Why we say “No” to walkers
It is simple: Walkers are dangerous. We are about encouraging healthy development, which walkers can hinder. Walkers have gotten safer over the years, and while many walkers sold in the U.S. now have wheel brakes and a wide base to prevent a fall down stairs or tipping over, not all models have these features. And even with new safety standards, injuries continue to happen to babies in walkers. Also, babies in walkers can move fast, faster than parents can react, which has led to babies being hurt. Walkers can also position a child higher, where it is easier to grab low-hanging items or items on table tops which can result in more injuries to babies.
There also are developmental issues associated with walkers. Most parents buy a walker thinking it will help their baby walk earlier. The facts don’t back this up. Walkers delay not only motor development, but cognitive development as well. This occurs because children are not in a positon to motor plan their way around a room and explore new areas while on the floor. Plus, children who use walkers walk later than children who do not use walkers. Children need to be on the floor, learning to move their bodies to explore and manipulate their environments. Delays caused by these mobility units can last much longer than the actual time the child uses the walker.
When to use a saucer
As parents we know there are times when we need to put our babies down in a safe place so we can accomplish some tasks. We also want our babies to be able to entertain themselves a bit while we do this. Stationary saucers can accomplish both of these goals. The saucer can’t be moved by the baby, and it comes with a variety of manipulatives attached to its tray. Stationary saucers do come with age and skill requirements.
Babies should not be put into saucers until they are around 6 months old, when they can sit up on their own, have consistent neck control, and their feet can lie flat on the bottom of the saucer. If babies do not have these skills, spending time in a saucer can lead to atypical development. This can lead to issues including delayed development in motor skills. Babies should never be left in a saucer for any great length of time. Approximately 15-20 minutes at a time is a great guideline to follow.
Early Learning Program
At the Community Connections Early Learning Program, we provide a wide range of services, in partnership with families and the community to support the development of young children age birth to 3 years.
Our array of services include: Infant Massage, Parenting, Developmental Screenings, Developmental Evaluations, Vision and Hearing Screenings, Developmental therapy, Speech therapy, Motor therapy, Playgroups, and Home visiting.