Stand up play is a good option for any baby that is just taking their first steps; not only does is it offer excellent development benefits, but it is also a way for your baby to feel independent about himself. The best forms of stand-up play are usually baby walkers and baby entertainers. In this article, we explore both stand up play options, their pros and cons and finally prices.
Baby walkers allow your baby to stand up and move around independently without assistance before they are able to walk unaided. They are usually round and brightly coloured with a hole in the middle in which sits a secure supporting seat, allowing your baby to stand and move around independently. Some walkers will also have toys and playthings attached to amuse and provide stimulation.
A baby using a walker will generally be excited, particularly if there are toys included on the walker for baby to play with. You will notice from a young age many babies enjoy holding on to things to stand up, such as your sofa or bed. Baby walkers provide this experience with the added bonus of movement, which your baby will thoroughly enjoy.
Baby walkers are generally suitable for babies who are able to support their own head securely (usually 6+ months). You should not continue to use the baby walker once your baby is walking unaided or if they exceed the maximum safety weight recommended by the Baby Walker manufacturer.
The biggest positive of a baby walker is that your baby will enjoy them and have a lot of fun wandering around. The toys and bright colours help provide your baby with valuable stimulation that aids learning and development. Although a baby walker does not physically help your baby to start walking, it does provide them with mental encouragement to walk independently.
It is important to remember that a baby should not be left unsupervised whilst using a walker, as there have been some safety concerns. There have been incidents where babies have moved too fast, injuring themselves by keeling over or falling down stairs. A walker also makes your baby taller, meaning they could reach dangerous items normally out of safe distance. Since 2005 there have been new guidelines around the production of baby walkers which mean they cannot get as fast as they used to. Appropriate supervision also reduces many of the associated risks of baby walkers.
Although baby walkers are good fun and your baby will love them, it is also important for your baby to have the opportunity to crawl and develop their muscle tone so they can start walking without the walker!
If you have decided that a baby walker is not for you, or if you have a walker but are looking for other fun ways to entertain your baby here are a few other ideas.
Baby entertainers are almost identical to baby walkers but for one important difference: they do not move around. Your baby will still sit in the same round or square hole supported by a secure strap, surrounded by toys and stimulating devices, with the added ease of mind that your baby can’t get up to too much mischief.
A baby entertainer is a great investment for many reasons. Firstly, it allows your baby the freedom to stand unaided for long periods, which is great, as most babies love the independence gained by standing. A baby entertainer also provides the same stimulation as a baby walker with the added bonus that the toy ring on a baby entertainer can usually be rotated, meaning your baby will experience a new set of toys every time.
One disadvantage of this toy would be a baby’s patience e.g. if the baby was in the toy for a long time they would more than likely start to get crabby.
Baby entertainers are suitable for children who can support themselves (again, usually 6+ months). It is recommended that a baby entertainer should not be used once the child can walk or if they exceed the product weight limit.
Which one should I choose?
Both are great forms of stand-up play and they both have similar features. When choosing the toy, try to imagine which one would fit best in your home. Do you live in a flat? Then a baby entertainer would be safe, stationary fun for your baby. Do you live in a one floor house or bungalow? Then a walker is perfect. Whichever you choose, your baby will no doubt have fun.