Choosing a Baby Walker: 10 Best Choices for Busy Babies

I am often asked my opinion on different baby, toddler, and children products. So much so, that I think I should make separate posts addressing all your inquiries!

While both my daughters are long past the days of baby walkers, I had them for each of them. When my eldest was little, and we were living in China, we had a hand-me-down from another expat family. I believe it was a Fisher-Price baby walker, the kind that the pushed like a stroller with activities on the front.

After moving to America, our youngest was slower to get started walking. We encouraged that by getting her a different baby walker. It was by Vtech (on my list below). We chose it based on recommendations from friends.

Now that my girls are big, I look back at how cute they were with their walkers. In the news, though, there are gobs of stories about how baby walkers should be banned! Yet, they are still one of the most popular baby items around.

Why are they so popular?

They’re great fun for babies, and there are so many different kinds. Ours were both fashioned in such a way that you could take the play center off the push-part, so it was a functional and fun learning space. They also encourage babies to start walking. There are other types that your baby sits in and can navigate around the room like an orb. I have many friends who loved these.

Your baby should be able to hold her head up steadily before using a baby walker. She should also be able to touch the floor with her feet (in the seated versions). According to Consumer Reports, all baby walkers are designed for use by children ages four months to 16 months. You should never use them for children that can already walk.

Yes, there are some safety features you should be thinking of as well as things you should do to protect your children when using a baby walker. We were thrilled with having them, and that is why I recommend them even though there is a lot of negativity around them.

Honestly, you can find any product unsafe or troublesome for development (look at baby carriers, for example! They got so much flack but are a godsend!). I’ll explain all of that further down, along with a section of FAQs I have gotten in my inbox to help you make the best decision for your needs.

Which Baby Walker Should You Choose?

I am not promoting one baby walker over another as we all have different needs. We all have different homes too, and something that works for one of you might be a terrible match for another one of you. Some of you may have a budget to work with while others won’t. Some of you may require different features, setting options, colors, and other concerns for your baby walker. And of course, safety is a priority for all of us moms! I will talk about that too!

My Baby Walkers Review!​

I’ve selected 10 of the best baby walkers I could find, and I’ll tell you exactly why I like them, any downfalls they might have, and all that jazz.

1. Kolcraft Tiny Steps 2-in-1 Activity

Important Features:

Products that offer versatility are always something I like to put on my list. This baby walker provides the chance for seated and walk-behind options with a handy 2-in-1 design. The base has skid-resistant friction pads plus the seat pad height can be adjusted to grow with your every-growing baby.

The unisex design makes it fun for boys and girls, encouraging excellent motor skills and development. There’s an upright flower mirror with textured stem and fascinating crinkly petals, a spinning ball, and a bead bar.

You can fold it up to store it away or travel with you. It folds to 30” L x 24.3” W x 8” H. It’s designed so you can machine wash the seat pad as we all know babies make lots of fun messes. The rest of it can be wiped off with a damp cloth. Your child should be able to support their own body with their legs and be between 15 and 26 lbs. They should be less than 32” in height too.

PROS

  • Versatile design for seated use and pushing later on
  • Skid-resistant padding
  • Adjustable seat height
  • Unisex design appealing to all babies
  • Folds up easily for storage
  • Cleans easily with machine-washable seat pad

CONS

  • Front wheels are plastic and tend to get stuck on hard flooring
  • Only 3 activities to entertain your baby
    Tight leg holes can be uncomfortable for the baby
  • Height adjustment is a bit difficult to work
  • Wheels only move forward and backward

Verdict - Should You Buy This?

This is a relatively simple unisex baby walker. It has excellent points though it may be better for anyone using it on a carpeted surface. While it does shift from seated to a push-style, it lacks a lot of bells, and whistles like other models have. If you want more activities for your developing child or a choice of colors, you should keep looking at the different options though this one is ideal for anyone that wants to keep things simple.

