How to Choose the Best Baby Jumper

How to Choose the Best Baby Jumper (13 Pro Tips)

With so many brands and models as you can choose from these days, how do you know which baby jumper is the best one for your child? There are many different factors that come into play when selecting a baby jumper. In this section, we are taking a closer look at those which we see as the most important.

Different Types of Baby Jumpers

These days, you can choose from multiple types of baby jumpers, each offering a different set of features. It wouldn’t be right to say that one type is better than other because they all accomplish the same goal at the end of the day.

But all babies are different, and some will naturally gravitate toward a certain type of baby jumpers. That’s why it’s important that you closely watch your baby’s current playing habits to see which toys your baby plays with the most and how wild and energetic his or her playtime tends to be.

Stationary Activity Jumpers (Exersaucers)

Stationary activity jumpers, also known as exersaucers, consist of a support frame, a seat with a play area, and elastic cords that tether the seat to the frame, allowing babies to safely jump up and down. For a baby, a stationary activity jumper is like a small office that’s full of interesting toys to play with, sounds to listen to, and activities to explore. As such, stationary activity jumpers are great for providing your baby with additional entertainment besides bouncing, which only makes them more useful.

We recommend you pick a stationary activity jumper with a removable play tray as it’s practically guaranteed that your baby will want to continue playing with the included toys even on the floor. Foldability is another important feature, especially if you don’t have too much storage space to spare. Unfortunately, stationary activity jumpers sometimes come with a bulky, unremovable play tray that makes under-the-bed storage impossible.

Out of all the types of baby jumpers, stationary activity jumpers are the most restrictive in terms of freedom of movement, and they also are not as bouncy as doorway jumpers and jumpers on a stand. Some parents, however, see that as a plus, arguing that too much jumping can be bad for babies.

Doorway Jumpers

Doorway jumpers consist of a seat suspended by straps attached to a door frame clamp. Just like all other types of baby jumpers, they allow babies who are still too young to walk to exercise their tiny legs by standing and jumping.

Parents love doorway jumpers because of how convenient they are. While families living in smaller apartments may have trouble finding enough free space for an exersaucer or a jumper on a stand, everyone has a doorway that can be turned into a play area.

You need at least a standard-sized door frame with a 0.5-inch or thicker trim. Bare door frames may work, too, but caution is required. DIYers with the right equipment and some experience won’t find it too difficult to hand a doorway jumper on a support beam.

Doorway jumpers rely on a special clamp that transfers the weight of your baby into the clamping force. As such, the heavier your baby is, the greater the clamping force. Some clamps are made of metal, while other clamps also feature plastic wall protectors that keep the metal parts from doing damage to your walls.

Doorway jumpers are also convenient when it comes to storage. They usually feature a fairly compact seat without too many extra toys and activities. When you unclamp a doorway jumper, you can usually slide it under the bed or store it in the closet without any disassembly.

Stand-Alone Jumpers

Stand-alone jumpers consist of a support frame that holds a seat with straps and springs. Stand-alone jumpers don’t come with any toys or activities—their focus is purely developmental. What parents like the most about stand-alone jumpers is how affordable they are. Next to that is their versatility. A stand-alone jumper can be placed anywhere where it can fit, that includes outside. There’s really nothing better than seeing the happiness in the eyes of your child as he or she jumps outside carefree during a beautiful summer day.

As we’ve already stated, stand-alone jumpers don’t come with any toys or educational activities. As such, their capacity to keep your baby entertained is limited. An exersaucer can keep your baby occupied even when he or she doesn’t feel like jumping, but a stand-alone baby jumper is only good for jumping.

Additionally, stand-alone jumpers can be rather difficult to store. The support construction has to be disassembled before it can fit under the bed, and disassembling it every day would probably get old very quickly.

So, which type of baby jumper is the best for you? That depends on your priorities and needs. Exersaucers have a tremendous entertainment value that you simply won’t find anywhere else. Doorway jumpers sometimes come close to the entertainment value of exersaucers, but their main strength lies in their minimal space requirements.

If you have a doorway that you wouldn’t mind turning into a play area for a while every day, you’re set. Finally, stand-alone baby jumpers are for parents who are mostly interested in the developmental benefits of baby jumpers.

Weight and Size Restrictions

Every baby jumper has certain weight and size restrictions. Typically, the suggested weight limit is 25 pounds. Most babies weigh around 25 pounds when they are 24 months old. That’s good news because babies tend to lose interest in baby jumpers when they become mobile between the ages of 7 months and 10 months.

If your baby weighs more than 25 pounds, you should stay away from jumpers with an insufficient weight limit. By placing your baby in a jumper not designed to support your baby’s weight, you are putting your baby at risk of a serious injury. The jumper could break and cause your baby to fall on his or her head from a dangerous height, or a sharp plastic piece could scratch your baby’s sensitive skin and cause bleeding.

Instead of using a baby jumper that’s not designed to support your baby’s weight, purchase one that’s intended for heavier babies. While your options may not be as plentiful as they would be otherwise, we guarantee that you’ll still be able to easily find a baby jumper that will make both you and your baby immeasurably happy.

Besides weight restrictions, you also need to take into consideration size restrictions. Some babies have chubbier legs than others, some have very short legs, some have long legs, some have tiny arms that can’t reach very far, and some are early growers who are weeks ahead of other babies of the same age.

