For new parents, it can be difficult to know exactly which toys are the best for their new and growing baby. Every child “expert” seems to have a different opinion on the subject, and many times these opinions change frequently over the course of a short amount of time. In short, it can be very difficult to know what’s best.
One type of play-thing that frequently gets discussed when it comes to safety and child welfare concerns seat-based immersion toys– namely, exersaucers and jumperoos. These play sets are designed with a seat so that the baby can sit upright and have access to some form of entertainment. While many parents love the sense of independence these toys can instill in their baby (as well as giving them as parents a short breather) many there has been much debate about which of these two types of toys are better overall.
What is the Difference?
Before we tackle the question of which is better for baby, let’s make sure we first understand exactly what these two items are. An exersaucer is a play set that contains a baby sea surrounded by a variety of toys to keep the baby entertained. Depending on the age and developmental level of the baby, these toys can vary from simply things that can be hit or pulled, to more sophisticated items.
On the other hand, a jumperoo is a slightly more involved piece of equipment. It also contains a baby seat, surrounded by various entertaining and educational gadgets. However, in addition to these, the seat is actually suspended on elastic straps, giving the baby the ability to jump up and down in place. These are not to be confused with the more basic jumpers, which are just seats that are attached to doorways so babies can jump up and down. Instead, jumperoos combine the developmental opportunities of an exersaucer with the more bouncy aspects of a jumper.
Exersaucer vs. Jumperoo?
But is that really better? At first glance, you might think so — after all, it has all the benefits of one while adding in even more benefits, right? However when you compare these two items, what you’ll find is that each one comes with its own benefits and drawbacks that need to be discussed before you decide to make any purchase at all.
In many ways, these two different products are very similar. They both come with plenty of activities to keep your baby active and involved. They both are designed for babies of different developmental ages, and parents are encouraged to only use the properly aged item for the baby.
The main difference between an exersaucer and a jumperoo has to do with the motion that babies are able to do. Jumperoos, as their name implies, are designed so babies can jump up and down and develop their leg muscles, as well as have some fun doing it. Exersaucers, on the other hand, typically have a seat the swivels, so the baby is able to swing around and around in a circle.
Another similarity between these two items, and one that is important enough to deserve its own section here, is that both of these products come with some warnings attached. While both of these types of products are okay for short periods of time, longer uses have been known to actually impeded the development of children. This impediment can happen physically, as babies often sit awkwardly and in weird angles, causing their hips and knees to develop awkwardly. These products can also actually encourage children to walk on their toes, which can make it harder for them to learn to walk properly.
In addition to the physical problems, these products can actually discourage creativity and exploration in children, as they are forced to only interact with the activity tray that is in front of them, even if they don’t want to.
As I said above, though, these problems typically occur with longer play times — most pediatricians think that these products are fine as long as baby’s time is limited to no more than 20 minutes per day.
So, Which is Better?
After all is said and done, we return to the original question: which is better for your baby? And the answer is … both! Ultimately, both exersaucers and jumperoos, when used correctly and following the recommended guidelines, provide your baby with opportunities to move, explore and learn. And both of these can have drawbacks if you choose not to follow those guidelines. Which one you choose is up to you. Whichever it is, make sure to stick with that 20 minute rule. Don’t treat these products as a personal babysitter, and you and your baby will love the fun and independence these items can provide!
Here’s a video that compares these two items:
Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave them in the comment section below!