2. Baby Trend Walker

Important Features:

Baby Trend’s walker features an extra-wide base to provide stability, a large tray you can use for snacks or adding toys, multi-directional front wheels, a high-back padded seat, and height adjust for three positions. The toy bar is also removable to make snack time more focused and comfortable. Plus, you can fold it up quickly to take it along anywhere or store it.

You can also choose between 4 different color schemes. The Emily is super-pink and targeted toward girls, but the Blue Sprinkles, Yellow Sprinkles, and Zoo-Ometry seem much more neutral, ideal for boys or girls. On each of these, the removable toy bar contains one toy at each end, which varies by design.

For the zoo theme, for example, it has a monkey and a lion. The Emily has a flower and a butterfly. Both sprinkle versions have the same toys on them, and all of them feature a bead bar to fine-tune those motor skills.

PROS

  • Folds up very easily
  • Easy to remove the toy bar
  • Front wheels are multi-directional
  • High-back seat prevents head bumps

CONS

  • Rubberized pads on the bottom make carpet navigation difficult
  • The padded seat is not machine washable
  • Only 3 activities to entertain your baby
  • The tabs that secure the front of the seat come loose

Verdict - Should You Buy This?

This model of a baby walker is another basic one, which is great for Grandma’s house. But the tabs that secure the seat tend to come loose, which means you shouldn’t ever take your eyes off your baby while in this one. I do like the versatility of colors though and that it comes up higher in the back, but as a mom who has had to clean her share of messes, this one is only a wipe-down model.

You can’t throw the cushion in the washing machine. On the plus side, the rubberized grips at the bottom are removable, which you’ll want to do if and only if you are using this on the carpet.

3. Joovy Spoon Walker

Important Features:

The Joovy Spoon Walker combines eating, playing, and walking all in one baby device. It features a large tray that has a removable insert that you can safely wash in the dishwasher. Plus, it’s made with materials that are BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free. With a supportive and comfy seat that can be washed in the washing machine.

The modern, minimalist design is pretty groovy and comes in Charcoal, Greenie, Blueberry, or Red. You can shift it through 3 height positions plus the oversized wheels, and non-slip stair pads can really prevent some accidents. I’m not saying let your baby run wild, but it’s nice to have that extra assurance in safety measures.

Your child can’t be over 30lbs or taller than 33.5 inches for using the Joovy. Folding or adjusting the height is controlled with the rectangular button.

This premium-designed walker is undoubtedly a smart option for many families, especially if you have stairs anywhere.

PROS

  • Protects baby from pinching fingers and toppling on stairs
  • Super-sized tray great for snacking and preventing baby from reaching things they shouldn’t touch
  • Machine washable tray insert and seat pad
  • Three-height adjustable

CONS

  • No toys or activities attached
  • It doesn’t raise very high
  • Hurts if baby runs into you with it

Verdict - Should You Buy This?

I’ve heard this one is referred to as the ‘Rolls Royce of baby walkers.’ I do agree that it is constructed with safe materials, and the low profile base keeps your baby from tumbling should they encounter a ledge. Because of that low profile, though, expect to get rammed a few times and be in pain.

One serious difficulty is that it doesn’t rise very high, which might be trouble for larger-sized babies. Also, if you’re looking for an activity set, this doesn’t include one.

Sure, you can give your baby plenty of toys to play with, but there’s nothing to attach them to, which means you may be fetching dolls, stuffies, and other activities off the floor repeatedly. Not a fatal flaw, mind you, but yes, something to think about when buying a baby walker.

4. Disney Winnie The Pooh Music and Lights

Important Features:

Ah, Disney! If you’ve read my posts before, you know I love Disney. So it should come as no surprise that they have a baby walker for your little one. This one saves a lot of space with a dual tray that swings open on either side so you can use the center for snacking and playing. There are 4 Winnie the Pooh-themed toys to entertain your baby plus 12 songs that may or may not get stuck in your head.

