Having now been the owner of 4 different baby walkers I feel quite well qualified to know what is good and what is not so good about them. When I was sent the Leapfrog Scout and Friends Baby Walker to review my instant reaction was, “Beanie Boy can already walk” but never fear, our family has lots of children at differing ages and stages so we asked a relative to give them both a go.
The first test is assembling the walkers which thankfully were both very straightforward. With the Leapfrog it was just a simple case of pushing a button and extending one leg at a time until it clicked, job done, ready to go. The Vtech did require a little bit of self-assembly but nothing too difficult. Next we needed to see which one attracted the attention of the Baby Girl first.
The Vtec baby walker is brightly coloured and good for both girls and boys although a pink one is available if you wan to be really girlie. The Leapfrog is slightly larger but just as brightly coloured, although I did feel the choice of blue handles and wheels did make it slightly more boy-ish but that’s just my opinion, I would have preferred a green handle and wheels, especially since that is LeapFrog’s colour. In all honesty Baby Girl couldn’t decide which one she preferred to look at so like most girls she chose both by sitting them next to each other and playing with them simultaneously.
After a while she decided to get herself standing up to play with them, the Vtech doesn’t have locking wheels and so it kept on moving away from her whereas the LeapFrog has lockable wheels which meant that it stayed put giving her the confidence to hold on and get herself steady to play. She was clearly very impressed with herself once in a standing position and continued to play with the LeapFrog walker for some time. Thinking back to our early standing/walking days with Little Bean and Beanie Boy, I do wish that we had a walker with lockable wheels because this definitely would have increased their confidence and ability. Many a tear was shed when the walkers ran away with them in the early stages, it surprises me that no-one else has thought to put lockable wheels on them?
Another great feature of the LeapFrog is the textured wheels which again, help to increase the stability of the walker and baby alike. In our previous house we had laminate floors downstairs which were a disaster for the baby walkers as they would slip and slide all over the place. Baby Girl’s house is a mixture of carpet and tile so the LeapFrog transfers effortlessly from one to the other. The Vtechs wheels are not textured so they do have a tendency to slip rather than roll but it is still a very sturdy baby walker.
One of the great features of both baby walkers is the removable activity plate which means that the walker is much more than just a walker. As a parent I would have preferred the Scout & Friends Baby Walker because it has 55+ songs and activities, so even though I would still get bored of hearing them over and over again, it would take longer to get through the different combinations. The fact that the activity plates are removable on both is a great option because it gives the walker more than one function, they can be used whilst sitting, standing or walking and even once they have mastered the art of walking, they still have an activity station to have fun whilst learning colours, numbers and letters.
Finally, in the last couple of weeks that Baby Girl has been giving the walkers a run for her money, I would say that she has seemed more adept to walking with the LeapFrog. The wide set legs mean that she is able to get closer to the walker which gives her more stability. For their first attempt at a baby walker I think LeapFrog have taken the time to study baby walkers on the market and improve on the best bits of all the others to come up with an outstanding final product.
DISCLAIMER: For the purpose of this post we were sent the LeapFrog Scout & Friends Baby Walker and the Vtech First Steps Baby Walker. All words and opinions are my own.