Best baby walkers to buy in 2021
13 May 2021
If your baby is starting to cruise the furniture then why not invest in a baby walker to help them on their way to freedom?
Once your baby has a taste for life on two feet, there’s no going back, and they’ll be using anything and everything to pull themselves up and put their legs to work.
If you want to buy some kit to help your child take their first proper steps then you have two main options: either a seated walker, which most of us parents probably had when we were little, or a push-along walker.
Seated baby walkers are up for debate in the childcare community over safety concerns, and childminders in the UK have been told by the National Childminding Association not to use them. However, in Europe, the European Standard for baby walkers was amended in 2005 to make them safer by moving less quickly, and many parents are happy that they remain a safe activity for their children.
Push-along baby walkers don’t cause the same concerns as seated baby walkers and are a great way for your baby to practice their moves before learning to walk unaided. With this in mind, we’ve researched the world of push-along baby walkers and come up with our pick of the best.
1. Best overall baby walker: Vtech First Steps Baby Walker
Price: From £24.99 | Buy now from Amazon
With textured wheels, an easy grip handle and a durable design, this sturdy baby walker from Vtech gives your baby all the support they need to take their first steps.
The fun-filled activity panel can be removed from the walker for extra sit-down play, making it an equally great toy for a baby who isn’t close to walking yet.
There’s lots of exciting activities, cheerful music and friendly phrases to introduce your little one to numbers, shapes, animals and colours, although don’t blame us if the happy tunes start to grate on you after a while.
“I cannot describe the joy that my child got from it!”Buy now from Amazon
2. Best budget baby walker: Playskool Step Start Walk 'n Ride Active 2-in-1 Ride-On and Walker Toy
Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon
Mumsnetters love a multi-tasking toy that really justifies the cost as well as the space it takes up in the house.
This 2-in-1 number from Playskool is a sturdy, stable walker that helps babies learn to stand, take their first steps and walk. Then, once they’ve mastered that, it easily converts to a ride-on toy for lots of extra toddler fun. It has a locking mechanism that only parents can activate, so children can't change modes by themselves.
Kids can explore the hands-on activities in both the walker and ride-on modes to see fascinating sights, hear silly sounds and touch interesting textures. All for under £20!Buy now from Amazon
3. Best ride-on baby walker: VTech Baby Push and Ride Alphabet Train Push Along Toy
Price: From £64.49 | Buy now from Amazon
Imagine the look on your baby’s face when they see this! Not only does it look pretty spectacular, this cute 4-in-1 train toy from Vtech functions as a walker, pull-along wagon and ride-on, has modes for sit-down play as well as plenty of educational features.
There’s 13 double-sided letter blocks and a magic tunnel to load the blocks into the wagon to encourage fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination development, plus lots of songs and melodies to help baby learn about objects, animals, phonics, letters, colours, weather, numbers and much more.
Also included are a removable walkie-talkie and number pad, light-up piano keys, a turning book and manipulative beads and cogs. Let’s get rolling!Buy now from Amazon
4. Best wooden baby walker: boppi Wooden Baby Walker with Shape Sorter and Activity Centre
Price: £38.99 | Buy now from Amazon
We’re not in the business of shaming toys, but if you feel your house is getting overwhelmed by mountains of plastic then how about a nice wooden alternative?
We love this gorgeous birch baby walker from boppi which has a sturdy shape and non-slip wheels to ensure a smooth action while you’re little one is making their first moves.
The front panel is covered in an array of fun activities to keep your baby stimulated and there’s also a handy storage tray to keep the accompanying accessories in one place.Buy now from Amazon
5. Best baby walker with blocks: Chad Valley Wooden Crocodile Trolley
Price: £28 | Buy now from Amazon
This classic wooden baby walker comes with lots of colourful alphabet blocks – perfect for introducing the idea of letters and numbers to your child. Use them for building towers to topple and, when your baby is a bit older, you can start to get them interested in words too.
This is a great toy for helping your child get moving on their feet as well as improving their fine motor skills, and their knowledge of letters and words.Buy now from Argos
6. Best baby walker for hard floors: Tidlo Activity Walker
Price: £51.99 | Buy now from Amazon
This lovely looking, brightly coloured baby walker is perfect for inquisitive children who need a little bit of extra stimulation from their toys.
It has a cute nature scene motif, a spinning cage rattle, a mini abacus, a spinning mirror, matching blocks and more to entertain.
There is even a handy storage tray at the back so Teddy can come along for the ride too. The wheels are non-slip making them perfect for hard floors.Buy now from Amazon
7. Best baby walker for younger babies: Wishtime Activity Centre Baby Walker
Price: £39.99 | Buy now from Amazon
This clever baby walker tackles the issue of toppling over by featuring a stable triangular structure and a water tank that you can fill with 2.2lbs of water or sand, ensuring it remains safely weighted while your baby is still learning to pull and push themselves up.
We also like the play panel which has been designed to appeal to a younger baby, and includes five musical instruments and a shape sorter with lights to assist baby’s hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills.