It allows you to shift the position in 3 heights and can hold a child that weighs up to 30lbs. The sturdy wheels handle carpets well plus the padded seat is machine washable. Your child should be 32 inches or less to use this baby walker. Disney recommends an age of 4 months at a minimum. The honey pot is probably the coolest feature. Press it, and it sings!

There is a warning for small parts on here though, so do keep an eye on how you assemble it, and the condition of the toys as your child wears them down for their safety.

PROS

  • It lights up and plays 12 songs
  • It can handle carpets with ease
  • Tray swings open on both sides for activities and snacking
  • Machine-washable seat pad
  • Three-height adjustment

CONS

  • Challenging to assemble
  • Not as large a tray as other models
  • Only one color selection
  • Noise may drive you insane

Verdict - Should You Buy This?

The biggest challenge I’ve seen with this model is that many parents have trouble putting it together. Granted, my husband has difficulty assembling just about anything, if you hate putting things together, maybe call in favor with someone who owes you. I like that you can swing the activity tray out to make way for snacks. That’s pretty clever.

I also like the music, though I think if you have a migraine or your child has been pressing the buttons all day, it’s going to make you a little nutty. If you’re looking for something that will entertain your child, provide a snacking space, and help them ease into walking, though, this will be great!

5. VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

Important Features:

Now, this is the one we bought ourselves when we first moved back to America, and our youngest had yet to walk. She was almost a year old when we bought it.

This sit-to-stand style of walker features a removable play panel with new learning features. Five piano keys play over 70 songs and encourage play, two bright spinning rollers, three shape sorters, light-up buttons, and a pretend phone. With cool sound effects and fun phrases, all at reasonable volumes so as not to upset the baby, VTech has designed it to be used by babies and toddlers from 9 months on up to 3 years of age.

While you will not need the walker portion of it after your baby masters walking, the panel of playthings is fantastic and worth the purchase alone. You should never allow your baby to walk with this without being immediately there and should try to practice on the carpet if possible.

The good news it has settings on the wheels to prevent mishaps, but there is nothing that replaces your supervision. You have a choice of 4 colors too – blue, orange, lavender, or pink. We had the pink one. The activities are the same, no matter the color.

PROS

  • Lots of activities
  • Great and fun songs and sounds
  • Lights up and encourages interaction
  • Wheels that adjust in two settings
  • Removable activity center

CONS

  • Unlike other models, you can’t sit your baby down inside of it
  • Meant for babies a little older (9 months minimum)
  • Phone headset isn’t attached and gets lost easily

Verdict - Should You Buy This?

While we loved this baby walker push toy, it fit our family’s needs at the time. If your baby is younger, this isn’t a good match for you. However, if you have a baby around nine months that isn’t walking yet, this will definitely encourage them.

You can remove the play center and place it on the floor. It’s very entertaining, and we held onto ours until my youngest was 2. It was then we decided to give it to a family in need, but even my eldest loved to play with her baby sister with this. Oh, and while it barely takes up any space as is, you can fold it up and store it easily.

6. Safety 1st Dino Sounds 'n Lights

Important Features:

If you liked the idea of the Winnie the Pooh themed baby walker above but would prefer a different theme (and brand), then this one by Safety 1st is another top rated baby walker for small spaces. You get the same split tray toy area but with a dinosaur theme. It has five dinosaur-themed toys that encourage excellent motor skills, lights, and playful sounds.

Because of the design, it’s easy to swing the activity trays away and enjoy a snack. The padded seat is machine washable, and the walker can adjust to three different heights. Folding it down to store it away is very easy too. Grip strips keep your little one safe on uneven surfaces so you can enjoy watching them laugh, walk, play, and snack.

PROS

  • Features 5 dinosaur-themed toys that light up and make sounds
  • Tray swings open on both sides for snack area
  • Machine-washable padded seat
  • Three height positions
  • Easy to fold

CONS

  • Plastic is a little rudimentary
  • Better suited walker for tall babies

Verdict - Should You Buy This?

