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What's the dope on baby walkers?

(32 Posts)
LadyThompson Wed 08-Jul-09 10:50:23

My DD is 7.5 months. I think she'd really enjoy zooming about with a baby walker. I am not trying to artificially induce walking, as she will crawl or walk when she is ready and I am not into forcing her to the next stage; but I glean from MN that they are frowned on, as are playpens. Personally I think most things are ok as long as you don't use them for hours on end (she has enjoyed her baby bouncer swing for ages, for instance, but just for short periods) but if there is a compelling argument why these things are bad, I'd be interested to hear it...

nancy75 Wed 08-Jul-09 10:53:08

dd had a walker and loved it, obvious safety things like dont let them use it near the top of stairs , but we had no problems, dd learnt to walk fine.

muddleduck Wed 08-Jul-09 10:53:45

Lots of people are anti but IMO as long as you limit the time then there is no problem. Also when she is older make sure she can't scoot up to a curtain and use that to pull herself up and out!

Dalrymps Wed 08-Jul-09 10:55:33

Ds's physiotherapist told me that they are not suitable as they force babies to 'walk' in an unatural position. Babies have to stretch and walk in tip toes. She said that she has children refered to her that have shortened tendons at the back of their legs from using a baby walker and are still walking on tip toes at school age. They have to be taught to walk normally and have physiotherapy.

Not worth it imo. She reccomended the push along ones once baby is able to stand/cruzing.

gemmummy Wed 08-Jul-09 10:55:57

my ds also loved his, especially in the stage where he could pull himself up but not walk, he really enjoyed the freedom it gave him to explore. he walked fine at 14months.

LadyThompson Wed 08-Jul-09 10:56:18

Why are they anti? A nice lady on my postnatal thread said a friend's DC nipped outside on hers and cracked her skull so I see the danger elements there, but I would only let my DD use it under supervision.

LadyThompson Wed 08-Jul-09 10:58:04

Sorry Dalrymps, crossposted. Mmm. I see. I think I might leave it for a bit then.

Kazzi79 Wed 08-Jul-09 10:58:48

The only argument I've ever heard against babywalkers is safety, someone once pointed out how easy it would be for a baby to fall down stairs in one to which I asked why the hell would you put a baby in a babywalker upstairs where theres a risk of falling down stairs in the first place?

I suppose as long as the baby is well supervised and its not used as a way of babysitting then theres no harm in using one. I've never used a babywalker although I did buy one of those leapfrog thingys (can't remember what they're called now) for my daughter when she was a baby.

I'm sure theres some mumsnetter who will happily point out how putting your baby in a babywalker will mentally trauma them for life but I personally don't see it as a bad thing as long as its used safely.

llareggub Wed 08-Jul-09 10:58:56

God, my MIL was obsessed with trying to get DS into one of those. I resisted, as I couldn't particularly see the benefits, only hassle another bulky item in our already crowded house. My DS loved toddled around with a toy buggy though, I'd recommend those.

Kazzi79 Wed 08-Jul-09 11:00:05

Interesting point Dalrymps, never thought about it in that way.

llareggub Wed 08-Jul-09 11:00:15

My mother is convinced that a friend of hers had a child who ended up with bandy legs from using a walker. It probably isn't true, my mother has a habit of getting confused on these things.

weegiemum Wed 08-Jul-09 11:00:47

When I was tiny I put my teeth through my tongue and lip after mine tipped on a teeny ledge between 2 rooms in our house.

I still have a scar on my lip.

None of mine ever went in one. You could never ever take your eye off them for a second. There are also the issues raised by Dalrymps, about it being an unnatural walking position.

Up to you, but I didn't do it.

MadameCastafiore Wed 08-Jul-09 11:05:39

Both of my children used a babywalker - both walked under 10 months and both have nothing wrong with their legs!

Dalrymps Wed 08-Jul-09 11:17:02

Glad that was the case madamecastaiore, some kids aren't so lucky as the evidence suggests though...

nancy75 Wed 08-Jul-09 11:24:27

i would be interested to know how many children actually get shortened tendons from baby walkers, everyone i know with a child has used a walker and i dont know anybody that has had a problem

walkingwomb Wed 08-Jul-09 11:27:01

hmmmm - i have an immovable 14 month old (doesnt crawl, bum shuffle or walk) who gets put in one when i need to do things in teh kitchen. i was stressing the other day because her baby pals who are cruising are walking on their toes and she has never done that. Now I know that her clompy walking is better I feel great! We don't leave her in it for two long because having a mini darlek chasing round your legs can only be tolerated for so long!

mine really enjoys hers.

fluffyanimal Wed 08-Jul-09 11:27:47

Surely a child would have to be in a baby walker for really long periods of time for them to get tendon problems??

MadameCastafiore Wed 08-Jul-09 11:51:27

Er is it not normal for children to walk on tip toes before they learn to put their whole foot down anyway?

shhhh Wed 08-Jul-09 20:49:27

I just heard bad things about them and the way a child develops with walking....

Also, heard horror story from my mum about a friend of hers who had one and had stairs outside their front door....door left open and lo fell down the stairs in the walker (although guess that can happen without one..?)

GreenPenguin Wed 08-Jul-09 21:32:49

Is there confusion within this thread about the two types - ie sit in walkers and push-along walkers?

Heated Wed 08-Jul-09 21:46:56

Mine both went in baby walkers to be alongside me in the kitchen. They had definitely got past that stage of being content to sit and watch, wasn't that safe to have wriggly baby in arms when cooking etc, nor did I want them rolling under my feet.

Imo baby walkers, or whatever they're called nowadays, have nothing to do with helping them how to walk (maybe why they've been renamed) but both mine enjoyed being in a supported upright position, under their own steam, but still close to me.

Heated Wed 08-Jul-09 21:51:38

Good point GreenPenguin. My post was about these rather than this

currymaid Wed 08-Jul-09 21:52:57

"I'm sure theres some mumsnetter who will happily point out how putting your baby in a babywalker will mentally trauma them for life"

Eh, what's that all about Kazzi?

whomovedmychocolate Wed 08-Jul-09 21:54:29

Don't do it - your child will look like a Dalek grin

EyePeam Wed 08-Jul-09 22:08:12

I looked into this for ds when he was younger, and this is a summary of what I found ...

- Canada banned them in 2004 on grounds of safety.

- The Lancet published a study into accidents involving baby walkers see pp30-33 of this document for a summary - here - most injuries sustained by babies 7-10 months and from falling down stairs. Then things like being able to reach hot liquids or falling out of the walker itself.

- The Child Accident Prevention Trust counsels against use, even though an EU directive has tried to make them safer and stats relate to before this came in. Links here and here

- Their factsheet states that "Baby walker accidents typically happen very quickly and there may be little that a parents can do to prevent them. An American study has shown that in nearly 70 per cent of baby walker injuries the child was being supervised at the time."

I also remember that Physiotherapists were against them too because they don't help developmentally, but can't find the info online now.

So I decided against - but if you're going to make sure it's new and has the wheel stop thing so that it won't tip down any stairs (doesn't have to be a full flight, could be your front doorstep or steps down from one room to another which many houses have).


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