Walkers, Exersaucers & Jumpers: Is There an Impact on a Baby’s Development ?

Nowadays, more and more infant devices such as walkers, exersaucers & jumpers become popular, which make parents giving many questions around babies’ development when using these devices such as “How do they influence a baby’s development?” or “should I need the baby jumper for my toddler”? It is very important because of your baby’s natural development, therefore, it should be considered.

There are a variety of opinions on the use of baby equipment depending on whom you ask, and even among developmentalism, physicians, physical therapists the views will be different from each other. Some therapists are determinedly against using this type of device, however, others support for using stationary exersaucers and jumpers if used in moderation, never regarded them as a “babysitter”. One thing you should know is that some reports indicated that using walkers on wheels caused injuries such as burns, falling down stairs, drowning and even poisoning. Therefore, it was once called a ban on using it. Although walkers on wheels were upgraded by adding the lock in brakes in 1997, which has not vividly decreased wounds because most babies in walkers on wheels are obviously “on the move”. That’s why people suggest never buying a walker on wheels for any child.

baby walkers
baby jumpers

There is a controversial problem when Dr. Sears at AskDrSears.com see no harm in walkers. Only a few minutes spent a day and a few steps safely taken in a walker each day won’t harm the baby, but children who spend most of the time of day in walkers may delay motor skills, especially in learning how to walk correctly.

exersaucers jumper
cute baby jumpers

1. Exersaucer vs. a Walker vs. a Jumper

One doctor says “An exert saucer can be a safer alternative to a walker on the wheel”. Exersaucers are considered safe because this piece of equipment does not move forward or backward and allow children to spin, rock, bounce, and sit upright. However, this piece of equipment can do several things that interfere with the baby’s typical development. First, Exersaucers can hold a child’s hip extended, just as walkers do, which is not good if a baby spends a lot of time in them. Secondly, these devices, like walkers, prevent a child from seeing his feet which are necessary visual feedback a child needs when learning to move by himself. Finally, we often see kids pushing up on their toes to spin and jump and some children later become “toe walkers” Otherwise, Supersaucers and Exersaucers are not worse than walkers as a child is more centered over his feet and less on his toes. Also, a child has to work on balance a bit more. Therefore we sometimes use these devices as one part of a program to get a baby upright and to promote his muscle tone and strength in the trunk. If you need a safer place for your baby while cooking dinner or doing the laundry, these are helpful. Remember that a child with underlying special needs related to motor development (high or low muscle tone) shouldn’t use this piece of equipment for a long period of time each day.

Although, those jumping devices promote movement patterns that are not useful in normal development including tiptoe standing or fast uncontrolled movements and using jumpers may limit the time your baby spends on his tummy developing the valuable skills for crawling, jumpers are still practical to be enjoyed by most of the parents. Because they say that if jumpers are used in moderation. There are no problems to the babies. However, Be careful to the strong babies who have normally bounced so powerfully that they ended up hitting the sides of the doorways with their heads. Also, there have also been recalling on the doorway jumper because of the clamp failure which brought about the entire apparatus to fall from the ceiling. The reason for this is that babies tend to jump forcefully in these things they do not learn to slow controlled movements which are necessary for walking, some kids develop a tip toe pattern of movement and the jumper does not help strengthen trunk, core and leg muscles needed for balance and walking.

The important thing is that none of these infant equipment really help a child learn to walk and in fact, some devices can delay this skill. Some studies have shown that children who repeatedly used walkers, jumpers, and exersaucers for a long time, they would learn to walk one month later than-than children who did not use this type of equipment.

In conclusion, baby jumpers are useful when they aren’t used only 20 minutes a day so that there is no harm in baby’s typical development such as toe-walking. Importantly, playing on the floor is the best place for a baby to learn and to stimulate his visual, sensory, gross, fine and cognitive skills.