When I had my first child, I never let him out of my sight! His energy and curiosity was endless, and he was always reaching for something. If there was an object small enough to fit in his mouth, you can bet he picked it up and tried to eat it. So I watched him like a hawk, making sure that my bundle of joy was safe and it took a toll on me. I found it very difficult to do anything for very long because I had to stop whenever I caught my son doing something he shouldn’t.
Basic household activities like doing the laundry, making dinner, or even taking a shower were stressful because I knew that any minute, I might have to rush out and attend to my son’s needs. I wished that there was something to keep my child occupied in my stead, just for a few minutes, so that I could quickly do what I needed to do without interruption. I did some research, and that was when I found out about baby activity centers.
I learned that there are many types, such as Jumperoos and Exersaucers, that could make my life easier. Lack of space wasn’t going to be an issue either, because the best exersaucer for small spaces was compact and also quite affordable. Read on to find about more about what an exersaucer is and how it can help you take care of your child.
- 1 What is an Exersaucer, Jumperoo, or Baby Jumper?
- 2 Review of the Best Exersaucers for Small Spaces
- 3 How Many Baby Jumpers Do I Need?
- 4 How are Baby Jumpers such as Exersaucers Different from Other Baby Toys?
- 5 What are the Advantages of Baby Activity Centers?
- 6 Different Types of Baby Activity Centers
- 7 Baby Jumper Buying Tips
- 8 Benefits of Using a Baby Jumper
- 9 Jumper Problems You Must Avoid
- 10 Exersaucer Safety Tips
What is an Exersaucer, Jumperoo, or Baby Jumper?
Exersaucers and Jumperoos are product names for different types of baby activity centers or baby jumpers. These are all common terms that refer to a device that keeps your baby secured and entertained within a safe space. With your baby occupied, you can have some time to do activities around your home that you’ve been putting off. With that said, you should always be close by and never leave your baby alone, because even an exersaucer isn’t foolproof against an energetic and rambunctious child.
The price of baby jumpers vary depending on your child’s age and how many new features you want to have. Exersaucers and Jumperoos are perfect for babies 3 months and older that are starting to crawl and walk. As you probably have experienced, babies tend to crawl to places they shouldn’t, and an exersaucer will prevent them from wandering off while simultaneously holding their attention.
Review of the Best Exersaucers for Small Spaces
Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo – Best Overall
Fisher-Price has designed a great jumper packed with features like 360 degree seat rotating, musical piano, height adjustability, machine washer safe, portable and foldable, and the list goes on. Let’s examine each feature.
First, your child will be in for a great experience; there is lights, music, and sound that will play whenever they jump. Overhead is a play bar that is padded that dangles a variety of toys for your child to play.
The Rainforest Jumperoo features a 360 degree rotating seat, spring covers that prevent finger pinching, and is height adjustable so it can grow as your child grows. Fisher-Price have included an electronic toy that is very interactive. Furthermore, there are drums, rattles, and other non-musical toys as well.
Since space is a major concern, you may be relieved to hear that this unit can be folded for ease of storage and portability. Hygiene and cleanliness are important, and the seat of the Rainforest Jumperoo can be machine washed. Next, it is a free standing unit that is lightweight and easy to set up. As a result, this product has a weight limit of 25 pounds and a height limit of 32 inches.
The Rainforest Jumperoo from Fisher-Price is a bit on the pricier side compared to some other models. Furthermore, it does not have any hooks for new toys to connect to. Unfortunately, while it is in use, you do have to clear some space around it for safety reasons, but storage is not an issue because it can be folded up.
Some customers have found that the seat is a bit stiff when rotating, which means some babies may struggle to turn. However, this is overall an excellent baby jumper.
- This jumperoo has lights, sound, and music each time your baby bounces.
- Head adjustable with three height settings.
- Spring covers prevent pinching.
- 360 degrees rotating seat for more freedom of movement and easy access to all of the toys.
- Comes with an electronic toy; it can be activated when played with, but it can also be activated to continuously move around.
- Foldable, makes it easy to store and move around.
- Lots of animal toys, musical toys, and more. You can expect to see a monkey, tiger, elephant, as well as musical piano, drums, rattles, and so on.
- Seat pad is machine washable.
- Lightweight and easy to set up.
Evenflo Exersaucer Door Jumper – Best Budget Option
The Evenflo Exersaucer Door Jumper was designed with simplicity in mind. It does not have any fancy features, it doesn’t even come with any toys. You may be tempted to hook your own toys for your child to play with, but it is not recommended as it is a strangling hazard.
