The Advantages and Disadvantages of Baby Walkers: What You Need to Consider


So, your little one is ready to start cruising around and you’re thinking about getting a baby walker. On the one hand, baby walkers seem like a great way to keep your baby entertained and help them practice walking. On the other hand, there are some concerns about safety and development. As a parent, you want to make the best choice for your child. Before you head to the store, check out this breakdown of the pros and cons of baby walkers.

Every now and then you read criticism of baby walkers, but they are still a popular gift for young children. And we parents also think about whether a walker can make it easier for our children to learn to walk. But is such a baby walker really useful? And which Advantages and Disadvantages of Baby Walker?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Baby Walker

What Is a Baby Walker?

A baby walker is a device that allows babies who can sit up on their own but are not yet walking to move around freely while supported. Baby walkers typically consist of a suspended seat surrounded by a rigid frame that has wheels or casters on the bottom.

Babies are placed in a seated position in the walker, and they can then use their legs to push along the floor, moving themselves around. This allows babies more freedom of movement before they have developed the balance and coordination required for walking independently. Some walkers also have attached activity trays with toys, sounds, and lights to keep babies engaged.

While baby walkers can seem appealing, providing babies mobility and entertainment, there are some significant disadvantages to consider:

  • Safety: Baby walkers have been shown to lead to increased injuries from falls down stairs or collisions with objects. The mobility provided by walkers also allows babies to reach hazards they normally couldn’t access.
  • Delayed development: Some studies have found that babies who spend a lot of time in walkers may have a slight delay in walking independently. Walkers don’t allow babies to practice balancing, and they get accustomed to the artificial support.
  • Dependency: Prolonged use of baby walkers can lead to babies becoming dependent on them for mobility and unwilling to practice walking on their own. It’s best to limit time in walkers to no more than 20-30 minutes at a time.

With supervision and in moderation, baby walkers are unlikely to cause lasting harm. However, walkers are not necessary for development, and alternatives like activity gyms, play mats, and baby swings can provide entertainment without the risks. For many babies, the best way to learn to walk is through unassisted practice and the motivation to chase toys or loved ones!

The Potential Advantages of Using a Baby Walker

Using a baby walker seems to offer some advantages for both you and your little one.

Increased Mobility

A baby walker gives your baby the ability to move around freely before they can walk steadily on their own. This newfound mobility and independence can boost their confidence and sense of accomplishment. Your baby will love being able to chase after you or their favorite toys. For you, a walker provides opportunities to do light housework or cook while still interacting with your baby.

Entertainment and Development

Baby walkers offer activities and textures to keep your baby engaged. Many come with interactive toys, lights, sounds and other amusement features that aid development. The upright position also helps strengthen core muscles needed for walking and balance. Some walkers even have trays for snacks to keep your tyke occupied.


Some parents find that baby walkers allow them to keep their child in one spot for a short time. Your baby can play and move around while still being contained in one area. This can give you a chance to do small tasks where direct supervision isn’t possible, like folding laundry or taking a quick shower. Of course, you should never leave a baby unattended for long in a walker.

While the potential benefits of baby walkers seem appealing, there are also significant drawbacks and safety issues to consider before using one. Every baby develops at their own pace, so try not to feel pressure to rush mobility before your child is ready. With patience and time, you’ll be chasing a toddler soon enough!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Baby Walker
Advantages and Disadvantages of Baby Walker

The Potential Disadvantages and Risks of Baby Walkers

The Potential Disadvantages and Risks of Baby Walkers

While baby walkers seem convenient and entertaining for infants, there are some significant disadvantages and risks to consider before purchasing one.

One of the biggest risks is injury. Baby walkers allow infants to move around freely before they have fully developed motor skills and balance. This can lead to falls down stairs or collisions with furniture, walls, and other household objects. According to research, thousands of children receive emergency room treatment for injuries related to baby walkers each year.

Another downside is that baby walkers can delay mental and physical development. Because babies can move around without learning how to crawl first, walkers inhibit them from developing core and leg strength. They also don’t allow babies to explore the environment around them in the same way that crawling and walking do. This exploration is important for cognitive growth and learning cause and effect.

Baby walkers are also easy for infants to tip over or get trapped underneath, posing risks like skull fractures, concussions, and finger entrapments. Due to these dangers, baby walkers are banned in some countries. If you do choose to use a baby walker, closely supervise your infant at all times and install safety gates to restrict access to stairways.

While baby walkers may seem like an easy way to keep babies entertained, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Crawling, walking, and exploring the environment freely are much more beneficial for your infant’s development. Baby walkers should only be used occasionally and under close supervision. For the health and safety of your baby, walkers are not recommended.

Alternatives to Traditional Baby Walkers

Alternatives to Traditional Baby Walkers

Rather than using a traditional baby walker, consider some alternative options that provide stimulation and help build leg strength without the safety hazards.

