is all she used with daughter also she walked at 9 1/2 months

Dawnetta - posted on 07/20/2010

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we have a lot of carpet so we got a bouncer! My little one loved it & it did help build strong legs!
She is a little small so my husband built her a 2 inch platform for underneath the bouncer! Otherwise she would have only had interest in it for a couple weeks by the time she was big enough to use it!

Lise - posted on 07/19/2010

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It seems people are talking about 2 different types of walkers. Just to clarify the type which is banned in Canada is the kind the baby sits in like an excersaucer with wheels, not the kind they can push or ride on. I had one as a baby before they were illegal and my mom told me how I would grab stuff off the counters, just something to be watchful of. Good luck on your search :)

Nicola - posted on 07/19/2010

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I would only use one they hold onto and push around I would never ever get my child one that they sit in.
The ones they sit in were banned over here also for a while.
My mother worked in a hospital for 18 years and saw many horrific accidents caused by them. Children can fall in them, and they can colapse and mangle a childs legs preventing them from ever walking again.
Talk to you GP chances are they are likely to tell you the same, get the ones they push like the stride to ride not the ones they sit in.
@Sherri get off your high horse, you sound like a sales rep, well since were going to act like that I also worked in a baby store while I was pregnant and my boss would not stock them as she didn't want to support such an unsafe item.
Also sherri if anyone on here buys a walker because of your advise and then something happens to there child I sure as hell hope they let you know what you have done.

Lauren - posted on 07/19/2010

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Walkers can come out to be a VERY BIG tripping hazard. How about a semi-stationary one? LOL! I am not crazy! It is a combination of a walker and an exersauser, called an "Around We Go" It is a little table with mounted toys that has a connected walker that goes around it! After the baby gets older, you can take off the walker and it is a nice little play table. The toys include a magna doodle, electronic keyboard, connected teethers, a snack area, and more!

Chrystal - posted on 07/19/2010

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Chicco brand. You can get them at Buy Buy Baby or online through Babies R Us. It is the best. Very stable (still need to give 100% supervision of course). We tried two others that she hated. This one works like a dream!

Michelle - posted on 07/19/2010

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I think walkers are great. Both my girls used them and it never hindered them walking, nor did they injure themselves. As soon as they could steadily walk across the room in a walker then I took them out and got them to learn without (walking around holding onto the sofa at first).

The ones I had did say on the instructions only to be used under supervision!

Diane - posted on 07/19/2010

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i loved the one my son had which i noticed a lot of other babys had too, it was motly white but the seat was dark blue with bears on it. the other ones i have tried were to tall for my so. we also got him the red car one (also in yellow) but that one sucked

Mariah - posted on 07/19/2010

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Thanks Krista. I like that it seems to have shape sorting as part of the play function. I'll be looking at criagslist and checking for either a cart style or a bike/walker. I like the idea of a toy getting as much use as possible for as long as possible.

Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions, comments & concerns.

Stina - posted on 07/19/2010

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My kids had one of those convertible bike/walker things. As a walker they push it around in front of them using it for stability (the way she's doing with other toys in her play area) And once walking is Mastered, the toy becomes a toddler bike for them to scoot around on.

Krista - posted on 07/19/2010

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If that's the case, Mariah, I would recommend the one I got. You'll just want to keep a close eye on her, especially for the first while as she gets used to it. But it's a great walker and because it's a "grocery cart" (with pretend food, and grocery store sounds, and all that jazz), she'll probably keep playing with it long after she's learned to walk on her own.

And you can turn the sound off altogether. Which is always a blessing.

Mariah - posted on 07/19/2010

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Thank you all for your suggestions and comments.

A few points I'll clarify; I do not have any stairs or elevated surfaces in my home, if I did there would be secured gates to prevent an accident like Nikki experienced. She is already cruising along furniture, pulling herself up on anything that will support her weight and crawling everywhere. She quickly tires of the exersaucer and jumper, and she's been pushing around larger lighter items in the play area as if they were a walker. So I figure she's telling me what she wants next. I want to get the walker to help her focus her balance as she is starting to figure out where to keep her butt in order to stay upright. I can see her wanting to walk forward but not having the confidence to let go of whatever she's using for support.

I am not concerned about a couple of tumbles as kids will take their share of spills and she's already demonstrated that she knows how to fall without hurting herself. Plus the fact that there aren't any stairs for her to fall down and I'd be watching her the entire time she's using the toy. I'm confident she will only benefit from it.

Dawn - posted on 07/19/2010

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Krista had a good point....yes, my son would often push the walker, and since we have tile, it did move fast. We did have a few spills, but I was blessed with a cautious little guy!

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