Is a baby walker helpful in teaching a child to walk? Some of these are designed for walking practice. Others seem more convenient for adults. Unwheeled wicker walkers like those in the pictures below can assist babies in getting around, but they are somewhat restricting.
The first baby walkers were known in Europe during the 15th century. Ferrarius, a 16th-century medical writer, recommended them for training an infant to walk. The 17th century saw them as symbols of mastering a skill through constant practice. It appealed to some to encourage a child to be upright, both physically and morally.
Historically, the wheeled version was called a go-cart. Other alternatives were also considered. Baby runners were wooden rings fixed to a pole that rested at the height of the baby’s waist, set at the baby’s abdomen. Within the ring, the baby was able to move in a circle around the pole. In this way, the baby was prevented from reaching dangerous places, such as hot ovens.