Sometimes parents need a break, and they need a safe place to put their babies so they can play while staying safe.
Baby walkers and jumpers are great choices for entertaining babies; they are essentially a play station complete with toys and mobility.
But which one is better for your baby?
Benefits of a Baby Walker
With a baby walker, you get a mobile entertainment center. Babies are allowed a sense of independence with the ability to propel themselves around the house on their little toes.
They are happy knowing that they can reach what they see without needing to wait for mom or dad to take them there.
Not only does this ability increase their confidence, but it also encourages exploration.
If babies are left in one place for too long, they may become too comfortable or they may not even know what is around them. With a walker, they can check things out for themselves.
Walkers can also make parents happy as they give babies a way to expend built up energy. This can lead to better sleep and a happier baby all around.
Benefits of a Baby Jumper
Just like baby walkers, jumpers are also a great source of entertainment and means of spending energy.
They still have sensory toys, which are great for motor skill development and fun. The main differences are that they are stationary and have an added feature: they bounce.
Babies are ready to bounce and jump from a young age (around 4 months or so), and parents can get tired from holding their babies up while they bounce on their parents’ legs.
Jumpers give your arms and legs a break while still allowing your baby to bounce like they want to.
Bouncing can even strengthen babies’ legs, as they are pushing up their body weight with their leg muscles. This can be a great advantage when it comes time for your baby to learn how to walk.
Disadvantages of a Baby Walker
Baby walkers are bulky and could take up a lot of storage space.
There are several models now that collapse and fold, but they are still big enough to make it difficult to find a suitable place to keep them.
In addition, due to the dangers that arise when a baby is mobile, baby walkers are not recommended by most. Babies can move very quickly in a walker, and can easily fall down the stairs or into a pool within a matter of seconds.
They also sit higher off the ground, which means babies can reach stove burners, sharp objects, or toxic chemicals that would otherwise be out of reach.
Many parents believe that walkers will help babies learn to walk quicker, but this is only a myth. In fact, walkers may delay walking.
They do not support babies’ hips and back appropriate, and only their toes can reach the floor, so they do not get the right feel for what it means to walk.
Disadvantages of a Baby Jumper
Just like baby walkers, jumpers are also bulky, taking up a lot of space and difficult to store. The main disadvantage with this is that there are not many that fold down smaller, due to the way they are made.
Depending on the type of jumper you have, they can also take a lot of time and effort to assemble and take apart. The jumping stations often have a seat that is suspended with coils, bands, or springs, which take time to adjust and fasten correctly.
Also just like walkers, baby jumpers could potentially delay walking.
Yes, they can strengthen babies’ legs, which is an advantage, but due to the same seat shape that walkers have, babies’ hips and back are not properly supported. Prolonged use can potentially do more harm than good.
Baby Jumper or Baby Walker: The Winner
Out of the two,
baby jumpers are the better choice.
They still provide the entertainment value and allow babies some degree of mobility, letting them burn off their energy.
The best thing, though, is the added safety factor with their inability to roll away with your baby.
The Best Alternative: Baby Push Walker
We would be doing you a disservice if we did not mention the best option for a baby entertainment center: the push walker. There are many great advantages to utilizing a push walker over the other alternatives.
First, babies can use them for longer. Oftentimes, push walkers offer sit to stand benefits, meaning they either fold flat or have a removable toy panel that can be used for floor play with a baby who can sit up or may only be able to lay on their belly.
Unlike traditional walkers, push walkers have the added advantage of actually being able to teach a baby to walk. In order to push them, babies need to be able to support their full weight on their legs, balancing and moving their legs as if they were actually walking.
They are also a much safer option than traditional walkers, which can only be used with a baby sitting in the seat, essentially trapped.
With a push walker, babies still have full control over their bodies; they are able to let go if the walker starts to get away from them without worrying about being dragged down with it if it were to fall.
While both baby walkers and baby jumpers have their advantages, jumpers are the better choice for babies. They provide entertaining toys while remaining stationary, making them essentially safer for babies to use.
What do you think?
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