If you have a child that seems fascinated by dinosaurs, this might be a great choice. Though it makes for a better activity center than a walker. Many people with babies that are in the standard height range for their age found that even the lowest height was too tall.

If you have a tall baby, though, this would be a great choice. I’m not sold on the plastic because it seems very flimsy, but the dinosaurs look cute, and if you have a tall child, this might work very nicely. It also does well on hardwood floors and carpets, so if your house has varied flooring; you might have found your match!

7. Bright Starts 3-in-1 Activity

Important Features:

This baby walker by Bright Starts caught my eye because the design was different. Your baby needs to be less than 30 inches tall, and the premise is it has a central activity center your baby revolves around much like a planet. It’s ideal for sitting to standing, and the walker seat can be removed when your baby outgrows it.

Designed for 6 months old on up, even older siblings will want to enjoy the 15+ activities this thing provides. There’s a piano station with silly sounds and plenty of music to engage little ones for hours. The height is easy to adjust, and it holds their interest.

PROS

  • Design is unique
  •  Seat can be removed when your child outgrows it
  • Easy to clean
  • 15+ activities with songs and sounds

CONS

  • Take up a bit of space
  • Not easy to move or store
  • May move out of place
  •  Seat isn’t padded
  • No color options

Verdict - Should You Buy This?

The design of this is incredibly cool and even allows older siblings to join in the fun with the baby. There is no padding on the seat, which doesn’t seem very comfortable, but the sheer amount of activities and excitement for little ones will undoubtedly intrigue.

The thing that concerns me most is that your baby can drag it along with them, so I’d stay near to ensure they’re extra safe. You don’t want to leave your baby in this and leave the room thinking they’ll be in one spot and coming back to find them on the other side of the room near the china cabinet, for example!

8. Bright Starts Walk-A-Bout Walker

Important Features:

Another one from Bright Starts is more of a traditional baby walker design. It’s best for hard flooring though with the low profile, which is really designed to keep topples off stairs from happening. It’s a good tradeoff, though, for you can entertain your baby with plenty of peace of mind.

The center features an electronic light-up toy that plays melodies and sounds. You can remove it to use the tray for snacks or to play with the toy on the floor. Children that are ages 6 months on up to 26lbs can use this baby walker, though Bright Starts recommends your baby should be able to sit up by themselves first.

The high seat back and adjustable height make comfort and security a priority. There are also two additional link loops that you can use to attach more baby-safe toys to entertain your child.

Oh, and perhaps one of the best features is that it has volume control so that when you can’t stand hearing the melodies anymore, but your child wants to play, you can turn it down! Yay!

PROS

  • Removable electronic toy can be used on the floor
  • Folds up easily
  • Adjustable heights and high back seat
  • Safety wheels to prevent toppling downstairs or on uneven surfaces
  • Plays sounds and melodies
  • Adjustable volume
  • Capable of attaching more toys
  • Features 3 different themes (Juneberry Delight, Green, and Roaming Safari)

CONS

  • No padding on the seat
  • Difficult to unsnap the toy
  • Painful when baby runs into you

Verdict - Should You Buy This?

This baby walker is definitely for hardwood or hard surface floors. I like that it has protective measures for stairs, which is suitable for anyone with multiple levels in their home (though I’m hoping you have baby gates up!).

The ability to adjust the sound is kind, though, because the noises our children’s toys make can truly grate on our nerves. I’m not impressed with the toys on this, though. I think if you want something that has lots of activities, this isn’t going to be a match for you, though it could be ideal for taking along to relatives’ to help keep your little one from grabbing pricey items and breaking them.

9. Skip Hop 3-Stage Interactive Activity

Important Features:

If you’re uneasy with the idea of your child wheeling around the house, perhaps this model will be a better fit for you. It was developed along with a pediatrician to incorporate a whole-body approach. The age range is from 4 months on to toddler years.

