Are walkers helpful or harmful?

My 1-year-old was exclusively commando crawling until recently. Over the past few weeks, after meeting with a PT once who gave us some pointers, he has begun to do some crawling on hands and knees, as well as pulling up to stand and cruising. The therapist we worked with suggested getting him a walker. In the past, I have heard that walkers can be bad for a child’s development. Can somebody clarify for me if there are different types of walkers, some of which are ok to help children progress toward walking independently? Thank you!

Hey @EKNYC! So glad you posted this question.

Firstly, amazing that your baby is crawling on all fours! That’s amazing!! There are so many benefits your baby is getting from 4-point crawling.

Second- it sounds like your baby is continuing to progress along- babies typically don’t need equipment to meet milestones, especially a walker that a baby is placed inside of. Those types of walkers do not help with independent walking and can be dangerous (babies can fall down stairs while inside of them).

Standing walkers that babies push are actually great tools to help baby learn to weight-shift and balance.

Does this answer your question?

Yes! A standing walker is definitely what was recommended! Thank you!

Also, just to clarify, my baby is still army crawling the majority of the time. He will 4-point crawl for a few “steps,” usually when he is approaching a toy or surface (table, chair) that he plans to pull up on, but he gets back onto his belly for long distances. (I think he just became to efficient at army crawling and he knows he will get where he is going faster and with less effort that way.) Anything I can do to encourage more of the 4-point crawling?

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Try having him go back and forth over your leg to build up the strength through his body- like in this reel

Thank you!!!