Walking is the milestone that turns your little one from a baby to a toddler. You need to safely encourage her efforts to walk. Though you may find her easily cruising around by holding onto the furniture, taking those first real steps may require a bit of additional help. Baby walkers can help her step out on her own.
This is the style of walker that most people imagine. It features a small chair for the baby, surrounded by a large table with wheels on the bottom. It allows the baby to balance while standing, but also sit down to rest. Though you can still purchase the style of baby walker, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against it, stating that the child is in danger of rolling down stairs, and the increased height puts him at risk of being able to reach dangerous things like hot coffee or chemicals.
A push style walker has a handle at your baby’s standing height and something in the front to weigh it down and prevent tipping. There are a variety of styles of this — some might feature a favorite animal like a lion, while others have an activity board on the other side. In many cases, the walker does double-duty as a ride-on toy.
Parents often try to help their babies walk by holding on to the baby’s hands as he takes those first steps. This can be a real pain in the back, though, as you have to constantly hunch over to do so. Parent-assisted walkers aim to create this same type of situation while allowing you to stand up straight. It’s a harness that your baby wears like underpants (but over his pants) and has straps that you hold onto and pull up, helping him to stay standing as he walks.