You would be surprised to know just how many baby jumpers have too much or too little space between the leg holes, which is just one of many possible size issues you may encounter. What makes size restrictions more problematic than weight restrictions is the fact that it’s impossible to discover them just by reading product descriptions alone. Don’t expect manufacturers of baby jumpers to willingly tell you that their products don’t fit all babies.

Your only option how to avoid purchasing a baby jumper that won’t fit your baby is reading online reviews. When many customers who have purchased a certain baby jumper complain that it doesn’t fit properly, the chances are that the product isn’t as well designed as it should be. If you don’t have the opportunity to test multiple baby jumpers in person to see which fits the best, it’s always recommended to pick the one that’s praised the most.

Of course, some baby jumpers are fully adjustable for maximum comfort. Adjusting a baby jumper isn’t always as straightforward as one would expect the process to be, which is why we cover how to adjust a baby jumper in a separate article.

Health

When selecting any baby toy or product, your baby’s health is naturally the most important thing you care about. If you’ve already been doing your research, you may know that some scientific studies suggest that baby jumpers and walkers slow down motor and mental development. “Walker-experienced infants sat, crawled, and walked later than no-walker controls, and they scored lower on Bayley scales of mental and motor development. Significant effects of walker type, frequency, and timing of walker exposure were observed,” states a study called Effects of baby walkers on motor and mental development in human infants.

Why is it then that the experience of most parents is vastly different from what researchers suggest? Parents who purchased their first baby walker for their second or third child usually regret not using a baby jumper from the time their first baby was of the age when it’s appropriate to use one. Because most injuries caused by baby jumpers come from mechanical failures.

“Frame-mounted jumpers are considered to be the most dangerous type of baby jumper, because not only is there a danger of the attachment slipping off the frame, but the baby might careen into the sides of the doorway, or forward or backward into other nearby objects,” writes April Sanders for Livestrong.com.

A well-made baby jumper from a reputable manufacturer who cares about safety and would never willingly launch a dangerous product onto the market, let alone refuse the recall the product should parents discover a safety issue, is very safe to use, provided you assemble it correctly and adhere to the user instructions.

The situation is different, however, if your baby has developmental problems. Babies who require special care shouldn’t use a baby jumper or other similar product because it could worsen the condition. Tummy time is a recommended alternative to baby jumpers. It involves placing a baby on his or her stomach only while awake three times a day for about three to five minutes each session.

When you place your baby on his or her stomach, he or she will practice lifting the head, which helps with the development of strong neck, back, and shoulders to meet child development milestones.

DEHP

You must also watch out for toxic toys that contain hazardous chemicals such as cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic. Maybe you remember the global recalls of toys made in China a few years ago that happened because of dangerously high levels of lead paint. Even some relatively common types of plastics, such as PVC, are linked to various health problems.

According to a 1976 study published in Environ Health Perspect, “Exposure to PVC dust may cause pulmonary dysfunctions.” A 2001 study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine linked the addition of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), an organic compound added to PVC to make it more flexible, with a range of adverse effects in the liver, reproductive tract, kidneys, lungs, and heart.

Needless to say that you should always prefer PVC-free products over those which contain this synthetic plastic polymer if you want to be as safe as you can.

BPA

BPA, also known as Bisphenol A, is another common chemical in plastics linked to various health risks. In contrast to DEHP, which is used to make plastics more flexible, manufacturers add BPA to plastics to make them harder. It has been in use for almost 50 years, and it’s estimated that 90 percent of us have BPA in our bodies right now.

Studies have demonstrated associations between BPA exposure and adverse perinatal, childhood, and adult health outcomes, including reproductive and developmental effects, metabolic disease, and other health effects, reports a comprehensive review, published in the Journal of Reproductive Toxicology, of 91 studies examining BPA and human health.

Even today, BPA can still be found in some baby bottles, plates, cans, and even teething toys. While a single exposure to BPA is far from dangerous, BPA accumulates in the body over time, which could lead to serious health issues for your baby when he or she reaches the adulthood.

Most manufacturers of child products and toys know about the dangers associated with BPA, and they go out their way to avoid this chemical. If you encounter a baby jumper or some other baby product that isn’t explicitly labeled as BPA-free, don’t hesitate to ask the manufacturer or the company that sells it to verify how things really are.

PET

Polyethylene terephthalate, commonly known as PET, is the most common thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family. This plastic material is used for manufacturing bottles and containers that hold liquids and foods, in thermoforming for manufacturing, and in many other industries.

While generally safe for use, at least one study has found PET bottled drinking water contaminated with antimony, a chemical element that’s often mistaken for lead. The study concluded that only a small fraction of the antimony in PET plastic bottles is released into the water, but the researchers recommended the use of alternative types of plastics that do not leach antimony, especially for climates where exposure to extreme conditions can promote antimony release from PET plastics.

Safe Plastics

HDPE - High-density polyethylene is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. HDPE is used in the production of plastic bottles, ketchup jars, peanut butter containers, boats, banners, ballistic plates, fireworks, fuel tanks, plastic bags, snowboard rails, stone paper, plastic lumber, and many other things. HDPE is characterized by its large strength-to-density ratio. HDPE is considered a low hazard plastic.

LDPE - Low-density polyethylene is HDPE’s sibling. Unlike HDPE, LDPE is characterized by flexible and tough nature and excellent resistance to dilute and concentrated acids and alcohols. LDPE is used for manufacturing trays and general-purpose containers, corrosion-resistant work surfaces, parts that require flexibility, very soft and pliable parts such as snap-on lids, juice and milk cartons are made of liquid packaging board, packaging for computer hardware, playground sites, and other things.