It also has a height adjustable handle so you can raise the bar when your baby gets a little taller.Buy now from Amazon
8. Best baby walker for toddlers: Fisher-Price Learn with Me Zebra Baby Walker
Price: £31.48 | Buy now from Amazon
Any child would be thrilled to have this fab little zebra walker in their world. Not only is it great for helping them learn to walk thanks to his sturdy design, but it’s also equipped with all the bells and whistles they need to get started on their letters and numbers.
Interactive features will keep them more than occupied and encourage them to sing along to the happy tunes while they learn to make their merry way around the room.Buy now from Argos
9. Best baby walker for small spaces: Symiu Wooden Baby Walker
Price: £50.99 | Buy now from Amazon
If space is at a premium then you probably prioritise toys which can do more than one thing.
We love this brilliant push-along walker which also features an entire wooden play cube with loads of different games and activities on each side, including a clock, a bead maze, animal, number and letter puzzles and much more.
We especially like how the inside is hollow so you can even use it for storage.Buy now from Amazon
10. Best baby walker for additional features: Little Tikes Fantastic Firsts 3-in-1 Activity Walker
Price: £35 | Buy now from Argos
The 3-in-1 activity walker from Little Tikes is a baby walker, standing activity table, and sit and play activity centre all in one.
It has lights which project from the dome when your baby uses it to walk to encourage her to take more steps and features over 70 activities, songs and sounds, providing hours of fun.
What’s more, this walker folds flat for easy storage, perfect if you’re short on space.Buy now from Argos
What age do babies use walkers?
The lower age limit for baby walkers varies from six months up to 12 months. However, as with all things to do with babies, there is no definitive answer as to when your child can use a walker as all infants develop in their own time.
Some will be on their feet from as early as eight months whereas others are happy to sit and crawl until 18 months.
Generally, however, as babies approach their first birthday they will have begun to pull themselves upright where they can, and some will be starting to ‘cruise’ around which means that they are moving on their feet while leaning on furniture.
At this point, you may wish to introduce a push-along baby walker to help your baby get used to the action of walking and to encourage them to take their first unaided steps.
Are baby walkers safe?
The safety of seated baby walkers is up for debate in the childcare community. In 2007, baby walkers were banned in Canada due to reported and potential dangers, and childminders in the UK have been told by the National Childminding Association not to use them.
Physiotherapists have also warned the use of baby walkers could actually hinder a child's ability to learn to walk and the NHS recommends they are only used for up to 20 minutes at a time.
However, in Europe, the European Standard for baby walkers was amended in 2005 to make them safer by moving less quickly, and many parents are happy that they remain a safe activity for their children. The certification to look out for when buying a sit-in baby walker is BS EN 1273:2005.
The most important thing is that your baby is supervised at all times, and that the baby walker is not used anywhere near sockets, stairs, or other dangerous objects which could be reachable.
Push-along baby walkers don’t generate the same concerns as seated baby walkers. Your baby is required to concentrate on keeping upright by themselves, rather than being held in place, and their hands are always occupied holding onto the handle bar.
Push-along walkers are a great way for your baby to strengthen their leg muscles and work on their coordination skills in preparation for walking unaided.
Do baby walkers help with development?
Seated baby walkers do not help a baby to learn to walk, although that is not to say that they don’t entertain a baby.
Evidence shows that babies who use a seated baby walker actually sit, crawl and walk later than those that didn’t and also score lower on the Bayley Assessment which looks at a child’s mental development and language development as well as motor skills.
Baby walkers hinder or, in severe cases, prevent the child from crawling and keep the child in an upright position which interferes with the natural brain development of the child.
The brain works in a criss-cross pattern with the left brain controlling the right arm and leg and the right brain controlling the left arm and leg. Crawling is an important activity in encouraging this criss-cross pattern in the brain to develop, although don’t worry if your baby doesn't crawl – many miss out this stage.
However, in a seated baby walker, babies lose opportunities to learn important movement and perception skills such as distance and depth, and key concepts such as in or out and on or under.
By contrast, there is no evidence that push-along baby walkers hinder development and they are an excellent way of encouraging your baby to take steps using a natural motion. Babies cannot use push walkers until they are physically capable, and can abandon the toy by themselves when they are tired.
How do you choose a baby walker?
As discussed, it’s not a good idea to buy a sit-in baby walker for your baby and a push-along walker is a better option.
When purchasing a push along walker the main consideration is that the toy is the right height for your child. Some walkers have adjustable handles to assist with this, so look for this feature.
Some walkers feature lots of additional activities, so consider whether you want your walker to include games and make sounds. Some, more traditional baby walkers are simply trays containing blocks which can be excellent fun for your child.
Finally, consider the footprint of the baby walker. Most do not fold up and will take up space in your home.
What is the best baby walker?
We recommend the Vtech First Steps Baby Walker as the best push-along baby walker for your child. Thousands of happy parents report that this walker is both great quality and excellent value for money and has proved a useful walking aid for their children.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which baby walkers discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their babies.
We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which baby walkers had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers reviews said about them.
Having collated all that information, we picked the baby walkers we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.
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