It features four toys that move around and engage. There are clouds that pop up and squeak, a wobbling lamb with rattling beads, swaying stars, plus a sun bead mover that has a spinner. The seat rotates a full 360 degrees plus there’s a window that allows your baby to see the piano they can play with their feet. That’s awesome for spatial awareness.

Some of the other baby walkers convert as your baby grows, and this one also does but in a different way. It goes from bouncer to a sturdy table for interacting. And when your kid gets bigger, you can use it as a regular table until they get too tall. It’s meant for babies ages four months up that can hold up their heads without help. Children that weigh more than 25lbs or are taller than 30 inches shouldn’t use it.

So there is some versatility here, and at the very least, it can be used as a table until your child is too tall or you have another baby that will use it.

PROS

  • Great positioning for legs and developing movement
  • Adjustable for many phases
  • Fun toys that encourage growth and are moveable with suction cups
  • Ideal for spatial awareness

CONS

  • Some of the toys capable of causing a pinch factor
  • Does not bounce like a bouncer
  • Does not have wheels

Verdict - Should You Buy This?

If you are looking for a baby walker that moves like the others, you will not like this. But if you hope to keep your baby in place while engaging their movement and development, I think you’ll love this. I like that you can adjust it to be used in different phases as your baby moves on and that it can eventually be a table they can color at.

I also like that you can stick the toys on there wherever you’d like to move them. Be careful as some may be prone to pinching little fingers, though!

10. Combi Baby Activity Walker

Important Features:

Many parents want an option that delivers as a baby walker and a bouncer. Combi has put it together in hot car design. Available in a bunch of fun colors, boys and girls alike will love being in their cool car.

Lock it into place, and they can bounce and jump. Allow it to move, and you’ve got a walker. The front hood locks into place with ease and is just as easy to remove so you can serve up snacks and drinks. The tray has lights, sounds, toys, and mirrors to help aid in cognitive development. This is one fully loaded ride with all the bells and whistles.

Adjusting to three heights and with plenty of machine-washable padding, it provides comfort as your baby grows and thrives. The distinctive design and activities seem to be a hit with parents and babies everywhere.

PROS

  • Cool removable tray with toys, lights, sounds, and mirrors
  • Great for cognitive development
  • Snack area
  • Bouncer and walker combined
  • Machine washable and comfortable padding
  • Height adjustable
  • Unique car design in many colors and styles
  • Easy to assemble right out of the box
  • Good walker for short babies

CONS

  • Not ideal for jumping as it’s a bit stiff
  • Doesn’t perform well on carpeting

Verdict - Should You Buy This?

This is a really cool baby walker. Parents seem to love the advantages it provides as a walker, especially for babies that aren’t very tall. The downside is that it is marketed as a bouncer too, and it seems a bit too stiff to allow good bouncing. Still, it is entertaining, colorful, and fun for babies and is easy to assemble also.

FAQs - Helping Out to Clear Up Confusions

Now that I’ve reviewed some premium brands of baby walkers with choices that should give each of you the perfect option for your situation, I’d like to handle some of the questions I’ve seen most in my inbox when it comes to baby walkers.

Smiling boy playing

Are baby walkers good for babies?

This really depends on who you ask. According to Nationwide’s Children, they discourage the use of baby walkers because it takes them from sitting to walking. The muscle groups in the legs need to develop. So you should allow your baby to crawl first.

For both of my daughters, I had the baby walker push toys. Both my girls were crawling before I really let them explore the baby walker in full. I’d certainly recommend you do that too, though if you have your heart set on a seated walker model like the ones above, do make sure you give baby plenty of time to explore on her hands and knees each day too.

While there are no bans on baby walkers, there are many pushing for it from the American Academy of Pediatrics. As with all things, buyers should beware. Anything can be dangerous in our world. Even walking on your own two feet as an adult bears a risk. Knowing why pediatricians and experts are upset with it and how to be safe with using them is most important.

