By nine months old, he’s walking all by himself. By ten months old, he’s walking with his shoes on
And no, he didn’t rely on the baby walker. If anything, the baby walker created more hazard for him because he kept tripping over them. So yes, baby walkers are useless, don’t bother buying them! Being a clueless new parent, we actually bought two walkers for our baby. One was a Montessori style baby walker wagon and another one was the famous Vtech First Step Baby Walker. Let me share with you how I think we managed to encourage him to take the early steps instead and how you can really help your child too.
We first tried the Montessori walker way
I asked a Montessori kindergarten teacher on her tips for a walker. She said a good walker should be sturdy, adjustable speed and most importantly basic. You should not have any built in toy or anything that can distract the baby from walking. After some research, I decided to go with this walker as it’s made with safe material, with a unique friction system which means I can adjust the speed of the walker. The wooden blocks are removable so when we give him the wagon to learn how to walk, it’s just a really basic walker wagon.
When we used this walker in the very beginning, the friction system was so good that my son always pushed the walker but it didn’t budge, so he ended up tripping on it. Then as we progress, I find that the wheels are not really ideal for him to learn to walk. Many times he would try to push on it and the wagon moved too fast so he fell. I can’t seem to ever find a good adjustment on this walker for my son. So yes, this baby walker is useless for my child.And for some reason I thought buying a second walker was a good idea.
The second walker we bought was Vtech First Steps Baby Walker
In several websites we visited including Youtube videos, this walker was one of the best baby walkers recommended by the parents globally. Again, as a new parent we bought it due to the raved reviews. What we find was, to be fair we find that this walker is more stable compared to the Wonderworld walker wagon. We can fold this walker, so it’s easier for storage as well. My son loved the interactive activity board included in the walker which is detachable. Well, that kind of is the problem. He’s more interested in playing with the activity board instead of using it to practice walking. As a toy, I would highly recommend it as my baby really loves playing with the activity board. He loves sorting the shapes and pressing the buttons that activates the lights. If we compare the two walkers, Vtech walker is definitely better than the Wonderworld walker wagon. If you’re interested to get one for your little one, you can find more details about the Vtech Stroll & Discover walker here.
Please do take note however after we detached the activity board, as the walker is extremely light, he likes to toss it around instead. He also likes to put the walker upside down to spin the wheels. Then, when he actually tried to push the walker, he was pushing it upside down so he was tripping over it a lot.
We find that baby walkers are useless, don’t bother buying them
Eventually we decide to put the two baby walkers aside as they are more of a hazard compared to actually contributing. So I’d say forget about the baby walkers and see instead what you can get to help your baby better!
What did we do right that he walked on his own at 10 months old?
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We prepared a safe haven and a right environment for him
The key is to give him a safe environment to practice and fall on. The place where he learnt to stand at first was his cot. I noticed that every day he would spend a lot of time trying to pull himself to a standing position on his cot. When I put him in the cot, I put soft head baby protective gear for him. I’m using Safehead headgear. While this head gear is really light weight and has airflow channels, my baby sweats a lot in them. He didn’t really like having them on but then again, we needed the right padding to ensure he fell back in his cot safely. With the adjustable chin strap, it fits my baby snugly. Every time he falls backward, the cushioned interior really protects his head at the right spot. I highly recommend this helmet for the amount of protection it provides to my baby. The pros outweigh the cons in my opinion. Click here to get a Safehead baby helmet for your baby now!
We spent a lot of time together practicing in his cot. Until the day came when he was stable enough to stand without holding on to the cot railing, I moved him to the playpen.
Encouraging him to stand for a long period of time
To encourage him to stand for an elongated time, we needed to give him the motivation to do so by himself. I bought an activity table, so that he can have somewhere stable to hold on to at a good height. With the activity table, he’s standing for an extended period of time just playing on the table. I used the Fisher Price activity table and he really likes the table. When he pressed on the button or the spinner, it activated the light and tunes started playing. I personally felt that this was more helpful in helping my baby to learn walking by cruising around the table than the baby walkers itself. We loved the table as it’s stable and fun! Now, Fisher Price even has an improved version of the activity table which you can find here which is even better!
Upgrade and give your child a bigger safe space, and practice away!
As he started to cruise along the table very well, we took the table away and used the fence of his playpen instead. We are using a Dwinguler brand playroom and play mat. I really liked the Dwinguler brand. My baby enjoyed the activity panel board alot and I find that the mat is really thick and provides a good cushioning for any potential fall. Dwinguler is a Korean brand and in Asia, Korean baby products are the market leaders and considered very reliable. It’s not the cheapest brand out there but I personally place a great importance on my baby’s safety, so I think this is a good brand that I strongly recommend. I cannot recommend it enough especially the Dwinguler playmat which is really of a good quality for your peace of mind.
When we started practicing how to walk, I would either stand at an arm’s length away to coax him to walk towards myself or I would use some toys to have him walk forward. Keep motivating your baby to move forward is the key. Practice, practice, practice. And eventually your baby will get there.
I think that nothing can motivate a baby more than his parent’s cheers and applause. I can see that every time I cheered my son on, he would try to do it again and again. If I give him an applause, you will see him grinned from ear to ear. I can also see how motivated he is when I’m giving him these positive encouragement. It makes him want to try again and again and again. Even if you’re a bit sick of the repetition, please pretend that you are surprised to see your baby’s achievement and don’t stop the cheering. Babies are very smart. Once they figure out this step, they are going to figure out the next steps in no time. So hang in there, and keep cheering!
Let your baby get back on his feet on his/her own
Easier said than done. For the first few times your baby falls, there’s going to be a lot of tears. From the physical pain and the shock from it. But remember this. If you prepared a safe environment for your baby to fall on, you should let them stand up again on their own. Maybe you can help them out for the first few times. But the key here is to stay calm, instead of picking them up encourage them to stand up instead. Let your child know that it’s no big deal to fall, just have to stand up and continue after that.
So there you have it, my tips on how I think we managed to have an early walker. It’s exciting when your baby is finally walking. My son loves his independence so much. He would complain if we put him in the stroller or highchair, because he wants to walk like a big boy! Let me know how it goes with your child by leaving me a comment below!
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Parenting Pain: By the way, when the toddler starts walking, they burn off more energy so they become more tired by the end of the day and sleep better! Isn’t this motivating you as a new parent to help your child to walk faster? What are you waiting for, practice now!