Remember my Tummy Time Guide? Which spells out its importance such as strengthen baby’s arms, legs, and neck muscles by stretching, rolling, and eventually crawling. And now when your baby has developed a good head control, don’t forget to add some interesting spicy twist in baby’s life! Yes, give your baby a joy of jumping & bouncing on her own! Let her learn some adventures! So I also thought of buying one of the best baby jumper which must be safe too.
In fact jumping urge in baby’s is natural, in fact before the babies can walk or crawl, they want to jump! Look at your baby movements while they begin to crawl, they push the legs so furiously like they want to jump rather than crawl!
So by the time baby’s attain age of 4 to 6 months, if you have already started with their tummy time, its also a time to introduce a 20 minutes lap each day on a baby jumper (not a baby walker – I will come to why not a walker, later in this post)
Johnny Jump Up, Jumperoo, Exersaucer! All points to Baby Jumper?
Now when I began my research on baby jumpers, in first google search itself I got confused in between search results showing Johnny Jump Up, Jumperoo, Exersaucer, Bouncers, Activity centers! Finally after spending some time I got to know that all these products are simply same, allowing your baby to repeatedly bounce up and down! That’s it!
What is a baby jumper?
In most simple sense, baby jumper is a seat attached to an elastic harness, which allows your baby to use her still developing legs (muscles) to push herself up and down thus introducing a new adventure & fun activity to baby’s life.
This new fun filled activity directs the energy of a baby to feel accomplishment of adventure, joy and fun. As a result your baby will also get better sleep at night, and so as you.
But before you want to start baby jumper its important to know if she is ready for baby jumper.
What age is good for your baby to use a jumper?
Again the rule of thumb is that your baby is ready to use baby jumper when she can independently support her head (on her own) & gains a trunk control. Most infants are able to reach this milestone by the age 4 to 6 months.
But with introduction of every new activity for your newborn, safety becomes highest priority, so a caution is to respect the baby jumper manufacturers recommendation of minimum age or height limits, else you can put your baby into trouble.
Do baby jumpers help leg muscle development?
No, baby jumpers do not help developing your baby’s leg muscles and motor coordination. However it definitely helps to introducing a third dimension of height to your baby.
A word of caution is to restrict the baby jumper activity for maximum 20 minutes a day, that too under parental control (to avoid accidents). As many experts have spelled out that baby jumpers delay the muscles and bones development, this is due to the fact that while sitting inside the jumper the baby is not carrying its own weight and hence the nerves system does not learn to carry weight by leg muscles.
In fact, many moms use the baby jumpers as a temporary “baby sitter”
Now just think for a while, your baby is constantly sitting in one position, means she is loosing that important time being on the floor, mastering these important milestones of learning motoring skills, developing the muscles and discovering the world around with visual, touch and feel senses.
So do not ever use the baby jumper or even a baby walker as a means to hold your baby in a place during your cooking time or bathing time!
Some parents do think that their baby learned walking independently due to baby jumper! but no scientific research available on this!!
Shall I use baby walker rather than baby jumpers?
While I was selecting the best baby jumper, I also got diverted to using a baby walker in place of baby jumper! But after through research on baby walkers I decided to keep away from buying a walker for my baby.
I know I am slightly diverting from main subject of jumpers to walkers! but I would like you to read an fantastic article on Babywalkers ‘stifle development’ , which was published in a British medical journal, by researchers, from University College Dublin who studied the effects of walkers and babies.
The study was focused on 190 healthy babies who were attending day care centers. The more often a child used a babywalker, the more its development was delayed.
Dr. Mary Garrett, director of the University College Dublin School of Physiotherapy at Mater Hospital, said the problem with baby walker was that the child could move around without carrying its own body weight.
Noting rocket science, your common sense itself would tell you that the muscles and bones will not gain required natural strength, and the nervous system will be deprived of the sensory information required to learn how to walk effectively!
So even parents think that baby walkers help to advance their child’s development, but practically they introduce a significant delay in development.
In fact, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists supports a total ban on the use of baby walkers!
