For many parents, a baby walker is a must-have item. The best baby walker will entertain your child and keep him out of trouble during the early stages of mobility. However, baby walkers are not uncontroversial. Despite claims to help children learn to walk, there is actually no evidence that demonstrates that effect. In fact, many healthcare and childcare professionals advise against using a baby walker for young children, citing dangers to their health and development.
Smarter construction and industry rules for walkers have drastically reduced walker-related injuries during the last couple decades. However, groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommend against them.
Many parents, however, find that the pros of a baby walker outweigh the cons. But, are they safe, and are they right for your family?
Baby Walker FAQs
By understanding more about baby walkers, parents can make more informed decisions for their little ones. Among the important things to read and follow are the safety guidelines for usage, which accompany the baby walker. Also, ensure that your baby or toddler meets the weight, age, and developmental markers that indicate he or she is mature enough to use the walker. Here are some of the most common questions parents ask about baby walkers.
How does a baby walker benefit my child?
Although there are no conclusive studies that verify the actual benefits of baby walkers, there are some benefits shared by parents who have used baby walkers. These include entertainment value as it is an all-in-one play center for baby, and a pre-walking tool as children learn to stand and hold themselves upright while maintaining balance. A baby walker can help free up your hands and attention. Baby walkers also help children with exploration and stimulation as they maneuver around.
Are baby walkers safe?
In general, when used as directed, most baby walkers are safe. It is therefore important to consider all safety concerns and address them by using suitable measures to reduce safety hazards, with responsible parental supervision. Make sure that your walker is too wide to fit through a doorway, and that it has a mechanism to prevent it from falling down stairs. Also, supervision is essential. You should never leave an infant unattended, especially not in a walker.
Are baby walkers really necessary for children to learn to walk?
There is no data showing a benefit to walking development using a baby walker.
What to Look for in the Best Baby Walker
Finding the best baby walker for your child can be a daunting task, considering the plethora of options. First-time parents especially find it a daunting task. Here are the factors to consider when choosing a baby walker:
Type of baby walkers
As you shop for the best baby walker, you need to keep in mind that there are three types: the walk-behind, seat-in, and push baby walker. The walk-behind walker lets your baby stand and push it around while holding the handlebars. The seat-in walker comes with a padded seat so that your baby is comfortable at the bottom and back. The push walker is for babies strong enough to walk on their own. Both the walk-behind and seat-in baby walkers have toys lined on the front for entertainment.
The best baby walker will give your baby freedom, but it will also keep them safe as they explore. Look for features such as a broad base, speed reducer, anti-slipping pads or brake pads, and a stationary feature that prevents it from moving. Other cool features you can look for include a food tray and toy center with sounds, music, and lights.
Check the baby walker for compliance with mandatory safety standards, including safety warning labels. The best baby walker will have a broad base that won’t tip easily, a locking mechanism, and an automatic braking system.
Baby walkers are designed to support specific weight ranges. Usually, baby walkers support weight from 15 to 25 pounds. Weight is crucial as this determines the safety of your baby. For a seat-in baby walker, the seat should support the weight. If it can’t, the straps can snap and lead to an accident or injury for your baby. The best baby walker will provide the support your baby needs as he grows.
Baby age and size
Each baby walker is designed to fit babies of a particular age and size. It is important to keep in mind how much time your baby will spend in the walker. Most baby walkers are designed for babies who are 32 inches or undersize, and six to eight months for ages to start using the walker.
Presence of toys
When shopping for a baby walker, find one that has a variety of toys to entertain your baby. The toys usually generate lights and sound help entertain the baby.
The best baby walker has an adjustable height. As your baby grows, the walker will need adjusting. Some adjustable walkers have two settings, while others have three.
Seats provide comfort for your baby’s bottom and back. They are important because your baby will spend most of the time on the walker. The best baby walker comes with a padded seat for added support. It should be removable, and machine washable.
Just like toys, the best baby walker should be easy to fold and store. This also helps when traveling. The seat-in and walk-behind walkers are usually easy to fold; thus they save space. Once folded, you can keep the walker in a closet, below the bed, or in your car if traveling.