PVC - Polyvinyl chloride is the world's third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, and it comes in two basic forms: rigid and flexible. It’s used for pipes, electric cables, gutters and downspouts, signs, containers used for blood and blood components, flooring, safety equipment, greenhouses, home playgrounds, and toys.PVC is considered to be safe, but it’s also known to degrade during service life or after careless disposal. When PVC degrades, it may soak up Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which may cause developmental defects, chronic illnesses, and death.

PP – Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer used in packaging and labeling, textiles, stationery, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and in many other industries. The advocacy organization Environmental Working Group classifies PP as of low to moderate hazard. These days, you can find PP in a wide number of food containers such as those for yogurt, and researchers have yet to find any negative effects of PP on human health.

PS – Polystyrene is a synthetic aromatic polymer that can be solid or foamed. PS is one of the most widely used plastic materials, and it’s typically used for product packaging. Other uses include lids, bottles, trays, and disposable cutlery, just to name a few.

The American Chemistry Council states, “Based on scientific tests over five decades, government safety agencies have determined that polystyrene may be safe for use in foodservice products. For example, polystyrene comes close to meeting the standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Commission/European Food Safety Authority for use in packaging to store and serve food.

The Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department recently reviewed the safety of serving various foods in polystyrene foodservice products and reached the same conclusion as the U.S. FDA.” And if PS is safe for use in foodservice products, it’s also safe for use in baby toys.

Baby Jumper Safety Tips

The most important baby jumper safety tip that we can give you is to always read the included instruction manual. Every jumper is slightly different, and it’s the responsibility of each manufacturer to properly inform the customers about all potential safety hazards and things to watch out for.

Tip: Never hesitate to send back a baby jumper that arrived without an English manual or that arrived with an English manual that’s so poorly written that it’s barely legible.

You must always keep your floor clean and free of any objects that could hurt your baby they are when stepped on. Avoid using a baby jumper near furniture, stairs, pools, roads, and other risky places. If your baby jumper has attachment points for additional toys, never attach any toy with string to avoid a strangulation hazard.

Find out what the weight limit of your baby jumper is and make sure not to exceed it. Never leave your baby unattended when he or she is using the jumper. If you need to move the jumper somewhere else, take out your baby first before lifting the jumper off the ground otherwise your baby might suddenly move and cause you to drop the entire jumper with your baby inside.

Finally, don’t force your baby to use any jumper if he or she doesn’t want to. An adult can tell you when something is uncomfortable or when something hurts, but your baby has much more restricted means of expressing himself or herself. While you may be disappointed that your baby doesn’t like the new jumper you’ve purchased for him or her, your satisfaction isn’t more important than the health and safety of your baby.

Seat

The seat is the only part of the jumper that your baby will always be in contact with. That’s why it’s paramount to select a jumper with a comfortable and well-designed seat that fits your baby like a glove and doesn’t cause any discomfort even after extended use.

There are three main features you should look for when evaluating a baby jumper seat: adjustability, padding, washability.

Adjustability: You want to select a baby jumper with a seat that can be height-adjusted. Height adjustability is what allows the jumper to grow with your baby and provide the same level of comfort even as your baby becomes larger and heavier.

Don’t expect to be able to adjust anything else besides the height of the seat, though. As much as it would be useful to make the leg holes be closer or farther apart, the manufacturers of baby jumpers don’t go as far in their effort to make their products comfortable for as many babies as possible.

Padding: A poorly padded seat can make any baby unhappy. Keep in mind that more padding doesn’t necessarily mean better comfort. Just like a very soft mattress can leave you sore in the morning because it doesn’t properly support the weight of your body, so can a plush seat cushion cause soreness and make your baby not look forward to the next jumping session.

Tip: We recommend reading online reviews written by experts and other parents like you to learn which jumpers are uncomfortable and which deliver superior booty support.

Washability: Make no mistake about it: your baby will inevitably make the seat cushion dirty. And if your little bundle of joy is exceptionally messy, the chances are that you’ll want to throw the cushion into the washing machine after every play session or two.

The problem is that not all baby jumpers come with a machine-washable seat cushion. It may sound like nothing more than a matter of convenience, but the ability to wash the seat in the washing machine is also important for hygienic reasons because washing machines are far more effective when it comes to cleaning the mess babies leave after themselves than any amount of scrubbing. Of course, to throw the dirty seat cushion into the washing machine, you first need to be able to easily remove it from the jumper.

While virtually all baby jumpers come with a removable seat cushion, some cushions are easier to remove than others. Velcro straps are usually more convenient than metal fasteners, but Velcro can wear out over time.

Suspender

When selecting a baby jumper, pay attention to how the jumper is suspended in the air. Baby jumpers are usually tethered to a door frame clamp or a stand-alone support construction with two or more springs.

The more springs the jumper is tethered with, the more stable it usually is. However, depending on their placement, the springs may prevent your baby from moving his or her little arms around freely, so you want to find a reasonable compromise between stability and usability.

Apart from metal springs, the manufacturers of baby jumpers also use safety straps, which don’t offer nearly as much bounciness as springs. The main advantage of straps over springs is their safety because there’s no way how your little one could injure his or her delicate fingers when jumping up and down.