What the Evenflo Door Jumper has going for it are fully covered suspension cables so your precious child’s fingers won’t get pinched. The straps are also adjustable, so you can set it at an appropriate length.
This door jumper exersaucer from Evenflo will fit in all standard doorways, and the sturdy frame seat fully surrounds and protects your child. If you don’t like where you’ve installed it, the portability of this product means you can easily change location. Since it does not have many fancy features, the Evenflo Exersaucer Door Jumper is highly affordable if the bare minimum is what you want.
Furthermore, this product is also machine washable. Unfortunately, many customers found the spring to be noisy, and some have complained that it feels more like a swing than a jumper. Some parents found that their child could not bounce very much.
There is also no protection for your baby’s head, so if your child swings sideways then they may hit the doorway. With that said, if you are willing to do some simple DIY upgrades, such as padding the doorway and providing your own toys, then this budget product is well worth the cost.
- The Evenflo Door Jumper fits all standard doorways that are 3-6 inches thick with a half inch wide trim.
- Fully covered spring will never pinch your little one’s fingers.
- Highly portable and can be relocated to any doorway in your home; it is also perfect to take with you when travelling.
- Adjustable straps.
- Sturdy frame seat surrounds your child, ensuring they won’t fall out.
- Cleaning is easy, is machine washable.
- Highly affordable.
- The spring is loud.
- Does come with any toys.
- Acts more like a swing than a jumper; does not have much bounce to it.
- No protection for your baby’s head.
Evenflo Exersaucer Bounce & Learn – Great Value Option
When considering what type of product to get – an exersaucer or a traditional jumper, it is hard to decide which one comes out on top. With that said, the Evenflo Exersaucer Bounce & Learn is a product that is worth trying out. For starters, its height is adjustable, the seat can rotate 360 degrees, and though it is a step up in budget compared to the Evenflo Doorway Jumper, it is still affordable.
The Evenflo Exersaucer Bounce & Learn is a mid-range product; some of its features are quite basic. For instance, it does not have any flashing lights or fun sounds. However, those features are not that important, and the Evenflo Bounce & Learn has positive points where it matters.
For example, the 360 degree rotating seat means your child has more freedom of movement and can see his or her surroundings. The adjustable height means as your child grows, you can keep on making it taller, prolonging its lifespan before your child outgrows it. Furthermore, it comes with a variety of toys that your little one can interact with, which will improve their dexterity and building skills.
Your child can rock, spin, and bounce in this exersaucer, and its sturdy frame will keep them secure. Speaking of the frame, it is compact and will not take up much space wherever you decide to set it up. Hence, it is an ideal exersaucer for small spaces.
We feel that some of the downsides it has are quite minor. As mentioned above, it lacks some enjoyable features such as lights and sounds that higher end models have. Furthermore, it is quite noisy when your child is bouncing up and down in it. Some parents have expressed concern that the seat is not padded, which may be uncomfortable for their child. However, for the price, there are more than enough positives that we recommend this product.
- It is height adjustable and can be set at three different heights.
- The 360 degree rotating seat lets your child reach all of the toys easily and look around at their surroundings.
- The interactable toys encourages development of motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Children will begin to understand things like shapes and how they stack up, cause-and-effect, and so on.
- The small frame of this exersaucer makes it suitable for small spaces.
- No padding on the seat may feel uncomfortable for your baby.
- There is an overhanging toy that may bump into your child’s head.
- Some parents found the height adjustable settings to not be as sturdy as they liked.
How Many Baby Jumpers Do I Need?
Ideally, you would have one jumper for each baby. Parents of twins, you should know by now that twins mean you have to buy double of everything! Exersaucers are not designed to support multiple babies, and you will still need to keep an eye on your baby even when he or she is secured in one.
How are Baby Jumpers such as Exersaucers Different from Other Baby Toys?
The main difference is that baby activity centers such as exersaucers focus on containment. If your child is not crawling or starting to walk yet, then this is not an issue. But once your little one starts to move, a whole new world awaits them full of exploration but also its fair share of dangers. They’ll reach for, touch, hear, smell, and taste everything they can get their hands on.
Their curiosity and innocence can be such a joy to observe, but also quite stressful when you see them reaching for things that are harmful to them. It’s also quite panic-inducing when you let them out of your sight for just a few seconds, and next thing you know they’re gone!
Sometimes, you just need something like an exersaucer to keep them from wandering off. This is so that you can finally get some housework done without a foreboding sense that your child is wandering off where they shouldn’t. Exersaucers can take a load off your shoulders by containing, entertaining, and protecting your baby.
What are the Advantages of Baby Activity Centers?
