There is much controversy about the use of the baby walker. Here is your guide to the best wooden non-toxic baby walker to help you decide what is suitable for your baby and important safety considerations to keep in mind.
It may feel like you were cuddling your newborn yesterday, and today he is crawling or even trying to stand up. Days go by so quickly.
As soon as the baby starts showing signs of being mobile a little, you start thinking about what to get for the baby to help them learn to walk independently. A baby walker can be a fun tool to teach them walking skills.
And if you are someone like me who likes to keep babies away from the toxic chemicals around the house, you might be looking for a wooden non-toxic baby walker for your baby.
This article talks about types of baby walkers, which type of baby walker is best for your house, and safety features to keep in mind while shopping for the best non-toxic wooden baby walker for your baby. If you haven’t yet, I highly suggest baby proofing cabinets, electrical outlets, securing staircase and doors with baby gates to prevent any accidents before you shop for a baby walker.
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Types of Baby Walker
There are two types of baby walkers available in the market.
Push Walker for Baby
Push walkers are those where the baby stands behind the walker and pushes the walker. This type of walker is designed to encourage how to stand up and later walk on his own. Push walkers help build your baby’s strength, balance and encourages him to keep moving.
Sit-In Baby Walker
Sit-in Baby walkers are similar to exersaucers in design with added features of four wheels on the base. In this Baby walker, the baby sits inside, and wheels at the base allow the baby to scoot around the house. Traditional Sit-in Baby walkers are considered dangerous because of the mobility feature; babies are at greater risk of accidents like a roll down the staircase, pinching their fingers, or even drowning by running into the pool.
Baby Walker: Good or Bad?
There is so much controversy about the use of a Sit-in Baby walker mainly because it gives mobility to babies before they are ready. This type of walker is considered dangerous, and it puts babies at a greater risk of injuries. Canada had already banned the sale of sit-in baby walkers years ago. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also calls for a ban for this kind of walker because of thousands of reports of injuries in babies reported each year.
Sit-in Walker is dangerous mainly because of two reasons,
Firstly, a Sit-in Baby walker puts babies in an unnatural position by allowing them to use their limbs and muscles even before they are ready. It affects their posture, gait patterns, and it does not allow babies to balance, which may delay their transition to independent walking in the future (1-3).
Secondly, a Sit-in walker gives babies mobility to scoot around the house, and it can get dangerous if you leave your child unattended. Between 1990 and 2014, an average of 230,000 injuries reported due to sit-in baby walkers, with most injuries being head trauma.
A Sit-in walker puts babies at a greater risk of accidents like falling down the staircase, burns from the electrical outlet, pinched fingers or toes, or drowning from scooting into the pool (4). Also, this walker allows babies to reach things on higher surfaces putting them at risk of grabbing dangerous items around the house or touching hot foods or liquids from counters (5). It is also a serious tipping hazard when the baby bumps into small toys or another obstacle while scooting around the house.
The AAP also clearly states that a sit-in baby walker does not promote independent walking, and it can delay motor and mental development as babies can’t see their legs. Developmental research studies suggest that seeing body position and limb movement is necessary to timely achieve motor milestones (6).
Even though there is a significant change in the design of sit-in baby walker (like making the walker base wider than a door opening), and newer safety standards, there is still about 2,100 baby walker related trip to the ER each year. So, AAP urges parents NOT TO USE sit-in baby walkers.
So, you might wonder, what can I use instead of a Baby walker?
Push Walker for babies is much safer than a sit-in baby walker, and it is the best alternative you have to teach your baby how to stand and eventually walk on their own.
Alternative to Baby Walker (Push Walker Vs. Sit-in Baby Walker)
The safest baby walker alternative is a push walker. Push walker allows baby’s natural development.A push walker is a sit-to-stand walker that helps babies to pull themselves up to a standing position. This is similar to what happens when baby uses couch to pull themselves up as a first step of learning to balance and then walk.
