Jul 24, 2023

Best Baby Jumpers

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Baby jumpers are a busy parent's best friend. Even if you genuinely love hugging and cuddling your little one, you need to eat, take care of household chores, or — gasp — just sit down and take a break!

A baby jumper frees up your hands and safely keeps your baby occupied so you can take a breather. Plus, it's a great way for them to start playing independently.

Let's jump (pun intended) through the various types of baby jumpers, as well as best safety practices, and highlight some of our parent-recommended picks.

While the terms are often used interchangeably, you’ll often find jumpers lumped into the same category as baby bouncers and swings.

For the record, even though they perform similar jobs (keeping your little one occupied and you hands-free), they’re not the same.

So let's break down the different categories and discuss when it's safe for baby to use them.

A baby bouncer or rocker is a stationary seat that's low to the ground and moves your baby to soothe them.

You can find both manual and powered options. The powered options can also feature lights, music, sounds, and even mobiles to keep your baby engaged.

Bouncers, rockers, or swings can be safe for newborns as long as they provide complete support for their whole body, including their head and neck.

In contrast to all of the above, a jumper is only safe when your baby can fully hold their head up unassisted. This is usually around 6 months old.

Jumpers come in a range of styles, including freestanding, with a supporting frame, or styles that must be secured to a structure like an interior door frame.

Jumpers are great, but they’re not entirely without risks.

There are some important safety precautions you should keep in mind if you’re thinking about adding a jumper, bouncer, swing, or rocker to your collection of baby gear.

Even though jumpers aren't usually ideal for sleeping, many parents fall back on jumpers, bouncers, swings, and rockers as a napping space. But this is a big no-no.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly discourages parents from using sitting devices as sleep spaces because they can increase the risk of suffocation or airway obstruction in infants. Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, is also a concern when a baby is in an unusual sleeping position.

Regardless of whether you pick a freestanding jumper or one that must be mounted to a door frame or ceiling, you should always ensure that the jumper is securely set up or mounted before placing your child in one.

Mountings can wear over time (and that's an accident no parent wants to imagine).

Also, remember that hands-free doesn't mean that your jumper is a substitute for adult supervision.

Never leave your baby unsupervised when they’re in their jumper, bouncer, swing, or rocker. Especially for active babies in mounted jumpers, it's easy for them to knock their heads into the door frame or walls.

Always check whether or not your current model is listed under a product recall (the Safer Products website is a good place to check). And be sure to register your bouncer so that you’ll receive product updates and recall notifications if they occur.

Note that these days, you can find baby jumpers with wheeled attachments. These look like a modified walker that's connected to the jumper.

Though this may seem like a tool that could help baby learn to walk, the AAP has called for a ban on wheeled walkers in the United States. The largest reason for this ban is the risk of injury to children.

Some sources claim that using wheeled walkers can delay the walking milestone. At least one 2017 study found no obvious pattern of developmental delays in babies who use walkers compared to babies who don't.

Even still, this 2018 study by the AAP suggests that not using baby walkers is an easy way to prevent injury in infants and young children.

As fun as your little one may find their jumper, it's not recommended to let baby spend all day jumping. Experts recommend limiting their jumper time to just a few short sessions each day.

The concern is that, much like in a baby carrier, the jumper's soft cloth seat can put your baby's hips in an awkward position that can delay their crawling and walking development.

With so many jumpers on the market, we know it can be overwhelming to pick the right one for your home.

We focused on key factors like installation, jumper type, additional features, stability, ease of use, and parental feedback.

If you’re limited on space, an old-school-style hanging jumper can sometimes be your best bet. This one from Outing Man is a great solution and can accommodate children from infancy through 24 months of age.

Parents like that this jumper can be easily installed using the included clamp and attaching it to a square load-bearing beam.

Others mention that the straps adjust so the jumper can grow with their babies. You can, in fact, change the length of the swing from 68.8 inches to 78.7 inches.

Jumpers alone are great as a concept, but when they come with added activities, it really helps keep baby engaged (and gives you a break!).

This freestanding option from Fisher-Price is relatively portable. Its thin yet durable frame can be nested for easy transport from room to room.

Although this jumper doesn't fold flat, parents say it's worth it for all the built-in activities. These include 360-degree play, sounds, and moveable toys to excite interested babies.