It says they are responsible for injuring 4,000 children a year. (Data in the year 2002)
The research further found that babies who had been in walkers did not perform as well in simple mental tests.
Baby walkers are said as dangerous choice, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has called for a ban on the manufacture and sale of baby walkers with wheels. ( Source news – healthychildren.org )
So baby jumpers are way better than baby walkers, but again when used, limit the time per day to maximum 20 minutes! Make sure that you are adding only a bit of spice and not making it as a habit.
Baby jumpers Vs bouncers Vs swings
Baby jumpers – Adds a third dimension of height, Baby will bounce up and down when she kicks off the floor! Use can begin only after baby learns to hold her head independently.
Baby bouncers (or bouncy seat) – Use can be started way early than a bouncer, even for a newborn (in consultation to the pediatrician), Simpy lay your newborn during a shower or learn her first solid food. ( Read my Solid food guide )
Baby swings – Basic Swing with a back and forth motion, helps gaining a gentle rocking motion to sooth baby to go to nice sleep.
What are the types of baby jumpers?
There are basic three types of baby jumpers available –
- Doorway jumpers
- Stationary or Stand jumpers
- Stationary activity centers
Popularly called as door jumpers, they are simple door frame suspended seats using a frame hanging with the help of an elastic cord or bungie cord.
One end of elastic spring is attached to the seat, and the other gets attached to the door frame.
Doorway jumpers are specially designed to hang on the door frames and one of the cheapest form of jumpers.
Advantage being using in very small space during use as well as get folded for storage.
Some of the latest doorway jumpers are also fitted with some fun toys, to entertain the baby once it gets tired of jumping & bouncing.
Stationary or Stand jumpers:
A stationary jumper are slightly modified version of doorway jumpers, in the sense they need not have any door frame to hang to, but its own frame stand, which can be moved and kept anywhere in house or outside yard.
Relative to the doorway jumpers, swing in stand jumpers is limited or minimal, which improves the safety of baby.
Although they take space during operation due to big stand, they do not consume storage space after folding.
In-general, Stationary jumpers do not come with any additional entertainment to your baby other than simple bouncing.
Caution : If you have toddlers at home then stationary or stand jumpers are not preferred option, unless you personally supervise.
Stationary activity centers:
Now Stationary Activity jumpers are hybrid form which provides more safety, minimal jumping capability, small frame for holding suspended seat on elastic cords, and finally a tray filled with many more toys.
Mostly the seat is fully rotatable so that baby can turn around to access various toys attached to the frame, many plays nice music, some with battery operated colorful lights too.
I will say that these are the safest amongst all three versions of baby jumpers, since they are not as springy as doorway or simple stationary jumpers. However they are bulkiest of all three.
Again storage of Stationary Activity jumpers is slightly time consuming and they may not be simply folding in minutes type, they take highest space of all three types.
How to Choose the Baby Jumper?
Most important criteria is SAFETY of your baby, especially when you have toddlers at home, baby jumpers can create risk when left unattended.
Second important criteria is available space during use and storage.
So coming to each point one by one, I will take you through my best baby jumper selection criteria –
Safety – Prime criteria of selection
There are two type of safety criterians, one is standalone safety and second is sibling proof.
- General guidelines to follow
- The suspension springs must have safety covers which prevents baby finger pinching.
- Jumper should not have any sharp points or edges.
- Jumper should not have any small parts that can cause choking.
- The stationary jumper must be stable on its own, taking the abuse loads from baby jumping.
- Doorway jumpers safety
Prone to baby bumps and bruises when the baby jumps into the doorjamb or sometimes creative work by the siblings!
There are incidents of recall of doorway jumpers due to doorway clamp breakage issues!
I have already mentioned that some experts have advised not to use doorway jumpers due to safety reasons, ( source – chla.org ) but I shall also tell you that AAP has not called for an outright ban on baby jumpers like it has done with baby walkers.
While my selection of doorway jumper is based on kind of protection provided and design safety intent.
