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Watching your baby jump about with a huge smile on his face, having the time of his life is heartwarming. The opinion on baby jumpers is usually divided, with many parents saying it is a must for a baby’s development, while others iterating that baby jumpers are bad for baby development. So, if you are keen on buying a baby jumper for your tiny tot but are worried about its effects on his development, read on for some vital information you should know.
Types of Baby Jumpers
There are a variety of baby jumpers available in the market, of which these are the three most common.
1. Stationary Baby Jumper
The simplest of the three, this baby jumper has a seat that is attached to the spring, with a stationary frame.
2. Stationary Baby Jumper With a Spring
This baby jumper is a stationary one as well but has a suspended seat that hangs from multiple springs covered in fabric.
3. Doorway Baby Jumper
A door frame baby jumper is meant to be attached to a door frame and suspended by attaching the straps to springs. This is the least recommended of the lot, safety-wise, as the clamps and straps could potentially break, making the baby fall.
When Can Babies Use a Jumper?
A question that most parents have is, ‘at what age can a baby use a jumper?’ While there is an approximate age at which you can introduce your baby to a jumper, it more important that you observe certain signs in your child that indicate he is ready to use a baby jumper. Typically, babies can begin to use a baby jumper between 3-4 months of age. However, the first indication that your little one is old enough for one is if he can hold his head up, unassisted. If your child is unable to hold his head up without any help, he is too young to use a baby jumper.
Are There Any Benefits of Using a Baby Jumper?
A baby jumper usually serves the following three purposes.
1. Keeps Babies Entertained
Babies tend to get bored easily, due to their short attention span. If you have a baby that constantly needs some form of entertainment (and it is likely that you do) a baby jumper is just what you need. Your baby can spend a lot of time jumping around and entertaining himself, giving you some free time to catch up on that shower you’ve been meaning to have…with the door wide open so you can watch your baby, of course!.
2. Helps Channel Energy
Some babies have excess energy, which can be tiresome for parents to keep up with. This can lead to tantrums and fussiness, and parents often find themselves at their wit’s end about what to do. Excess energy can also cause babies to be more aggressive toward others. A baby jumper helps channel all that excess energy, leaving you with a calmer child.
3. Better Sleep
Baby jumpers tire the baby out, causing him to sleep easily and for longer hours during the night. Once you come up with a schedule, you’ll see just how easily a baby jumper makes sleeping hours better for your little one and yourself.
How Long Can a Baby Use a Jumper in a Day?
Many parents have the question, ‘for how long should I put my baby in a jumper?’ Though a baby jumper can give you some relief during the day by keeping your baby contained in one spot, whilst getting entertained, it is essential to not exceed the set time per day that your baby should be placed in the baby jumper. Babies should only use the baby jumper for a maximum 15-20 minutes per day, to ensure they do not injure themselves or hamper development.
Are There Any Risks of Using Baby Jumpers?
Baby jumper safety is a huge concern amongst parents, especially since the baby’s development is on the line. Here are a few risks of using baby jumpers.
1. Less Control Over Movements
Using a baby jumper can affect your little one’s motor skills, causing him to have lesser control over his body movements. This is especially when he bounces around, affecting leg movements.
2. Delay in Walking
Babies use jumpers by putting weight on their toes to propel themselves upwards. When your baby pushes his toes too often, it becomes a habit, which could potentially delay walking.
3. Risk of Injury
Sometimes, an attachment may slip off or the harness may break or come loose when not set up properly. This may lead to your baby falling and injuring himself. Baby jumpers with exposed springs may also carry the risk of the baby injuring his fingers.
4. Muscle Imbalance
Baby jumpers could cause a muscle imbalance if the baby is made to sit or stand in an upright position before his bones and muscles are developed enough.
5. Foot Deformities
Though this is not scientifically proven as yet, many experts believe that baby jumpers could cause foot deformities in babies, when used for a prolonged period of time.
Things to Remember When Using a Baby Jumper
Though the risks of baby jumpers cannot be negated, if you choose to buy one for your baby, here are some ways to ensure that his development is not at risk.
- Keep the jumper on a flat surface to avoid any falls or tumbles due to imbalance.
- Limit the usage of a baby jumper to a maximum of 15-20 minutes per day.
- Make sure your baby is safely harnessed.
- Always supervise your baby’s activity in the jumper or stay close by.
- Ensure the baby jumper is not being misused by older children.
- Regularly check that all the equipment is sturdy and in place.
A giggling baby jumping about and staying entertained is a sight that most parents want to visualise. However, make sure to use the jumper in moderation to ensure that your baby’s development stays on track.