Finding out you’re going to be a new parent brings all sorts of excitement — and confusion!
What do you need a burp cloth for? What’s up with the sizing of baby diapers? And what’s the difference between all these different contraptions you can sit your baby in?
Yes — you’ll need tons of different places for baby to lay, sit, and play (like bouncers, swings, walkers, jumpers, and more). But which ones do you really need?
Let’s start by looking at baby walkers vs baby bouncers.
The main difference between baby walkers vs jumpers is that baby walkers can move around a space as the baby pushes around with their legs, while baby jumpers allow for jumping, bouncing, and hopping movements in a stationary spot.
One thing to note is that pediatricians have major concerns about both of these items that new parents should be aware of before they buy!
Let’s explain everything more in-depth.
Baby Walkers Explained
When your baby gets to be about 8 to 9 months old, they will start to pull up on objects to stand up.
Imagine what a wonderful world this opens up to your baby!
(Yes, it’s also a HUGE headache for you.)
The baby walker is thought to help babies improve their walking abilities by getting them moving right when they start to stand up themselves.
Baby walkers are either in a cart-like design where a baby pushes it around with his hands standing up, or babies are placed inside a circular table with a seat in the middle.
The table is secured with legs and a base that moves with wheels.
The table sometimes has little toys on it to keep babies occupied, or spaces where you can clip your baby’s toys on.
Most parents put babies in walkers as soon as they can sit up to give them space to use their legs and a place to keep them busy.
Keep in mind, though, that most medical professionals do not recommend the use of baby walkers.
What’s not to love about baby walkers?
Unfortunately, many accidents have happened when babies have used walkers.
When babies gain more speed and height in these baby walkers, they can run into things that may fall over, reach things they otherwise would not have been able to, and could topple over onto stairs.
Parents may likely feel a false sense of security from a baby being in a walker, ease up their alertness and not think of the places they could get into that would be bad for them.
Baby walkers are banned in Canada, but they can still be purchased in the United States.
Do your research and make sure you are making a safe decision before buying any baby-related product.
Pros & Cons of Baby Walkers
- Babies like them. Imagine never knowing what it’s like to be able to move by standing, then suddenly being able to! Most babies are delighted by baby walkers, once they figure out how to push them around.
- Babies can move around in them. Some babies might be frustrated when they see a toy on a table they can’t get to easily. A baby walker might satisfy a baby who likes to go places quickly and help foster independence.
- Medical professionals don’t recommend the use of baby walkers. Canada’s banned them, and Australian authorities have also called for the discontinuation of sale, based on medical advice. However, they are still sold in the United States.
- They don’t help your baby learn to walk. Babies need to play on the floor, pull up on things, and cruise around holding on to coffee tables and sofas a lot before nailing down the skills to walk. Baby walkers do not support all of the baby’s weight, so they are not a good learning-to-walk tool.
Baby Jumpers Explained
Now that we’ve gone over baby walkers, let’s talk about what baby jumpers are.
Baby jumpers are similar to walkers in that they suspend your baby in an upright position.
However, they are different because jumpers do not allow your baby to move around the house or in a room, they let your baby move by “jumping” in place.
These can be a lifesaver for a somewhat active baby who needs stimulation, but you need them to stay out of trouble for a minute or two!
There are two main kinds of baby jumpers.
One is similar in structure to a baby walker, it just has no wheels: it’s all made of plastic with a seat in the middle for your baby to sit and bounce up and down or stand stationary.
Another kind of baby jumper is suspended securely on a doorway with straps hanging down. These straps attach to a seat that your baby sits in to either jump off the ground with their feet or swing about.
Baby jumpers can be entertaining for a baby who is 4 months old and up.
Stationary jumpers are generally more expensive than doorway jumpers. A stationary one could be better for a baby than a doorway jumper, though, in terms of safety.
Pros and Cons of Baby Jumpers
- They allow your baby to move without moving around. Jumpers are great because they keep your baby in one spot, making them easier to keep an eye on and safer.
- They give your baby something new to do. We all need a break sometimes! Putting your baby in a jumper could buy you at least 10 minutes to do a quick household task or just sit by yourself.
- There are two options for jumpers. You can take your pick between a stationary, freestanding jumper, or a jumper that fits in a doorway.
- They can be expensive. The safer baby jumpers with the most toys can be easily over $100. There are other baby entertainment options out there that are much cheaper.
- Some doctors advise against doorway jumpers. Baby’s heads are bigger than the rest of their body proportionally at this age, which may cause imbalance and injury in a doorway jumper. Also, overenthusiastic jumpers could easily smack into the doorway with this method.
When it comes to entertaining your baby with a walker or a jumper, the clear winner here is a stationary jumper.
You can still purchase a walker in the United States if you’d like, but most pediatricians advise against it.
Whatever you decide to keep your baby in to get a moment’s peace, make sure they are still in eyesight and don’t keep them in there for too long.
The elevated cloth seat could be hard on a baby’s hips after too long; it’s best to stick with about 15 minutes of playtime in any of these devices.
But walkers and jumpers aren’t your only options! Check out some of these guides for more info:
Hope this helps!