My baby just started crawling! I’m excited but also nervous. I know that the days of my baby sitting in a swing are long gone. She’s going to be on the move and it’s my job to keep up with her and keep her safe. I don’t think it will be too long before she’s walking and I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to help her developmentally without pushing her too hard. So I’ve been looking for the best baby walkers on the market. Come along with me on my baby walker review. Together, we’ll learn what to look for when trying to track down the top baby walker in your price range and how to properly use a baby walker to teach your baby how to take those precious first steps.
What Will a Top Baby Walker Cost?
Baby walkers are available for almost every budget. But like most products, you get what you pay for. Lower priced models are usually made with lower-grade materials and can be more dangerous as they rarely feature a seat in the middle for the earliest stages of use.If you can spend a bit more, you’ll find plenty of great baby walkers that have every feature you’re looking for.
If your budget is larger than most, you’ll find plenty of premium walkers on the market as well. But in all honesty, you’re mostly paying for the label with these walkers. There really isn’t anything included in them that you wouldn’t find in a middle-priced walker. If you look for walkers around $70, you should be able to find the best baby walker for your needs.
What to Look for in the Best Baby Walkers
Now that you have a budget in mind, how do you start narrowing down your choices so that you can find the best baby push walker for your little bundle of joy? Take a look at this guide of features to look for.
Fabrics and Comfort
While the design of the fabric used in your baby walker is simply cosmetic, you’ll want to make sure that it’s comfortable. Is there padding? Is it hard and uncomfortable or is it too soft and lacking support? Chances are, your baby will spend quite a bit of time in their walker. Make sure they’ll be comfortable while they explore.
We know babies grow fast. You want to make sure they won’t outgrow their walker before they do some damage on the odometer. So make sure that the walker adjusts to their height and can continue to be of use even as they grow.
If you can believe it, some baby walkers don’t have wheels. These are dangerous and impractical. Avoid these. But for those that do have wheels, make sure you’re happy with the size. If they’re too small, they can get stuck in carpets or on rugs. Typically, the bigger the wheels, the easier the walker is to turn and move.
Make sure you consider safety features when choosing a baby walker. The most important feature to check for is skid safety pads. These will give you a bit more confidence in the walker as your little one shouldn’t skid or slide too far ahead of you. Safety continues to improve so the best baby walker of 2017 is sure to be one of the safest as well.
Most baby walkers double as engaging and fun toys. You’ll probably find an entertainment console on the walker of your choice. Some light up and play music while others are a bit more simple. Find out if the console is removable and take a look to see how easy it is to keep clean.
If you’re tight on space (and who isn’t with a baby), see if you can find a walker that folds up. This will let you slide it into a closet or place it in a corner of a room without being in the way. Some baby walkers are quite large so being able to save space when storing them is a big plus.
How to Introduce Baby to the Best Baby Push Walker
Once you’ve found the best baby walker for your little adventurer, it’s time to slowly and safely introduce them to it. Here’s how to begin integrating the walker into your little one’s day without overwhelming them.
- Make sure that your baby is ready for a walker. They should be able to sit up on their own and crawl. You might want to wait until your baby begins to pull themselves up on furniture and your legs.
- Introduce the walker to your baby. Never force them to use it. Let your baby visually explore the walker before placing them in it.
- Make sure that the walker is adjusted correctly. When placing your baby in the walker, make sure each leg is in the correct leg hole and that the toes aren’t caught anywhere. Fasten the restraining belt once the child is comfortably in the seat.
- Hold your baby by the waist and stand them to show your baby that they can stand without assistance. Only let go if your baby seems stable and confident.
- Show your baby how to move the walker if needed. Most children will figure it out very quickly on their own.
- Let your baby explore a bit on their own but remain next to them. Do your best to let them figure out the movements of the walker on their own, rather than push the walker in the right direction for them.
- Keep the time in the walker limited. Start with only 10 minutes at a time and work up as signaled from your baby. Once they become frustrated, remove them from the walker. Don’t keep your baby in the walker for long stretches of time.