That’s not to suggest that baby jumpers with metal springs are inherently dangerous because they are not. When the springs are hidden inside fabric sleeves and far away from baby’s reach, they are just as safe as safety straps. Unfortunately, not all baby jumpers on the market meet basic safety requirements. It’s up to you to do your research and avoid unsafe jumpers.

Clamping Mechanism

Baby jumpers that don’t come with a stand-alone support structure are usually meant to be clamped to a door frame. Most door frame clamps are designed in such a way that the weight of the baby directly provides the clamping force that holds the clamp in place. In other words, the heavier the baby is, the more clamping force the clamp generates.

Door frame clamps require a ledge to rest on. Most door trims are thick and sturdy enough to serve this purpose, but you may run into problems if the door frames in your house are bare. To prevent the clamp from slipping, strictly adhere to the requirements specified by the manufacturer.

Clamping baby jumpers onto wooden beams and other similar structural elements is possible but not recommended. If you’re an experienced DIYer with power tools and all the other necessary equipment, you can easily make a sturdy clamping point from a 1 in. x 2 in. wooden board. Use your own judgment to carefully evaluate whether the clamp is going to stay in place when your baby starts jumping around. Read this article to learn more about "How to hang a doorway jumper".

Baby jumpers that come with a stand-alone support structure can be placed on any level, stable surface provided there are no dangerous objects around the jumper. Such jumpers are perfect for families who live in large houses with backyards, but they’re less suitable for families who live in small apartments.

A good stand-alone jumper remains absolutely stable no matter how eagerly your baby jumps. Always prefer a jumper with a metal support construction over a jumper with a plastic support construction for obvious reasons. When placing the jumper on grass, it is advisable to put a wooden board under each leg to prevent it from sinking into the ground.

Adjustability

Good adjustability is what allows you to keep using the same baby jumper for months without seeing that your baby is becoming increasingly more uncomfortable as he or she grows larger and heavier.

Seat Adjustability

At the very least, pick a baby jumper with an adjustable seat. A seat that can be lowered close to the ground makes it possible for your baby to reach the ground sooner, allowing your baby to start jumping as soon as he or she can support his or her head.

Adjustability should never come at the expense of durability. As is the case with all mechanical devices, any moving part is a potential weak point. Reputable manufacturers of baby jumpers always test their products and see safety as their number one priority. Unfortunately, there are also manufacturers who do nothing but poorly copy existing designs without any testing. That’s why you may see two very similar jumpers perform very differently.

Clamp Adjustability

Baby jumper clamps are adjustable to fit door frames of different thicknesses. Unless you live in a very old building, you should never run into any issues when installing a baby jumper. If you do live in an old building, your walls may be too thick for the clamp. In that case, you can either install the jumper semi-permanently using hooks and screws, or you can clamp it onto a wooden beam or similar support, provided you know how to make the jumper stay securely in place.

If you want to learn more about how to adjust a baby jumper to perfectly fit your baby, make sure to read our detailed article on the subject, which goes beyond what we can cover here.

Storage

When you purchase a baby jumper for your baby, don’t expect the jumper to be in use all the time. In fact, most experts recommend parents to use baby jumpers only for 15 or so minutes two or three times per day. That’s a lot of time not spent jumping.

Unless you live in a small mansion, you may soon grow tired of the jumper always standing in the way. To prevent this from happening, select a baby jumper that can be easily and quickly folded flat for storage.

Some baby jumpers are designed to be foldable, while others require a partial disassembly. It goes without saying that foldable jumpers are far more convenient than jumpers that require disassembly for storage. The folding mechanism should be durable enough to withstand daily use, and it should also be intuitive and secure.

The flatter a baby jumper is when folded, the easier it is to store it under the bed or inside the closet. Baby jumpers with a play tray tend to be far bulkier when folded than baby jumpers without one. In some cases, the play tray is removable, which also comes in handy for cleaning purposes.

If you’d like to keep your baby jumper clamped to the door frame all the time, you may want to consider installing a shelf above the door frame and simply put the jumper with all the springs that tether it to the clamp on the shelf.

Tip: Never store your baby jumper close to hazardous chemicals, animal products, or food. The jumper could become contaminated with various allergens without you even realizing it. If a contaminated jumper causes an allergic reaction in your baby, you won’t know exactly which contaminant caused it.

Toys

Besides providing exercise, baby jumpers also serve an important developmental and entertainment function. Many jumpers come with a plethora of interesting, colorful toys intended to teach babies about sizes, shapes, colors, sounds, textures, and other things.

Like we’ve explained in the earlier chapter about health and safety, it’s paramount to ensure that all toys are made from non-hazardous materials. Make sure to avoid BPA, Bisphenol A, which has been linked to various human health problems. Also, carefully examine whether the included toys don’t represent a potential choking hazard.

The toys that are most typically included with baby jumpers fall into several distinct categories:

Teething toys: Teething toys provide relief during the teething stage, which typically starts around 4-6 months of age. Teething toys are made of soft materials, such as natural rubber, silicone, and even softwood. Good teething toys have various textures that allow your baby to choose the one that feels the best in his or her little mount, and they feature a non-choking design.

Educational toys: Educational toys teach about colors, numbers, shapes, and other things through various fun activities. These days, many educational toys are battery-powered for increased interactivity. Battery-powered toys make sounds and light up when played with. Not all manufacturers allow customers to easily replace the batteries that power the included toys, which is something you should definitely watch out for if you intend to use the same baby jumper for multiple babies.