But when babies are put into sit-in baby walkers, they don’t learn any of it, and because they are dangling in the baby walker, they do not develop strength in their upper legs and hips, which is essential for walking.
Push walker allows babies to sit down when they lose their balance while standing, which helps strengthen muscles needed for balance and then walking. Push walker also allows babies to see their legs, which will enable them to recognize their leg movement to achieve their goal (aka., walking eventually!)
Sit-to-stand push walkers are much better alternatives to the baby walker. It allows babies to stand up, see their legs, use muscles in their feet, and -most importantly- drop on their bottom when they lose their balance, an important part of the learning to walk process!!
Push walkers are available in a variety of shapes, from animal face design to simple wagon style. Some of them come with activity (known as activity walker), which allows your baby to have fun long before they start to stand up and walk. Activity walkers are fun for babies, and it helps sharpen their fine motor skills, encourage them to sit, crawl and stand up, which are all critical for overall development.
That being said, regardless of what kind of walker you get for your baby (although I would highly suggest sticking to a Push walker!), make sure not to leave your baby unattended. At the same time, they use their walker and childproof every single room in your house, from kitchen cabinets to toilet to electrical outlets to door opening.
What to Look for in a Non-Toxic Baby Walker?
Baby walkers are available in different sizes and shapes. However, there are several things you need to consider before choosing a baby walker for your baby.
Push walkers are made of either plastic or wooden. Most conventional baby walkers contain unsafe levels of lead, BPA, or PVC, and most of them are made in China. And because babies put everything in their mouths, it is essential to make sure that the walker is made of a safer material. So your best bet for getting a non-toxic baby walker is to go for a wooden baby walker.
Some walkers are made for babies who are just sitting up and learning to stand up, while others are faster and geared toward babies who can walk independently.
Wooden floor or Carpet?
Depending on the height and weight of the walker, some will work better on hardwood floors or carpets. You will find a wooden walker to be great for the carpeted area because of the weight and to control the walker’s speed than the mainstream walker.
Baby walkers come with a variety of extra features. Some are simple, push toys, while others come with lights and music. Some come with additional features of wheel locking system or resistance. You may not find light and music with wooden baby walkers, but they do come with blocks of space in the front for your baby to stuff them with toys and push around. It will keep them entertained for longer and much better than pressing buttons for light and music.
Size of the walker
Some walkers fold flat while others are bulky. So, if you are on the go a lot, getting a walker that folds flat would be easy to bring to grandparents.
Best Wooden Non-Toxic Baby Walker (Push Walker)
Now that you know what to consider when choosing a push walker, here is the list of the best non-toxic wooden baby walker to encourage your baby’s natural development.
1. HABA Walker Wagon
HABA makes high-quality wooden toys in Germany. HABA Walker wagon is made of PEFC certified premium solid beech wood. It is painted with non-toxic water-based paint.
This walker wagon is well made and resistant to wear and tear. The wagon wheels are made of silicone which allows them to be used smoothly indoor and outdoor. You can adjust the speed of this push walker depending on your baby’s walking skills. For example, if your baby is learning to stand up, you can increase the resistance to control the walker’s speed.
This wagon does not have any activity in the front but has a seat for their favorite teddy bear, doll, or even sibling to scoot around. It also has enough space to ride along with your baby’s toys.
- Measures -13″ x 20″ x 19.5″
- Weight- 11.79 pounds
- Made in Germany
- PEFC certified solid wood construction
- Non-toxic water-based paint
- For ages 10 months and up
- Hard for baby to turn the wagon
2. Radio Flyer Classic Baby Walker
Radio Flyer Classic walker is the best push walker with resistance available in the market. In addition, the classes Radio Flyer paint with wooden accents and logos make it look cute in your little one’s hand.
This sturdy and durable push walker is made of solid wood and has a padded front bumper to protect your house’s walls as your baby learns to walk. The wooden side panel of the walker is removable, and the handlebar is at the right height for your baby as they know to stand up and walk.
