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Childhood-diseases

Question
Posted by: Annon | 2004/10/13

Q.

Should I use a walking ring?

My baby will be 5 months next week and is very curious. May I put him in a walking ring for short periods at a time to keep him busy? Will this prevent him from crawling and/or walking on his own? How about standing, he likes to stand (supported) and look around. Should I encourage this? Is his back and hips strong enough to carry the weight?

Anonymous

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

As a rule we do not advise the use of a walking ring, because it is very dangerous if children are left unsupervised and it also prevents them from going through all the normal developmental phases, especially if they are left in it for long periods of time.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
user comments

C.

Posted by: Sally | 2004/10/14

My 7 month old loves her walker, I put her in it for 10min and then she wants out, so I think it lets her get around and she is happy in it. I think as long as you dont over do something when they are still developing its fine. She loves to pull her self around is not crawling yet but according to the books she is doing all the things she should be doing.

Reply to Sally
Posted by: www | 2004/10/14

Hi Annon,
I suppose I'm not the "new age mom of the year" because I believe that babies grow up and develop fine in spite of (and not because of) our best efforts, he-he-he.
Walking rings are a bit of a debate at the moment (and have been for some time) with most people not really being in favour of them. My first baby didn't want to sit in a walking ring at all, so I never got to try it. My second one is now 17 months old and he was quite an odd little boy - not the cuddly type at all, since birth - he's always wanted to be part of conversations, but without all the holding and "faffing" that people normally do with babies, so at around 3/4 months, when his back was nice and strong to sit already, we put him in a walking ring just to be upright and "chat" to everyone - not for too long at a time though, because I can understand how that can be bad. He kept using the walking ring and started "manouvreing" it very well - he enjoyed getting where he wanted to go when he wanted to and it enabled him to reach things which he wouldn't have been able to. When I realised that he should be starting to crawl I got him to spend less time in his walking ring and because he wanted to get around more, he started crawling quite quickly - at 8 months, after that, we packed the walking ring away and 2 months later he started walking. So I didn't really see the disadvantages.

I think it's just very tricky when they start getting really good at it, they need to be watched very closely all the time.

Anyway, you'll have to make your own decision - for each parent and each child, a different set of rules apply, so good luck

Reply to www
Posted by: Purple | 2004/10/13

Your baby is strong enough to do anything that he can manage by himself - like supported standing in your lap.

There is much debate on walking rings, so this is just my opinion. A walking ring lets your baby do something that he can't do by himself (walk), so he probably isn't strong enough for it. He isn't able to touch and explore like he would when crawling.

If your baby isn't crawling properly yet, you should try to avoid a walking ring. If a baby doesn't crawl, they can have all sorts of problems later in life - problems with fine motor coordination (drawing and cutting out would be difficult), difficulty telling left from right, difficulty with hand eye coordination (so cricket, tennis, squash would be difficult).

Everyone has a different opinion on walking rings.

I've decided not to let my baby use one.

Reply to Purple

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