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Walkers

Heather - posted on 07/16/2009 ( 52 moms have responded )

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I'm considering getting one for my 6 month old. Just wondering what everyone thought about them. I've heard some positive and negative responses about them.

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Kirsty - posted on 07/17/2009

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Hi Heather. My boy was born with a low APGAR, so we have regular visits from a Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist, and have discussed the use of baby walkers, as well as Jolly Jumpers. They explained to me the reasons they don't endorse the use of these. Firstly, and most importantly, a baby's hips have not yet fully developed, and are not ready for weight bearing or standing in an upright position until approx 10 months old. Both walkers and jumpers put baby in an unnatural position, too early for their developmental stage. Also, use of walkers and jumpers encourage toe-walking, which has resulted in many young children having to have surgery to release their Archilles tendons, because the tendons have not been stretched properly. Another thing is that when baby's feet touch the ground and they look like they're jumping/bouncing, it's actually just a reflex that the baby can't control, not a purposeful action.

Those are just some of the reasons I will not be using a walker or jumper - but I'm sure whatever you decide, you'll still have a safe wee bub:)

Cathralynn - posted on 07/17/2009

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The reason I never got one, is why it delays walking. Babies learn to walk in walkers without seeing their feet or any of there surroundings below the tray. That's a whole different way to learn to walk than focusing on your feet and babies learn from exploring their surroundings. We got a jumper and moved it or just let my baby play on a blanket. They need tummy time and to focus on rolling over, sitting up, and crawling. Does your baby even stand with support? My daughter didn't even sit up unsupported at 7mo, much less walk! But by 8-9mo she was crawling and cruising so you'll be there soon enough!

Stina - posted on 07/17/2009

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While I've never had to worry about stairs, I chose not to get a walker b/c they can be dangerous- I've heard of toes getting pinched in them- and unnessecary, perhaps even delaying walking.

We used a jumperoo for strengthening legs and giving me the opportunity to keep baby in one place while I cooked or cleaned... sometimes even set it up in the bathroom so they could play while I took a shwoer. but only for short bits of time. It's really important for them to be able to crawl about and have the opportunity to learn to pull up on the furniture and cruise that way.

Chalanda - posted on 07/16/2009

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I was going to buy one for my 6month old yesterday. I went to the doctor today and asked her and she said NO WAY! She said it is dangerous and to let him walk on his own time.

Arwen - posted on 07/16/2009

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I have heard more bad than good about them. My friend loved hers. "She can follow me around, and I can still do chores!" But everyone else hated them. My mom said I got seriously hurt(but those were old walkers...I'm sure they are safer now), and some of my cousin-in-laws have some bow-legged babies cause they were supporting their weight far too soon. One will be getting braces to correct her feet, and the doctor confirmed it was the walker's doing. I never got one for my daughter. Around 6 months she started crawling, and crawling is the time they really start building their arm strength up. Your baby needs to get strong! ;)

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Trish - posted on 07/18/2009

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As a Developmental Specialist in Early Intervention (not at PT but work with them a lot) here's a general rule of thumb. Muscles develop from the head down. You don't want to do it backwards! If the child can sit independently, possibly crawl & transition between floor positions independently, & can bear weight on their legs already, I wouldn't necessarily buy one, but if you have one, don't use it for more than maybe 10 minutes at a time. Let's face it, sometimes you need a few minutes without a child in your arms! After making sure any stairs are securely blocked off, you'd need to be sure their legs aren't bowed out (froggy) or on tiptoes. Feet flat on the floor, legs straight, but not stiff-straight. It won't help them walk since their body & hip muscles are supported in a walker or exersaucer, which they aren't in "real" walking. On the other hand, if all of those other skills are in place, it may not delay either. The same goes for bouncers or exersaucers; you DO run a risk of hips displaced or toe-walking. They're really not a good idea for younger babies whose upper body muscles & skils aren't yet developed. Tippng over is obviously bad, so make sure yours won't, & floor time & cruising around sturdy objects develop muscles and coordination better. Hope tat helps a little!

Kimberly - posted on 07/18/2009

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Not the best idea IMO. I had a talk with a nurse at my hospital. She told me Pediatricians hate walkers. One main reason is, they can tip over and cause head injury. I'd talk to your babies pediatrician before actually going out and spending money on one.