- You may like to look for certification by Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association ( JPMA )
The JPMA certifies only stationary activity centers for safety aspects like structural integrity, weight load capability, stability of structure, sharp exposed edges, choking parts etc.
Just to mention this is voluntary submission and it is like good to have kind, not necessary the MUST.
Only for info that these tests are carried out as per the standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials. ( ASTM )
Ease of assembly
You may get surprised to see the second priority is ease of assembly! But its again an important safety aspect. Why?
If the jumper is difficult to assemble with lot of screws and joints involving multiple components, there are chances of assembly error, remember everyone is not a good mechanic or its not your daily job, increasing obvious chances of errors.
So the jumper should follow the simple principle of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)
It should be as simple of clicking parts together safely with little efforts to assemble.
Packaging convenience: Storage & movement
It is mandatory that the baby should be supervised while been in the jumper, and if you want to do so while cooking, or doing home chores, movement of jumper becomes important selection criteria.
Like if its a doorway jumper, it should be quick and easy to fit on door frame. or if its a stationary type, folding and unfolding stand should be easy.
Finally the storage when not in use becomes important, when you are thinking of preserving it for your next baby 🙂
Jumpers are made from a assembly of different components made from plastic, metal, elastic and fabric.
Cheap once can not only cost you in terms of less life, but also pose a safety risk to your baby.
Note : Although you opt for the best baby jumper, and thinking to use it after few years for the second baby, I would suggest to sell it of and buy a new one. Why? Simply because the rubber or plastic components naturally deteriorate in terms of its mechanical and elastic properties with respect to time, and for safety its better to replace such items.
Easy to adjust
Now I can imagine that the jumper will be one of the most favorite toy of your baby, and hence you will like to use it for extended period of time.
So the baby jumper shall allow adjustment as the baby continue growing, so adjustable baby jumper will allow optimum jumping height as per the age (weight & height) of your baby.
Stationary jumpers : Look for minimum three height adjustments.
Doorway jumpers : Mostly come with many different lengths
Caution : If there are siblings at home, the adjustment shall not be that east to be operated by kids!
Although most of the Baby jumpers are designed considering baby age limits, it is important to look for the particular model suitability for your baby.
May be your baby is too healthy to the weight limits specified by the manufacturer! So check it out before you buy.
Caution : Exceeding weight limits as specified by the manufacture may cause injury due to breakage of jumper cords or the other way. If you have siblings at home, be careful that they do not use the jumper.
Seat – Comfort and hygiene
Now this is the place where baby will spend some time and hence you must look for the following –
- Comfort :
Seats which are lined with plush padding and high quality fabric provides high comfort for tender baby skin.
Further height adjustment to the seats will help fine tuning the jumping experience for your baby.
- Hygiene :
Look for seats which can be easily removed and washed, this will provide hygiene to the baby.
Suspender – Single / Double or more?
Support to the seat will be with elastic strap or springs, a single strap will obviously allow jumper swinging in all directions, posing more risk of injury, whereas double or more elastic straps will keep the directional movement restricted in up & down direction for most of the time.
Fun and learn
Activity jumpers facilitates added colorful toys with flashing lights and sounds, or some attract baby by making noise after touch.
Surely such additions add value to the basic purpose, once the baby is tired of jumping it can spend some time in fun and learning activities. It can touch and feel the colors, it can learn that something happens if she touches particular area.
Again it is not a must to have criteria and hence comes last in my list.
Value for money
Cheapest are the Doorway jumpers, which you can buy for as little as $13,
Budget around $100 can get your hands to some of the good activity-center models with lots of bells and whistles.
Do not forget to look for the battery costs, since replacement of AAA batteries itself becomes a cost addition and may become a weekly task for you!
You get variety of jumpers (or jumperoos?) from leading manufacturers like Fisher Price, Baby Einstein, EvenFlo and Bright Starts.
Best stationary activity baby jumper
I would not confuse you with providing lot of recommendations from my own research, the top one which I am talking now is the one which I purchased for my baby, rest once are result of my research done while shortlisting the Fisher Price Jumperoo.
