The 10 Best Baby Walkers and Activity Centers to Help Your Baby Cruise Into Toddlerhood
From the moment our babies are born, parents eagerly anticipate when they will take their first steps. We follow them around, camera in hand, hoping to capture those wobbly, drunken sailor-like movements so we can proudly announce to the rest of the world that our kid is keeping up with all of their milestones. Our rational selves know that every baby develops at their own pace, but as their biggest cheerleaders, we're happy to do anything we can to give our little one a literal leg up on his playgroup peers, which is why we often shop for baby walkers or other toys that motivate babies to stand up and move.
Although every baby is different, it's usually at around 6 months when babies begin pulling themselves up to stand, and within a month or two they're cruising around the house with the help of walls and furniture as they prepare to take their first solo steps. It can be tough to watch them stumble and fall when they start, but practice is the best way for babies to gain the confidence they need to step out on their own. This is why some parents buy walkers or push toys to help their babies get their sea legs.
Best Baby Walkers and Activity Centers
- Best Overall: Baby Einstein Around We Grow 4-in-1 Walk Around Discovery Activity Center Table
- Best Classic: Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon
- Best Rated: Joovy Spoon Walker
- Best Splurge: Haba Walker Wagon Push Toy
- Best for Small Spaces: Hape Wonder Walker Push & Pull Toddler Walking Toy
- Best for Hardwood Floors: Little Balance Box 2-in-1
- Best for Carpet: VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
- Best Portable: Kolcraft Tiny Steps 2-in-1 Walker
- Best Sit-to-Stand: Skip Hop Kids 3-in-1 Baby Activity Walker
- Best Affordable: Bright Starts Giggling Gourmet Shop 'n Cook Walker
Types of Baby Walkers
With so many walkers and activity centers on the market, you may be wondering what you should be looking for. Your baby's developmental stage, the amount of space you have, and the kind of flooring you have in your home are always great places to start.
Babies who aren't quite ready to stand up or take steps independently may start with a seated walker or activity center. A padded seat helps to support the baby while their legs move the walker around the floor on a wheeled base. These seated stations can also come without wheels or have the wheels removed due to safety concerns (see below). Most seated walkers and activity centers have tray tables to hold toys or snacks.
Baby gear can be expensive, so if you're looking to get more life out of your little one's walker, a sit-to-stand walker is a good investment. When your baby can pull himself up to stand, you can convert your sit-to-stand walker from a seated walker to a standing push walker.
When babies can pull themselves up to stand, they may be ready for a standing walker or push toy, designed for them to stand behind and push around the house. Even if they are only taking a few steps on their own, your baby can rely on the handlebar to help them balance. Most standing walkers on the market have toys and activities on the front panel that encourage the development of fine motor skills.
Baby Walker Safety
Many pediatricians advise against seated baby walkers because of the risks involved in having a baby move around on wheels unattended, and because relying on a walker may hinder their development instead of encouraging it. We made sure that the walkers below all follow strict safety guidelines, but babies should never be left unattended in one. Also, don't rely solely on a walker for your baby's entertainment, so they'll learn to cruise around on their own, too.
With parent reviews as our guide, we've rounded up some of the best baby walkers and activity centers for practically every situation.