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Babywalkers - I know we're not supposed to use them but at what age can you use them?

(31 Posts)
yelnats Tue 03-Jul-07 12:10:00

I know that these days were not supposed to use babywalkers because apparently they are dangerous etc. But I was thinking of getting dd1's out of the loft for dd2 and wasn't sure at what age you can use them from?

I will not be leaving her in it unattended.

dionnelorraine Tue 03-Jul-07 12:14:09

My dd had one when she was little. It was great. She couldnt scoot around in it then but it was more like a fun little seat! Was handy when I was washing up etc, she would come into the kitchen with me. I think she used it from about the age of 6-9 months ish? cant really remember that well.

I will use it again for the next one too! They are great as long as you dont leave them unattended.

flibbertyjibbet Tue 03-Jul-07 12:19:45

A mum I met on 1st mat leave had a baby walker, she lives in a 3 storey house - living area on the middle floor. Expressed great surprise one day to find that baby had 'walked' (yes well what are they FOR???) in baby walker to the top of the stairs and was just about to topple down! No stair gate, silly moo.
Also, the reception area of the childrens wards at our hospital has chilling posters detailing all the stats relating to injuries occuring whilst a child is in a baby walker.
Will you really be able to never leave her unattended in it even for a second if you have other older child?

BarbieLovesKen Tue 03-Jul-07 12:38:33

you know they are illegal in Canada because they are so dangerous? single most dangerous piece of baby equipment ever apparantly. One warning I read stated "when throwing away your walker please ensure to remove the wheels so that it cannot be retrived and pose danger to another child" - thankfully, as far as I am aware, there is a movement to completely ban the sale and manufacture of these awful things. Sorry - know this was'nt the question you asked - its just I hate these bloody things!!

Seona1973 Tue 03-Jul-07 13:14:45

I think they are great and dd and ds have thought so too!! Just make sure you remove items that they will now be able to reach and keep your eyes open for them ramming into the backs of your legs. I use ours in places that I wouldnt want ds to be on the floor e.g. the kitchen which is tiled and he would crack his head on it if he fell while trying to climb on something (vegetable trolley, chair, my legs, etc) He was in his from around 5 months, always for short periods of time (recommended no more than 20 minuts at a time)

Charlee Tue 03-Jul-07 13:17:58

DS's walker was a lifesaver for me when he was about 9 months old.

They are said to be 'dangerous' but i figure most people have the common sense to put up stairgates and have radiator covers ect, plus like with all baby equiptment the child is ment to be supervised when using it.

There is some talk of a prolonged use of a babywalked causing problems with babies legs, im not sure what it is about but i heard something about it.

You can use them from about 6 months on when baby is sitting by herself well, just don't use it for long periods of time and it will be fine.

lizziemun Tue 03-Jul-07 13:54:25

DD babywalker was a god send from about 7mths. But she didn't crawl but was walking unaided by 10 months.

The baby walker saved a lots of tantrums from dd because she could get where she wanted to go.

Weegle Tue 03-Jul-07 13:57:42

The arguments are: danger of an accident and also prolonged use slowing/impeding walking because the muscle structure etc is different than walking normally. I think my physio friend didn't think much of me using a walker. As with all things as a mum I guess we make the decision based on the info available and the benefits it will bring to us/our child.

I have to say the walker was a lifesaver with DS. He used his from 4-9months (he was early sitting up), basically until he could crawl. He adored it and the home didn't need to be any more (in fact less) baby-proofed than for when you have a crawling/pulling up baby anyway.

Nemo2007 Tue 03-Jul-07 13:59:57

I have used a walker with all 3 of mine,
Ds was 5mths when we started using it and was walking by 8.5mths
DD1 was 6mths and was walking at 12mths
DD2 is just 6mths and we have started using it the past week.
She tends to go in it a couple of times a day for 15-20min max as then she gets bored and wants to move on!

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Tue 03-Jul-07 14:32:28

i used a baby walker with both dd and ds (ds still using it) i have no stairs (in a flat) and he cant even get out the living room as it doesnt fit through the gap. Hes in it for a maxmum of 10 mins before he gets bored but it gives me enough time to do the hoovering/washing up (where i can clearly see him)

im sure a lot of it depends on what you house is like, where they can get/what they can get at/how much you supervise them.

activity centres are just as good, iv got one that goes round (both seat and whole thing) on a pivot and has toys on, ds loves his!

meandmyflyingmachine Tue 03-Jul-07 14:37:01

I used it with mine from 6 months. Downstairs. Short periods. And if it delayed walking then it wasn't by much (11mo and 10mo respectively).