  • Stationary activity centers: These provide a seated area for your baby surrounded by toys and activities to keep them engaged. Toys and sounds encourage reaching, grasping and cognitive development. These help build core and leg strength as your baby pushes, pulls and bounces.
  • Push walkers: Push walkers, like activity centers, provide interactive toys and sounds to stimulate development. However, these walkers can move as your baby pushes them, allowing more freedom of movement. The wheels provide resistance to help build leg strength, and the handle gives babies support as they learn to walk.
  • Exersaucers: “Exersaucers” are stationary seats with a circular tray of activities surrounding the baby. The seat spins so the baby can rotate and access different toys. The bouncing, spinning and reaching actions help build core and leg muscles. These provide more freedom of movement than a stationary seat but with more support than a push walker.
  • Play mats: Simple play mats with dangling, spinning and crinkly toys provide tummy time and reaching activities to help build strength and skills. These basic mats stimulate development in a safe, open area. Tummy time and reaching for toys help build muscles needed for sitting, crawling and walking.
  • Good old tummy time: Tummy time, or supervised time when your baby is awake and on their tummy, provides essential opportunities for growth. Tummy time helps prevent flat head syndrome, builds neck, shoulder, arm and core strength, and improves motor skills. Even short periods of tummy time (3-5 minutes at a time) provide benefits and a great alternative to walkers.

Whatever alternative you choose, be sure to follow age recommendations and proper safety precautions. With patience and the right activities, your baby will build strength and hit those walking milestones before you know it!


Why are Baby Walkers Bad?

Why did Canada ban baby walkers?


Advantages and Disadvantages of Baby WalkerAdvantages and Disadvantages of Baby Walker
Advantages and Disadvantages of Baby Walker

Safety Tips When Using a Baby Walker

When using a baby walker, safety should always come first. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Keep it on the ground floor only

Only use the baby walker on the ground floor of your home. Stairs and steps pose a serious falling hazard, so avoid them altogether. Falls down stairs in walkers can lead to head injuries, broken bones, and other issues.

Install safety gates

Put up safety gates to block access to stairways, fireplaces, swimming pools or any other area that could be dangerous for a baby in a walker. Safety gates create a barrier and give you peace of mind.

Never leave your baby unattended

Always supervise your baby closely when they’re in the walker. Never leave them alone, even for a few seconds. Accidents can happen quickly, so keep your baby in eyesight at all times.

Remove hazards from the area

Do a safety check of the area where your baby will use the walker. Remove any small objects, electrical cords, sharp edges or other potential hazards that could cause injury.

Choose a walker with safety features

Look for a walker that has certain safety features like:

  • Wide, sturdy base to prevent tipping
  • Rubber pads or grips on the base to improve mobility
  • Adjustable height control to suit your baby’s size
  • Activity or toy tray to keep your baby engaged
  • Braking mechanism to slow the walker down
  • Seat that fully supports baby and keeps them in an upright position

Following these tips and choosing a walker with essential safety features will help ensure your baby has fun adventures and explorations without the risk of harm. Their safety and security should be the top priority, so take all necessary precautions to avoid accidents and make great memories.

Choosing the Right Baby Walker

Choosing a baby walker that is right for your little one is important for their development and safety. There are a few factors to consider:

Seat height

You’ll want a walker with an adjustable seat height so it can properly support your baby as they grow. For new walkers, set the seat so their feet can touch the floor. This helps them get the feeling of walking while still being fully supported. As their legs strengthen, you can raise the seat so only their toes touch, helping them build balance and coordination.

Weight limit

Check the maximum weight limit and choose a walker that will accommodate your baby for at least a few months of use. Most standard walkers hold up to 30 pounds, but sturdier options can handle up to 40 pounds.

Easy to clean

Look for a walker that has machine washable padded seats, trays and other parts. Babies can get messy, so easy cleaning is a must. Removable toys and activity centers are also good so you can sanitize them regularly.


Your baby’s safety should be the top priority. Choose a walker that is JPMA certified and has the following safety mechanisms:

  • Wide, sturdy base to prevent tipping
  • Non-skid pads that won’t damage floors
  • Adjustable speed control to limit how fast they can move
  • No sharp edges, small parts or pinch points

Additional features

Some useful extras to consider:

  • Swivel wheels for easy maneuvering
  • Washable, plush padded seat for comfort
  • Removable toy tray to keep activities centered
  • Music, lights and sounds to keep baby entertained
  • Food tray so snacks can be part of the fun!

Choosing a walker that suits your needs and fits your budget will give you peace of mind while helping your baby build valuable skills. With the right model, baby walkers can be a beneficial part of their early development.

Setting Up the Baby Walker Properly

Setting up the baby walker properly is key to keeping your little one safe and secure. Follow these tips to ensure their comfort and enjoyment:

Choose a clear, open space

Select a large area without a lot of furniture where your baby will have plenty of room to move around freely. Make sure the floor surface is hard, level, and non-slip. Carpeted floors can impede the walker’s mobility and tile or wood floors may be slippery.

Adjust the height

The walker should be set to a height where your baby’s feet can touch the floor. Their legs should be in a slightly bent position so they can push off and move easily. If the walker is too tall, your little one won’t be able to propel themselves properly. If it’s too short, they may trip over the edge. Most walkers are adjustable to the perfect height for your baby.