What age is best for a baby walker?

As I mentioned up at the beginning of this post, Consumer Reports says you shouldn’t put a baby in a baby walker before the age of 4 months. You should also be sure they can hold their heads up independently before putting them in there. Every baby is different when they are ready. If you feel your baby is still small at six months, perhaps a baby walker designed for shorter babies will benefit your family best.

Seated Walker or Sit-to-Stand Walker: Which is better?

Above, I’ve reviewed 10 different baby walkers. Each has their style, and it all depends on several factors. One of them is your home. Do you have wooden flooring throughout? You’d be better served with one that can glide over it with ease. Do you have stairs? You should choose one that prevents toppling.

You should also think of where your baby is developmentally before buying a baby walker and your need to get things done. If you work from home, for example, I certainly don’t recommend putting your baby in the walker all day long. This can damage the hips because they lean forward. Limit the amount of time in the walker and use a playpen too to alternate.

No matter how much your baby loves the walker, you shouldn’t rely on it to babysit your child. The same goes for the playpen. The playpen, of course, is your safest choice if you and baby are home alone and you need a 5-second shower. Don’t ever leave your baby alone in the baby walker or with a sit-to-stand model.

While babies are encapsulated in the seated walkers, the sit-to-stand models require your presence. Because you can lock the legs, it prevents a lot of problems, but like any toy, little ones should always be supervised, period. You can have all the safety precautions in the world, and it still can’t replace your diligent attendance.

Do baby walkers affect development?

Yes, they can. This is why it’s essential to understand that you can’t just leave your baby sitting in a walker all day. You also shouldn’t push them to walk before they can crawl. Present it more as something to explore. This was another reason I enjoyed the sit-to-stand model because my daughters sat on the floor by it and played with all the activities.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get a seated baby walker, but you should be aware of hip placement and how relying on it too much can keep your baby from reaching the development of important milestones. Crawling is very important for strengthening leg muscles and mental development.

An older study from 1999 found that babies using walkers hit milestones later than those that didn’t use them. They also scored lower on the Bayley mental and motor development scales. That’s not to say using a baby walker will hinder your baby…as long as you remember this when you allow your baby to handle any baby walker and let crawling happen, your baby will be ok!

How to use the baby walker safely?

The first thing you need to do is make sure that your baby is the right height and size for the walker you’re planning to buy. Read the height and weight requirements. True, you can always exchange it; it is far better to be right the first time.

There are many baby walkers I wrote about above so look into them and see if they fit your child by size and age appropriateness. Remember, just because your baby is at the 4-month requirement doesn’t mean you need to get a baby walker right now. You may opt to wait a few more months and allow crawling to take place.

Next up, don’t let the baby stay in the walker for great lengths every day. This is for the health of hip development and also for practicing crawling and sitting. Once your baby masters crawling and sitting well, spending a little more time in the walker is ok. If you have a push-style walker, you should wait around 9 months to introduce it.

For all baby walkers, you should never leave your child unattended. Anything could happen. You could leave the room for a split second to use the bathroom to find your child has pedaled their way into the kitchen and is about to pull a boiling pot of water down. Ideally, you should always keep your safety gates up with small children around; however, with a baby walker, they may be able to plow through those gates.

If you want your child to be safe, follow developmental requirements, and be present when your child is using them. You can do something else in the same room, but being aware of what’s going on will prevent injuries. Baby walkers are not for babysitting your kids. That’s up to you!

Conclusion

As I said, there’s no one BEST baby walker out there. We all have different needs, different homes, and different babies. It’s my sincere hope that my analysis of these quality brands will help you to ask the right questions and think about the right features when making a purchase.

Don’t just buy it because “it’s cute.” These can be dangerous when you use them too much, and when you don’t supervise their use. Additionally, some great brands even have a few small flaws like toys or tray tables that can cause ouchies. Always be vigilant when choosing a good baby walker and anything else for your child, and you’ll be making the decision that fits your life!