We did not do a lot of planning when it came to preparing ourselves for this phase. When Babe was born we owned two of the toys I’ll mention later on and we figured (without much thought and absolutely no research) that was all we needed.
Babe was trying to stand when she was just a few weeks old. By the time she was four months old, holding her up to stand was one of the only guaranteed ways to calm her if she was fussy. Once we realized this, we realized we needed some Babe-height toys that she could use to hold herself up. We found the Fisher Price – Laugh & Learn Learning Table at a garage sale and she absolutely loved it. What’s really great about the table is that the legs are removable so we could prop it in front of her when she was still sitting.
We put the Alex Jr. My Busy Town Activity Cube on her holiday wish list and that turned out to be a really great decision as well. We kept the table at an angle so Babe could continue with seated play and set the cube next to the table so she had choices. Once Babe began pulling to stand and cruising (taking steps while holding onto toys), we started moving from the sit-to-stand toys we love so much to walkers.
We also love this Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Shop and Learn Walker that we picked up at the same garage sale last year. Babe wanted to play with it the minute we got it even though she still needed help standing. Now that she is taking steps she is thrilled that she is able to make it move while she plays. Unfortunately, it’s not really safe since it has no brakes or speed control. Babe is learning to use her muscles to hold it still but she still gets distracted easily and sometimes forgets and lets it fly away from her.
The Tek Nek Toys Fun On The Farm Playset Ride-On was handed down to us from my brother. It was my nephew’s favorite toy when he was little. (Of course that was 2001 so I could not find this item for sale anywhere.) Babe likes to play with the toys but it’s going to be a while before she can walk with it (again, no speed control or brakes) and even longer before she can sit and ride on it.
My best friend has this Musical Lion Walker for her little boy (he’s five weeks younger than Babe) and they’re very happy with it but it doesn’t have speed control either.
After a lot of research, this week we’re picking up the VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker. It has speed control and looks like it will be easy to use without having the wheels attached at all! Stay tuned for a review of this toy.
The last thing I want to mention is a cautionary tale. The Little Tikes 2-in-1 Push ‘n Play Turtle was a very thoughtful gift. If it worked well it would have been exactly what we needed. However, the rear wheels do not stay on and, as you can see, would be quite dangerous if a child were trying to walk and fell onto one of them. I do not recomend this toy. In fact, I have contacted the store to suggest a recall.
Update: The VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker arrived and Babe cannot get enough of it! The wheels come pre-attached so using it without the rules wasn’t an option but that turned out to be just fine. We currently have it placed against the coffee table with the rest of the sit-to-stand toys because Babe is not standing on her own yet and, technically speaking, walking toys are meant to be used by babies that are able to stand on their own. However, we tested the speed control and the lower setting is perfect for her at this stage. We set it in the middle of the floor for limited periods of time each day and give her a chance to exercise her muscles. :D
That’s my review of sit-to-stand and push and pull walking toys. What toys have you tried?