Use the safety features

Engage the built-in braking system, if there is one, to prevent the walker from moving onto stairs or uneven surfaces. Many models also have speed control or stationary activity trays to keep babies in one spot. Use these features for your peace of mind, especially when you can’t keep an eye on your little explorer.

Add stimulating toys

Attach some engaging toys, activity centers or crinkly books to the walker tray to keep your baby entertained. Rotate different toys to stimulate their development and keep things exciting. Look for toys with different colors, sounds, and textures. Keeping your baby engaged will make their time in the walker more enjoyable.

Closely supervise

Never leave your baby unattended in a walker, especially when they’re first learning. Always keep them within arm’s reach in case they start moving towards stairs or other hazards. Watch them closely and be ready to steer them away from danger. With your supervision and the proper safety precautions, baby walkers can be an enjoyable way for babies to build leg strength and balance in their earliest steps.

Teaching Your Baby to Walk Without a Walker

Once your baby can sit up steadily without support, they’ll likely start moving around on their own. Baby walkers seem like a great way to help them learn to walk, but they can also delay walking and even be unsafe. Here are some tips for teaching your baby to walk without a walker.

Give your baby plenty of floor time

The best way for babies to learn to walk is through practice. Provide plenty of opportunities for your baby to move around on the floor. Place some motivating toys a short distance away to encourage them to crawl and cruise while holding onto furniture. This helps build leg strength and balance in a safe way.

Childproof your home

Make sure there are no sharp edges, cords, or other hazards around that could trip up your baby or cause injury. Use safety gates to block stairways and install corner and edge bumpers. Put slip-resistant pads under rugs and mats. The safer your baby feels, the more willing they’ll be to practice walking.

Encourage your baby to stand

Once your baby is cruising easily while holding onto furniture, help them practice standing while holding onto you or a push toy for support. Let them set the pace as they build up leg strength and balance. Provide lots of praise and positive reinforcement. This boosts their confidence and motivation to keep practicing.

Guide your baby with your hands

When your baby seems ready, hold their hands to help guide them as they practice walking. Bend down in front of them for support and gently pull them to a standing position. Slowly walk backwards as your baby takes steps towards you. Provide less support over time as your baby gains more independence. Celebrate their accomplishments to keep them motivated for the next challenge.

Consider a push toy

Push toys give babies support and motivation to walk, without the risks of a walker. Look for a sturdy push toy that’s specifically designed to help babies learn to walk. These provide balance support while allowing babies to steer and push. Push toys build confidence and leg strength in a fun, engaging way.

With patience and practice, your baby will be strolling around in no time. Avoid the temptation to rely on baby walkers and instead facilitate opportunities for your baby to learn naturally with your guidance and support. Their accomplishments will be even more rewarding knowing you helped them achieve this important milestone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Walkers

Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Walkers

As a parent, you likely have many questions about baby walkers. Here are some of the most common FAQs to help you determine if a walker is right for your little one.

Do baby walkers help babies learn to walk? Walkers can help motivate some babies to walk and may strengthen their leg muscles. However, walkers are not necessary for learning to walk and do not speed up a baby’s development. Most babies will learn to walk between 9 and 15 months whether or not they use a walker.

Are baby walkers safe? Baby walkers can be unsafe if misused or the wrong type is chosen. Look for a walker with safety features like nonslip pads, wheel locks, and seat belts. Never leave a baby unattended in a walker. Accidents can happen quickly, so keep walkers away from stairs, pools, and other hazards.

What age can a baby use a walker? Most walkers are designed for babies who can sit up unassisted, typically around 4 to 6 months. However, many pediatricians recommend waiting until 6 months or older before using a walker. Babies this age have better head and neck control but are still learning hand-eye coordination and how to steer and stop the walker.

How long should a baby use a walker? Limit walker time to 10-15 minutes a day, a few times per week. This prevents babies from becoming dependent on the walker for mobility or entertainment. It also reduces the risk of delays in learning other developmental skills like crawling.

Are there alternatives to baby walkers? Yes, there are many walker alternatives that provide similar benefits without the safety risks. Stationary activity centers, play mats, jumpers, and exersaucers allow babies to bounce, spin and strengthen their legs in a confined area. These are excellent alternatives for babies not quite ready for a walker.

In summary, baby walkers can be used safely and for limited periods under close supervision for babies 4-6 months and older. However, walkers are not necessary for learning to walk and there are many alternative activities that provide similar benefits without the risks. By following recommendations and properly securing your home, you can have peace of mind using a walker. But when in doubt, it is best to avoid them altogether and opt for a safer alternative.


So there you have it, the pros and cons of baby walkers to consider before purchasing one for your little one. While they can help encourage mobility and independence, the safety risks are real and worth keeping in mind. As with any baby gear, do your research and choose a high-quality walker that suits your needs. Supervise your baby closely, especially at first. If used properly and in moderation, a baby walker can be a fun developmental toy. But their little lives are so precious, so keep safety at the top of your list. At the end of the day, you know your baby best – so go with what feels right for your situation. The most important thing is that baby’s happy, healthy, and thriving.