Baby Walkers - Help Your Baby Take His Or Her First Steps
Baby walkers are a fun way to help your baby develop his motor skills and walking ability. Some babies take their first baby steps while playing with a walker, although walkers are loved even by babies who're already toddling around on their own. Walkers make great indoor and outdoor baby toys.
As your baby develops and becomes more mobile, your baby safety awareness becomes even more important than it was before. That's why we've included some baby walker safety tips.
There are two main types of baby jumpers currently on the market. Doorway jumpers and free-standing baby jumpers. Fisher Price is a well-known and trusted manufacturer of both kinds.
A doorway baby jumper is a soft, secure baby seat that you suspend from a doorframe by a spring cord. The baby seat is high enough that your baby's toes touch the ground. This lets him bounce or jump in safety. The bouncing develops the strength in his little legs.
These jumpers give Moms and Dads some hands free time, while still keeping a careful eye on their bouncing baby.
A good doorway jumper will have most if not all of the following features:
Spring loaded clamp - this attaches the jumper to the doorframe without damaging it. This clamp should be easy to attach and detach, and the baby jumper itself should fold away, making this a portable, travel friendly toy.
Padding - the baby jumper seat should be soft and washable. There should be padding on the jumper to prevent damage to the doorway.
Strong but flexible spring loaded cord(s) - some baby jumpers hang by two cords from the doorframe, others have just one cord.
Fun accessories - some baby jumpers come with play trays for baby's toys, and detachable (and washable) soft toys for baby to play with. Some even have interactive toys.
Baby Jumper Safety
Your baby may be well secured inside the baby jumper seat (these come high up around him to his chest, with a security strip of material between his legs) but you should never leave him unsupervised. Risks associated with unsupervised baby jumper use include falls, strangulation and entrapment.
Make sure that only his toes and not the flats of his feet touch the ground - so he can't move too far.
Make sure that the door itself is secured open and cannot slam shut.
Never put a baby in a jumper who can't yet support his own head. Likewise, by the time he's big enough to climb out of the jumper, it's time to say goodbye to this particular toy.
Free Standing Baby Jumpers
You no longer need a free doorway to use a baby jumper. Free standing jumpers with their own bouncy frames are also available. These can be placed on the floor anywhere in your home. Many of these come with numerous toys, as well as music and even lights - that's why they're often promoted as baby activity centers, rather than jumpers. Exersaucers are a popular brand of baby activity center.
Baby bouncers are similar to jumpers but are for smaller babies who can't support their own heads. Baby bouncer seats recline and hold your baby in a harness. The spring loaded frame allows your baby to bounce gently as he kicks his little feet. Baby bouncers come with music, vibration settings, lights and toys.
Mobile Baby Walkers
Mobile baby walkers look similar to free-standing baby bouncers, but have wheels and are free to move. When your baby is seated in the baby walker, he pushes himself along with his feet. He is surrounded by a protective bumper so that he can bump into things without hurting himself. Nevertheless, you should remove all hazards from the floor and surrounding area.
Baby Push Toys
Push toys can generally be pushed, pulled or even ridden, promoting stability, balance and motor skill development. Many toys combine all three activities: with a cord for pulling, a handle for pushing, and a seat your baby can sit in and push himself along. Popular versions include baby push toy lawnmowers, cars, wagons and pull toy pets such as alligators and dogs.
Baby Push Toy Safety
Never leave a child unsupervised playing with a push toy. You should make sure that the pull cord, if any, is not long enough to present a risk of strangulation, and is thick enough not to cut the skin. The toy should have no sharp edges and its handles should have protective covers.
Baby Walker Reviews
You'll find user and retailer baby walker reviews all over the internet. Try consumerreports.org, babyproduct-reivews.com, amazon.com and the website of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. The JMPA also provides baby product recall information, as does www.recalls.gov.