Cindy - posted on 07/18/2009

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I am a strong believer in letting a child explore as long as they are safe. A child's brain and body develops together so the more time on the floor the better. Walkers can be dangerous but I think your child will grow,crawl, creep and walk in his or her own time.

[deleted account]

I can just tell you my experience. I used a walker with my oldest daughter and she LOVED it. Nobody had ever told me (16 years ago) that they were bad for their muscles and delayed walking. She did not walk at all until she was around 14-15 months. After she was older and I was pregnant with my next child, someone told me about the drawbacks of using them and so my next child had an "exersaucer" which she also loved. That second child and the next two children all walked right at 10 months. Based on that, I'm thinking that it DOES delay their walking. I don't think it's a big deal and, frankly I would have LOVED for the others to walk a little later so they weren't so hard to chase around! I've always had a bad vibe about those jumper things so I've never used one, but the exersaucer things are great. They serve about the same purpose as a walker, don't delay their walking and you don't have to worry about them zipping down the stairs or anywhere else. :-)

Michelle - posted on 07/18/2009

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My 2yr old looooved her walker and it didn't delay her walking at all! My 5month old looooves her walker as well! She zooms around the house and it's just amazing to watch! It allows me to be able to do the dishes or cook dinner or play with my oldest. I don't have stairs, but if you do, just be sure to block them off very securely. It's such a great thing and I got just the bear one from babies'r'us for like $20. It folds up so we've taken it to a church picnic, the mountains, and over to Nana's house for some fun in the backyard. It's wonderful!!! Get one!! lol!!!

Kelly - posted on 07/18/2009

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i was a bit unsure about getting one, i brought one at the begining of the week tho, there are all sort of safety features and advice for them, the one i brought wont fall down the stairs because of the safety feature on it. Unfortunalty my daughters got short legs and cant reach the floor yet, but ive got a feeling that seeing as she loves the door bouncer we got her, shes going to love it. Go with your gut feeling on it, you no your child best.

Amy - posted on 07/17/2009

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I'm a little scared of walkers myself. The ped told me that they delayed walking and were actually quite dangerous. I would start of with something stationary, like a Jumperoo or exersaucer. We had both, never used a walker, my son pulled himself up and took his first steps when he was 8mo...Thats scary right there...lol

Estrella - posted on 07/17/2009

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I've heard that they don't help a child to walk any sooner, but if they like to sit in them, then, why not? My son does not like to sit in his for more than 5 mins., so it was a waste of money for us. The same goes for the activity center by Baby Einstein. His attention span is incredibly short, so he gets bored very easily and wants to get out pronto!

Melissa - posted on 07/17/2009

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i think babies she be able to take there time in walkin and walkers just push then in to walking thay learn how to walk with a walker and then when u take that away thay have to learn to walk with out 1 so i think its best not to give them 1 in the first place.

Nicole - posted on 07/17/2009

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I have an activity table that has a walker attatched to it so my son can feel like he's walking but he's just going in circles around the table, that is if he actually walked in it! He stands in it and balances himself, but he hasn't figured out how to put one foot in front of the other and walk in it. I like this because it's better than a regular activity center where they just sit in the middle and spin, and the walker part comes off so they can still play with the table when they get older. The one I have is for 4 months and up, and we've had it since then. My son is now 7 months old. I don't know whether or not they delay walking. I like that it supports my son so he can stand, because he's a big boy and when I try to hold him so he can put weight on his legs he's too heavy and ends up drawing his legs up, thinking I'm going to pick him up. I thought about getting him one of those jumper things, but by the time I thought about it he'd already reached the weight limit on most of them.

Melissa - posted on 07/17/2009

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my daughter is 8 months and shes walking along the sofa and i never got her a walker and my friend has 1 4 her little girl and she says that she has no intrest in trying to walk when shes out of the walker i think it can make them lazy and slow them down with out a walker thay walk moch faster.

Cathralynn - posted on 07/17/2009

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Quoting Heather:



Quoting Cathralynn:

The reason I never got one, is why it delays walking. Babies learn to walk in walkers without seeing their feet or any of there surroundings below the tray. That's a whole different way to learn to walk than focusing on your feet and babies learn from exploring their surroundings. We got a jumper and moved it or just let my baby play on a blanket. They need tummy time and to focus on rolling over, sitting up, and crawling. Does your baby even stand with support? My daughter didn't even sit up unsupported at 7mo, much less walk! But by 8-9mo she was crawling and cruising so you'll be there soon enough!