Toys for motor skill development: Toys for motor skill development help babies develop better hand-eye coordination, and they encourage healthy exploration and curiosity. They include stacking toys, play dough and similar, counters, shape sorters, lacing toys, and many others. Select a baby jumper with multiple developmental toys to give your baby plenty of options to choose from.

Cleaning

Show us a parent who likes to clean after their baby, and we won’t believe it. Like it wasn’t already difficult and time-consuming for adults to clean after themselves, the amount of effort required to maintain a satisfactory level of cleanliness at home skyrockets when a baby enters the equation. Some baby jumpers can be cleaned quite easily, while others are a huge hassle to keep clean.

If you want to avoid a lot of frustration, don’t even consider baby jumpers with seat cushions that are not easily removable and machine-washable. By removable, we mean that it’s possible to remove the cushion without disassembling the jumper into individual parts.

A few strips of Velcro or some fasteners are what most manufacturers use to save parents time and energy. Velcro tends to wear out over time, which is its biggest downside, but you can usually make it stick again by removing dirt and other debris from it using a brush.

One popular manufacturer of baby jumpers, called Jumperoo, recommends washing the seats that come with its products in cold water using the delicate cycle and then tumble drying on low or the gentle cycle. We recommend following the same instructions for all other brands of baby jumpers as well. Only when you find out that cold water doesn’t cut it you should increase the temperature.

Battery Requirements

Some baby jumpers come with battery-powered toys that make various sounds and light effects. Babies love this type of interactive toys, and we’re positive that your baby won’t be an exception. But before you purchase a battery-powered baby jumper for your little one, there are some things you should know.

The type of battery that the manufacturers of baby jumpers use most often is either the AA or the AAA battery. Both AA and AAA batteries are readily available, and they are very safe, especially compared to modern smartphone batteries. AA and AAA batteries come in various versions.

There are zinc–carbon AA and AAA batteries, which have low capacity and are relatively rare these days. Unless you look for zinc-carbon AA and AAA batteries on purpose, you most likely will only find alkaline AA and AAA batteries, which cost slightly more than zinc-carbon batteries but hold more charge. Both zinc-carbon and alkaline batteries are non-rechargeable.

Rechargeable AA and AAA batteries do exist, however, and they are by far the best option for toys that consume a lot of power. AA and AAA rechargeable batteries are available in multiple chemistries: nickel–cadmium (NiCd), nickel–metal hydride (NiMH), and Nickel-zinc cell (NiZn) and lithium ion.

NiCd batteries are affordable but don’t hold much charge; NiMH batteries have better capacity than NiCd batteries, but they can be hard to find; the best-known NiMH batteries come from Panasonic, and they are called Eneloop, offering excellent capacity and reliability at an affordable price; lithium-ion batteries can be found inside smartphone and laptops, but their voltage is usually incompatible with toys, and they can also be dangerous.

Tip: If you’ve bought a baby jumper with a battery-powered toy that doesn’t have any obvious tray that would allow you to access the batteries, don’t be alarmed. It’s a quite common practice to make batteries that power various baby products inaccessible for safety reasons.

When it comes to baby jumpers, it’s generally assumed that most parents will use a jumper only for a few months, so manufacturers include batteries that can last for the entire lifespan of the jumper and make them unremovable. But if you can handle the screwdriver, we’re sure that you’ll be able to find your way in and replace the batteries to increase the resell value of your jumper or to prepare it for the arrival of another baby.

Brands

It’s way beyond the scope of this article to list all manufacturers of baby jumpers, so we’ve decided to list and describe only the most popular ones.

Fisher-Price

Fisher-Price has been around since 1930. This American company was started by Herman Fisher, Irving Price, Margaret Evans Price, and Helen Schelle. Together, this group of four entrepreneurs had experience with manufacturing, retail, and marketing, giving them the foundation they needed to capture the toy market. In 1993, Fisher-Price became a subsidiary of Mattel, and the company refocused on infant and preschool products. Fisher-Price owns the rights to Thomas & Friends and sells a range of toys based on Mike the Knight and Bob the Builder.

In 2007, Fisher-Price had to recall as much as one million toys because the toys were coated in lead-based paint. “Fisher-Price is recalling 83 types of toys, including the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters, because their paint contains excessive amounts of lead.

The recall involves 967,000 plastic toys for preschool-age children, made by a Chinese vendor and sold in the United States from May to August. It was the latest in a wave of recalls that has heightened global concern about the safety of products made in China,” wrote Washington Post at the time.

This affair has caused a lot of parents to give up on Fisher-Price, fearing that a similar incident might happen again. We actually believe that it’s much less likely that something similar would happen again after the company has learned such a huge lesson. Moreover, Fisher-Price handled the situation well, immediately issuing a global recall of the affected products and doing the best the company to could to inform its customers.

Evenflo

The American company Evenflo was founded in 1920, initially manufacturing products related to baby feeding. After the company sold its feeding business to Kimberly-Clark de México in 2012 and was officially acquired by Goodbaby International Holdings Limited in 2014, Evenflo started to focus on car seats, strollers, portable play yards, and stationary activity centers.

On its website, Evenflo states, “To the Evenflo family nothing is more important than the safety, well-being, and development of children. We work persistently to innovate and deliver to you best-in-class infant care and juvenile products.” Evenflo’s commitment to safety is clearly apparent from all their products, just like their desire to innovate.

