My mother has gotten Edith a walker. We had some disagreement about this, because I had a general notion that it’s developmentally harmful to artificially enable infants to be mobile in ways they aren’t yet ready for physically based on something or other that I read. (While I was pregnant, I read about 500 baby books, and so I have vague, floating concerns about just about every aspect of child-rearing without ever having committed fully to any one particular philosophy.) Mom’s position, on the other hand, was that Edith would like it.

When I went looking for research to back up my concern, I found that there really isn’t any to support that this is a real problem, so after our pediatrician came down on Mom’s side (well, she said the only issue with walkers is safety, not developmental concerns), I caved. Mom had already ordered it anyhow.

This walker is massive, garish, and incredibly ugly. I’m not one of those Instagram moms who expects my baby’s accessories to complement my decor; I was resigned to having my house fill up with brightly colored plastic clutter. But this walker is the first piece of baby furniture that genuinely depresses me. Hopefully if we get a bigger house, it will not be so overwhelming.

Edith, obviously, loves it. She has wanted to be upright and walking since she was born. I feel like people won’t really believe this, but she was bracing her feet and standing up in my lap with assistance at two weeks old. She has no interest whatsoever in tummy time or crawling, but she wants to be standing all the time. Since she hasn’t really figured out walking, she does this thing where she leans over very far in the direction she wants to go and points with the top of her head, and then I move her that way. Then, she wants to go back the other way. I must admit, I don’t hate cutting myself out of this process.

She’s really too little for the walker and can only reach the floor with the tippy-toes of either one foot or the other (she has to lean toward one to get fully down there), but she’s able to nudge herself along the floor even so. When she isn’t in the walker, she is staring lovingly at it and chattering at it, and whining at me to put her in it. Still, I only let her play in it for a bit every day. After awhile she gets mad that the toys on it are bolted onto the front and starts to scream at them. At the moment, the main thing she does is cruise smack into the little wall between the living room and the kitchen and get stuck there, which is pretty manageable for me if not entirely satisfying for her, but I have a feeling I’m going to have to baby-proof the house before too much longer.

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