Typically, babies are likely to start trying to stand and walk by the fourth week of their twelfth month. Once you notice your baby exploring his immediate surroundings by himself, you may want to consider encouraging him to walk. There are many different ways to help your baby take his first steps. While the best way is to hold his hand and help him stand and walk for longer distances, you may consider using a safe and secure baby walker. With your help, your baby can improve his balance and gain the confidence to stand on his own two feet. The baby walker will then help in supporting your baby further once he gets used to standing and walking a few steps with your guidance.
A baby walker can let the baby stand comfortably and an upright position without your assistance. However, as a responsible parent, you need to continue watching over him while he goes about exploring with a walker.
You need to determine if your baby is ready for a walker, too. Is he already able to crawl and sit up by himself? The ability to sit up is important because the baby must sit in the walker, and crawling allows him to have control over his legs' movement to make the walker move. Some parents choose to NOT to use a baby walker until the baby can pull himself up by holding on to furniture.
Once you have decided to buy and use a baby walker, be sure that it is a high-quality product that is EN 71 certified. This means that the walker has been tested to the most stringent European standards to ensure its safety and mechanical strength. Consider a baby walker that is easy to fold, carry, and store when not in use. Some walkers come with an adjustable height, cushioned seat, a stopper and brake, and a removable toy tray. Look for a product that has a handle bar, which you can use to control or hold on to the walker. Make sure the wheels can rotate 360 degrees to provide the best support.
Take further steps to baby-proof your home and make it walker-friendly. Make sure that the floor is smooth and that there are no loose rugs that can get in the way. Put away anything fragile or dangerous away from baby's reach, and make sure all the stairs and possible entry doorways are blocked with a strong baby gate or a door to prevent your baby from going to those places. When letting your baby use the walker for the first time, try it first for 15 minutes a day. When not using the walker, let your baby try to walk on his own with your guidance, so he can get used to walking and standing with his feet flat on the floor.
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