If you do an internet search for baby walkers, the Joovy Spoon Walker is sure to be among the first ones listed. This is because it has some of the highest reviews by its customers. But when you look at the actual walker, it looks really pretty plain. So why would this one rate so much higher than some of the other more eye catching options?
The short answer is that the company that makes the Joovy Spoon Walker thought about the things that parents care about the most and implemented them into their design. Read on to find out what some of those things are.
Are They Safe?
First things first. There is a bit of controversy surrounding baby walkers. It is true that they can pose a threat to your baby if you don’t do certain things around your household. This is actually true about almost every baby product.
For example, if you leave your baby in a swing, while they are awake and the straps are not secured well enough, your baby could fall out and hurt him or herself. The walker does pose a bit more of a risk because your baby is more mobile in this device. Their common sense is not up to the speed that their mobility is at. They are able to propel themselves around, but lack the depth perception or even the knowledge of consequences to know not to go somewhere or touch certain things.
Many accidents in a walker have to do with stairs or pools, which should be easy to remedy. Don’t put your baby out by a pool in a walker and always use baby gates on stairs. They also can pull things down on themselves like cords, etc. Just making sure that your home is completely baby safe will eliminate most of these issues.
Does The Walker Teach Your Baby To Walk?
Another thing parents are curious about is if it will help your baby learn to walk. There is a bit of controversy here as well, but the short answer is that a walker will not help your baby learn to walk. In fact, many studies say that it could delay your baby slightly. This is as slight as a couple weeks.
Even though it doesn’t necessarily teach your baby how to walk, there are some really great things about it:
Teaches Spacial Awareness
Babies learn through cause and effect rather quickly and the Joovy Spoon Walker provides a safe space for your child to learn this. They will likely bump into things, get stuck in corners, and sometimes even get a bit lost when they are in their walker. However after only a few days, they will start learning some important skills.
They will learn not to get so close to objects and that the tray table is basically an extension of their body. They will learn how to angle their legs to pivot the walker around when they start heading in the wrong direction. Your baby will also even learn how to back up to get out of corners.
Provides A Station
When your baby is around 6 months to a year, your whole life is based around keeping him or her entertained in different stations. You might have a bouncer or a swing or a mat with toys. All these different stations provide new toys and a new environment for your baby to explore the world around them.
The Joovy Spoon Walker is an especially stimulating station for your baby because it gives him or her freedom to wander.
Most babies don’t care about independence for a while after they are born, but many well developed babies are provided chances for independence when at all possible. Parents will make a point to give their children choices so that they can have a sense of empowerment and control over their lives that are out of their control a majority of the time.
A great thing about the Joovy Spoon Walker is that it provides that sense of empowerment for your baby at a young age. If they want to follow you around they can. If they want to go to a certain area of the house or look out a window, they have the mobility to do so. They can virtually keep up with you in the walker.
It’s Just Fun
So what if the Joovy Spoon Walker doesn’t teach your child to walk? We already know that your child will naturally learn to walk, and does it really matter if they are a few weeks ahead of other kids their age?
Walkers are not necessarily meant to be tools to teach your child to walk. Instead, they are a fun toy that your child will love to be in. Your baby can play peek-a-boo, chase each other around the house, have snacks in an upright position, and practice moving their legs in the walking movements. Don’t stress about whether it is teaching your child to walk or not. It is providing a safe and fun space for your child to experience the world around him.
Now to the main features of the actual Joovy Spoon walker. This walker may seem like it is nothing special when you look at it. So why does it have so many great reviews online? It doesn’t have all the bright lights and noises and toys that the other walkers have.
One of the main reasons why people love the Joovy Spoon walker is that it stands out with its minimalist design. Many other walkers have bright colors that might seem excited to a kid at first, but once the novelty wears off, it just fades into the background.
The minimalist design ensures that your baby isn’t overstimulated and that it doesn’t compete with any of the decor in your home. It can feel a bit overwhelming when all the baby gear starts to invade all your floor space, but the nice clean lines and solid colors help to blend it into the background.
Another great thing about the Joovy Spoon walker is that it has an incredibly large tray on the front. Most walkers, if not all, have some kind of tray on the front of the walker. Your baby can use this tray to keep his or her toys on or to have snacks. So what is so great about the tray being oversized?
The other walkers on the market typically have a toy bar that comes with their walker. You can remove this whenever you want, but what is left is a very small tray. As I mentioned above, once the novelty of a new toy wears off, it kind of fades into the background. So your baby might get bored of the toy bar rather quickly. However, they are not super convenient to remove and they are right in your baby’s line of vision, so it might not be great for your baby to walk around with it right in front of his or her face.
