Even before their bodies are strong enough, babies develop the desire to be mobile. It starts with the kicking in the womb, which then continues after birth; those little muscles are getting the hang of what is feels like to move.
Then, we all know how the rest of the story goes. Kicking turns to rolling, followed by jumping, crawling, standing, and eventually walking. However, it takes a long time to reach these milestones, and some babies may be impatient to get moving on their own.
That is where a baby walker can come in handy, giving babies the mobility they desire and giving parents a short break from entertaining.
We have put together the ultimate all-in-one guide to baby walkers, providing you with top-rated models and complete safety guide.
Benefits of a Baby Walker
Probably the best thing about a baby walker is the independence and mobility it offers a child who would otherwise not be able to move on her own. This encourages exploration, helping little ones reach out to the world around them.
Walkers also offer an effortless source of entertainment. Parents can get a break from bouncing, playing, and carrying by placing their babies into a walker, which likely has an array of toys to entertain and develop motor skills.
Types of Baby Walkers
There are two main types of baby walkers: traditional and pushing. Push walkers are ideal for babies who are ready to take their first steps but may still need a bit of assistance to keep themselves stable.
Traditional walkers, which are the focus of this article, provide a mobile source of entertainment. It is great for pre-walking babies who could benefit from the ability to move freely on their own.
Best Baby Walkers
1 - Joovy Spoon Walker
This walker has been called the Rolls Royce of baby walkers due to its sleek design and quality materials.
It is offered in four colors (blueberry, charcoal, red, greenie), has 3 adjustable heights, and is collapsible to making storage easier. Without the clutter of toys and machine washable components, this walker is also very easy to clean.
Pros & Cons
(Joovy Spoon Walker)
Machine washable tray and seat insert
The tray and seat inserts are easily removed and can be cleaned using a washing machine or dishwasher.
This walker collapses on itself, making it easier to store in closets or under furniture.
Safe around stairs
The oversized wheels, wide base, and non-slip pads keep it from falling down the stairs easily.
The walker only comes with an empty tray; if you want toys for your little one, you will need to purchase them separately.
Many parents claim that even at the highest setting, their baby is too tall for this walker.
Does not roll well on carpet
You will only be able to use this walker on hard floors.
2 - Safety 1st Sounds ‘n Lights Discovery Walker
A fun and affordable walker for babies.
There are numerous toys which include lights and sounds, which swivel out of the way to make room for a tray that is clear for snacking. The seat cover is machine washable, and the walker is collapsible with 3 height adjustments.
Pros & Cons
(Safety 1st Sounds ‘n Lights Discovery Walker)
Rolls on carpet and hard floor
One of the few walkers that parents have claimed roll well on both carpet and hard floors.
Toy trays swivel out
The toys are installed on trays that swing out to reveal a clean snack tray underneath.
Lots of entertainment
Several toys, lights, and sounds provide endless entertainment for little ones.
Many parents have claimed that their babies’ toes barely reach the ground on the lowest setting, and by the time they are tall enough, they have already outgrown the maximum weight.
Requires a lot of batteries
Each of the toys has a separate battery compartment, which means they need to be replaced at different times and require several batteries at once.
Baby cannot stand straight
The shape of the seat is more like a seat – with the leg holes in front rather than the bottom – which does not allow babies to stand straight for walking.
3 - Creative Baby The Very Hungry Caterpillar 2-in-1 Walker
A classic favorite of parents and babies alike, this walker features fun toys and patterns based on Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Even better than the design, this walker includes features that are fun and beneficial for babies of all ages, from the removable toy tray that can be used for floor play with young babies to its ability to convert into a push walker for older babies.
Pros & Cons
(Creative Baby The Very Hungry Caterpillar 2-in-1 Walker)
Can double as a push toy
This walker is convertible into a push toy, which can provide entertainment as baby grows.
Plays pleasant music
Rather than the grating 8-bit sounds you get from most baby toys, this walker plays pleasant classical music.
Ease of storage and maneuverability in this walker is maximized with its narrow frame.
Wheels are low quality
Even on hard floors, the wheels are not the best and may wear out quickly.
There are only a few toys to keep baby entertained.
Difficult to roll with friction pads
The friction pads tend to rub on the ground all the time, making it difficult to move, especially on carpet.