Also for the Fisher Price Jumperoo (as on August 2018), parents have posted more than 6,188 reviews on Amazon with only 6% totaling to 1,2,3 stars, remaining 94% being 4 & 5 stars.
Fisher Price Jumperoo
The Jumperoo was introduced in the year 2004 and have released many updated themes and colors in initial model so far. Today Fisher-Price sells more than a dozen versions of the original Jumperoo, from Pink Petals to Luv U Zoo.
However till today the original classic Rainforest Jumperoo is my favorite one and so as others, that is why it is still the best seller on Amazon. ( Check for Rainforest Jumperoo availability on Amazon )
What you can see the differentiation factor among models is colors and toys, different songs! So I am happy with remaining Classic rather than getting confused across models.
As tested and said by the most famous thewirecutter.com, “The Fisher-Price Jumperoo sets itself apart by being the safest jumper we looked at”
This model do not have any chance of a bumped head or pinched finger (with covered springs).
So considering the safety aspect, I also went to buy this JPMA-certified model.
Top things that I liked in this model are –
- Rotating seat
The frog-shaped seat turns, so that baby can spin around to get different toys.
The seat fabric is also washable ensuring hygiene.
- Adjustable height
Three height settings which are difficult to access by the siblings thus making it safe.
The Jumperoo’s height adjustment is located under the seat, which is practically inaccessible to siblings to fiddle with during the use.
- Entertainment and learning : Music, sounds and lights
The music play gets triggered by the baby’s movements, specially baby’s like this special reward, encouraging them to keep jumping.
This model comes with five toys around the seat with a toy tree frog and parrot hanging from the posts which your baby grab with a jump.
And can play a rendition of the folk song “Froggy Went A-Courting” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider”. It also makes animal and boinging sounds.
You get two volume settings + two music options,
- one for jumping and spinning-activated lights and sounds,
- other for five minutes of continuous lights and music.
- Lastly you can mute the sound OFF.
- Easy storage
- Durability : The toys are manufactured from higher-quality, thicker materials better than most of the competition in market.
- Ease of assembly & movement :
Jumperoo is one of the easiest stationary jumpers to assemble. You can do it in just half an hour or so.
Also the latest versions have folding frames for room to room movement.
- Stability :
Its stands on aprox 3-foot-diameter floor circular footprint supported by three poles that hang a seat from springs.
- Weight Limit : 25-pounds
Jumperoo Vs Exersaucer
- The Jumperoo seat is hanged to the springs thus providing more range of motion with bigger bounces than the Exersaucer, which has a seat placed on top of springs instead of hanging from them.
- The Jumperoo is less noisy than the Exersaucer when in use.
Few difficulties I noticed during the use:
- Weight is nearly 18 pounds, good for stability, slightly difficulty in movements
- Disassembly is not like single click, it takes time.
- Consumes room space.
Best Doorway Jumper
Graco Bumper Jumper ( Check availability on Amazon )
If you compare among the numerous options for the doorway jumpers in market, I can go recommending the Graco Bumper Jumper which is also the recommendation by thewirecutter.com as on Aug 2018.
One of the determining factor for this quality product is that it is Made in the USA.
The highlights for the Graco Bumper Jumper are –
Good point is that it has got a thick fabric seat which is removable and washable too.
Seat comes in three different themes – Bear Trail, Stratus, and Little Jungle.
Easy for baby to enter and exit
- Adjustable height:
To adjust the height, pull the small loop at the end of the strap through the adjustment buckle and then pull out the new, smaller loop to shorten the strap further.
It has a plastic tray and rubber bumper surrounding the seat, which makes it safe as a door mounted jumper. However please note that being rubber bumpers around, the baby can still bump on the doorway or get the finders on the edge of plastic tray! It is surely not as safe as the stationary models.
Again one more worry point for me is that it can create more jumping action than the stationary models.
- Entertainment for baby:
Its packaged with two cute rattle toys, which are removable as per the need. ( Velcroed ), it has two more spaces to put other toys as per your choice.
