With every milestone your child reaches there are pros and cons. Take walking, for example. Its counterpart (sitting) is great because they can play with their toys, but they get mad when something is slightly out of reach. Crawling is fun, too, but you have to pick up all the bobby pins and spare change laying around. And then there’s walking: The first step to independence. Mothers everywhere are simultaneously jumping for joy and running for the tissues. Walking can be loads of fun for you and your baby, but the learning process can also be a bit scary. There will be bumps and bruises, and even though you’ll be right there to kiss every one of them, you’re going to need some help. Here are 15 toys to help take your baby from sitting to strolling in no time.
1. IKEA Ekorre ($20): This walker will not only give you an excuse to go to IKEA, it will also help your little one with their balance and fine motor skills. Adjustable casters make sure the wheels don’t roll too fast for beginners and the handle bar can be mounted two ways. This is one piece that will stick with you for a while. And if not, it was only $20!
2. Radio Flyer Walker Wagon ($79): A tried-and-true classic, Radio Flyer is known for its sturdy design, and this wagon is no exception. Wheels with threaded grip, a wide base and a handle that is the perfect height, this wagon shows just why these guys have been around for over 90 years.
3. Hopping Bunny Walker ($59): All first time walkers need some motivation. These bunnies will do the trick, as they hop up and down with each step. They also detach for more fun and easy cleaning (you’re welcome, mom).
4. Sit-to-Stand Alphabet Train ($45): Walking won’t be the only thing they’ve mastered when they’re done playing with this toy. This interactive train teaches letters, colors, shapes, tells stories and sings songs. It even comes with blocks and an attachable caboose for ride along play. Is there anything this toy can’t do?
5. Gas ‘n Go Mower ($27): Watching your baby learn to walk can be nerve wracking, but now you can let the grass cushion the fall. Enjoy the fact that they’re willingly using the lawn mower now, because once they’re teenagers, it won’t be so easy.
6. Gobble and Go Hippo ($40): This hungry hippo is looking for a treat, and your baby will love trying to gobble up the six included blocks. This would also make a great tool to teach little ones about picking up their toys!
7. EverEarth Activity Walker ($43): This environmental friendly walker is made of entirely recycled materials, so this is a purchase you can feel good about. There are over six different toys to play with on the front and a net on the back for your child to tote around her toys.
8. Elmo Tiny Steps 2-in-1 Walker ($50): Going from sit-in walker to push toy, this will make for a smooth transition. And since your little mover will already be comfortable getting around in it, they’ll know exactly what they can reach… so, watch out!
9. Baby Moon Walker ($10): Made for babies as young as six months (and up to 14 months), this walker is supposed to help your little one gain confidence in their steps while teaching balance and stability. If nothing else, it sure looks like fun!
10. Crazy Doggy Wood Cart ($60): Besides being ridiculously adorable, this cart has a wide, heavy base so it won’t tip over. Also, the rubber gripping on the wheels protect your floors from scuff marks. Anything that saves us a bit of housework is a win in our book!
11. Around We Go Activity Station ($90): This award winning walker lets your baby walk 360 degrees around the table while still being securely buckled. Once they’ve got their footing, the seat unhooks and it’s like a brand new activity table.
12. Wooden Alligator Push Toy ($40): The solid wood construction and vibrant hand painted design make this one toy you won’t mind looking at. Three alligators chomp and clack with every step and will encourage your kid to take a few more.
13. Push ‘n Play Turtle ($30): Not only will this toy teach your baby to walk, it introduces shapes and colors with the block sorter on the turtle’s back. It’s so educational it’s practically a necessity!
14. Stride to Ride Dino ($150): Going from push toy to ride-on bike, this one is exciting at any stage. Three lights on the dino’s head light up and music plays with each step. Walking calls for a celebration!
15. 1-2-3 Grow With Me ($130): Talk about getting the most for your money. This toy may be a bit of an investment, but it’s meant to last. Starting out as a wagon, then a shopping cart and finally a toy-totting trolly, this thing will be around so long it will be like another member of the family.
Which walker works best for your baby? Let us know in the comments!