Bright Starts and Baby Einstein

Both Bright Starts and Baby Einstein are brands owned by a single manufacturer of infant and toddler products, Kids II, Inc. The manufacturer is based in Atlanta, Georgia and has international affiliate operation locations around the world. Kids II, Inc. acquired Baby Einstein, a range of products that use real-world objects, music, art, animals, and nature to introduce kids to the world around them, in 2013 from Disney.

The Bright Starts range is characterized by affordability and excellent value. Bright Starts baby jumpers are playful, colorful, exceptionally well made, and they come with a host of features guaranteed to make your baby smile.

Graco

Graco is a popular product line of the American toy and juvenile-products retailer Toys“R”Us. The company was founded in 1948, and it is currently headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey. Toys“R”Us was a major baby-furniture retailer during the post-war boom in the United States, and the company gradually expanded its operations to include other baby products, as well. Toys“R”Us adheres to high safety standards, vowing to take an aggressive approach towards holding vendors accountable for meeting those standards.

The Graco product line, which features an array of infant and toddler essentials designed to grow along with your child, shows that Toys“R”Us really takes safety seriously. Graco jumpers offer excellent value and great manufacturing quality, and they come in multiple colors to please both boys and girls.

Summer Infant

Summer Infant is on a mission to delight all moms and dads with high-quality baby products. The company has been doing this since 1985, when William Lockett III created the original Bouncy Seat and the company itself. “Summer Infant is dedicated to developing the safest and most innovative products that stand the test of time.

Rest assured that every Summer product, from the crib to the bathtub and everywhere in between, has been designed, developed, crafted, and created with integrity, ingenuity, and safety in mind. We work closely with professionals including pediatricians, child development experts, and lactation consultants to ensure that they are safe and beneficial to the development of your child,” states the company on their website.

While Summer Infant products are sometimes more expensive than what their competition offers, they are well worth the money as they are made of only the highest quality components and come with an excellent selection of educational and developmental toys selected by real experts who know what’s best for children.

Kolcraft

Since 1946, Kolcraft has been the number one crib manufacturer in the United States, but the company also offers several ranges of other baby products, including baby jumpers. All Kolcraft products are manufactured in Chicago, and the company is owned by a third-generation of spirited entrepreneurs who refuse to settle for anything less than sheer perfection.

Kolcraft celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016 by helping families through their support of the March of Dimes with the “For the Love of Family Nursery Project”. “At Kolcraft, everything we do, we do for the love of family. This 70-year milestone is not just about my grandfather, my father and the extended family of Kolcraft employees around the world. It’s really about the families we create products for. We put our hearts into making millions of families’ lives easier with high quality, innovative baby products,” said Tom Koltun.

Kolcraft baby jumpers offer excellent value at affordable prices, and they often feature innovative designs that clearly leverage the experience the company has from manufacturing so many other baby products over the years.

Price

There’s no reason to beat around the bush: price is just as important when selecting a baby jumper as all other criteria. The good news is that baby jumpers don’t have to cost an arm and a leg to serve their purpose and make your baby happy. The bad news is that not all inexpensive baby jumpers are worth your money. In fact, not all expensive baby jumpers are worth your money, either.

We recommend you set a budget for yourself and then see what models that fall within your budgets do leading manufacturers offer. There will likely be models that you can barely afford as well as models that don’t cost too much.

Narrow down your search by briefly studying what feature each jumper offers. Once you have a handful of candidates that all seem more or less equally appealing to you, it’s time to read some reviews.

It’s a good idea to go beyond Amazon user reviews and read what professional reviewers who have personally handled many different baby jumpers have to say. Customers on Amazon sometimes give overwhelmingly positive reviews based on the first impression alone, not bothering to come back and change the review when they discover that not everything is as great as they had initially thought it is. Likewise, some customers have no problem giving a very bad review even for an insignificant flaw that’s unlikely to bother anyone else besides them.

A good professional review objectively considers all pros and cons to determine whether a particular product is worth the price the manufacturer is asking for it. A professional reviewer should be experienced with other products from the same category as the product he or she is reviewing. We keep this in mind when reviewing baby jumpers and other kid products to give you reliable information upon which you can base your purchasing decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

At what age should I get my baby a jumper?

Your newborn baby can start using a baby jumper when he or she becomes able to support his or her own head. According to BabyCenter.com, this important developmental milestone happens by 6 months. Keep in mind that every baby is different.

If your baby takes slightly more time, don’t force him or her into a baby jumper. At the same time, don’t put your baby into a baby jumper even when he or she can support his or her head much sooner than by 6 months unless your baby also meets the weight and height limit specified by the manufacturer of your baby jumper.

Although you don’t have to do anything to help your baby learn how to keep his or her head up without being cradled by your arm, there are some exercises that can help. From 3 to 6 months, put your baby on his or her tummy for a few minutes while he or she is awake.

Surround your baby with toys and watch as he or she lifts his or her head and chest to see the toys as well as you, strengthening his or her neck muscles. Don’t be surprised if your baby starts to cry—some babies don’t like being on their tummy when they are so young.

You may also put your baby in a sitting position with plenty of head support. Your lap is great for this, but you may also use pillows. While your baby is sitting, entertain him or her with toys to encourage slight head movement. Never keep your baby sitting unattended because he or she could topple over.