Instead, you can switch out toys on the oversized tray and the tray is big enough that it can handle most baby toys. You can even place things on the edges so your child can learn to reach.
This tray is also great for babies who like to throw things on the floor. It is more difficult to do this with a wide tray. If they still manage to, you can consider using some suction toys like the ones that Bumbo sells (read my review of the bumbo seat here!)
Another great thing about the oversized tray is that even though it is very wide, it still is not wider than the base of the walker. This means that even if your baby were to reach out over the sides of the walker, he or she would never pinch their fingers between the wall and the tray.
This is honestly just a very thoughtful aspect of the design, which always wins extra points with me! (Read my Ode to the pocket on the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow here).
Every good walker needs to have bumpers, and the Joovy Spoon walker has them. They go a step further though. Instead of just protecting your walls from your baby bumping into them, they also thought about protecting your baby’s feet.
Yes, there are bumpers that will scoot little toys out of your baby’s way as he or she comes through so they won’t get stepped on. Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt victimized by a random lego laying on the ground?
Do they make these bumpers in adult size? Because that is definitely a product I would need.
Easy To Clean
The Joovy Spoon Walker is also very easy to clean. The tray doesn’t have any grooves that food and other gross things can get stuck in. You can wipe it down as easily as you wipe a counter top.
Another benefit to having no toy bar is that there are no grimy toys to clean off. Instead of the toy bar being a semi permanent feature on your walker, you can actually separate toy time and snack time, which will keep everything much cleaner. You can still have your baby eat in the walker, but you won’t end up finding slobbery spit up cheerios on the toys stuck to the tray.
The large tray comes with a removable insert that is even more easy to clean that your typical tray. You can stick this right into the dishwasher and forget about it until it is clean again. What could be easier? It’s great to have an option of sanitizing the tray without using harsh chemicals that you might find in a multi surface cleaner.
Cleaning The Seat
There are some walkers, even ones that I have reviewed, that are rather difficult to remove the inner seat to wash. The Joovy Spoon walker has a removable seat that you can machine wash. You can see how to remove it here:
This may not be the most convenient seat to remove, but it is by no means difficult eiehter. For normal soils you will be able to wipe it clean with a damp cloth. However, try to regularly clean the seat as well so you know it is thoroughly clean for your baby and bacteria isn’t growing rampantly.
Although the standard Joovy Spoon Walker is very popular, Joovy did come out with a new model called the Spoon B. This model has a few upgrades, mostly to do with cleaning. The one that does not involve cleaning is that you are able to set a parking brake for when you don’t want your baby mobile.
The other upgrades are that the seat is even more easy to remove than before, so cleaning it isn’t a pain. They also included removable wheels because some parents complained of hair getting stuck in the wheels from time to time.
Many walkers are able to fold down and the Joovy Spoon Walker is among them. It can fold to be completely flat and stowed away. This is convenient especially if you have little floor space in your home. You can put it away when it is not needed and set it up when you are ready to use it again.
It’s also great for on the go if you want to bring the walker to a friend or relative’s house. It is an especially great option because it is an entertaining station for your baby as well as a high chair. So it is perfect for those holiday meals at relatives’ houses.
3 Adjustable Heights
The Joovy Spoon Walker adjusts to three different heights, which is something you would definitely look for in a walker. Your baby will likely use a walker for 5 to 7 months, and they do a lot of growing during that time. It is important that you have a wide range of heights to work with so your baby can use it for the longest time possible.
If your baby is too short for the lowest setting when he or she can start sitting up on their own and can use the walker, you can use it as just a chair for a while. You can put books or foam pads under their feet and stabilize it so it won’t roll anywhere. From there your baby can bounce up and down and work those leg muscles to get them used to standing and supporting their body weight.
Your baby doesn’t need to do this to learn to walk, but it could still be a fun activity center for your baby to be in.
If your baby is too tall, he or she can still use it with their legs bent for a short amount of time.
The Joovy Spoon Walker has 4 wheels, of which two swivel. This is pretty standard and will allow your baby to still walk in all directions. It does have low bumpers and rubber stoppers to keep it from going over a stair, so it will not roll on high pile carpet. It will only work optimally on low pile carpet or hard surface flooring.
Ultimately, the Joovy Spoon Walker is a great contender for the best walker out there. Its design is simple, yet innovative. It doesn’t have an overwhelming look and it can be stowed away easily. The seat and tray are easy to clean and adjusts as any walker should. It meets and exceeds all the safety requirements and you can be sure that your baby will be safe in this walker.
Of course, you will need to always supervise your baby, as is recommended with any kind of mobile baby gear device like a walker or a swing.