Exersaucers And Jumpers – Great Places To Play?
Let’s be honest, every parent needs some time to put baby down during the day so they can get something done. Somewhere where the baby is safe and secure so you can go about laundry, showering, eating or looking after another child. When I was younger I was put in the baby walker, which allowed me to “walk” around, by myself – they have since been banned for safety reasons. The exersaucer seems to have emerged as the safer alternative.
It’s a happy place for many babies!
Exersaucers are big and colourful with a special seat for baby right in the middle. The seat is surrounded by many sensory experiences – music, buttons, lights, rolling parts and much more depending on the brand. It’s a happy place for many babies! The recommended exersaucer age is from 4 months onward although some experts believe they shouldn’t go in until closer to 6 months when they can fully sit independently as it allows for better posture and balance while in it.
A baby jumperoo is essentially an exersaucer that allows the baby to jump while in it. Many people have started to purchase this type of product as it offers all the benefits of the exersaucer, but allows the baby to use their own leg strength to jump while in it.
These jumpers are a great way for baby to work on their leg muscles and again have some time to play without being held. It also provides some very cute baby smiles and giggles!
The baby jumper that has been around for the longest is the Jolly Jumper. If you have doorframes in your house you can easily attach a jumper to it and put the baby in for some jumping time. It comes down easily for storage when not in use which makes it great for smaller spaces. (If no door frames are available you can buy with its’ own frame.) Babies can go in the jumper around 3 months (or when they can hold their head with full neck support). These jumpers are a great way for baby to work on their leg muscles and again have some time to play without being held. It also provides some very cute baby smiles and giggles!
There is still some controversy over all of these apparatus and how they affect babies development, and many experts believe that the old fashioned play pen and high chair are still better choices of where to safely put baby when you need to get something done. I personally opted against the exersaucer as I didn’t want to be confined to having it in one room and certainly didn’t want to lug in up and down stairs. I loved having the baby jumper and a playpen that stayed in my kitchen. The research seems to be that floor time is still the absolute best way for baby to learn about the world and stimulate their visual, sensory, gross, fine motor and cognitive skills.
Whatever exersaucer/jumper you choose be sure that you are using these for short periods of time only. The recommendations say about 10-15 minute increments for a max of 20-30 minutes/day.
Use these apparatus while you can- soon enough they will be out of this stage and you will be running around after them and all the little toddler toys they leave in their tracks.
Ensure your child can hold his/her head up
Always supervise play
Use for only brief periods
Ensure your child enjoys the experience
Allison Madigan is a holistic nutritionist. She has a strong belief in the power of food and proper nutrition to keep us in our best health and prevent disease. Allison’s goal is to empower people to make healthy and mindful decisions for themselves and their families to achieve optimal health. She has a keen interest in food sensitivities and allergies and helping families navigate this as she has gone through this with her own daughter.