Considering a Baby Walker? Watch out for the Dangers before you Buy One
It’s so exciting to see a baby take the first step! Unfortunately, most parents are in a hurry to see their babies walk around and take potentially dangerous steps. The all new wheeled seats that you wish to buy in an attempt to help your baby sooner may actually retard the natural pace! Many western countries have banned baby walkers owing to the number of dangers they pose to infants.
Baby walkers are dangerous as they give babies extra speed, extra height and access to many hazards. Many injuries are caused by falls when the baby walker tips. The baby can be thrown downstairs or even crash into furniture, ovens, heaters or washing machines. When left unwatched for short periods, the baby may hurt himself.
Walkers won’t help your baby learn to walk. In fact, using one can actually delay his development. Most walkers are designed in a fashion that babies are not able to see their feet while walking. This is the major reason behind retarded movement development as the baby cannot establish a mental connection that it is actually their own legs and feet that move the walker.
Another problem is that baby’s legs are not straight when “walking” in the walker. The hips and knees are bent. This leads to usage and development of wrong leg muscles for walking. The abnormal walking pattern is difficult to correct later on.
Babies can reach a speed of 1 meter per second when using a walker. Now this is too fast for an attentive parent to catch in the event where a child speeds towards an open door.
Hence, it is wise to discard the walker. Allow your baby to crawl and walk on the floor by allowing him ample space. Try investing in a stationary playpen or play-centre. Also make sure that the floor space is unrestricted for exploration.
Help your baby exercise his muscles when he tries to stand or cruise around. Provide sensory stimulation via massaging his muscles regularly. Vestibular stimulation is also important for infants. This can be given via rocking, bouncing or swinging baby. Breast-feeding is one of the best ways to strengthen baby’s muscles and help him walk sooner.
If you feel your baby is not walking or makes a lot of fuss, consult your doctor. He is the best person to suggest remedies.