If you have an infant, you have at least heard the words ‘Jumperoo’ and ‘Exersaucer,’ whether or not you know the difference between the two. Just like the Bumbo seat, and probably every other baby-related apparatus, there is controversy about their usefulness versus their detrimental effects on your child. Since many of the most commonly known pros and cons of the Exersaucer and the Jumperoo are the same or very similar, we’ll give them a once over simultaneously.
Need a visual? A Jumperoo is what Hazel is sitting in in the picture at the top. The brand of this particular one is ‘Exersaucer,’ which is a tad confusing. The Exersaucer is pictured to the right.
What makes them awesome:
Yes, both the Exersaucer and the Jumperoo are loads of fun for your baby thanks to all the gadgets on them and the jumping or bouncing they allow your baby to try on for size before they are able to walk. Just look at the picture of Hazel in her Jumperoo – have you ever seen a happier baby?
But the biggest plus, and perhaps the entire reason these things were invented – is they allow us as parents to get things done by keeping our children entertained and out of harm’s way. If you have ever gone a couple days without showering because you have a 5 month old attached to you constantly, and it’s just time to shower, you get where I’m coming from.
Why they might not actually be that awesome:
If you want an explanation in full detail as to why the Exersaucer in particular is not a great ergonomic or developmental choice for your little one, read this post from mamaot.com.
I’ll sum it up for you –
- Both the Exersaucer and the Jumperoo situate the baby in a swayback position while leaning forward, compensating by tilting the head too far back. Poor posture = bad.
- The baby ends up mostly balancing on his/her toes, which can overdevelop the calf muscles and possibly lead to toe walking later.
- Both items can delay the baby’s development when it comes to balance control because they don’t need it when in one of these, and it has been argued that they can delay standing and walking instead of encouraging it.
- The Exersaucer in particular places toys in front of baby, easily within reach, which removes the need to get around and explore the environment naturally…not that the baby can do that anyway while in this or the Jumperoo.
So really, is EVERYTHING bad for babies?
The general consensus is that this kind of equipment might not be optimal, but it’s convenient in a pinch and sometimes necessary when certain things can’t wait any longer (a.k.a. that shower). Your baby will not likely get hurt in one of these, but aim to not use it for more than 15-20 minutes per day, as a last resort. Playing hands-on with your baby, helping him or her reach those milestones in a more natural environment is best for your child’s development.