Check out this article in the Herald this morning, on how Consumer NZ tested 10 baby walkers… and 9 of them were unsafe.
I personally dislike baby walkers ALOT. Thats my opinion. I have to admit feeling glad that the feeling in this article was against them too, especially Plunket’s stance that their organisation does not support baby walkers.
Aside from the fact that they can topple, and also disregarding the alarming fact that walkers allow babies to reach things they wouldnt normally (I’m thinking hot drinks in particular!)…. this is my reason:
BABIES NEED TO GROW FROM THE GROUND UP
I believe babies start on the floor…. laying on their back. When they are ready, they start to roll, and then they spend some time on their tummies. Soon they start to shuffle. Baby will then start to sit. They will learn to crawl, and then pull themselves up, and then they start to walk. Along the way, there will be bumps and little falls. But you cant get any safer than the floor.
EXCEPT when there is another child around! But more on that soon!
So a baby left to develop on their own is safer…. and dont fret, because they will learn! I was absolutely fascinated watching my baby learn to sit on his own – my previous babes had been propped up.
Have you propped your baby? Using the laundry basket, a bouncer, chair/swing, pillows or otherwise?
I think its a bad idea:
*It isnt natural
“The learning process will play a major role in the whole later life of the human being. Through this kind of development, the infant learns his ability to do something independently, through patient and persistent effort. While learning during motor development to turn on his belly, to roll, to creep, sit, stand, and walk, he is not only learning those movements, but also *how to learn*. He learns to do something on his own, to be interested, to try out, to experiment. He learns to overcome difficulties. He comes to know the joy and satisfaction that is derived from his success, the result of his patience and persistence.” Dr. Emmi Pikler, Peaceful Babies – Contented Mothers
*It cant be good for posture – look at your baby slumped over. Not to mention the way she falls as she slips down the pillows. She is not ready
*It restricts movement. it stops her from being able to kick and roll, which is what she should be doing.
*You’re trying to rush the process – dont! Enjoy what she is doing now!
And so it is that I don’t agree with putting your baby in such contraptions BY HABIT.
Which brings me to the BUT (you knew it was coming!). There is a place and a time for everything.
I have used a saucer (its like a walker without wheels!). It has been brilliant in situations like butchering the cow, where I needed the child off the dirty ground and I couldnt hold them. Or when you’re frantically preparing dinner for the family, the other kids are requring attention, daddy is home late and the baby wants to attention.
I have used a bouncinette to pick the baby off the ground when around the toddler. Remember I had my babies close together and a 14 month child, still a baby himself, cannot understand how to be gentle with a baby sibling.
So yeah, I can see the benefit of these things occasionally.
In the ideal world, the baby would be tucked against mum in a sling for those moments above (I LOVE babywearing!) and there would be no need for these contraptions at all! The not so ideal world gave me SPD and my damaged hips do not like extended baby wearing. I digress.
So… I HATE HATE HATE the baby seat that holds a baby up (I wont name brands) from a very young age, and I hate exersaucers piled with plastic toys designed to keep babies amused for hours.
And don’t even get me started on ‘tummy time’… that’s another post all together!!
I regret propping my first baby up, and placing him in contraptions that restricted his movement. I wont make that mistake again….. *smiles sweetly* because now I know better!!!
Toss all those walkers out, Consumer NZ!!!!!!!!!!!!