Should You Use a Baby Walker or Jumper
Some parents consider a baby walker a safety hazard while others consider them to be a valuable piece of gear that assists in the natural transition from the crawling stage to walking independently. When my firstborn was still in the cradle I started to get warnings of the risks associated with the use of walkers and jumpers from one set of grandparents while the other side of the family had a completely different opinion.
This camp was of the opinion that they would help speed up the learning process while keeping the little ones happy and occupied. I just wanted to know if this style of baby equipment was safe or not. How was I to know whether to ignore the horror stories of babies bumping into space heaters and hot stoves? I had a lot of questions about these gadgets that needed to be answered and a lot of reviews to read before I put them on my baby shower registry.
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My in-laws kept saying that baby gear like baby walkers and activity dishes would get my little girl up and walking very early. First of all, I did not want my baby to get in a big hurry to get on her feet. The babies that I knew that walked at a few months of age were very unsteady and in danger of injuring themselves in a fall. In a list of possible pros and cons; early walking was in the negatives column so far as I was concerned.
On the other hand, I liked the idea of her moving around and exploring within reach. I then found out those baby walkers and jumpers don’t have a thing to do with making babies mobile at a young age. In fact, I learned that it would be inadvisable for babies to spend too much time in either device because to do so might inhibit the development of important lessons in depth perception and gauging distances that can be learned in the crawling stage.
I decided to make both sets of parents happy with a compromise. We would be happy to try out baby walkers on a limited scale as a small amount of time spent in one from time to time would be entertaining for the baby. I came to the conclusion as in so many situations that moderation and plain old common sense may be the key.
There are no unrealistic expectations of early mobility, we don’t have space heaters and you can bet that the baby will not get anywhere near the kitchen in her walker. We will have to keep the room clear of items that the baby might pull on and make sure nothing is on the floor that might make the walker tip over, but that’s pretty much standard procedure in our home anyway.
Your experience may be different, but my family has now used the walker for three little girls with no problems or accidents. I don't put baby walkers and jumpers high in my ratings of nursery necessities, but there were times when they came in very handy. My advice is to get a highly rated model that is manufactured by a reputable company, empty the room of loose objects that might present a danger and never let your baby out of your sight when the walker or jumper is being used.
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