Are there any concerns about activity centers (something like this) delaying standing/walking skills? I looked on the American Academy of Pediatrics website and found a warning for "baby walkers" but not activity centers.

I've noticed that when our baby is attempting to stand, he stands on his tippy toes on the "knuckles". In addition, he leans his torso fairly far forward. This is similar to his posture while in our activity center. Is this a normal posture to start out standing with or is he learning bad habits? (He doesn't spend an excessive amount of time in the activity center at home, usually about 15 min a day or less. I'm not sure how much he spends at daycare but they only have one for 10 infants so I can't imagine it's too much there either.)

asked 06 Nov '09, 15:14

Kiesa's gravatar image

Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%

edited 06 Nov '09, 15:26

The risks of baby walkers noted in your link are about the dangers of babies being so mobile not about developing walking skills. This is like drunk driving: mobility and the potential for danger without the cognitive capacity for proper control. The stationary toy you mention will have none of these dangers.

I can't find any evidence online one way or the other as to whether these toys would be considered bad for posture. I'm not surprised though, it's the same leaned-over bottom-out posture I've seen all toddlers use when they're learning to stand.

I try to take a long view of these things. I've never met an adult, or even a child, who has any bad habit or incapacity with their walking due to having used a certain "crutch" toy as a toddler. Likewise for young ones who are either early or late in learning to walk, talk, read, or do math.

I worry about attention, love, encouragement, and more broad concerns of their environment. Unless someone is physically disabled for bigger reasons, everyone I know can walk. Not everyone is confident, cared for, intelligent, and kind.

The fact that you're even asking this question tells me that you give your child the kind of care and attention that's very good for them. I think any reasoned opinion you form from such a concerned position will be just fine.


answered 06 Nov '09, 15:39

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Thanks for the info about posture. I never hung around babies much so unless it's explicitly stated in a book somewhere, I'm clueless :)

(06 Nov '09, 16:51) Kiesa ♦

my son loved his activity centre and door bouncer and walked at 9 months, so neither delayed him.


answered 06 Nov '09, 17:58

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Phil Seller
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You might not see the effects for years but the use of walkers and stationary activity centers strengthen the wrong muscles for standing and although your child will still learn to walk, it might be a little later because he doesn't have the trunk muscle strength or the upper leg strength he should have if he was left on the floor. The real problem is the lack of upper body strength. With out the weight taken in through the shoulders and arms, children's small motor skills will be lacking and you wont see that until they start school. While an infant is on the floor they develop eye muscles needed later for reading and one of the biggest reasons not to use infant containers is that cognitive functions develop through motor skills in infancy. When you are limiting your babies movement in these commercially marketed containers, you are limiting neuro pathways and dendrite connections, creating problems with the proprioceptive and vistibular senses, and coordination that comes from using both sides of the brain. Moms who think these are great and say their baby learned to walk just fine need to stop giving bad advice until they are educated on the facts.

Child Development Specialist, Birth to Three years, 30 years education and experience working with young children.


answered 11 Nov '16, 19:34

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Asked: 06 Nov '09, 15:14

Seen: 11,046 times

Last updated: 11 Nov '16, 19:34