I’m generally a by-the-book parent.  I don’t mean that I actually have a book that I go by in raising Addison, but I do a lot of research online and ask a lot of questions at the pediatrician’s office.  I figure that anyone who has been through this before has a leg up on me and I would probably do well to at least listen to what they have to say.  Like strawberries and egg whites?  I had no idea that you couldn’t give those to babies.  I’m glad I did some research before I made her her first egg white omelet.

Lately I find myself more and more at odds with the issue of trusting my instincts versus doing what the experts say.  I think it’s because of Addison’s age.  This isn’t weeks 1-12 anymore where babies don’t do a whole lot but eat and poop and sleep.  And I know it sounds silly, but I needed guide back then to get me through all of the sleeping and eating and pooping.  Things are a little more complicated now what with all of this learning and growing.  I don’t think any two 8 month olds are alike.  I see other 8 month olds at story time and at gymboree so I know that they’re all over the place in terms of development.  Besides, no one knows my 8 month old like I do and that’s why I’m okay with reading her cues and bending the rules when necessary.

Suddenly walkers are on the banned list in pediatrician’s offices.  Parents are now advised NOT to let their child use a walker.  I used a walker when I was a baby and so did my sister.  We both wound up being dancers for a good part of our lives.  No development issues; no hip dysplasia.  I watched my niece and all of my nephews use walkers and they turned out just fine.  Normally, I hate that argument; “We didn’t have car seats and my kids turned out just fine” or something as equally inane.   In this case though, I kind of agree with it.  This is one of those instances where I trust my instincts more than I trust a book or a warning label.  I don’t think a walker will hinder Addison’s development.  I also don’t think it’s dangerous.  At least not any more dangerous than this…

“Uh, Mom?  Aren’t you going to try to stop me?

“There’s no one behind me!  How’s that for danger?  Where’s the nail gun?”

And that is exactly why I wanted her to have a walker.  Not to help her learn to walk, she’s getting there just fine on her own, but because I need somewhere to put her where she can’t hurt herself.  Sometimes I need to go to the bathroom or load the dishwasher or take something out of the oven and I need to know that Addison is contained.  I need to know that she isn’t climbing the stairs or climbing into the dishwasher after the knives or reaching into the hot oven while my hands are full.  Yes, I can put her in her pack ‘n play but she hates it and I hate making my kid miserable.  It’s no fun for either of us.

Mamo found a walker somewhere (the black market, maybe?) and sent it to us last week.  Addie hasn’t really gotten the hang of it yet.  She can go back but not forward.  It doesn’t seem to bother her that she can’t steer it where she wants to go, she is happy just to be mobile.  What has rendered the exersaucer useless in recent months is the fact that it just sits in one place.  Addison is very busy with places to go and things to do and will not be contained.

When she gets in the walker she’ll push herself backwards until she hits a wall or some other road block and needs to be reset.  What I love about it is that she can have her drink and snack in there without being contained in her high chair like she is at meal time.

Our house is perfect for a walker.  We have hardwood and tile on the first floor and no basement.  So there’s no danger of her flying down the basement steps.  She just throws her shoulders back and off she goes.  I probably sound like I’m trying to justify use of the walker.  I’m not.  I’m all about parents doing what works for them…and this definitely works for us.

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