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Q: Developmental Impact of Walkers, Exersaucers, and Jumpers on Babies / Infants ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Developmental Impact of Walkers, Exersaucers, and Jumpers on Babies / Infants
Category: Health > Children
Asked by: kowkow-ga
List Price: $11.00
Posted: 12 Jul 2006 07:40 PDT
Expires: 11 Aug 2006 07:40 PDT
Question ID: 745582
We have a four month old baby who is strong for his age and already
enjoys attempting to stand (holding his weight while we balance him).
Some of our friends have purchased baby walkers, exersaucers, and
jumpers for their infants. These items clearly entertain, which would
be extremely useful for us, but we have read conflicting information
regarding the impact on the baby's development. Saftey is not an issue
because we would never leave him alone or in an area where he could
get into trouble (e.g., falling down stairs while using a walker) but
the possibility of delaying his development is. We do not want to
hinder his ability to walk or stand on his own whatsoever. Our
question is this: What does the latest research say regarding the
developmental impact of the three aforementioned items? We are looking
for doctors' opinions and/or actual studies - not simple opinions from
other parents. I specified 'all three' because of the possibility
that, for example, walkers are deemed harmful but exersaucers are
deemed helpful? Thanks so much for helping our son!
Subject: Re: Developmental Impact of Walkers, Exersaucers, and Jumpers on Babies / Infants
Answered By: kriswrite-ga on 12 Jul 2006 09:06 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello kowkow~


The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using walkers,
but primarily because over 8,000 babies are injured in them each year.
(See "Injuries Associated with Infant Walkers," American Academy of
and "Baby Walkers:" )

These articles primarily stress the safety concerns of baby walkers,
but the Academy also says "walkers do not help children walk sooner.
Walkers can delay normal muscle control and mental development."
("Baby Walkers:" )

Some doctors think that even short amounts of time in a walker might
be harmful. "Because the babies can get around too easily, their urge
to move across the floor is satisfied, and many of them will not
undertake the important task of crawling, creeping, scooting, or
hitching. This stage is important for developing strength and
coordination." ("Baby Walkers," Dr. Greene: )

State University of New York at Buffalo and Case Western Reserve
University studied 109 infants; "about half had never used a walker,
about a third used newer-style walkers with large trays that blocked
the infants' view of their feet, and the remainder used older-style
walkers that allowed them to see their moving feet and grab at objects
around them." It's important to note that all the infants scored
within "established norms," but those using the new-style walkers "sat
upright, crawled, and walked later than infants who had never used a
walker." Infants using older-style walkers learned to sit and walk at
about the same age as the infants who did not use a walker, "but they
learned to crawl at about the same age as the children who used the
newer-style walkers." (Newer style walkers have large trays,
preventing children from seeing their feet move, and making it
difficult for them to grasp objects around them.) ("Baby Walkers May
Impede Child Development," Center for the Advancement of Health: )

Other doctors see no harm in walkers, as long as they're only used for
short periods of time. "A few minutes spent and a few steps safely
taken in a walker each day won't harm baby, but too much time in his
first little car is neither safe nor healthy.," advises Dr. Sears.
("Walkers," Ask Dr. Sears: ) But even his more
moderate view ends by saying "We discourage the use of walkers or any
device that encourages baby to rely on outside assistance for
locomotion rather than on his own creativity or initiative."


"An exersaucer can be a nice alternative" to a walker, says Dr. Greene
("Baby Walkers," Dr. Greene: )
Exersaucers allow children to spin, rock, bounce, and sit upright, and
are considered safe. Dr. Sears says "Parents often ask if these are
safe for the child?s hips or back ? don?t worry, these toys are fine."
(FAQS, Ask Dr. Sears: )

Generally, doctors think exersaucers are just fine for babys, but
there are exceptions. Dr. Suzanne Dixon says, "Exersaucers...hold a
child's hip extended, just as walkers do, which is not good if a baby
spends a lot of time in them...Also, these devices, like walkers,
prevent a child from seeing his feet. New data on walkers suggests
that this lack of visual feedback hinders kids' learning from their
own movements. However, Exersaucers and Supersaucers are better than
walkers in that a child is more centered over his feet and less on his
toes. He also has to work on balance a bit more...For infants with
motor problems and atypical development, we sometimes use these
devices as one part of a program to get a baby upright and to increase
his muscle tone and strength in the trunk. If you need a safe spot to
place your baby while cooking dinner or doing the laundry, these are
handy. But putting any typically developing infant in these for long
periods of time is likely to slow things up." ("Are Exersaucers and
Supersaucers harmful for my baby's development? Pampers:


According to the Children's Hospital of San Diego, "Baby
jumpers...promote movement patterns that are not useful in normal
development including tiptoe standing and fast uncontrolled movements.
The exercise your baby gets does not promote the development of trunk
and leg control or the balance needed for walking. Additionally, it
may limit time your baby spends on his tummy developing the valuable
skills for crawling." ("Frequently Asked Questions," Children's
Hospital of San Diego: )

On the other hand, after an exhaustive search, I've found that other
reliable sources (including The American Academy of Pediatrics
website) remain silent on the subject of jumpers. One can assume,
then, that they don't consider jumpers harmful--as long as they are
used in moderation.

(As an aside, I can tell you that my infant's physical therapist says
that jumpers are fine as long as they aren't used for longer than 20
minutes a day and the child shows no signs of toe-walking.)

Kind regards,

Infant jumper* development
jumper* development
baby jumper* development
jolly jumper* development
baby jumper* development
baby exersaucers development
baby exersaucers
baby walkers
kowkow-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
very on target. quick too. thanks!

Subject: Re: Developmental Impact of Walkers, Exersaucers, and Jumpers on Babies / Infants
From: kriswrite-ga on 14 Jul 2006 10:31 PDT
I'm glad you found my Answer helpful. Thank you for the great rating and the tip!


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