There are many baby walker brands today, all producing different baby accessories as well. Some have been around for ages and have established brand names, while others have sprung up recently. To tell whether a brand is reputable, you’ll need to read reviews from customers as well as experts and buyer guides on major eCommerce stores.
There are many different models of baby walkers today with many different features. The more the features a baby walker has, the costlier it will be. You need to budget for one that is fun and safe. Several such walkers are produced by reputable brands.
How We Found the Best Baby Walker Brands
To find the best baby walker brands, we looked at the best selling walkers on Amazon. We also looked at customer reviews, buyer guides, and reviewed each against the factors that make for a good baby walker. Lastly, we looked at the ratings of each of these walkers based on customer reviews from the online retailer.
How Much Does a Baby Walker Cost?
If it’s your first time buying a baby walker, you probably want to know its cost. There are different prices for different types of baby walkers, and these could be influenced by the features as well as the brand. We’ll discuss some of the best baby walker brands popular with parents so that you can get a feel of the price range. Generally, the prices range from $35 to $300.
The Best Baby Walker for 2018
There’s a baby walker to suit every budget. These best baby walkers will help your little one take to their feet.
Safety 1st Sounds’n Lights Discovery Walker, Dino
Want to keep your little one entertained? Safety 1st Sounds ‘n Lights Discovery Walker can get it done. It features multiple toys, lights, and 12 songs and sounds. There are five fun toys that spin, rattle, crinkle, and light up. Also included are swing-open activity trays that swing to the side leaving a large snack or play tray area. This walker comes with a machine washable padded seat, and it folds down flat for easy storage or travel.
One satisfied user said this walker is built for tall babies with long legs, and has an adjustable height, while another said it is good on both floors and carpets, though better suited for a nine-month-old child. However, a dissatisfied customer noted that despite its decent construction and cute design, their baby’s legs won’t reach the floor regardless of setting.
- Good on floors and carpets
- Great for busy babies
- Built with hard plastic
- Toys keep babies engaged
- Decent construction
- Cute design
- Folds down for storage
- Lowest setting still high
- Assembly instructions are wanting
- Tight around baby’s thighs
Kolcraft Tiny Steps 2-in-1 Activity Walker
The Kolcraft Tiny Steps 2-in-1 Activity baby walker has developmental activities that both you and your baby will love. You can convert it from a seat-in activity walker to a walk-behind walker, so you have a two-in-one baby walker. Toys include a spinning ball, a bead bar for developing motor skills, and a flower mirror toy with crinkle petals and a textured stem. The high foam seat back offers more support and comfort and is machine washable. Other features include skid-resistant friction pads, adjustable height, and front swivel wheels for easy maneuvering.
One happy user said it is the best and safest in its price range, and that it transitions to a frontal push walker as baby grows older. However, a dissatisfied customer said it isn’t suitable for big babies, while another said it isn’t mobile and the back wheels barely move.
- Padded seat for support and comfort
- Easy to set up and clean
- Height adjustable
- Swivel wheels for easy maneuvering
- Fun toys and activities
- Folds flat for easy storage or trips
- Rear wheels barely move
- Not for big babies
- Doesn’t turn with the baby
- Isn’t free-flowing on carpets
Joovy Spoon Walker
The Joovy Spoon Walker is a combination of a baby walker and highchair. It provides the perfect balance for learning to walk while playing and eating. It features a super-sized tray with a removable insert that is easy to clean in the dishwasher. The extra large tray also provides enough room for your child’s toys, plus its bright color and glossy finish gives it a premium styling. Its padded seat is both supportive and comfortable, and also machine washable.
Positive reviews say this baby walker works great, is safe and supportive, has vibrant and rich colors, is easy to set up, and has warranty tags. Critical reviews say that the walker’s rear tapers, is a bit overpriced, and the table/tray seems too big.