 






My son has been sitting up unsupported since 5 months, and for the last 2 weeks is able to stand up with only support form me holding his hands.  He has a bouncer that he loves, and stands in that alot. 





Thanks for replying.  I am worried I sounded rude about your son's abilities which is not the case at all!  We used the fisher price jumparoo at that same time and my daughter loved it as well.  She had been pushing with her legs almost since birth.  I just don't like walkers as I stated and therefore don't have any experience with them.  I don't know if they need to be a lil closer to actually walking to use them.  Most babies walk from 10-18mo and 6mo sounded early to work on that to me.  If you go that route just check the recommendations of the product you pick.  Good luck with your decision.

Heather - posted on 07/17/2009

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Quoting Cathralynn:

The reason I never got one, is why it delays walking. Babies learn to walk in walkers without seeing their feet or any of there surroundings below the tray. That's a whole different way to learn to walk than focusing on your feet and babies learn from exploring their surroundings. We got a jumper and moved it or just let my baby play on a blanket. They need tummy time and to focus on rolling over, sitting up, and crawling. Does your baby even stand with support? My daughter didn't even sit up unsupported at 7mo, much less walk! But by 8-9mo she was crawling and cruising so you'll be there soon enough!


 



My son has been sitting up unsupported since 5 months, and for the last 2 weeks is able to stand up with only support form me holding his hands.  He has a bouncer that he loves, and stands in that alot. 

Angie - posted on 07/17/2009

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My kids loved theirs! I actually just sent mine to me n' mommy to be in WDM. I feel like they are a great investment, just make sure you have a baby gate by any stairs you have.

Jessica - posted on 07/17/2009

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My daughter had one and loved it. We lived at my parents and they had stairs but we put up a sturdy gate and the other stairs had a door. You need to have stairs blocked when having a baby anyway. The walkers they have now have a lot of safety features. There is no way they can flip over, they don't spin around anymore (just forward & backward), they do not move as fast as they use to either, they also have parking brakes so if you aren't going to be able to constantly supervise put the brake on. Just keep a good eye on them when they're moving around in one and don't leave them in there for the whole day. I wouldn't leave them in there over a half hr at a time. I had no problem with it. My daughter was fully walking at 9 months and used one and does not have bolegs. As long as you are a responsible mommy I don't see why there would be a problem with having a walker.

[deleted account]

I just read some of the other posts and jumpers are good too. You can also get those trays that they sit inside with toys all around that don't move anywhere. They are also good and they can bounce a bit too. Oh I miss all this stuff.

[deleted account]

I personally like them. They can be dangerous if you don't watch them properly, but so can crawling. I don't personally believe that they help or hinder walking, but thats just me. There are advantages and disadvantages to them. There is conflicting advice out there so make it a personal decision.

Katrina - posted on 07/17/2009

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my 1 year old had one and she loved it and now she just starting walking. we don't have any stairs in our house so i wasn't to worry about that and if your right there wacthing them i don't see what the big deal is.

Ruth - posted on 07/17/2009

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I am a mother of four children & I used (& plan to use) a walker with all my children. I am also in Canada & they are illegal here (I got mine in the USA sssshhhhhhh!!!!!). I believe they help them develop their leg muscles & they also keep them busy as they can change their environment by moving from place to place & stay busy. My son Sebastian had an exersaucer & he didn't like it as much as the walker as he couldn't move about!!! You must however ensure that they will be safe by blocking out danger zones & baby proofing kitchen cabinets & stuff like that. Babies have been hurt, but I truly believe it's due to lack of supervision. I would totally recommend it!!! Cheers.

[deleted account]

Don't bother with getting a walker. I'm pretty sure the AAP is still recommending against them since they can be dangerous (risk of tipping over) and they tend to delay walking. At 6 months, your baby will likely be mobile soon anyway, and will probably prefer crawling all over the place.

Tracy - posted on 07/17/2009

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As long as you supervise your child and they can support themselves in sitting postion I think they are good. My little man got one when he was almost 6months. Not long after he started to crawl and was cruising by 6.5months and walking by 10 months. However he was only in it for short periods. Everything in moderation I say.