4 - Bright Starts Walk-A-Bout Walker
This walker offers fun themed toys with lights and sounds, and is available in four different designs and colors (Roaming Safari, Green, Juneberry Delight, and Kaleidoscope Safari).
Parents will enjoy the volume control, which will save your sanity after hearing the same songs day in and day out, and its ability to fold flat for easy storage.
Pros & Cons
(Bright Starts Walk-A-Bout Walker)
Additional floor play option
The toy tray removes to allow babies of all ages to play on the floor separately from the walker.
The sound volume on the toys can be adjusted to protect both parents’ and babies’ ears from the notorious piercing sounds of baby toys.
2 link loops
You can attach your baby’s favorite toys with ring loops attached to the walker.
Thin seat material
The seat is not very comfortable or supportive due to the thin material.
Does not roll on carpet
This walker can only be used on hard surfaces, which may be a deal breaker for parents with carpeted homes.
Some babies have difficulty steering this walker due to the limited mobility of the wheels.
5 - Combi Baby Activity Walker
The Combi Activity Walker comes in a variety of car designs – 7 to be exact (Ferrari, silver flame, black police car, black, pink, purple, red) – to help your little one feel like a real driver, with ignition turnkey starter, gearshift, and steering wheel console that can even be removed for play on the go.
Pros & Cons
(Combi Baby Activity Walker)
The seat on this walker is more comfortable than most thanks to additional padding.
Made of high quality materials, this walker is not likely to wear out any time soon. The basic car models can even be locked and used as a bouncer.
Your baby can feel like a real driver in the various fun car designs available.
Variety in price
There is a wide variety in price for this walker depending on the model you are looking at.
Small and short
Baby may outgrow this walker quickly due to it being small and short.
Standard car models do not collapse
The basic car model does not fold down for easy storage as some of the others do.
6 - Disney Winnie the Pooh Music and Lights Walker
Your baby is bound to have loads of fun with this walker, with the 4 toys (on swiveling trays) and 12 songs built into it. The seat height has three possible positions to choose from and the entire walker is collapsible for easy storage.
In addition, not only does this walker come in Disney Winnie the Pooh theme, there are also Minnie Mouse and pink princess designs to choose from.
Pros & Cons
(Disney Winnie the Pooh Music and Lights Walker)
Machine washable padded seat
The seat is comfortable and easy to clean, good features for both baby and parent.
The height and weight limits on this walker will allow you to get a lot of use before your baby grows out of it.
Three Disney themed designs – Winnie the Pooh, Minnie Mouse, and princess.
Difficult to assemble and adjust
Many parents have expressed struggles with the assembly of this walker, and once it is assembled, the height is difficult to adjust.
Trays do not swing easily
The toy trays that are supposed to swivel out either remain stuck in on place or do not slide smoothly.
Does not maneuver as advertised
Baby may have a hard time steering this walker.
7 - WB KidsEmbrace Baby Batman Activity Walker
If you have a little superhero on your hands, this walker is a great choice to get them excited to move.
Not only does it come in Batman, but there is also a Batgirl model available as well for the super girl in your life.
Pros & Cons
(WB KidsEmbrace Baby Batman Activity Walker)
Easy to assemble
There should be little to no difficulty when putting this walker together, which will get your baby moving much quicker.
Comes in Batgirl too
There is also a girl design available in a Batgirl car.
Fun car features
With steering wheel, gearshift, and turnkey with real starter sounds, your child will feel like she is actually driving.
You are obviously paying for the Warner Brothers label with the price of this walker.
Height lock is not reliable
Many parents have claimed that the walker has not locked properly, causing it to collapse with their child inside.
Wheels wear out quickly
You may not get much wear out of this walker before the wheels begin to give out.
8 - Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Walker
Everyone knows and loves Baby Einstein products, which are known for being soothing and educational for little minds, and this walker is no exception.
The toys provide motor skill practice as well as classical music and the choice of three languages, which can be removed for floor play with babies of all ages.
Pros & Cons
(Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Walker)
The sound components on this walker offer three languages for your child – English, Spanish, and French.
Sturdy elliptical frame
The unique shape of the frame creates better stability than the standard square or rectangular ones.
Removable play station
The toy tray can be removed for play separate from the walker.
Does not fold
If you want to store or transport this walker, you will need to take it apart as it does not fold.
Height barely adjusts
The only height adjustment you get is with the buttons on the seat, which does not make much of a difference.