- Clean, contemporary design
- Balances walking, playing and eating
- Three height positions
- Practical and good looking
- Comfy and supportive seat
- Machine washable seat
- Removable inserts are dishwasher-safe
- Sturdy build
- Oversized wheels
- Non-slip stair pads
- Exceeds compliance and stair safety
- Folds flat for storage and travel
- Entirely BPA, PVC, and Phthalate Free
- JPMA certified
- Pricier than competitor baby walker brands
- Not ideal for narrow hallways
Bright Starts Walk-A-Bout Walker, Juneberry Delight
With the Bright Starts Juneberry Delight Walk-A-Bout walker, fun comes first. It features a removable electronic toy station for endless enjoyment. Also included is a steering wheel that activates sounds (with volume control), lights, and melodies to keep baby entertained. Its high seat back provides support and comfort and has three adjustable height positions, so it grows with baby.
A happy user said it is an excellent deal for its price, and the volume function is great. Also, the fact that the toy station is removable and can be used separately on the floor or the go is good, plus it has an overall sturdy build. However, a dissatisfied customer decried the walker’s difficult assembly as frustrating, and it only works on carpets if you unscrew the rubber guards.
- Easy to collapse and store away
- Reasonably priced
- Easy to assemble
- Cute design
- Easy to clean
- Sitting cushion is detachable
- Toy station difficult to play with
- Gets stuck frequently
- Instructions manual is confusing
- Too short for tall children
- Flimsy and thin seat
- Lacks in comfort and entertainment
- Wheels don’t work on carpets
Disney Minnie Music and Lights Walker, Garden Delight, Minnie
Disney is synonymous with fun and entertainment, which is what this baby walker provides. The Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Garden Delight Music and Lights Walker provides nothing but fun for your baby. It features an oversized play tray with four Minnie Mouse and friends toys, which swings open to form a snack tray. Also included are sturdy wheels that work on hard floors and carpets, plus grip strips to reduce movement on any surface. Its seat is padded and machine washable, so very easy to clean.
One reviewer who gave positive comments about this baby walker said its quality is good, it is easy to set up, and entertaining. A critical reviewer said the walker wasn’t as good compared to its price, and the global attachment can jam babies’ fingers. Another said it isn’t practical to close up and store away, plus the trays aren’t practical either.
- Height adjustable
- Works on hard floors and carpets
- Grips strips control movement
- Easy to clean
- Useful for playing, walking and eating
- Not easy to close up or store
- Pricier than other better options
KidsEmbrace Batman Batmobile Baby Activity Walker with Music and Lights, DC Comics
The KidsEmbrace Batman Baby Activity Walker reeks of fun and adventure. Your child (especially little boys) will enjoy playing with the multiple interactive elements on this walker. It is made of polyester foam, covered with polyester batting for extra support and durability. Its cover is machine washable, easy to remove and wipe clean. Height adjustability is available in three options that lock into place, plus a high backrest for support and comfort as baby grows. The activity tray has a start key to make the Batmobile’s engine run and turns on the lights and shifter, which has multiple sounds and vibrates.
Positive reviews say this baby walker is easy to set up, outstanding and has good height adjustments. Critical reviews say it is a safety hazard as the piece that locks the height snaps and can cause injuries.
- Meets ASTM F977-12 standards
- The cover is easy to clean
- Supportive backrest
- Not as safe
- Parts aren’t durable or sturdy
- Flimsy height-adjusting clip
The Best Baby Walker of Them All
The Kolcraft Tiny Steps 2-in-1 Activity Walker offers the best value for money compared to any of the other walkers we reviewed. It is affordable, has an adjustable height, is convertible and grows with your baby. The KidsEmbrace Batman Batmobile Baby Activity Walker with Music and Lights really stands out regarding its cool looks — car-crazy kids will love it. Finally, we love the Safety 1st Sounds ‘n Lights Discovery Walker for its innovative twist and great features, including the activity trays.
As with any device you choose to use with your child, it is always best to check with their pediatrician to see what they recommend.
Have you used any of these baby walkers before? If so, share with us your experience by leaving a comment in the box below. We’d love to hear from you!