One example of a baby who started using a baby jumper very early comes from a member of BabyCenter.com, a community forum for parents. On the forum, a user named NewbBaby writes, “My little guy is using his every day. He's only 2 months, but he's over 26" and 16 lbs already, he's also very strong. I decided to put him in it last week since he already has solid control over his head and upper body. He hates to lie down when he isn't sleeping, so we had to find some things he could do that involve sitting or standing up. I wouldn't really put an age on it, just whenever they seem ready. He sits in it just fine - no risk of bumping his head or straining himself, he can 'jump' already by using his tip-toes, and he's already grabbing at the toys, so he was ready.”

Of course, using a baby jumper at such a young age is neither typical nor recommended. Most parents start using a baby jumper around 4 months, which is in line with the recommendations of baby development experts and pediatricians. If you’re unsure whether your baby is ready for a jumper, consult your family doctor.

How Long Should My Baby Use a Jumper Each Day?

The opinion of many experts on the subject is that babies shouldn’t use jumpers for more than 20 minutes per day. Yes, that’s much shorter time than many parents let their babies use jumpers for.

Are those parents harming their babies without even knowing it? Very unlikely. Visit any online discussion board where parents share their experience with baby jumpers, and you’ll quickly see that there are countless babies who have been jumping from a very early age on a daily basis for much longer and with much joy.

So, why the discrepancy between the opinion of experts and the experience of parents? Because experts on the subject always lean on the side of caution, and they always operate with averages. In the real world, there are extreme outliers: babies who learn to walk extremely soon, babies who almost never cry, babies who learn how to read on their own, and so on.

Naturally, there are babies who enjoy the time they spend using a baby jumper, and there are also babies who cry every time their parents put them into a jumper. Somewhere between these two opposite ends of the spectrum is the recommended time of 20 minutes per day.

How do you know how much jumping is probably too much for your baby? You look for any signs of fatigue, discomfort, and unhappiness. When you see your baby getting tired or grumpy, it’s likely the right time to call it a day.

Remember that baby jumpers aren’t real exercise machines, and your baby isn’t Silvester Stallone training for the first Rocky movie. If your jumping sessions start and end with a press of a button on a stopwatch, you’re doing it wrong. If they start with your baby being excited and end with him or her being absolutely thrilled, you’re doing it right.

Even though experts recommend only 20 minutes of jumping per day, most parents will tell you that babies are often eager to play for much longer than that. Why stop them if they have the energy for it? Let your baby jump as much fun as he or she wants.

Are Jumpers Bad for Babies?

You can read and hear a lot of negative things about the effect of baby jumpers on the development of infants. Most of these opinions can be traced back to a handful of studies on baby walkers.

In 1992, Louis E. Fazen III and Pamela I. Felizberto studied 49 children between the ages of 8 and 14 months using written questionnaire and a follow-up phone interview to determine the utilization of baby walkers and the frequency and severity of baby walker injuries. The study found that 86 percent of responders placed their children in various types of baby walkers between 4 months and 1 year of age. “Half of the 42 infants who used walkers experienced at least one accident involving a tip over, a fall down stairs, or finger entrapment. Two of those accidents resulted in injuries serious enough to require medical management. Both infants sustained head and neck injuries after falling down stairs in a walker. Whereas stairway and finger entrapment accidents occurred before the age of 7 months, tip overs were much more likely to occur after the age of 8 months,” the researchers reported.

A year later, J. Mayr, M. Gaisl, K. Purtscher, H. Noeres, G. Schimpl, and G. Fasching surveyed 240 families with children aged 2–6 years to determine how prevalent the use of baby walkers is and how often it results in injuries. The study revealed a use rate of baby walkers of 55 percent, and it found that 20 percent of the children have suffered an injury related to the use of a baby walker. “We observed 19 skull fractures, 23 concussions of the brain and 125 contusions and lacerations of the head including 4 teeth luxations and 3 fractures or distortions of the upper extremity,” the researchers stated.

In 1997, O.C.S.Cassell, M.Hubble, M.A.P.Milling, and W.A.Dickson studied the relationship between infant burns and baby walkers. “Eight of the 32 infants, aged between 6 and 12 months, were burned in their walking aid. Half of the burns were contact and half scalds, and the average inpatient stay was 8 days. One patient required formal resuscitation and three were grafted. The incidence and severity of thermal injury sustained in baby walkers remains at a high level despite increased safety measures. Perhaps it is time to concur with the American Academy of Paediatrics and recommend a ban on these dangerous aids,” the study concluded.

Clearly, baby walkers are a common cause of baby injuries. Because baby jumpers are so similar to baby walkers, many people assume that they are equally dangerous. Are they wrong? Not really. Baby jumpers can be just as dangerous as baby walkers if used incorrectly, and that’s the important part.

Any baby product can be dangerous if you don’t adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions or don’t pay attention to your baby when he or she is using the product. It’s just like with many other things in life, really. A car can be deadly when used incorrectly, a gas stove can destroy a whole house when used incorrectly, and we haven’t even gotten to electrical outlets and other causes of serious injuries.

If you are going to buy a baby jumper for you baby, be ready to be there for him or her to make the activity safe. The above-mentioned studies illustrate that baby products that allow very young babies to perform activities their bodies have not yet become accustomed to can cause many different injuries. However, all the injuries that baby walkers can cause are easily preventable just by using some caution and a healthy dose of common sense.