9 - Safety 1st Ready, Set, Walk! 2.0
This is a budget-friendly walker that is available in five fun designs (Nantucket, Mickey, Minnie, Dottie, and Whale Bay), and comes equipped with 3 toys and 12 songs.
You are bound to find a color you and your baby will like.
Pros & Cons
(Safety 1st Ready, Set, Walk! 2.0)
This is a walker that any family can afford thanks to its reasonable price.
You do not need to worry about stains and soaked seats when your little one inevitably spills something in her walker.
Easy to assemble
No need to fuss over pieces not fitting; this walker goes together with ease.
This walker does not fold and is overly bulky, which will be a problem when trying to stow it away.
Low quality materials
You may find that the plastic cracks, seat tears, or wheels wear out after a short period of use due to low quality materials.
Your little one may outgrow this walker before you are ready, especially if she has overly chunky legs.
10 - Cosco Simple Steps Walker
You will love the adorable monster design of this walk – available in boy monster Syd and girl monster Shelley.
Not only are they cute, the walker is super easy to clean with machine washable and dryer safe seat insert, and dishwasher safe snack tray insert.
Pros & Cons
(Cosco Simple Steps Walker)
Easy to clean
Not only is the seat cover machine washable, it is also dryer safe. The snack tray insert also removes to be easily cleaned in the dishwasher.
Your baby should have no problem steering this walker with its lightweight frame.
Boy and girl designs
This walker is available in two different designs for your little boy or girl.
Only 2 heights
There is limited height adjustment with only 2 settings to choose from.
Does not fold
The frame may be lightweight, making it easy to maneuver and travel, but it does not fold which makes storing difficult.
Very few toys
Your baby may get bored with the minimal entertainment included.
11 - Stork Craft Mini-Speedster Activity Walker
Similar in design to the Combi Activity Walker, this one by Stork Craft comes in three car colors (black, pink, and red), has three height adjustment positions, washable seat cover, and removable toy panel.
However, unlike the Combi walker, this one folds easily with one had to allow for easy storage and comes equipped with four swivel wheels rather than the traditional two (with two fixed).
Pros & Cons
(Stork Craft Mini-Speedster Activity Walker)
Removable toy panel
The toy panel can be used separately from the walker for tummy time floor play or even to take along for a car seat or stroller ride.
Cute car design
Similar to the Combi Activity Walker, this one also has an adorable car design.
High padded seat back
The seat is comfortable for babies of all heights and ages thanks to the high padded seat back.
Difficult to adjust height
The height adjustment lever tends to get stuck and is difficult to move.
Moves sideways instead of straight
The idea of four swiveling wheels sounds like a good idea, but it results in the walker moving sideways when driven by an uncoordinated baby.
Bumper plastic is sharp
You and your baby will need to watch your legs and toes to prevent bumps and scrapes on the sharp bumper plastic.
12 - Kolcraft Tiny Steps 2-in-1 Activity Walker
This lightweight and compact walker is ideal for parents who may take their baby’s walker to the grandparents’ house on a regular basis.
It folds almost completely flat, making it easy to store as well.
You also get two walkers for the price of one with its ability to convert into a push walker when your little one is ready to take her first solo steps.
Pros & Cons
(Kolcraft Tiny Steps 2-in-1 Activity Walker)
Folds completely flat
One of the most compact walkers we have seen with it being able to fold completely flat for storage.
Converts to push toy
You get two walkers for the price of one when you convert it to a push walker.
Easy to clean
The seat cover detaches easily and is machine washable.
Very few toys
You may need to find some additional toys to keep your baby entertained for longer.
Does not move on carpet
The wheels dig into the carpet and do not move; can only be used with hard floors.
Cannot bear much weight without worrying that the walker’s frame may give out and break.
13 - Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Peek-A-Boo Walker
This is another great walker from Disney, and it comes in two favorite character designs – Minnie Mouse and Nemo.
With the toys and ring loops (providing a way to attach additional toys), your baby is sure to find this walker entertaining.
Pros & Cons
(Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Peek-A-Boo Walker)
Toy panel removes for floor play
This is great for babies who are only at the tummy time or sitting stage, or for older children who want something to play with in the car seat or stroller.
The walker seems to be made with good quality materials, so there is little need for you to worry about it breaking or buckling under your baby’s weight.