Another great feature of the Radio Flyer wagon is that the wagon wheel comes with a resist push feature that prevents the wagon from moving too quickly for babies just learning to walk. The only downside of this push wagon is that wheels are made of plastic filled with foam but still better than another mainstream plastic wagon available in the market.
The push wagon has ample space to fill up babies’ beloved toys, stuffed animals, and even siblings and scoot them around the house.
- Product Dimensions = 22.44″ x 14.57″ x 17.13″
- Weight Capacity = 35 lbs
- Made in the USA
- Solid wood construction
- Resist push wheels
- For 1-4 years
- Assembly required
- Wheels are plastic filled with foam
Hape Wooden Wonder Walker is the best push walker for tall babies. The Hape push walker is made of solid wood and finished with non-toxic water-based paint. It also offers a variety of activities to keep your toddler busy and develop their fine motor skills.
Although Hape toys are made in China, most of the materials are sourced in Germany. In addition, the FSC certified wood they use comes from sustainable forests.
This push walker is sturdy and great for tall babies. The design of the walker is such that it won’t tip over easily.
In addition to many activities to entertain your kids before they learn to walk, the wagon has enough room for babies to stuff their toys and push them along.
The wheels of this push wagon feature a rubber ring for grip and to protect your floor. However, this wagon is a little heavier, and several customers mentioned that it is hard for babies to turn easily. With this push walker, babies can go in a straight line but won’t turn without help from the adult, which may be of concern for some parents. Also, it is hard to control the speed of this wooden walker. It is a little too fast on a hardwood floor but perfect for the carpeted area. One solution to slow down the speed of this push walker on the hardwood floor is to keep some books in the wagon. The weight of the books will control how fast your baby goes on your floor.
Overall great push wagon to keep your baby entertained, develop their fine motor skill, and teach them learning to walk.
- Dimensions – 13.11 x 18.11 x 19.88 inches
- Weight- 11.2 ounces
- Solid wood construction
- Non-toxic finish
- 5 Activities to keep baby entertained
- 12 months and up
- Suitable for tall babies
- Made in China
- Hard to control the speed of the walker on the hardwood floor
- Hard for babies to turn the walker
4. LumaGoods Walker and Wagon
The Luma Walker and Wagon is a 2-in-1 design and available in different shapes and colors. It is made from premium solid wood, and you have an option to choose baltic birch, wood, maple, or oak for your wagon and the option to personalize it with your baby’s name. It can make a great gift for the little one in your life.
This 2-in-1 walker and wagon is handmade in California, USA, and finished with non-toxic paint and no-toxic glue. The walker is designed to be sturdy, not easy to tip over, and has adjustable wheels to slow it down if your baby is starting to walk.
This walker is designed to be sturdy not to tip over and has adjustable wheels to slow it down when needed. In addition, the rubber traction grips on wheels allow better control of the speed for indoor or outdoor use.
The push wagon has a large storage area for your baby to carry toys, blocks, or anything they wish to push along.
Dimensions – 22″L x 14″W x 18″H
Weight – 11 lbs
- Made in the USA
- Made of solid wood
- Non-toxic, child-safe paint
- No odor, Zero VOCs
- Adjustable wheel speed
- Side handles for comfortable gripping and carrying
- Suitable for 9-months to 3 years
- It May take time to deliver, so plan accordingly
5. HollyandFred Wooden Training Walker
This super cute activity training walker is perfect for your baby long before he starts walking. HollyandFred Wooden training walker is handmade with 100% certified beechwood and painted with CE-tested child-safe paint.
The walker has an integrated braking system to control the speed of the walker. The wheels are rubber finished to protect your floor from wear and tear. The design of the walker is such that it is practically impossible to tip over.
This training activity walker comes with play elements such as shape fitting, pressing, flipping, and chalkboard for your baby to tune their fine motor skills. It also has lots of space for your baby’s toys to push along.
This one-of-a-kind training walker can also be personalized with your baby’s name. So it makes a perfect 1st birthday gift for your little one.
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Weight – ?
