It’s mind-boggling what baby stuff is available for your little one! And once your infant is active and mobile, you’ll start looking at things such as baby walkers. If you’re looking to save money, you may be considering a second-hand one. But, do baby walkers expire and what should you look out for when buying a used one?
Baby walkers don’t have expiration dates. The product’s manufacture date is a good guideline for indicating how old it is and can be found on the item. Maintaining the walker is important for safety reasons and if the product is damaged or missing parts, stop using it immediately.
Do baby walkers expire?
There’s some controversy around using baby walkers. If you decide to use one with your little one, always be observant as baby walkers with wheels can be hazardous. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has gone as far as calling for a ban on this product.
Bearing this in mind, make sure the baby walker is always in good condition. Most brands don’t include an expiry date on baby walkers. However, you can refer to the manufacturer’s date for the age of the product especially if you’re buying a used one. Baby walkers that have been JPMA certified also mean that the product meets the minimum government requirement for safe use.
However, this isn’t an expiration date but rather an extra precaution you should look out for when buying a baby walker for your little one.
When should you stop using a baby walker?
Baby walkers are most often used for babies between 4 to 16 months old. Your baby should be able to hold up their head on their own when placed in a walker. They should also be able to place their feet firmly on the ground when seated in a baby walker. Never use a baby walker once your little one starts walking independently.
Baby walker manufacturers clearly stipulate the infant’s weight, size, and age when using this item. Always refer to the product manual and make sure you don’t exceed these recommendations when using one for your baby.
Baby walker safety 101
When using a baby walker, parents should be fully aware of the following hazards:
- Rolling down the stairs.
- Getting tiny fingers and toes caught in the wheels and folding hinges.
- Falling into the pool, ponds, or even the dog water bowl (this might be a good time to invest in a baby-proof dog water bowl!)
- Reaching dangerous items such as medicines and cleaning materials.
Watch this video which demonstrates the dangers of using a baby walker unattended.
Take note of the following baby walker safety tips:
- Never leave your child unattended: Always be present and keep your baby in view when they’re using an infant walker.
- Stay indoors: Never let your baby use an infant walker outdoors. They could fall into the pool, trip over objects such as rocks, or even gain access to the road outside your property.
- Stick to flat surfaces: The floor surface must be flat, stable, and free of obstacles. Avoid access to stairs, ramps, and other uneven floor surfaces.
- Keep away from dangerous areas: Avoid kitchens, bathrooms, or laundry rooms where your little one can reach stoves, washing machines, or even the toilet.
- JPMA certification: Baby products with JPMA certification have to meet stringent quality, safety, and functionality measures..
- Brake pads: Look for a baby walker that comes with brake pads. This mechanism stops the baby walker should it go over a step.
- Usage and safety instructions: Always adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines for weight, size, and age recommendations. Comply with safety instructions in the manual.
- Use for a limited time: Most brands recommend only letting your baby use a walker for up to 20 minutes every time.
Expiration dates of some popular brands
Chicco is a well-known baby brand for infant car seats, strollers, toys, and baby walkers. All their products are JPMA certified, meeting the highest safety standards for performance and functionality. The Chicco baby walker comes with brake pads, stopping your little one from falling down steps.
Chicco baby walkers don’t have expiration dates but their manufacture date can be found on a white sticker on the frame of the product. To use this product safely, always read the manual before putting your little one in the baby walker.
When deciding between a baby walker, a jumper, and an exersaucer for your little one, Baby Trend’s activity walker is a good pick. It’s designed with an extra-wide base for more stability when your little one is on the move! The manufacturer’s recommended weight limit is 30 lbs. The product is JPMA certified and carries a 180 days warranty.
The product manual can be downloaded from the website and carries clear warning hazards for the safe use of the baby walker. There isn’t an expiration date for this product. However, the manufacturer recommends not using the product if there’s any damage to the baby walker.
Kolcraft has been making baby products for over 65 years. Its activity baby walker range is functional and versatile. They can be used when your baby is seated in it or as a push-along toy when your baby is learning to stand and walk independently. Skid-resistant pads on the base help your baby to stop easily when they want to.
There’s no expiration date on the baby walkers but the manufacturer’s date is included on the product. This will look something similar to the following format:
Product instructions are downloaded from the brand’s website.
How to maintain a baby walker
Maintaining your baby walker is essential for your baby’s safety and for expanding its lifespan. Every product manual comes with general care instructions. But, here are some basic ways of maintaining your baby walker:
- Always assemble properly according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent damage to the baby walker.
- Before each use, always make sure the fasteners are tightened and all components are properly attached.
- If applicable, clean brake pads with a damp cloth after every use to ensure optimal performance when used the next time.
- Clean all plastic parts with a damp cloth and mild detergent after every use. Dry before folding and storing away.
- Never store in direct sunlight as exposure can deteriorate and weaken the fabric and other materials used to make the baby walker.
- Dry any metal parts that have been exposed to water as soon as possible to prevent rusting.
- Some fabric seats are removable and machine-washable for easy cleaning.
Buying a used baby walker
When buying a used baby walker, check it out for any damage or missing parts. Avoid buying a baby walker that’s in poor shape! While most baby walkers don’t have expiration dates, looking for the manufacturer’s date will help you determine how old the product is. Buy second-hand baby walkers locally so you can ask to view the product before purchasing it.
Baby walkers don’t have expiry dates. However, you can use it for your second and even third child as long as it’s been well-cared for and kept in good nick. Buying a used baby walker is an option but always check how old it is, whether it’s in good shape and if it’s JPMA certified. One last safety tip! Installing some awesome retractable baby gates helps to keep mobile babies in infant walkers away from dangerous spots such as the staircase!