Home » Do Push Toys Really Help Babies Learn to Walk? A Skeptical Parent Weighs In

Do Push Toys Really Help Babies Learn to Walk? A Skeptical Parent Weighs In

by Vanessa Foster
Do Push Toys Really Help Babies Learn to Walk? A Skeptical Parent Weighs In

I’ll be honest, when my baby was first starting to pull up to standing and cruise around furniture, I was tempted to buy her one of those little walkers with the plastic seat and toy tray attached.

Everyone I knew who had a child around her age seemed to have one, and their babies always looked so happy zooming around the house in them.

Plus, I figured it would give me a little break while she played independently.

But something stopped me from clicking “add to cart.”

Could it really be that simple?

Buy a toy and poof—my baby would know how to walk?

Even if that were the case, I wasn’t convinced that I wanted my child zooming around the house in a contraption that allowed her to move faster than her little legs could handle.

So instead of buying a push toy or walker, we opted for something else: a sturdy pull-along wagon.

Push Toys vs. Pull Toys: Which is Best for Learning How to Walk?

So which type of toy is best for helping babies learn how to walk—push toys or pull toys?

On the surface, it may seem like push toys are the clear winner.

After all, they help your child practice using her leg muscles to propel herself forward, which is an important part of learning how to walk.

And since they don’t require any additional coordination beyond putting one foot in front of the other, they’re perfect for beginners.

But pull toys have their own set of benefits when it comes to helping babies learn how to walk.

For starters, they force your child to use her arm muscles to move forward, which gives her a chance to practice using different muscle groups as she walks.

Additionally, since your child has to hold onto the toy as she moves, pull toys can help improve her coordination and balance—skills that are essential for walking independently.

Plus, since most pull toys are smaller and lighter than push toys, they won’t weigh your child down as she tries to take those first few steps.

So what’s the verdict?

Both push toys and pull toys can help your child learn how to walk—it just depends on what type of skills you want your child to focus on.

If you’re looking for a toy that will help your child build leg strength and develop a basic understanding of how walking works, go with a push toy.

If you want a toy that will also help improve your child’s coordination and balance, opt for a pull toy instead.


Whatever type of toy you choose, remember that learning how to walk is a process—one that takes time, patience, and lots of practice.

So whether you go with a push toy or a pull toy (or no toy at all!), know that your baby will eventually get there.

In the meantime, enjoy watching her take those first wobbly steps!

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