Baby walkers, baby bouncers and baby chairs

Baby walkers are sitting devices on wheels.

Don't use baby walkers

Baby walkers don't help babies learn to walk. They may actually hold up how long it takes for them to learn.

They are not safe and increase your child's risk of:

  • burns and scalds - by allowing the child to knock over hot food, liquids, candles and electrical items
  • poisoning - from your child being able to reach dangerous items
  • head injuries - from falling down stairs, falling over and crashing into furniture and other objects

Baby walkers allow a child to reach higher than normal. This means they could grab dangerous objects like kettles and medicines. Their risk of burns, scalds and poisoning increases.

Baby walker with wheels
Baby walkers have wheels - do not use them

Alternatives to baby walkers

Activity centres and play pens that are stationary (can't be moved by your child) are safer. They should only be used for short periods of time and under supervision.

Tummy time and crawling

Babies should spend time with you on the floor rolling, crawling and pulling themselves up. This supports their development. Tummy time is very important for your babies development. But supervise them at all times.

Baby chairs and seats

There are different types of equipment and devices you can use to carry and seat your baby. Strap babies into all chairs and seats. These include:

  • feeding or high chairs
  • car seats
  • buggies
  • prams
  • bouncers

Only use equipment and sitting devices with a 5-way safety harness.

A 5-way safety harness
A 5-way safety harness


Never use any type of baby chair or seat for your child's routine sleep. Sleeping in a sitting position can make it difficult for your baby to breathe. If they fall asleep in one, remove them and place them on their back to sleep.

Baby bouncers

From an early age you can put a baby in a baby bouncer seat or cradle.

Don’t leave a baby bouncer or any other sitting device on a raised surface, such as a table or bed. They can move about as the baby bounces. It could topple over. Always keep it on the floor.

A baby sitting in a baby bouncer with a 5-way safety harness
A baby bouncer with a 5-way safety harness

Related Content

Child safety checklist for parents including child proofing (PDF 5.32MB)

Use the HSE's child proofing check list to help you child proof your home to protect your children. This list is also available from your public health nurse.

Child safety wallchart for parents including basic first aid (PDF 3.22MB)

Print this child safety wallchart and keep within easy access in your home. Includes tips on child safety, first aid information and emergency contact details.

Page last reviewed: 27 March 2019
Next review due: 27 March 2022