View of my Side : Walker Story
This article can be contradictory to many Indians, who have been using Walker for their kids from many years and could not differentiate on the development part. Here I am sharing a very logical explanation post which I decided not to go for walker for my baby. To use or not to use is definitely your discretion parents. This is just to make you more “Aware as parents”.
“Just like you moms and dads, we too had planned to bring around a walker for our darling baby when he was close to 9 months. It was a usual day and vaccination was scheduled. To make him happy we had planned to buy and gift him a walker post doctors visit.
Somehow, I wanted to share this to my paediatric unaware of his reaction. Since he has been a very senior and one of the most experienced one in the town, with good family relations, I believed him blindly.
“If you are buying the walker, buy and keep it in store or if your friend is giving you, politely ask her to keep back”, this was his reply on hearing our plans. Confronting him to share the logics of this age old toy called walker, he gave me a complete dose there and then, which I am sharing with you here. And not just that, my mind was very curious, I searched the net and found his words to be so TRUE! I finally said “No” to walker and never got it for my baby”.
PS: My baby stood up all to himself walking in 11months. It was well before many babies in my surroundings! So walker has no effect in helping baby walk early:). Opportunities and your encouragement matters!
Walkers : Perfect gift for Baby?
It really gets so tempting and catchy to gift our baby this colorful and musical piece to help him walk. We have seen baby’s enjoying being on walkers in our own houses.
Further, it has also kept the parents at ease when they leave baby on the walker to play and plan completing their chores or rest for some time.
Looking baby so mobile pleases us so much and we want to see our kids do that much ahead of time. We indeed feel proud and boast at various communities of how your baby walks so fast in walker and how it is helping.
All these points definitely make Walkers a perfect gift to baby.
But, hardly do we realize that it isn’t helping a second to the baby.
Reasons to say NO to Walkers :
1. Amazing Mobility : At this age, babies are not attuned to being highly mobile. But this is what walker gives to babies. This is beyond their natural capacities. Since they are not able to control or balance, they become more prone to sudden falls, as on stairs . They could bang on to something really hard and get a jerk and hurt themselves. In early 2000’s, many such accidental cases were observed which led to banning of walkers in some developed countries.
2. High Reach : Baby might not have a proper grasping power right now. But walkers provide an extra reach to them which can lure them to pull out a hot milk cup. They might even reach and take something potentially dangerous to them.
3. Delayed Motor Development : Your kid would love walking on tippy toes while on walker. And you would have certainly enjoyed not realizing that it leads to shortened calf muscles in babies. Babies put their muscles and body to work when they sit, roll , crawl and walk. It involves a simultaneous involvement of their nervous and muscular systems. They achieve a sense of delight upon achieving these milestones by themselves. If a baby uses Walker, they miss this euphoria. Their eye, sensory and muscular movement does not work in a sync. For every 24hours of walker usage, there seems to be a developmental delay of little more than 3 days, as quoted by Dr. Alan Greene, M.D
4. Not ready? How can you expect a 6month old to walk? But walker can do that. Babies are not ready to go upright naturally, their body is not ready to take that task up. Let them grow naturally o their own, achieving their milestones slowly and gradually.
5. Impact of Mental development: Sharing the excerpt from NCBI: “A study analyzed motor and mental development in 109 human infants, with and without walker experience, between the ages of 6 and 15 months. Walker-experienced infants sat, crawled, and walked later than no-walker controls, and they scored lower on “Bayley scales”* of mental and motor development.” To let you know, *Bayley Scale measures and shares the “Developmental Quotient (DQ)” of babies from 1-42 months of age. It includes 3 developmental phases as : Cognitive, Language, Motor development and ascertains kids undergoing developmental delay compared to other kids.
I believe you got the reasons to avoid bringing Walker as a gift to your baby. Let babies grow on their own very much naturally. Do not ever try hastening the process as it can always lead to sad consequences for which you can regret for always.
Happy Baby Walking!