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The Best Baby Walker Alternatives

If you’re looking for the best baby walker for your baby, think twice. Baby walkers are banned in Canada and could be in the U.S. soon, too, as they pose significant risks. Instead, check out our top baby walker alternatives here.
Updated Feb 1, 2021
Aaron Trumm avatar
Written By
Aaron Trumm |
Evaluated over 90 safety products to help you protect what matters most. Check our Methodology

Baby walkers may seem like a good idea to get your baby up and moving early and keep them occupied so you can handle other chores. However, baby walkers can be dangerous in a number of ways, and even delay your baby’s ability to walk. So, instead of a baby walker, you might want to look into an alternative baby activity center.

Why Baby Walkers Are Dangerous

A study in the Pediatrics journal reported that over 230,000 children were taken to emergency rooms for injuries related to baby walkers between 1990 and 2014. Beyond potential developmental delays, the basic problem with baby walkers is that they allow babies to move quickly before they’re ready and reach higher places, getting themselves into trouble.

There are various ways your baby can get hurt in a baby walker. Many kids fall down stairs in their walkers. Some fall into pools and drown. Babies can also get into harmful or poisonous items, run into sharp items, tip over, get tangled in electrical cords or burn themselves with boiling water or fire sources.

Many of these injuries can occur while adults are watching, simply because adults can’t react quickly enough. After all, a baby in a walker can move over three feet in one second.

Luckily, there are many alternatives to wheeled walkers which are not only safer, but better for baby’s development. Below, we cover some of the best alternatives on the market, including activity centers, jumpers, old fashioned playpens and, for older babies, push toys.

The Safest Baby Walker Alternatives

  • Skip Hop Baby Activity Center — Best interactive activity center
  • Creative Baby Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity Jumper — Best jumper
  • Summer Pop ‘n’ Jump Portable Activity Center — Best indoor/outdoor activity center
  • V-Tech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker — Best push toy
  • Graco Pack ‘n’ Play Simple Solutions Playard — Best old-fashioned playpen

The Most Important Features to Look for in a Baby Walker Alternative

  • Durability

    First and foremost, make sure your baby walker alternative is built to last. Durability is especially important if you choose a jumper, which you want to stay fresh and bouncy for as long as baby needs it.

  • Adaptability

    Some activity centers are designed to grow and adjust with your baby. This option is great if you don’t want to have to spend money again when your baby outgrows their activity center.

  • Stationary

    Other than push toys, which are typically for babies old enough to pull themselves up, activity centers, jumpers and other baby walker alternatives should be stationary to prevent injuries. 

  • Interactivity

    Many baby jumpers are also interactive activity centers complete with various toys and gadgets babies can play with to keep themselves entertained. This feature is handy, but be mindful of the noisy ones — you may regret it later.

  • Portability

    A portable or semi-portable activity center is ideal for when you’re on the go or baby has a lot of playdates.

  • Best interactive baby center

    1. Skip Hop Baby Activity Center

    Our take

    The Skip Hop Baby Activity Center allows your baby to move and stimulate leg muscles. It also offers a variety of interactive toys to play with and is adjustable so it can grow with baby from four months old to toddler.

  • Best jumper

    2. Creative Baby Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity Jumper

    Our take

    This jumper gives babies the opportunity to bounce, play and interact with characters from the children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. There’s a lot to play with here, including a removable music tray.

  • Best indoor/outdoor activity center

    3. Summer Pop ‘n’ Jump Portable Activity Center

    Our take

    The Summer Pop ‘n’ Jump Portable Activity Center is perfect for at-home and on-the-go play, even if you end up outside. This play center packs up easily and includes a sun screen for outdoor play.

  • Best push toy

    4. V-Tech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

    Our take

    A multi-use toy, the V-Tech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker is meant for babies and toddlers from nine months to three years old. The play panel is removable, so you can let baby play with that on its own or simply push around the walker portion without all the bells and whistles.

  • Best old-fashioned playpen

    5. Graco Pack ‘n’ Play Simple Solutions Playard

    Our take

    The advantage of a playard (formerly known as a playpen) is its simplicity and freedom of movement. Your baby can freely roam within the confines of the Graco playard with whatever toys you decide to put in it. It’s also portable and converts into a changing station.

Conclusion

Babies need constant entertainment and development, so finding a safe way to keep baby occupied and happy is a never-ending task. Baby walkers may seem like the solution, but they can be very dangerous. The best alternative is a stationary baby activity center or, if your baby is old enough, a push toy. 

Baby Walker FAQs


Aaron Trumm avatar
Aaron Trumm

Aaron J. Trumm is a writer, musician, and personal trainer. He writes in the home, health, and technology areas.

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