3x alternatives to a baby walker
We gave her freedom of movement. She only uses the crib in my office for naps or when I have to go to the toilet. She’s free to explore every part of the house, climb furniture and stairs and I let her fall (not from the stairs!) because that allows her to recognize danger. She sleeps on a hard mattress on the floor, not in a baby bed. Surprisingly, she doesn’t roll over to the floor at night.
Now that she’s learning to walk, I’m sometimes asked if she’s using a walker. Among other baby-assisting “gadgets”, I avoided walkers, especially the type that is round with two holes for the baby’s legs, surrounded with all things colorful and noisy. And baby bouncers. Science proves that these gadgets hinder the development of babies. Pediatricians discouraged the use of baby walkers and they are even outlawed in Canada. Personally, I think parents should respect the natural development of the child and not “force” them by using aiding gadgets like a walker.
The closest thing to a walker that I have (because I couldn’t pass up a €15 bargain at the neigbourhood thrift sale) is this really cute I’m Toy push cart. The kid hardly uses it though as she’s more amused with the toys attached to it.
However, when infants could already pull themselves up and cruise, they will find things to help them practice. For the kid, there are enough household items that she can use to practice standing and walking. And no, we don’t encourage her to use them. She discovered that she can moved them to practice her new-found skills.
Ikea utility cart (RÅSKOG)
The kitchen seems to be my daughter’s favourite hang out. She loves opening drawers, pulling bottles from the cabinet, pulling plates and accidentally breaking them (collateral damage!) But what she loves most is the Ikea utility cart where we store fruit, vegetables, bread, onion, garlic and other spices. It endlessly feeds her curiosity. Never mind that once in a while she’ll feed on a piece of chillis or eat unpeeled bananas.
Ikea Antilop high chair
Because it’s very light, she could just push her high chair around, usually to get to the door, where she would often park it.
Blokker clothes rack
It’s another source entertainment for her. She likes pushing it around or pulling the clothes hanging there to dry. She would also use it to play hide and seek with her father, hiding behind the t-shirts and pants.
It’s amazing to see how resourceful infants can be. Their perseverance is unmatched. I think even I wouldn’t have the same persistence I see in my child, in learning things and practicing skills day in day out, a million times over. Lots of things to learn from this kid.