Chalanda - posted on 07/17/2009

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Quoting Chalanda:



Quoting Natalie:




Quoting Chalanda:

I was going to buy one for my 6month old yesterday. I went to the doctor today and asked her and she said NO WAY! She said it is dangerous and to let him walk on his own time.







My doctors also said the same thing about floor time. She said to just get some of the foam mats and put them on the floor and let him play. She said he doesn't really need anything. And ladies , off the topics of walkers for a minute...she advised me to watch for lead, u know if u live in older homes, wash ur hands and change ur clothes b4 u come home from work and mess with the baby, and with toys. She said to make sure u wash all of their toys with soap and water before giving it to them bcus of the lead (from the paint). So please all, WASH UR CHILD"S TOYS BEFORE YOU GIVE IT TO THEM. Just added that bcus, its sooo important.








My health nurse and dr both said no to it. They both agree that the best thing for a child's development is floor time. So I got a playpen instead, however my friend also lent me an exersaucer n jolly jumoer so my 5 month old goes in them sometimes too (so i can have a shower etc). If u do use one, dont keep them in it all the time, cos that can delay their walking (according to my dr and nurse), as they dont learn to support their own weight. All of those things (jolly jumper, exersaucer, walker and so on) are fun for kids but not to be used for hours on end, and must be supervised!









 





 

Sarah - posted on 07/17/2009

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I used them with both of mine, no injuries, didn't delay walking at all, they loved them....good all round in my experience! :)

Natalie - posted on 07/17/2009

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Quoting Chalanda:

I was going to buy one for my 6month old yesterday. I went to the doctor today and asked her and she said NO WAY! She said it is dangerous and to let him walk on his own time.


 



My health nurse and dr both said no to it. They both agree that the best thing for a child's development is floor time. So I got a playpen instead, however my friend also lent me an exersaucer n jolly jumoer so my 5 month old goes in them sometimes too (so i can have a shower etc). If u do use one, dont keep them in it all the time, cos that can delay their walking (according to my dr and nurse), as they dont learn to support their own weight. All of those things (jolly jumper, exersaucer, walker and so on) are fun for kids but not to be used for hours on end, and must be supervised!

Traci - posted on 07/16/2009

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I used them, but not to encourage walking, just to have a place to keep baby while I'm busy! Stairs weren't an issue with me either. I would recommend an exersaucer though, since you're buying it. Walkers don't really help with the walking and the exersaucers are cuter :)

Marne - posted on 07/16/2009

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I used one with mine. I liked them for outside. On grass they don't move real well but it does move so mine would get so fascinated by why it wasn't doing what they expected that just trying to figure it out would keep them occupied long enough for me to get outside stuff done :-) As with EVERYTHING with kids, you have to use some common sense on how long and where you do this. Flat out saying walkers are not safe and shouldn't be used because a child could fall down stairs or get into stuff while the parent isn't watching is kinda like saying bathing a child isn't safe and shouldn't be done because they could drown if a parent leaves them in the tub and walks out of the room!

Chalanda - posted on 07/16/2009

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That's what I think, Keri. I still want to purchase one regardless of what the doctor said, but still kind of hesitant. Also, we should watch our children. Keep them away from stairs, from tablecloths (so they don't pull it down), and from other things within their reach. In walkers they move very fast so just watch them more closely.

Keri - posted on 07/16/2009

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my daughter loved her walker....and if you have stairs it doesnt take a rocket scientist to KNOW that all you have to do it get a gate and blocked it off..lol...walkers are great..just dont keep your baby in it all the time..lol

Tammy - posted on 07/16/2009

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I used an exersaucer with my two children and as soon as they were holding their heads up good I would set them in it with blankets around them, they sat up early, crawled early and even started walking early. It helped strengthen their legs, and aided in all body movement. And the best thing of all was I didnt have to worry about them getting into stuff they weren't suppose too. They used their megasaucer until they were at least a year old it was a fav toy for both. Good luck

[deleted account]

I liked having my crawling/eatting everything child in a walker when I spent a few minutes gardening.

Angela - posted on 07/16/2009

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I have this thing I cant remember what is called though and its hard to explain lol. it doesnt move but there is like two arms i guess that extend and there is a seat that you put the baby in and they can walk up and down the arms of it without it moving. there is even an activity center on it

Tamara - posted on 07/16/2009

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I skipped getting my daughter one. I couldn't justify the danger.

From Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis:

Health Alert: Say “No” to Baby Walkers

Baby walkers are not safe.
Each year, there are more than 25,000 injuries from baby walkers. The most common injuries are head injuries, broken arms and legs, and facial injuries.

Walkers allow infants to move too fast and make it easy for them to get into dangerous situations. In addition to placing an infant in danger, walkers may actually delay walking.

http://rileychildrenshospital.com/parent...

Jennifer - posted on 07/16/2009

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Exersaucer all the way! I had a doorway jumper put in the middle of my kitchen so he could strengthen his legs and feel how it moves around while I was working and he wasn't near any door jam to get hit in the head. When they can stand on their own I strongly recommend one of the giant exersize balls, it's the perfect height and when it rolls around, they follow it, then the balls rolls away and they catch up to it taking steps on their own without thinking about it.

Kimberly - posted on 07/16/2009

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I had one for my son that was given to me so I used that instead of buying an exersaucer but he loved it. I just put some toys on the tray and even fed him in it when we were out. He used my sisters exersaucer but didn't like it as much because he couldn't go anywhere. You just have to watch them. I put a gate at the top of the stairs so there was no chances he would go down them. It worked well when I was busy doing things outside too!

Sherrie - posted on 07/16/2009

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The new ones are safty improved. They are wider then the old school ones and do not fit through a regular door frame. They also have brakes on them and are made spec. to prevent going off stairs. all in all I belive them to fine as long as you use common sense and dont leave them unattended. good luck on your desicion.:)

Heather - posted on 07/16/2009

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I have one of those bouncy activity centers. The one that looks like a walker but is stationary, and he loves it. But he likes to be right where all the action is. So I am constantly having to move him, to play in it so he doesn't get bored...I figured with a walker he could at least move around if he wanted too.

Tiffany - posted on 07/16/2009

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I agree that if you are going to use one supervision is key. I don't believe that they delay walking at all considering most of my family has been using them for years and almost every baby has walked around 10 months. They do say that it increases the possibility that the child will walk on their tip toes but if you give them ample time to "walk" other ways too it should be fine. Also that it can cause difficulties with hips but the seats in a walker are no different than those in a saucer. Just like with any baby entertainment don't leave them in it for extended periods of time.

Kristina - posted on 07/16/2009

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my son has a bounser and that helps with there legs to but i would get both....

[deleted account]

Get the exersaucer, to be on the safe side. He'll have plenty of time to exercise those leg muscles while in a stationary position, and you wont have to worry that he's scooting down the stairs while you're in the bathroom. When he's able to stand on his own, get him a push-toy that enables walking. Some companies make little trucks you can sit on when baby is young, then convert to a walking toy once he can handle it. My daughter was given a little musical walking stroller for her first birthday and she loved it.



Remember with toys like that, when they're standing but not steady on their feet just yet, a walking toy can roll away from them if they can't keep up with it. Test different ones out in the store to see how much resistance they provide, and remember they'll have more drag on carpet and less on hardwood. Happy hunting!

Linda - posted on 07/16/2009

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dont get one! theyre not too practical! a lot of money for something they dont even really enjoy! like the other moms said get an excersaucer or a bouncer we got my little boy one and he loved it!

Kristina - posted on 07/16/2009

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I think you should get one it helps them strenghtn there legs and helps them learn how to walk... even though he might walk backwards at first he will catch on how to walk frontwards and then he will try to do it on his own......

Cathy - posted on 07/16/2009

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Are you talking about those walkers that you put the baby into like an excersaucer and it has wheels? I'm in Canada and they're actually illegal here. Too many babies have been seriously hurt or killed while using them. I think it always depends on the parents, you HAVE to supervise your kids... not let them just wander while you keep busy doing something else. I just walk my son around with me, while holding his hands so he can walk on his own and practice. Hope that helps!

Mel - posted on 07/16/2009

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I actually didnt mind my girls being in walkers, you just have to keep an extra careful eye on them because you'd be surprised where and how fast they can get into places they shouldnt be...with my younger son, he was in a saucer and i did not notice any difference in age of walking. The only difference was he couldnt move around the house.

Heather - posted on 07/16/2009

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I think they are dangerous, especially if you have stairs. Also, studies show they actually delay walking. Better to get an exersaucer and then when they are a little older and more mobile, get them a little push cart to push around.

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