The best, safest baby jumpers can be a bit hard to find among the seas of options online.
Baby jumpers can be a fun way to encourage baby’s activity, but not every jumper is created equal and not every jumper is safe.
For those who don’t know, a baby jumper is a device that holds an infant upright while allowing them to bounce up and down using their leg and foot muscles. There are three types of baby jumpers, and some are safer than others. For all you busy parents out there, here is a comprehensive rating of those three types of jumpers so you can find the best product for your baby, arranged from worst to best.
First, Some Important Tips
Baby jumpers are not developmental tools. In fact, they can hinder your baby’s natural development if not employed correctly, or if overused.
The best jumpers allow your child to put their feet flat on the ground. Only jumping with their toes can cause certain developmental problems by focusing on one muscle group over others that are needed for healthy walking skills. In addition, make sure your baby’s torso is not held in an uncomfortable position or tilted too far forward, as this can negatively affect posture.
The most important rule is that your baby should be left in the jumper no more than thirty minutes per day. Any more than that and your infant could develop poorly in certain muscle groups, leading to delayed walking further down the line.
According to pediatric development specialist Anne Zachry, author of Retro Baby, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics:
“…excess jumping puts unnecessary stress on an infant’s legs, hips and spines.” // USAToday.com
That means a jumper will give you just enough time to get that chore done while your baby is enjoying their jumper.
Now, on to our list:
3. Doorway Baby Jumpers
Doorway jumpers attach to the top of a door frame and cradle the infant in a cloth cradle. Most models fasten to the top of a door frame with a clamp, so there are no screws involved that would damage the wall. The child sits upright but they are free to jump in any direction.
That makes this type of jumper quite dangerous. The overhead attachment lets the infant swing free, which means they could swing into the door jam or any other nearby objects. Cheaper overhead clamps could also break and or detach, leaving your baby to fall to the floor. Doorway models are not the best baby jumpers, so it’s best to avoid these kinds of baby jumpers altogether.
2. Stationary Jumper
Stationary jumpers, like doorway jumpers, suspend baby from above, but instead of attaching to the top of a doorframe these attach to a standalone frame shaped like a miniature swing set. These jumpers allow you to position the frame in the center of the room, away from any furniture or obstructions your baby might swing into. The poles of the jumper also tilt away from the center, keeping your baby safely away from the poles.
Most stationary jumpers are also adjustable so your baby can keep a proper stance rather than being forced up on her toes (more on that below).
The best stationary jumper on the market would have to be this particular model of Jolly Jumper. It allows to your baby to find their own balance instead of being forced into an uncomfortable and unnatural tilting position.
1. Stationary Activity Center
This is the product most people think of when they hear “baby jumper.” Since the goal of a jumper is more to keep your child occupied rather than aid in developing muscles for walking, the activity center wins the prize of “best baby jumper”.
These jumpers are decorated with toys to keep your baby occupied once they get bored with bouncing, which is why they are sometimes called “entertainers” as well.
The very best activity center will have a variety of toys and musical noises to stimulate the auditory and tactile senses. The Fisher-Price Jumperoo does this well by providing many different toys for your baby to grab, spin, push, and twirl. The ExerSaucer Activity Center by Evenflo has just as many toys, but it also contains an attached flooring piece that is easy to sanitize. Both of these models include a removable seat cover for easy washing.
Baby jumpers can be useful tools to keep your baby safe and happy (and spend some energy) if you need to get something done, but they are not something you should rely on.
Which particular jumper is best for your baby? Do some shopping and find out.
If you enjoyed this article read our other articles on other baby products:
Featured image source: www.amazon.com