Parents also like the three adjustable height options and the fabric-covered spring safety feature that protects baby's fingers. Plus, compared to jumpers that need to be installed into a door frame, this portable jumper can be quickly assembled.

Some baby jumpers can be overwhelming. If you’re worried about your home looking like it's been turned into a day care center, this jumper from Graco could be the option for you.

This simple hanging jumper is easy to install, thanks to the clamp design. You also can easily reposition this jumper or move it to different rooms. Reviewers say that the clamp doesn't mark up their door frames.

The Bumper Jumper comes with two rattle toys to keep baby occupied, and there's also an adjustable strap so you can easily adjust the height. However, if your door or entry frame lacks crown molding, you’ll need some kind of modification to make this jumper work.

Considering that some baby toys or gear will have a limited shelf life in your home, it's only natural that you might not want to spend a lot of money on something that will only get used for a few months.

While this play station from Bright Starts isn't a traditional jumper, it is a budget-friendly solution that's still packed with plenty of fun for your baby to enjoy.

This modestly priced play station features a bounce pad that can be adjusted between three heights to grow with your baby and a chair that can spin 360 degrees. This means your babe can easily access all the toys on the continuous toy bar. Plus, the fabric seat pad is machine washable for easy maintenance.

When you’re traveling with a baby — whether by car or plane — space is at a premium. This portable pick from Summer's infant line of products could be the solution.

Its lightweight, foldable design and accompanying tote bag could make this jumper suitable for trips to the park, beach, or even to visit friends and family in far-flung places.

Parents also love that it features a removable UV canopy to protect baby's delicate skin from the sun. Reviewers say that their little ones not only love jumping in this, but that they also enjoy the built-in toys, which include a rattle, teether, spinner ball, and a mirrored book.

Not everyone is comfortable with a hanging jumper that needs to be mounted or clamped onto a door frame. This freestanding jumper from Jolly Jumper might give you some peace of mind. It gives your baby a fun place to play within a self-contained frame.

This option comes with a fold-flat stand that has four legs for increased stability. Parents love that it's designed for both indoor and outdoor use and that its seat provides full spine support.

Note that the product description says it's safe for babies as young as 3 months old, which is too young. Remember: Your little one needs full head control (6 months or older) before using a jumper.

This is another option that's not a traditional jumper, but still a very fun bouncy play station. It not only folds flat for easy storage, but it also offers the largest weight capacity of all the picks in our roundup. The Fast Fold & Go can accommodate children up to 35 pounds!

When assembled, this freestanding play station features plenty of fun activities, like a hanging mobile with two toys and a toy bar that lights up and plays sounds to keep your little one engaged. The bouncy seat offers 3 different height adjustments and swivels 360 degrees.

The fold-flat design works in tight spaces or to keep it out of sight when not in use. It also comes with a travel bag, making it a great portable option for when it's time to visit the grandparents.

If you’re familiar with the Baby Einstein brand (and show), you know that it focuses on introducing classical music to children. Their Neighborhood Symphony Jumper is a freestanding jumper that can support up to 25 pounds. It includes an immersive activity center complete with music, sounds, and the ability to interact in multiple languages.

The bouncer can rotate 360 degrees. It comes with a tambourine mirror to keep your baby engaged. There's a light-up feature as well as a spinning piano and a guitar that play fun sounds.

You may also like that there are two toy bars with hanging toys to keep your bundle of joy occupied. This jumper's adjustable straps allow you to shift its height as your baby grows.

Whether you’re always on the go with a baby in tow or you’re trying to minimize the space baby gear takes up in common living areas, a baby jumper that can be easily folded and stowed is an advantage.

The KidCo GoPod Activity Seat is specially designed for travel, but can also be used around the home. Weighing no more than six pounds, it can support up to 26 pounds and has a quick-fold design that easily slips into the included storage tote.

While compact, it features an oversized design which provides added stability. However, it is lacking in activities. You’ll need to be sure to give your child toys to play with while they’re in the chair. Some customers also mentioned how the seat sinks quite a bit when their child is in it, which was misleading to them because in the picture, the baby is standing upright.

We can't blame any parent who doesn't want to splurge on a baby product that won't last more than a few months. But this Oribel Portaplay Activity Center is a luxury that makes sense.

It's specifically designed to be convertible so that it can outgrow the jumper stage and be used well through toddlerhood. While you’ll get a freestanding standard jumper with the initial configuration — complete with an activity center — the fun part is what comes next.

