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My daughter received this for her 1st birthday when she was just beginning to take her first steps. She already had a ‘walker’ so I thought this was a bit of a wasted gift, but I was wrong! My daughter is now 2 this is still very much a favourite toy.
**IT’S NOT JUST A WALKER**
It is a brilliant invention. I don't often praise my kid’s toys very highly, but I think this is one of those things that are worth every penny. When I realised it was more than just a standard baby walker, I was pleasantly surprised and soon realised the benefits of this walker against other standard ones.
It's made by Fisher Price and it's actually a pram/pushchair at the same time as being a baby walker and the idea behind it is excellent. The reason I love it so much is because when my daughter was learning to walk she was obsessed with children’s prams, but they were all too lightweight especially since she was not too confident on her feet. So she either fell flat on her face or I had to walk around holding on to her to prevent her from falling. Now this is not what I like to spend most of my day doing so she used to spend most of her time falling over and crying a lot - not good!
This is actually called 'Fisher Price My Stroll and Play Walker', but I'm just going to refer to it as 'the pram' throughout this review, for my own ease really! It came in a large box but was not tied down or anything like that, but required a certain amount of assembly...my husband took care of that side of things and managed it within 10 minutes, with two young children hounding him so it must have been easy!
What you get is a pink and white baby walker that resembles the shape of a play pram; there is a small seat in which a child's doll or teddy will fit. There is also a little plastic teddy attached at the top with a sound button which when pressed activates two tunes...one is 'I'm the King of the Castle' and the other is 'Looby Loo'. It only plays two lines of each song so the tunes are obviously very short-lived and I do feel a bit cheated by this aspect of the toy - who wants a teddy bear that only plays half songs? I think this is just a gimmicky part of the pram.
On the front of the pram are a couple of little toy things for your dolly/baby to play with, a little plastic book attached to the safety bars of the pram (with only 1 page that you can turn backwards and forwards), and a couple of plastic sliding teether type toys (one is an elephant and one is a cat). There is also a small clear plastic barrel full of small plastic balls - you can spin this and see the balls move about. I presume these are there for decoration purposes only because they serve no real function. I suppose it's just to make it look more like a pram than a baby walker, and I guess some kids like to fiddle.
On the back is a small shelf where your child can store a few small toys, my daughter likes to keep her toy cars here, and more recently Play Doh, stones, mud...anything little.
The actual pram only slightly resembles a pram that a child would play with, the ones my daughter usually plays with are the metal framed type with the material 'seat' for the baby, so with this one being completely plastic I was worried that she wouldn't see it as a pram. But the fact that you can sit a doll or teddy in it really helps the child to realise that this is actually meant to be used as a pram, as well as a walker.
**HOW STABLE IS IT?**
The wheels are big and chunky and widely spaced to allow the walker the stability it needs to be safe for a child who cannot walk on their own. The handle is firm and broad and easy for a child to grip and lean on if he or she needs to. The actual pram is also very lightweight which I find a godsend because when my daughter has used the other baby walker, she walks into a wall and stands there screaming until I come and move the walker and head her off in another direction. But with this pram, she still walks into walls, but when she gets there she just lifts it up, moves it to where she wants it and walks on again, truly brilliant.
I also found that because the rear wheels are spaced quite far apart, she doesn't kick the wheels as she does with normal kids prams, so that is also a bonus. It also seems a lot more steady that our other walker (our old walker is one of those ones with all the buttons and flashing lights on the front). I don't know if steady is the right word to be honest, but we have a lot of laminate floor in our house and when she used the old walker, it seemed to run away with her and sometimes she couldn't keep up and would fall over because the walker had zoomed off into the distance. But with this pram, it seems to stay at her pace as she pushes it along and she really has gained in confidence since she's been using it. It also moves well on thick carpet.
This pram also doesn't seem quite as bulky as a standard baby walker and doesn't seem to take up as much space or look like it's in the way all the time as our other walker always did (I have now dismantled said walker and it resides underneath my daughter's bed). It looks pretty and I don't mind seeing it hanging around the house, it's definitely more pleasing to the eye.
My daughter became a lot more confident on her feet after a few weeks of using this pram, and was soon walking unaided quite confidently. And that’s another bonus of this particular walker; most standard walkers are cast aside because they are no longer needed once the child can walk. So in actual fact, the lifespan of a normal baby walker is probably only a couple of months, but because this one is also a pram, it will be used for a lot longer and you really get your money's worth, especially if like my daughter, your child loves prams and dolls.
More than a year down the line, she still plays with it almost every day. It has been outside during the summer through mud and water, and although the wheels perhaps don’t turn quite as smoothly as they used to, it is still in really good condition. She and her sister (we also have a normal play buggy) spend ages running up and down with their prams chasing each other and transporting their dolls backwards and forwards. I will admit that she is getting a little bit tall for it now, so it’s a good job Santa Claus is bringing her a Silver Cross pram for Christmas!
Highly recommended from me, and my daughter.
It's a shame they don't do a boy's version.
Can be bought from Mothercare and Argos for £24.99