We’ve already briefly mentioned how baby jumpers benefit you by allowing you some time to get things done. But they are also beneficial for your baby because they can help improve their gross motor skills like walking, but also fine motor skills by reaching for and touching objects. For example, most exersaucers have sounds, lights, and mirrors to keep the baby and help with brain development.
Different Types of Baby Activity Centers
There are numerous types of baby activity centers that can keep your child entertained and safe. Below, we will go over the main ones.
Stationary Activity Center
Many activity bouncers feature a seat in the center that is held up by elastic cords attached to a sturdy frame. There will also be a tray filled with various toys that will keep the child’s attention away from the seat that they are stuck in..
Exersaucers are a product made by the company Evenflo. They are very similar to activity bouncers. The seat of an exersaucer is surrounded by a plastic frame with a plastic bottom that the child can push off the floor against for a fun, bouncing motion. It also has a tray full of toys that the child can play with.
Stationary jumpers are pretty barebones. They also feature a seat suspended on an elastic cord, however there is no other source of entertainment provided other than the joy a child can receive from bouncing in place. They are a budget option without all of the bells and whistles that an Exersaucer has, but they can still get the job done.
Like the name implies, doorway jumpers are jumpers that, rather than being held up by its own frame, has suspension cables attached to a clamp that connects a door frame to provide support. The elastic suspension cables connect to the seat on one end and the other end is attached to the door frame using a clamp. Doorway jumpers can also include toys, but there are budget versions without any toys. Doorway jumpers are only intended to hang from door frames, and using them improperly may result in accidents.
Due to the nature of doorway jumpers, they are easily the best exersaucer for small spaces. You do not have to place it in the middle of a large open space, clear from any sharp edges or other hazards. Instead, wherever there is a doorway, you can install the doorway jumper there. Parents who do not have much room in their home should consider looking into a doorway jumper exersaucer.
Baby Jumper Buying Tips
When it comes to any large purchase, you have to do the proper research so that you can get the best product for the money. Jumpers are no exception, especially because you expect them to help you take care of your baby. So when you are shopping for an exersaucer, these are the main considerations to take into account to get your money’s worth from a product.
Your little bundle of joy is growing incredibly fast, and many products you buy for them will have to be replaced every few months as your child grows out of it. Fortunately, a good Exersaucer will last a long time if you can buy one that lets you adjust its height.
Furthermore, adjusting the elastic cable to suit your child will greatly improve their experience. For example, if it is too short, you can adjust it to be longer, and vice versa. Then your little one can bounce away at the optimal height, and everyone will be satisfied.
Pay close attention to how much weight the jumper can support, as well as if there are any height limitations. If your child exceeds these guidelines, then leaving your child in the exersaucer can be dangerous, as it can potentially fall over or break apart with your child in the seat.
You don’t want to let your child bounce around in a flimsy jumper. As a general rule of thumb, the more suspension cables an exersaucer has, the safer your child will be when bouncing. Jumpers that only have one suspension straps are balanced and will cause your child to swing sideways. Look for an exersaucer with multiple cables.
There is some variability when it comes to the quality of seats that a jumper has. For example, some jumpers have seats that allow you to adjust the height. Others let you remove it so you can wash in case it gets dirty. Make sure the seats have enough padding to be comfortable for your child. Rotating seats provide a great experience for your child to look around freely in all directions.
You won’t necessarily have the jumper out every single day. The best exersaucer for small spaces should be collapsible so that you can put it away when not in use. Also, a compact model is a portable model and can easily be brought along when visiting Grandma.
Toys, the more the better! If you have the budget, you can consider looking into jumpers with a huge selection of entertainment. You can find hard toys, soft toys, removable toys, electronic ones that light up and makes cute sounds. The more entertained your child is, the less fuss he or she will make. Then you will have bought yourself some time to do some housework in peace.
Benefits of Using a Baby Jumper
There is a whole industry selling you baby equipment, so you may wonder if something like an exersaucer is really necessary as a parent, or can you make do without it? Whether you think it is worth it is up to you, but we will point out some potential benefits an exersaucer can provide.
Peace of Mind
This benefit is not so much for the baby as it is for you, the parent or guardian. If your child is hyperactive or energetic, you will have to keep constant supervision on them in case they are up to no good. This leaves you with almost no time to get any housework or personal tasks done because everytime you turn your head, your baby crawls away and does something risky.
With an exersaucer to help you out, you can plop your baby in the seat and have peace of mind knowing that they’ll still be in the seat and playing with the toys when you come back in a few minutes. Just make sure your child does not exceed the guidelines, so that he or she does not accidentally bounce themselves out or flip the exersaucer over.