- Weight Limit : 25-pounds
- Ease of assembly & movement :
You will receive it in almost fully assembled, attaching the seat merely takes less than 5 minutes.
- Easy storage : takes up a negligible amount of storage space
- Most inexpensive option
Few difficulties I noticed during the use:
- No music, no sounds, no lights
- Clamping basic requirements:
Please do check that your doorway molding have at least a half-inch flat surface at the top as well as a wall thickness between 3 and 6½ inches. With these basic requirements only you will be able to clamp it well. If your home does not satisfy the above requirements, simply forget buying this option for safety reasons.
Best Stationary Baby Jumper
Jolly Jumper ( Check availability on Amazon )
This is simple jumper without any fancy stuff like bells, toys and music! If your baby is energetic & hyper active, then this is the choice for your baby.
I found such type of baby jumpers are perfect to tire a hyper active baby, due to no other thing to distract, baby fully concentrates and enjoys bouncing up and down, thus spending energy and get nice goodnight sleep.
Without toys to focus on your baby will spend the whole time in the jumper bouncing up and down. Perfect for if you have an active baby and are looking for a way to tire him out.
- Firm back support
- Sturdy frame
A sturdy supportive frame with non-slip feet ensures no clamp slipping during bouncing exercise of baby.
- Easy to set up
- eight Limit : 28-pounds
Difficulties I thought of:
- Consumes lot of space in hose
- Slightly difficult to remove the baby from the jumper seat, it moves a bit.
- Must be positioned on somewhat rough and leveled surface. Like if you get to the yard, you need to look for flat space.
Baby Jumper Safety Concerns
Although I am using it for my baby girl, I really take ultra-care during use of baby jumper.
First I will begin with care to be taken during jumper use and later talk on National Health and Safety Performance Standards guidelines.
- Adjusting the right height:
Adjust the jumper seat height such that just the baby’s toes touches the floor and not the entire foot.
- Vacuum clean the floor or swipe to make sure that it has no objects that can prick your baby’s soft & silky feet during jumping.
- Never keep the jumper near stairs or pools, where there is risk of toppling.
- Do not attach small toys which can lead to choking hazard.
- Do not attach strings, which can cause a strangulation hazard.
- Never use the jumper for toddlers who have already exceeded jumper height &/or weight limits.
- Always supervise the baby while she is inside the jumper.
- Ensure the jumper is firmly located on a flat & leveled surface.
Do not use jumper over 15 minutes per day
To reiterate, your baby should spend most of the time on the floor to learn to roll over and to push up to crawl, rather than spending time in a jumper.
The National Health and Safety Performance Standards guidelines recommends using baby jumpers for maximum 15 minutes at a time and at most twice a day. ( Read CFOC page )
Further a study published in 2006 Pediatric Physical Therapy journal suggested that moderate use of “infant exercise equipment” was fine.
Care and maintenance
When you buy any jumper (or other equipment) best way is to carefully read the safety, and maintenance instructions.
For you I have done some pre-study if you buy either Fisher-Price Jumperoo and Graco Bumper Jumper, their fabric seats can be machine washed cold on the delicate cycle.
The Jumperoo seat shall be tumble dried on low and removed immediately.
The Bumper Jumper seat shall be air-dried.
Fisher-Price recommends using a mild cleaning solution and damp cloth for cleaning the frame, seat, seat ring, straps, and toys of the Jumperoo . You can simply rinse clean with water to remove any soap residue.
Lastly you know it, don’t ever put in water on any electronics on the jumper!
From the desk of Olivia
Every single thing which I bought in my baby registry had good amount of research from Bryan (my husband), I never ever thought that things would be that difficult!
Even choosing a best baby jumper took over couple of weeks to study, check with family and friends, take their opinion. It was not simply the question of spending dollars but mainly safety was concern.
Again there were differences of opinion whether to use baby jumper or not?
Finally I settled on buying Rainforest Jumperoo for my baby girl.
Hope this helped you choosing right one for your baby 🙂
Happy baby jumping !