Loops for additional toys
You can use chain loops to attach your baby’s favorite toys.
Height only adjusts slightly
The height adjusts by the buttons on the seat, which does not make much of a difference for a growing baby.
Immobile on carpet
Like many other walkers, this one does not move on carpet and can only be used on hard floors.
Does not fold down
If you want to store this walker in the closet or under furniture, you will need to take it apart as it does not fold or collapse.
14 - Chicco Walky Talky Baby Walker
Chicco names this walker appropriately; your baby is sure to have fun with all the sounds that come on the removable toy panel on this walker.
You even have the option to choose from several languages to optimize learning.
Pros & Cons
(Chicco Walky Talky Baby Walker)
There are several language options available for the various electronic toys.
The walker folds down small enough to take in the car or store in a closet.
Works well on all floors
Many parents have said that this walker rolls well on both carpet and hard floors.
Toy only has electronic components
There are no toys that help to develop motor skills, and parents may be bothered with all of the sounds and music all day long.
There are not many extra features that could justify the high price on this walker.
Paint on toy rubs off quickly
There have been many complaints and concerns about the paint (particularly the black eyes) rubbing off the toys rather quickly.
15 - Big Oshi 2 in 1 Walker Rocker
Another great 2-in-1 walker, this one is unique in its ability to convert into a stationary rocker for babies of all ages.
This allows it to be used outside without worrying about your little one running into the road, or falling down the stairs when you are inside.
Pros & Cons
(Big Oshi 2 in 1 Walker Rocker)
Converts to stationary rocker
You have a lot of versatility with this walker when you take advantage of its ability to be used as a stationary entertainment center.
Several colors to choose from
There are 9 colors and patterns to choose from (black, black/yellow, blue, blue/white, green/white, pink, purple, pink/cream, and purple/banana).
Comfortable seat with high back
The back of the seat is very high, which is sure to keep your baby comfortable as she grows.
Rocker base is weak
The attachable base cannot be used for your baby to jump; it seems to be made with covered cardboard and should only be used as something for your baby to stand on.
Wheels do not turn easily
Your baby may have difficulty steering this walker due to the stiff wheels.
Difficult to clean toy tray
With electronic components and lots of crevices to navigate, it can be difficult to get the toy try completely clean.
Keep Your Baby Safe
The most important thing to keep in mind when you place your baby in a walker is safety.
It is easy to think your baby is ready before she really is, or for you to get distracted by something, taking your eyes off her long enough for her to fall down the stairs and seriously injure herself.
Take proper precautions with your walker and your home before letting your baby roam freely.
When purchasing a baby walker, ensure that it has brake pads.
These can save your baby from a serious fall down the stairs. Watch this short video to show how brake pads on baby walkers work.
How brake pads work on baby walkers
When the wheels drop, the rubber brake pads catch the walker on the step so that it does not continue to fall.
This can prevent unnecessary injuries should your baby decide to venture toward an uneven surface when your back it turned.
Remove Dangerous Objects
You should designate an area for your baby to use her walker and ensure that it is clear of any obstacles or dangerous objects.
This means furniture that she may need to navigate around, sharp objects within reach on tables or counters (she will be able to reach higher places in her walker than she can on her own two feet), and anything in the floor that she can step on or that may be hit with the walker wheels.
Never Leave Baby Unattended
Do not make the mistake of thinking a walker is a replacement for your supervision. A baby in a walker is much faster than you may think. Always keep an eye on your child, especially if she is using her walker outside, where she can roll into a road or pool (if there is one).
Limit Time in the Walker
Prolonged walker use can be uncomfortable and unsafe for a young child. Even though they are designed to be sat in, staying in the seat for a long period of time can have negative effects on a baby’s hips, which are not properly supported by the seat.
Try to limit the amount of time in the walker to about 20 minutes, maybe 30 minutes at the maximum. This will still allow her to have fun and give you a little break without making her uncomfortable or causing poor hip and spine development.
ASTM – Make Sure the Walker is Approved
The best walkers – and the only ones that you should be purchasing – are approved by the American Society of Testing Materials. They lay out certain standards for materials used in walkers, as well as the way they should function, and are consistently testing for any new hazards.
