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Now that your baby is crawling and cruising, you must be all excited with your camera ready to capture the first steps. A baby walker will offer excellent support for the baby as he takes this exciting path of freedom and discovery.
Now, the baby may not instinctively know how to move with a walker, so you will have to lend your hand.
Here is how to teach your baby to walk with a baby walker:
Work with A Resistant Baby to Help Him Comfortable with The Walker.
Not all babies will accept getting into the baby walker when you first buy it. Some will resist and throw a tantrum of their life.
If your baby is a little resistant to get into the baby walker for the first time, don’t fret. The baby could be having a bad day, or he could be the timid type that needs a little nudge to try something new.
Don’t forcefully put them into the walker. You might be adding fuel to an already colossal furnace. Here is what you can do.
- Sit on the floor and hold the baby on your lap. Pull the walker baby near you for the baby to see and even touch it. This will make the baby realize that the walker is not as scary as he thought.
- If the baby walker has some attached toys, press the walker’s buttons to produce the exciting baby rhymes.
The above strategies will undoubtedly make the baby warm up to the idea of getting into the walker.
Ensure the Baby’s Legs Enter Where They Are Supposed To
When the baby is comfortable getting into the walker, during the first try or after adapting, you should softly lift the baby and lower them on the walker’s seat.
Make sure that each leg gets into a separate hole, and their toes are not stuck anywhere. Further, make sure the little feet are not dangling. They should touch the floor. To prevent the baby from sliding from the seat, fasten the restraining belt.
Encourage the Baby to Stand
Mostly, when you put a baby in a baby walker, they instinctively sit. It takes time for him to realize they are in a haven where they can stand without falling. It would help if you, therefore, encouraged him to stand up.
“How?” You ask.
You can encourage the baby to stand by holding him or her by the waist, helping him up, and then letting go. Alternatively, you can offer your hands to the baby as support to pull himself up.
With time, the baby will get the idea that it’s safe to stand in the walker. If your baby takes a little longer to gather the courage to stand on their own, don’t stress. Be a little patient. Sometimes it takes a little longer.
Train Your Baby How to Move the Walker
Getting the baby to stand on their own is the tip of the iceberg. The baby still needs to learn how to move around with the walker.
For most babies, the first steps are usually accidental. They could be changing their posture or reaching out for something when the baby walker suddenly moves. The little movement’s excitement will cause the baby to kick his feet, and that movement propels the walker forward.
You can encourage the baby to move the walker by holding the baby’s favorite food or toy in front of the baby. As he tries to reach out, the walker will move.
Alternatively, you can start by pulling the baby slowly towards you while he is in the walker. As you pull, keep an eye on the baby’s little feet to ensure they aren’t twisting or dragging.
Use the Walker For 15-20 Minutes A Day
Although a baby walker helps teach the baby how to walk, spending too much time is risky. Why?
Sitting on a walker only builds up the baby’s lower part of the leg muscles. To walk on his own, the baby’s upper leg muscles need to be strengthened too. So, prolonged use of a baby walker may delay walking altogether.
Further, proper walking involves standing on the heels. In a baby walker, the motion is different as the baby mostly moves with his toes’ tips.
See, crawling is a crucial developmental stage for a child as it helps develop arm and leg strength. It also promotes overall body coordination. Using a baby walker all day may also delay the baby’s ability to crawl.
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you already get my point; the baby shouldn’t spend hours on the walker.
Patience Is A Virtue
Like most things in life, teaching a baby how to walk with a baby walker needs patience. The process might be slow and unpredictable, but one thing is for sure: the baby will eventually get the hang of it.
Some gentle soothing and a little encouragement will keep the baby using the baby walker. If the baby shows signs of getting tired or agitated by the walker, take them off and try again later.
Wrapping It Up
Baby walkers come in handy in teaching the baby how to walk if appropriately used. As you have seen above, they come with both advantages and disadvantages. It would be best if you, therefore, took the above tips seriously to avoid the disadvantages.