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Expert Shopper Baby & Kids

Which baby walker has the best safety features?

A good baby walker can feel like a game-changer, giving your growing toddler independent mobility as they get the hang of walking while keeping them safe from mishaps. Functionality and reliability are key. You want your baby entertained when your hands are full, but you also want them to be safe. 

The most important safety features differ depending on the type of baby walker you choose. Baby walkers are made for children 4 to 18 months old, with some more age-specific while others are designed to adapt as your little one grows. There are three styles: seated, standing and convertible walkers. But here's a key to safety in all of them — never leave a child unsupervised in any type of baby walker.  

In this article: Fisher-Price Learn With Me Zebra Walker, Baby Trends Smart Steps 3.0 Activity Walker and Hape Push-and-Pull Wonder Walker.  

Seated walker

A seated walker with wheels is made for babies 4 to 16 months old who can sit up on their own. It's generally considered the most dangerous, because it elevates the baby so that they can reach potentially hazardous items on shelves. The wheels can spin too fast, too, another significant safety concern.

If you decide to go with a seated walker, apply the same rule as with a car seat: Buy new. Don't accept a second-hand seated walker, which may not have the most up-to-date safety features.  The newest seated walkers have lower rails that are more likely to get stuck when  a baby approaches danger zones such as the edge of the stairs or hazardous dips in the ground level. The friction slows the walker, preventing incidents.

Standing walker 

When your baby starts using nearby furniture to pull themselves up, it's time for a standing or push walker. This can happen around the 6-month mark, though age varies depending on your child's development. Unlike a seated walker, the standing walker doesn't hold the baby up on all sides. Instead, it features a push handle for support while the baby walks behind.

Think of it like a shopping cart. There might be an activity center up front for play, but the baby isn't confined to the walker. They can let go whenever they want. While this might lead to them stumbling more often, the standing walker ensures that their hands are occupied when they are using the walker. This means they can't be pulling things down off shelves and potentially hurting themselves as they walk.

Convertible walker

The sit-to-stand convertible walker is designed to evolve as your child grows. Convertible doesn't necessarily mean a walker changes from a seated walker to a standing walker, though some do. More and more, convertible walkers take a more creative approach with detachable play panels that can be used without the walking component.

Best seated walkers 

Top seated walker

Joovy Spoon Baby Walker

What you need to know: This plastic walker offers four wheels, a tray table with a cushioned seating area, and a weight capacity of 30 pounds. 

What you’ll love: It has rubber stair pads for uneven surfaces and three adjustable heights. Reinforced steel is used in the frame for extra sturdiness. The tray table is spacious and dishwasher-safe. The fabric seat is removable and machine-washable.

What you should consider: It doesn't work as well on carpet as on hard flooring.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top seated walker for the money

Baby Trends Smart Steps 3.0 Activity Walker

What you need to know: This walker has a metal and plastic frame with four wheels, a play tray, cushioned seating and a weight capacity of 30 pounds.

What you’ll love: It features an extra-wide base for stability and comes with a detachable toy bar. There are three height settings and it folds up for easy storage. 

What you should consider: The wheels don't lock.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best standing walkers

Top standing walker

Hape Push-and-Pull Wonder Walker

What you need to know: This push walker has a wooden frame with four wheels and five brightly colored play activities built in. 

What you’ll love: It's sturdy and well-made. The wheels are rubber-trimmed. The paint is nontoxic and child-safe. The handle is a great size for little hands. There are toy nobs and gears for lots of engagement.

What you should consider: It can be tricky to assemble.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top standing walker for the money

Fisher-Price Learn With Me Zebra Walker

What you need to know: This push walker has a plastic frame and a fun zebra motif with light-up buttons and sing-along audio features.

What you’ll love: It's lightweight with sturdy wheels. It engages multiple senses, teaching numbers and letters. There are different textures and seven built-in activities. It also works well on carpet.

What you should consider: The wheels don't have any grip and can roll a bit fast on non-carpeted flooring. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best convertible walkers

Top convertible walker

Bright Starts 4 Ways to Play Walker Ford Mustang

What you need to know: This plastic walker features four modes of play with a fun car theme and a weight capacity of 26 pounds.

What you’ll love: It adjusts to three heights, and the rubber feet function as a brake. It works as a seated walker or a push walker with a removable steering wheel that your baby can play with separately. It features car lights and sounds. 

What you should consider: It requires three AA batteries, not included.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top convertible walker for the money

VTech Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker

What you need to know: This versatile plastic walker has a fun-filled activity panel, lights and music.

What you’ll love: It functions as a push walker but can also be collapsed into a stationary activity panel with piano keys, shape sorters and a toy phone handset. There's a two-speed control switch.

What you should consider: The removable interactive panel can be tricky to reattach.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Emily Verona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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