Nothing has been a source of so much controversy in baby literature as the use of the exersaucer. Some will swear by their effectiveness while others will highlight their shortcomings. However, exersaucers can sometimes prove beneficial if you follow the instructions to the letter.
The biggest mistake one can take as a parent is to introduce an exersaucer too early.
Yes, mothers are always anxious to see their children walking as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you cannot rush the development process.
In the following write up, we provide an exersaucer age recommendation to help you in making the right decisions for you and the baby.
Can you Introduce exersaucers at any age?
The primary objective of an exersaucer is to help the child build strength and grow their organs. However, they are not the best for every age. Any exhausted caregiver will jump at any opportunity to help them with the baby. Exersaucers many thus seem godsend, but as the Family Doctors would tell you, nothing can be further from the truth.
Exersaucers may become a sort of additional problem if introduced too early. They can cause poor posturing causing the overdevelopment of calf muscles. In severe cases, the baby can begin toe walking – not a good thing.
The truth of the matter is that there is an exersaucer age range. You will typically find each exersaucer with a particular recommended age. However, children have different development times.
Some children can begin walking earlier than others or develop faster than the recommended age. So, the real dilemma is, when can you introduce the exersaucer? Which is the appropriate age?
The simple answer is that we cannot put a finger on the right age. Introducing your child to the object is not an overnight process. You must wean the baby into it gradually. Below we include some age recommendations you can use.
Buying the Exersaucer
You can purchase the exersaucer at any time starting from conception. Ideally, it should be when the doctor gives you the green light and tell you that everything is looking good. However, make sure the exersaucer is foldable to stash it away until the appropriate time – you don’t want it lying around and proving a tripping hazard.
Between 4 and 6 Months
The ideal time to introduce exersaucer is when the child starts sitting on their own, and that can as well be within this age bracket. Make sure the child can do it on their own even when they need support to do so.
Some caregivers can’t wait to have the children in the exersaucer so that they are free of them. However, introducing the little one to the helper should be gradual. You must first make them acquainted with the object and its small toys the moment they start sitting on their own.
Let them sit close to the exersaucer on the floor and detach the toys that come with it and let the baby play with them. They will eventually become accustomed to seen and having them around that it will not be too difficult to place them on the exersaucer.
Between 6 and 7 Months
The baby should be sitting without support by seven months. However, this is not set in stone – some may take longer, and it is alright. Continue sitting them close to the exersaucer but don’t rush the process by putting them into it.
But if they can sit on their own by seven months, then you can introduce them to the exersaucer and its attachments. Most of them typically come with a caution not to place babies less than four months. This is because at this age they are yet to develop muscles and putting them in too early may lead to poor development – this is never your goal.
Make sure the child adopts the right posture when standing and place a flat pillow under their feet. The cushion protects them from the hard surface when they start jumping.
Between Six and Ten Months
Always remember that the exersaucer is there to aid in the development process. It is not a place to dump the child as you concentrate on other things. As soon as you notice they can stand on their own, it is time to move to the next level.
As a caregiver, you play a critical role in their development, and you should never neglect it. You can be the stand between the child’s development processes and hence keep tabs on them and play the role. Help the child stand on their own at the edge of the exersaucer – they may not even notice they are standing on their own, which can be a good thing.
Your presence at this time is critical as you can keep them from hitting the floor hard. Support them to stand on their own and encourage where necessary.
The longer they stand playing with the attached toys, the stronger they get. They learn the basic posture to stand and move on their own, and the next thing you see is the baby coming to where you are doing your chores – such a pleasant surprise.
Taking the Exersaucer Away
The baby has so much to learn, and you should limit their play time at the exersaucer to at least fifteen minutes daily. Ideally, you can set a timer as time really flies when you are not keeping track of it. Give the baby other options to develop motor skills like a ball.
Allowing them to explore helps learn other valuable lessons they need as they grow up.
In the exersaucer vs. walker debate, experts prefer the former as a better developmental tool. In fact, walkers may delay walking and motor development. They are also responsible for various types of injuries such as broken bones, head injuries and burns among others.
Walkers can delay walking by up to six months, according to research. The baby is better off with other toys and tummy time if you think about it.
The following are some of the frequently asked questions regarding the use of exersaucer and baby development.
What age can a baby go to an activity center?
The ideal age to introduce your child to an activity center is as soon as they can sit on their own. This can be between four and six months. Don’t be in a rush to introduce the child as the activity center can play a retrogressive role in their development when they are not ready.
Are baby Jumpers bad for babies?
Research indicates that baby jumpers are not beneficial in any way to the development of the child. Yes, they are fun, but their importance ends there. Jumpers can interfere with leg and trunk control affecting the development of motor skills.
What age can a baby go in a Jumperoo?
The ideal time for a jumperoo is between four and six months. This is the time when the baby can hold their head up high and sit without support. In the baby exersaucer vs. jumperoo debate, experts point at the exersaucer as a better alternative.
When can you put a baby in a high chair?
Ideally, the most appropriate age to introduce your son or daughter to the high chair is between four and six months. Before you can add them to the kitchen décor, make sure they are independent Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association-certified. This means that they are safe for the little one and no injuries will encroach on them.
It is also nice if they are easy to clean and comfortable – you don’t want the child fidgeting now and then as a result of discomfort.
How long can a baby use exersaucer?
The fact is that you should avoid using the exersaucer too often or too soon as it can affect your son’s development process. Typically, the child should be strong enough to sit on their own before you are weaning them into the exersaucer – mostly between 4 and six months.
Limit their play time at the exersaucer to about 20 minutes before you can you take them to do other activities such as playing with the ball and tummy time. And just as you helped them into it, wean the child out of the exersaucer as soon as they are sufficiently strong to stand on their own.
There is nothing as exciting to a parent as seeing their child reach every developmental milestone without problems. Caregiving can sometimes seem tiring, and mothers are often too anxious to jump into every chance they get to ease the burden, and that may include getting an exersaucer. However, there is exersaucer age recommendation of between four and six months at which to introduce your daughter to it.
As a standard, you should start placing your child on the exersaucer only when they can sit on their own. Observe the exersaucer weight limit and make sure is safe and sturdy enough.