Return of the Product

Return of the Product: The Graco Baby Jumper

Depending on who you ask, the “jumper” or “doorway jumper” is either one of the greatest devices ever created for an active baby or it’s a hazardous consumer that can turn your baby a bowlegged, attention-defecit child who will grow into a delinquent who huffs glue, talks like a sailor and throws objects at others. A sad and lonely life of crime, yep, that’s what awaits them. Now, I can tell you that as the house’s safety commissioner, I was little skeptical of putting Ellison in a mechanism that functions off of a foot-long spring, a series of straps, plastic and gravity. It’s more like a slingshot for your baby.

From the second we put her in this puppy though, Ellison changed. The sensation of being upright and mobile, for Ellison, was like introducing her to new world. When we dropped her in the jumper, it first took her a moment to peer around the room and get her coordinates, find the items around her. Tucker greeted her to the vertical world. Jax ignored her. Then, her feet got to kicking and Ellison never looked back. In fact, I think she graduated pretty quickly from the straight up-and-down to more lateral movements. A little scary, but you could never tell the difference watching her. Click on below photo to be taken to the video link.

Ellison absolutely loves this thing. Of course, Ellison has been kicking and thrusting her feet since she was in the womb too. Girl’s got crazy energy so the jumper is a perfect device for her to blow off some of that steam. It’s perfect as an early evening activity to tire her out a bit for a full evening of sleep. Girl sleeps like a champ now. I attribute part of that to this device as being a perfect vehicle for safe exertion of her energy.
Couple of complaints about this thing, though. Firstly, exiting the jumper is about the clumsiest action ever. It’s like pulling Baby Jessica out of the well. It’s crazy difficult. That’s a design issue. I don’t know if there’s any clean way around it. For a six-foot plus father bending over and pulling a baby out of this thing, it’s impossible to look cool. Also, the straps don’t allow us to go any higher. It’s like the measurements on the straps and heighteners were made for a home with eight-foot doorways. Our doorways are a lower seven-foot doorway. So, essentially, where Ellison is in the video is the highest this thing can go in our house. As her legs grow, it’ll be like she’s sitting on the floor. Jumper becomes a sitter.
Overall, we’re giving this thing three and a half Black Elvises. Good product. Sturdy. Safe, but a couple of design features that make it a clumsy device for parents. Ranges about $35-$40 retail.

 

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