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Tue 03-Jul-07 14:39:02

my dd didnt acctually walk until she was 18month but she never used the walker after about 7 month so i dont see how that could ahve caused it. ds is now 8month and is pulling up to try walking so i doubt its delaying him!

suedonim Tue 03-Jul-07 14:58:06

I had a babywalker for ds1, back in the 70's when they were all the rage. He had an accident in it, when I was standing right next to him. A wheel went over an uneven edge and toppled the whole thing. It happened so quickly I could do nothing. I didn't use a walker again after that and all my children walked at about 14mths old.

yelnats Tue 03-Jul-07 21:14:42

I used mine with dd1 (cant remember what age from. She loved it - was out of it by about 8/9 months I reckon as she was bored with it - more interested in shuffling about on her bum and pulling herself up.

DD2 is 4 and a half months - is she too young (she is almost sitting up on her own).

yelnats Tue 03-Jul-07 21:55:10


ConnorTraceptive Tue 03-Jul-07 22:03:48

can't stand them myself but also dislike play pens and door bouncers too.

MIL carped on and on about getting ds one despite the fact that when her daughter was a baby she ended up in hospital twice because of the walker. First time she tipped out and cut her head open second time she managed to move along to a tub of white spirit and start sucking the brush that had been dipped in it.

LIZS Tue 03-Jul-07 22:08:54

Never saw the point of them myself tbh - takes up room , limited lifespan , safety issue etc - but my nephew has used one from about 5 months . It is less about leaving them unattended as increasing their reach and rate fo movement beyond the level to which you are used, trip hazards such as step or uneven flooring, risk of pinching fingers between doorframes, walls etc.

SenoraPostrophe Tue 03-Jul-07 22:10:27

they're not dangerous if you're around.

they say 6 months, but ds1 and 2 were in one at 4 simpoly because they hated not being upright.

Jojay Tue 03-Jul-07 22:15:04

My ds is 7 months and LOVES it. He's just figured out how to make it move - legs wrern't long enough before -and I only use it downstairs for a short time while I'm around

queenrollo Wed 04-Jul-07 07:56:33

my health visitor said all the usual about ds only using it while supervised etc but the best piece of info he gave me was that the seat should be low enough for baby's legs to be bent (like a squatting position)....they should be able to put their feet flat on the floor while sat in it. if they have to push themselves along on tiptoes they are at increased risk of developing shortened calf muscles/achilles tendon.
my walker saved my sanity.....ds is very active and it gave me 5 mins here and there during the day to have a cuppa.

Reallytired Wed 04-Jul-07 18:13:26

I never ever used baby walker because my house is too small. Inspite of not using a baby walker my son still got tight achilles tendons. My son could ONLY walk on tiptoe and had to have 18 months of physio.

My son was lucky that we managed to correct his walking with orthorics and stretching exercises. Some children who toewalk have to have much more extreme and painful treatment.

Its hard to know whether baby walkers do cause toewalking. My son shows that it is possible for a child to get problems with their tendons without going near a baby walker.

I would not take a risk of causing that that kind of problem if I have any further children. There are safer ways of making it easier for your child to be mobile.

tassis Wed 04-Jul-07 18:17:52

as well as the accident thing I think physios don't liek them because they're not great for hips (neither are baby bjorns or door bouncers)

we've used a baby walker a bit for both dc. not a huge hit and could certainly live without it, but especially good before they can sit - we used it most between 4 and 7 months and they've never really figured out how to make it move!

mymatemax Wed 04-Jul-07 19:54:14

I discussed babywalkers with my sons physio (he has CP) when he was a baby -though it might help him get upright.
Her answer was NO don't use them, apparently apart from not doing anything to help development she also has 2 children on her books permanently disabled from accidents in babywalkers.

JammyK Wed 04-Jul-07 20:00:27

I used one with ds1 and he LOVED it but this caused a problem as he never wanted to be out of it. It didn't cause any real problems but did hinder his development a little as he didn't crawl until he was gone 10 months old. Ds2 is 5 months old now and I don't think I'm going to put him in it. He's quite happy rolling around on the floor at the mo' so I don't see the point.

Belgianchox Wed 04-Jul-07 20:12:04

My DD loved hers, was in it from around 7mths to 12 mths - when she started walking unaided. Was great as she wasn't the kind of baby who could be left in a play pen. It was perfect for us as we had a large, flat open area downstairs so she couldn't come to any harm. Now have DS whos 12mths and not walking and he likes it less, spends maybe 10mins a day in it while i get his sister dressed. I think they have their uses, and as long as they are supervised i don;t see why they would be more dangerous than anything else your lo would get up to

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