As your baby transitions to toddler life, you can reconfigure this jumper to turn it into a sturdy table. Better still, it comes with two toddler-friendly stools and a tabletop that can even be upgraded with a paper roll holder (accessory must be purchased separately).

Even in the jumper stage, this pick can fold flat for easy storage.

Their 3-in-1 Activity Center is another great pick that's designed to grow with your babe. In the jumper stage, it features activity components that can be removed. This ensures longevity well after your baby outgrows the jumper stage.

Along with the 360-degree swivel jumper configuration, this activity center (complete with sounds, textures, and noises) can convert into a standing play area for early standing and little walkers.

Finally, it can shift into a table with two matching chairs for the toddler stage. The table also comes with a built-in chalkboard for more creative fun for your little one.

In theory, you don't need a baby jumper. But they can be a great place to safely stow your tot while also giving you a minor break. Along with keeping little ones entertained, they can help to boost and encourage baby's curiosity — assuming you pick a jumper with an activity center or toy attachments.

Keep in mind that you shouldn't leave your baby in a jumper for hours on end. They can serve as fun — temporary — distractions. But they shouldn't be a replacement for interacting with parents or playing with others.

A few factors will impact your selection process for finding the best baby jumper. Keep the following concerns in mind as you shop for a baby jumper.

As seen from our round-up, baby jumpers can range from budget-friendly to splurge-worthy. You don't have to buy the most expensive jumper in the store. But depending on your goals, you might find that you’re leaning toward a certain price point.

In most cases, you won't use a jumper for more than about six to eight months. This is about the length of time from when your baby gains neck control (around six months of age) to when they’re no longer amused with being in a jumper.

If the idea of having a piece of baby gear for such a short period of time doesn't appeal to you, consider upgrading to a convertible jumper. Convertible jumpers are often designed to transition into activity tables and even toddler tables, complete with matching chairs.

A stationary chair — even one that jumps — may get old quickly for some babies. At a minimum, you’ll want a jumper that comes with a few toys. While that doesn't always have to mean items that light up or play music, you may at least want to look for options that include a toy bar.

Even if you have a larger home where you can create a dedicated play area for your baby, that doesn't mean that you always want to leave a jumper set up in the room. Many options are designed to be collapsible so that they can be stored under a couch or in a closet when you don't need them.

Jumpers can be freestanding, can come with their own A-frame, or can be made to attach to a doorframe. Consider which one you prefer more. But keep in mind that, regardless of style, you should wait until your child is six months old and has full head control before you introduce them to this device.

The short answer is: It depends. Healthy playtime in a jumper with adult supervision is recommended, but always remember to keep a time limit. It's also important to make sure your baby is stable enough in the head and neck to support themself in the jumper.

It's also important to note when buying a jumper the stability and durability of the materials used. Make sure the parts put together are sturdy and can handle a lot of movement. If you can, asking for an expert assembly could be useful, especially for first-time caretakers.

You can also go online and check the safety rankings for the product you’re looking at for extra consideration. The International Hip Dysplasia Institute also has a list of products safe for babies that could help prevent hip dysplasia.

Typically, the safest age to start your baby on a jumper is about six months, as that's the typical age range where babies can support their head and neck on their own. Most jumpers don't tend to offer support for the head and neck, so it could be dangerous to let your baby sit in one before they’re ready. This goes for most jumpers, from classic ones that can be attached to a doorframe, to freestanding ones.

As tempting as it might be to view jumpers as "set it and forget it" pieces of baby gear — don't. Don't leave your baby unattended in a jumper as it's too easy for an injury to occur.

In general, most experts agree that you shouldn't leave a baby in a jumper for extended periods of time. Most guidelines recommend no more than one or two sessions per day, with a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes per session.

Note that most manufacturers provide a maximum weight limit for their jumpers, regardless of the configuration. This is usually a good guideline for when it's time to phase jumpers out of your baby's routine.

Additionally, if your baby is in the walking stage — even if they haven't reached the maximum weight limit — it may be time to retire the jumper.

Every parent deserves a break, and a jumper is a great way to keep your little one engaged while giving yourself a moment to relax.

As long as you don't leave your baby in their jumper alone or for long periods of time, there's no reason you shouldn't invest in a quality pick that works for your home.

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