Baby walkers are recalled due to their failure to meet the ASTM standards, which may include “can fit through a standard doorway, not designed to stop at the edge of a step and having leg openings wide enough for a child to slip low enough to get head and neck stuck in opening.” Always look for an ASTM approved walker to avoid putting your baby in danger.
Never Force Your Baby
The use of a baby walker should be baby-led. This means that if you only put your baby in the walker if she is interested or compliant. You should never force your baby if she does not want to use it.
If she is forced and does not like the walker, she may squirm and flail her body and limbs, which can cause injury. Besides, if the point of a walker is to be enjoyable to your baby, why force her if she is not going got like it?
How to Choose a Baby Walker
When selecting a baby walker, you should be looking for certain features in both the make and design of the walker. We took these things into account when creating our list, being sure to point out which walkers met these standards and which ones fell short.
First, safety should be first and foremost on your mind, as we just discussed. Check for an ASTM certification, brake pads, and non-toxic materials. Always be sure to read reviews and know where you are buying the walker from in case other customers found issues that are not mentioned in the product description.
You do not want to purchase a walker to have it falling apart within a couple of weeks or months of use; you want to know that it will last without plastic breaking, wheels falling off, or paint chipping.
If you are purchasing the walker in-person, be sure to look the model over, paying close attention to connections and plastic quality before purchasing. If you are purchasing online, read through answered questions and reviews to look for anything that may be questionable or a consistent problem.
Even though your baby should not be in her walker for more than 20-30 minutes at a time, you still want the seat to be comfortable and offer proper support. Something that allows her legs to hang straight (for walking), offers ample padding, and has high back support is going to be your best choice.
It is also a good idea to look for a walker with a seat cover that is easily removable. There will inevitably be spills and spit up, so having something that pops off and can be thrown into a washing machine is a good idea.
Everyone likes to get more for their money, so finding a walker with additional features is a bonus. We have a couple on our list that offer 2-in-1 benefits, with the ability to convert into a push walker or stationary walker, or even a removable toy tray, so your baby can get use out of her walker at just about any age.
Having a separate snack tray is also good to look for if your baby is going to be eating in her walker occasionally. Eating or drinking over the toys can make the walker very difficult to clean when crumbs and sticky juice gets into crevices or electronic components. A clear area to eat on makes it much easier to clean.
Learning Activities – Toys
With your baby walker, you more than likely want toys attached, and not only should those toys be entertaining, but they should also have some sort of educational aspect to them. This could mean that they actually teach (or have multiple languages) or they simply promote motor skill development.
You also want these toys to be safe. Ensure that they are good quality and will not break into small pieces that can be swallowed and choked on. Read reviews on the paint quality as well to make sure your baby is not at risk for ingesting harmful materials.
Finally, you want there to be the right amount of toys. Too few and your baby will get bored; too many and you are looking at possible overstimulation. There should be a good mix of lights, sounds, and interactive toys (such as bead chasers and mirrors).
Baby walkers can be bulky, which makes them difficult to travel with and store. Thankfully, there are several models now that have the ability to collapse and fold completely flat to make this easier without having to take the entire walker apart.
Is a Baby Walker the Best Option for Your Baby?
While baby walkers can be fun, both entertaining and allowing your little one to be mobile, they are not the best choice when it comes to baby toys. There are serious potential dangers associated with their use, even when being used under supervision.
Baby walkers pose serious potential dangers
Babies can move much more quickly and can reach higher levels in a walker than they can on their own, which puts them at risk for falls down the stairs, drowning in pools, and poisoning or burns when they are able to reach tables and counter tops.
Many parents use baby walkers under the false assumption that they will help their babies to walk sooner, but this is not the case. In fact, some studies have actually shown that baby walkers slow down development due to their unnatural support in the hips and back, and the baby’s inability to walk on her flat feet.
Instead of simply resorting to a baby walker, you can choose one of the great alternatives that are available on the market. These include stationary play centers (exersaucer), playpens, high chairs, and push walkers (which allow for natural walking practice). Keep in mind that even these alternatives should only be used under strict supervision.
Baby walkers can be a good source of entertainment for babies who would otherwise be immobile on their own. However, you should not rely on a walker to teach your baby to walk or provide a 100% injury-proof means of play. Consider available alternatives before resorting to a walker.
What did you think of our list? Do you have questions or comments? Let us know.
Share this link with other parents who may be wondering about using a traditional walker with their baby.