Do Infant Jumpers Affect Child Development?

The most influential study on the relationship between the use of baby walkers—not jumpers—and motor and mental development in human infants was published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics in 1999.

In the study, the researchers stated, “Because baby walkers enable precocious locomotion in very young, otherwise prelocomotor infants, walker experience might be conceptualized in terms of early enrichment.

However, walker devices prevent visual access to the moving limbs by design. Therefore, prelocomotor walker experience may be conceptualized in terms of early deprivation, reminiscent of that created in a classic series of animal experiments on the critical role of visual feedback in developing motor systems … Significant effects of walker type, frequency, and timing of walker exposure were observed. Considering the injury data along with the developmental data, the authors conclude that the risks of walker use outweigh the benefits.”

Because no study specifically targeted the relationship between the use of baby jumpers and motor and mental development in human infants, the findings of the above-mentioned study were generalized to also include baby jumpers. But if you carefully read what the researchers stated, it becomes obvious that the findings cannot be applied to baby jumpers.

The problem with baby walkers is that they prevent babies from seeing their legs as they walk. The lack of visual feedback can lead to developmental delays and various other problems. For this and other reasons, most experts speak against the use of baby walkers.

With most baby jumpers, babies can look down and see their legs without any problem. What’s more, jumping is very different from walking, and we don’t know with certainty that lack of visual feedback would lead to any issues at all. Some baby jumpers even function primarily as entertainers, providing babies with various activities to keep them occupied and engaged. Manufacturers of baby jumpers usually make sure that the available activities have some educational value.

No wonder that the use of baby jumpers is a common source of disagreement between experts and parents. While experts are quick to cite studies on the subject, parents are personally familiar with the use of baby jumpers, and they remember how effortlessly their own children reached all developmental milestones despite using a baby jumper on a daily basis. They also know that babies love jumping around in a well-designed jumper from a manufacturer that knows how to create safe products.

If you buy a highly rated baby jumper and use it with caution for a moderate amount of time per day, you have nothing to be afraid. Baby jumpers have been uses since the 19th century, and they will be used for many, many years to come. They make babies happy, and they give parents a few minutes of the rest they so much need.

What Is the Difference Between Baby Jumper and Baby Walker?

Many parents confuse baby jumpers and baby walkers because some baby jumpers don’t look too different from many baby walkers. To make things clear, we need to describe how a typical baby jumper and baby walker looks like.

Baby jumpers consist of a seat that is tethered by springs to some sort of clamp or support mechanism. The seat is kept off the ground so that the baby can easily jump up and down without much force and while being firmly supported. Baby walkers, on the other hand, consist of a base with wheels connected by support arms to an activity tray with a seat. Some baby walkers don’t have a seat because they are meant to be pushed by a handle like a shopping cart.

Baby walkers have enjoyed a lot of attention from baby health experts and researchers, who discovered that their use is a common cause of various infant injuries. “Experience in our hospital and figures from the Home Accident Surveillance System indicate that the number of accidents involving baby walkers is increasing … Home accident prevention measures have been shown to be of limited benefit. We advocate more stringent implementation of safety features in the design of baby walkers,” stated an article published in Archives of Disease in Childhood in 1987.

Another article, published in 1998 in Injury Prevention by Denise Kendrick and Patricia Marsh, explicitly advocated against the use of baby walkers, “Baby walker use is common across all social groups and is associated with other unsafe practices such as not using stair gates or fireguards. Health professionals should support campaigns to limit the sale of baby walkers, but, in addition, they should ascertain each family's reasons for walker use and try to find acceptable alternatives.”

Baby jumpers have been much less extensively studied, and most of what we know assume their effect on infant motor and cognitive development have never been confirmed by any study. Of course, injuries may happen when using any baby toy, and it’s up to parents to make sure that nothing bad happens when using a baby jumper.

From the practical standpoint, baby jumpers are great for people who don’t have much free space or for those who have carpet on all floors. A baby jumper can be installed in virtually any doorway in just a few minutes, and it keeps the baby safely in one place.

Most baby walkers have wheels that don’t roll well on anything besides hardwood floor, and not everyone wants to let a small child roam around sitting inside or standing behind a relatively heavy plastic contraption that might be tipped over by a household pet.

In terms of their cost, baby jumpers usually cost exactly as much as baby walkers. However, baby walkers usually come with more toys and educational activities. Baby walkers also sometimes double as feeding chairs, which can be useful if you don’t have much storage space and would like to purchase as few baby products as possible, knowing that your baby will quickly outgrow most of them.

How Does a Baby Jumpers Work?

It’s important to know how a baby jumper works so that you understand how to put baby in a jumper correctly and safely. Baby jumpers consist of a seat attached to an elastic strap or spring. You place your baby into the seat and adjust the height of the seat so that your baby can reach the floor.

Most babies discover on their own that they can use their toes to push off the ground to easily jump. If your baby doesn’t immediately understand how to use the jumper, you may hold your baby and gently show him or her how the jumper works.

Every time your baby is using the jumper, be there with him or her. Should you baby start showing any signs of discomfort or unhappiness, remove him or her from the jumper. The purpose of a baby jumper is to allow your baby to exercise his or her undeveloped muscles and expend energy to sleep better.

You should not approach the time with your jumper as a rigorous exercise. Around twenty minutes of jumping per day is most likely more than enough. Of course, if your baby wants to jump more, there’s no reason not to allow him or her to do so.