The toys included in an exersaucer are designed not only to entertain your child, but to help them improve basic skills that we take for granted today. For example, any flashing lights, moving objects, or toys that are a variety of shapes helps to stimulate their visual acuity and depth perception. The toys that make noises or play songs will stimulate their auditory senses. When your child reaches for a toy that is moving, and picks it up with their hands, they are improving their hand-eye coordination.
All of that jumping around in an exersaucer provides a great workout for your child. They will be going up and down, twisting and turning, constantly reaching for toys and interacting with the jumper. This is not only fun, but stimulating for their young bodies. Physical activity is important for children, and can help promote motor development, especially when they are reaching for things with their hands.
As we mentioned above, the jumper lets the baby jump up and down and this is great for developing strong leg muscles, as well as back muscles, both of which will be crucial for walking. Furthermore, their neck muscles are also being used to stabilize their head as they are moving in the jumper, and this can be helpful to reach additional milestones in a baby’s development.
Jumper Problems You Must Avoid
If you do not follow the instructions that come with the jumper, then your baby may be at risk of the following:
- Pinched Fingers. If the springs on the jumper are exposed and within reach of any fingers, then they may get pinched. Buy a jumper with spring covers to be safe.
- Loose Parts. In general, any object that can fit in a baby’s mouth is a danger because a baby would put anything in his or her mouth. In the case of a jumper, if there are any parts that easily come loose, then they may pose a danger to your child.
- Falling Down. Jumpers are generally well-designed and quite safe. However, each exersaucer has recommended height and weight limits. If a child has grown too much, then they may exceed these requirements and that’s when things can get dangerous. For instance, a child may bounce too hard and break the suspension cords. Or, a child may be tall and strong enough to push the jumper around, and risk toppling it while still seated in it. Make sure your baby does not exceed the recommended size for the jumper.
- Shoulder and Neck Problems. Your baby may experience shoulder and neck aches if you leave them in the jumper for too long. All of that bouncing around is fine for a few minutes, but anything longer than ten minutes and their muscles will be fatigued and sore. Children can play in an exersaucer for ten minutes at a time, up to three times a day.
Exersaucer Safety Tips
Don’t let the section above deter you from getting a jumper. All things in life have their risks, but there are always steps you can take to minimize these risks because the benefits are worth it. As long as you are diligent and attentive, you can let you child play in a jumper and have a memorable childhood experience by following these tips:
- Always place the jumper on a flat surface so that it has the most stability. Keep the jumper away from hazards such as pools, stairs, edges of tables, and anything else you deem could be potentially dangerous.
- Toys connected to strings are a strangling hazard. Do not attempt to attach more toys to the jumper, and only use the ones included.
- If you plan on relocating the jumper, do not do it while your child is still in it.
- Always keep an eye on your child; do not leave them alone in the exersaucer.
- If your child is starting to outgrow the jumper, it is best to retire it before any accidents occur. Again, jumpers have height and weight limits, so keep that in mind for reference.
- All of the jumping around in a jumper requires neck stability. If your baby has difficulty holding up his or her own head, then they are too young to be using a jumper.
Door Jumper Precautions
Door jumpers are special because some of the things we talked about above don’t apply to door jumpers, or require some clarification. So, in addition to the above tips, here is what you should keep in mind when using door jumpers:
- If you set up the door jumper, placed your child in it, and realized that you have blocked yourself and would like to pass through, always remove your child first, THEN pass by. Do not try to squeeze around, because it would be dangerous for both you and your child. If a large animal such as a pet dog tries to pass, stop them until you have taken your baby out of the seat, only then is it safe to pass.
- If your baby rocks too hard and you have a narrow doorway, then they may accidentally hit the edges of the doorframe. Ensure the suspension cable is pulled taut, and consider padding the sides of the doorway just in case.
- The doorway jumper is held up using a clamp that attaches to the doorframe. Should that clamp slip or break, then your child will fall down. Sometimes this can happen due to a faulty clamp; in this case, it is the product manufacturer’s fault. However, you have to make sure that it is properly installed, the door frame is sturdy, and your child does not exceed the weight requirements. If the door frame is moldy, then its integrity is compromised and may break any time. Furthermore, you should always inspect the clamp to ensure there aren’t any cracks and that it properly latches onto the doorway each time you use it.
- Take your child out of the jumper if you plan on moving it to another doorway.
- Do not attach any toys with strings to the jumper or doorway.
- If your child cannot hold his or her head up on their own, they should not be placed into a jumper.
- Do not place your child in the jumper if they exceed either one of the height or weight requirements.
- Always have line of sight of your baby wherever you are in the home in case anything should happen while using the jumper.