- Made in Europe
- 100% certified Solid wood
- Fully CE tested non-toxic paints
- Suitable for 12 months and up
- It comes with many activities, including chalkboard
- May take time to deliver so order in well advance
6. PlanToys Bird Walker
PlanToys company is known to manufacture wooden toys from preservative-free rubberwood. PlanToys Bird walker is a one-of-a-kind walker that makes a unique sound to encourage kids to walk. And because this walker is low to the ground, it works best for the hardwood floor.
This bird walker is made from latex-free rubberwood and coated with non-toxic water-based dye. The walker comes with two birds and 16 wooden blocks to encourage imaginative play as babies learn to walk.
What I like the most about this walker is the adjustable tension for the back wheels, which allows controlling the speed of the early walker.
Dimensions – 10.83 x 13.98 x 19.17 inches
Weight – 7.04 pounds
- Made in Thailand
- Made from rubberwood
- Vegetable dye-based colors
- Water-based paint,No glue
- Best for hardwood floor
- It comes with 2 birds and 16 wooden blocks
- Friction knob adjustment for speed control
- Adjustable handle to fit various heights
- Suitable for 10 months and up
- Low to the ground design not suitable for high pile carpets
7. Joovy Spoon Baby Walker
While I am not a big fan and do not recommend a Sit-in walker for the safety reason mentioned in this article, the only non-toxic option available for this kind of baby walker is the Joovy Spoon Baby walker.
As a baby grows older, it is practically hard to avoid plastic in the toys. But what I like to do with my kids is limit the time they play with it and not let them put anything plastic in their mouths.
Joovy spoon Baby walker is a lightweight walker and free from BPA, PVC, lead, and phthalates. The modern design, adjustable height setting, and fold flat features make this baby walker favorite among parents.
The seat of the baby walker is removable and washable. The design of the large tray is such that it wraps around the baby, making it hard for the baby to reach the dangerous objects lying around the house. Also, just like high chairs, the insert of the tray is removable for washing purposes.
If you decide to go for Joovy Spoon Baby walker, make sure not to leave your child unattained.
Dimensions – 27.8 x 25.5 x 18 inches
Weight – 12.3 pounds
- Free from BPA, PVC, Lead, and Phthalates
- Adjustable 3 heights
- Removable, washable tray and seat
- Maximum weight 30 pounds
- Suitable for hardwood floor, tiles
- Wheels do not lock
- Do not come with sensory toys
I hope this article has helped you find a wooden non-toxic baby walker for your baby. The baby walkers are transitional toys for your baby to help them learn to stand and then walking. Wooden push walkers mentioned in this article are free from all the toxic chemicals and promote natural development in your baby. As long as you are not leaving your child unattended while learning to stand and then walk, a push walker for the baby is the safest alternative to the baby walker.
Before you go, do check out the best non-toxic bouncer or rockers for your baby.
Do let us know in the comment below which non-toxic baby walker you choose and why. Or let us know any other safer brand of baby walker you know.
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- Schecter R, Das P, Milanaik R. Are Baby Walker Warnings Coming Too Late?: Recommendations and Rationale for Anticipatory Guidance at Earlier Well-Child Visits. Glob Pediatr Health. 2019;6:2333794X19876849. Published 2019 Sep 16. doi:10.1177/2333794X19876849
- Rieder MJ, Schwartz C, Newman J: Patterns of walker use and walker injury. Pediatrics. 1986 Sep; 78(3):488-93.
- Krivova AV, Sharov AN. Baby walkers and the phenomenon of toe-walking. Pediatric Traumatol Orthop Reconstr Surg. 2018;6:23-32.
- Injuries associated with infant walkers. American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention. Pediatrics. 2001 Sep; 108(3):790-2.
- Limitations of child injury data from the CPSC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System: the case of baby walker related data. Weiss HB Inj Prev. 1996 Mar; 2(1):61-6.
- Siegel AC, Burton RV. Effects of baby walkers on motor and mental development in human infants. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1999;20:355–361.
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