Remember that your baby walker is supposed to be a toy. While it can help with development, it’s not meant to independently teach your baby how to walk. It’s a fun way to let your baby explore while strengthening muscles and encouraging new movements.
Baby Walker Safety
According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, baby walkers account for nearly 21 hospital visits each day! But this doesn’t mean your baby can’t use a walker. If you take the proper safety precautions and understand the risks of using a baby walker, your child should be well protected.
- Check all the flooring your baby will be walking on. Make sure there are no loose rugs, loose floorboards, or debris. The space should be open and without too many obstacles. Make sure you’re using the best baby walker for carpet if that’s the flooring they’ll mostly be on.
- Remove anything fragile or dangerous within the child’s reach. This includes items on shelves that could fall. Try to inspect the room from your child’s point of view. They will suddenly have access to areas they haven’t before.
- Block any and all stairs with a sturdy baby gate. Close doors to rooms that are off limits.
- Look for sharp edges, like those on a dining room table or living room end table. Cover them with bumpers or block this area from the baby’s reach.
- The most important safety tip is to NEVER take your eyes off your child while they’re in a baby walker. Your child will be moving faster than they ever have on their own, so you always need to be one step ahead of them and ready to intervene at any given moment. I recommend having another caregiver, either your spouse or another responsible adult, watching the child as well. You can never have too many eyes on a baby when they’re in a walker.
Cosco Simple Steps Walker, Monster Syd
This fun and interactive toy will look absolutely adorable with your little one learning and exploring in it. Don’t let the affordable price scare you off. It’s just as durable and safe as the more expensive options. It’s easy to keep clean with its machine washable and dryer safe seat pad and dishwasher safe snack try. It has two adjustable heights so it can grow with your child. I loved the simple set up of this walker. You don’t need any special tools. A few minutes is all it takes and your little one will be ready to terrorize their siblings in this adorable monster-themed baby walker.
Safety 1st Ready-Set-Walk Walker, Nantucket
Safety should be your top priority when looking for a baby walker so choosing a company with the word in its name is a great idea. The Nantucket model by Safety 1st features a unique wide base design that can safely support up to 30 pounds. The design provides superior stability. This walker adjusts to three different heights and comes with three toys to promote fine motor skills. Your baby will love listening to the twelve included songs and the flashing light is sure to make them squeal with glee. As a parent, you’ll love that it’s a compact walker. It folds down easily for storage or trips in just a few minutes.
VTech Sit, Stand and Ride Baby Walker
If you’re looking for the best sit to stand walker, this could be it. Your baby can learn, walk, and ride this toy. It grows with your child, starting as an activity panel and transforming into a walker or ride-on toy that’s sure to keep them engaged and entertained. The activity panel has everything your little one could want, including a steering wheel, gear shifter, and light-up buttons. There are over sixty songs, sounds, and phrases to keep your child guessing what’s coming up next. There is a bit of assembly required (you’ll need a Phillips screwdriver) but it won’t take long to get your little one cruising.
Joovy Spoon Walker
This model is a bit pricier but you’ll appreciate all the added features. It’s BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free. It has three height positions to keep your little one comfy and the oversized wheels and non-slip stair pads make it the best walker for hardwood floors. The tray has a removable insert that’s dishwasher safe and the walker folds flat when your baby is done exploring.
Chicco Baby Activity Walker
Here’s a great baby push walker that’s affordable and serves as both a walker and an activity center. Music plays while your baby walks and stops when they do. This will encourage your baby to stay on the move. It also helps to teach shapes with its super colorful and interactive activity panel. Even if your baby isn’t quite ready for a walker, the activity panel alone makes this walker a steal. If you enjoy this walker but wish it had a seat, consider the Chicco Lil Piano Splash Walker, Splash, which includes a seat and all the innovative features Chicco brings to baby walkers.
If your little one is ready for a walker and you’re ready for the responsibilities of owning one, then don’t delay picking up the best baby walker for your needs. This baby walker review should have you headed in the right direction to finding the best walker for your baby learning to walk. Good luck, stay safe, and have fun!