Yet another piece of gear?
As our baby became more mobile she began to outgrow her activity play mat (the Fisher Price Rainforest Gym previously reviewed). At the same, the Offspring Industrial Complex wants us to believe that the right thing to do was to invest in yet another piece of equipment with a relatively short lifespan.
While many of you may not have memories of being in an exersaucer or jumperoo, it is likely that there is photographic evidence somewhere of you as a baby stuffed in a pouch and hanging from a doorway by some metal springs of some sort. So our urge to put our children in bouncy contraptions may be somewhat innate or at least subconsciously understandable given our own past.
So with motor development skills in mind we took upon researching the latest in greatest in jumperoos.
As we looked into choosing a jumperoo (who came up with this word anyway?) we considered a few criteria:
- Standalone unit – most jumperoos come either as standalone floor models or models that hang from something. We wanted to latter so that we could easily move it if needed and not have to deal with any installation
- Reasonable cost – given the relatively short lifespan of these things, we did not think this something to splurge on
- Adjustable height
- Size – the floor units can take-up a fair bit of space so it’s worth thinking about where you will place it
- Washable / removable materials
- Looks like fun to use!
Why we liked the Fisher-Rainforest Jumperoo
Your typical jumperoos are priced between US$ 50 and US$ 90 and are made by the usual suspects like Fisher-Price, Evenflo, Graco and others. As we did our research, we found that most of the jumperoos came with strong reviews and were universally loved by the kids, which showed that there wasn’t a huge difference between them in terms of parent and child satisfaction.
Having already enjoyed both the Fisher-Price Rainforest Activity Mat and the Rainforest Crib Mobile, we were somewhat predisposed to the Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo (aah… when brand marketing works like the marketers intended to). And no, this post is NOT sponsored by Fisher-Price. It had the same fun animals as with the other products in the series, came with a variety of lights and sounds, a swivel seat, adjustable height and a washable cover (which. as with all baby products, is key).
The Rainforest jumperoo was also priced on the lower end of the range, which was something not to overlook.
So we took the plunge and ordered it
What baby has to say about it
When we first got the jumperoo, our baby was still too short to reach the floor. If that’s the case, put a phone or large coffee table books under your baby’s feet for support. In my opinion, the baby should be able to touch the ground to bounce and work out those leg muscles, but not so low that there is too much weight on baby’s legs.
At first our baby just sat there unsure what to do. Actually, if I remember correctly, she started waling once we slipped her into the seat. During the second phase, she pawed at the various toys on the unit provided that they were directly in front of her. Since she did not really move yet, we turned her ourselves every few minutes to make her try each of them. She was particularly mesmerized by the spinning toys. Soon enough though she got the bouncing concept and started to go nuts and really enjoy it. See video proof below.
What we did not necessarily fully realize when we first purchased the jumperoo was how great PARENTS enjoyed it. No, we did not climb into it late at night when everyone was asleep. Rather, the jumperoo is a safe and hands-free place where you can entertain your baby while you do something else. Our child enjoyed it every day for several months for 10-20 minutes at a time. Half an hour is an eternity in the land of parenthood, so this short distraction is typically most welcome. You should not leave your child in it and run-off to the nearest nail salon or sports bar, but feel free to do something else while you keep at least one eye on them.
Probably 6 months of fun at most
The Rainforest jumperoo was the star entertainment for several months. Once our baby started actively crawling she quickly found the jumperoo to be too confining and limited her exploration opportunities. In our case that was probably when she reached nine or ten months. Soon after we had to find a new home for the Rainforest jumperoo. It was fun while it lasted.
Value: Fairly valued (see if you can get yourself a hand-me-down!)
Lifespan: about 6 months (depending on when your child starts crawling well)
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