Exersaucers and your Baby – Good or Bad?

Exersaucers and your Baby - Good or Bad?

An exersaucer is a stationary play center for your baby that has a round base and an elevated seat for them to sit. They are conceptually similar to a walker but your baby’s feet do not touch the ground. The main role of an exersaucer is to let your baby remain upright while playing or during the day in general. Since they don’t let baby’s legs touch the ground or allow them much move-about room, they are deemed safe. As parents, we often ask this question to the paediatrician – are Exersaucers good or bad for babies?

This topic is in controversy for a long time as there are different opinions on this topic. Parents and especially exhausted mothers/caretakers feel that it is a blessing as they can get some time to relax and/or do household work. On the other hand, doctors and paediatricians recommend parents to avoid using Exersaucers – if not completely, then at least partially.

Benefits of Using Exersaucers

  1. It gives parents/caretakers some break from handling the baby all day long.
  2. When baby and mom are the only two members who stay at home throughout the day, an Exersaucer is a blessing as it allows mom to go for a shower, cook and manage other household chores.
  3. It keeps the baby entertained while the parent/caregiver is away for a while
  4. Walkers can cause injury to babies as they make baby movement easy which could lead the baby to a fall. Exersaucers don’t have this disadvantage.

Disadvantages of Using Exersaucers

  1. It is not the best thing for your baby’s posture. The importance of correct posture cannot be denied; it is even more important during growing years. Exersaucers completely defeat the purpose
  2. Your baby is never as comfortable to sit in an exersaucer as he will be when sitting on the bed or couch. So when it comes to your baby’s comfort, there is a big question mark
  3. Babies who spend a lot of their waking hours in an exersaucer eventually develop the risk of not being able to balance themselves when they attempt to walk without its support. Besides this, some babies also face challenges while standing upright without an exersaucer. This is because their bodies are so used to even standing with the help of support that without support the body is unable to hold itself up strongly
  4. Babies who sit in exersaucers or walkers or high chairs for a long time develop a syndrome called ‘Container Baby Syndrome’. Babies who develop this syndrome have flat heads, tightness in the neck area and delayed muscle development which means delay in lifting head and hand, holding things, crawling, etc. They also go through delayed sensory and cognitive development

At the end of the day, each family is in a different situation and has different dynamics/challenges to cope with. Each parent has to decide whether they would want to use an exersaucer for their baby or not. The choice is yours. However, if you choose to use it, our recommendation would be to keep its use at minimal. In the long run, using an exersaucer does more harm than good for your baby.