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I'm a married mum who loves chocolate & music & having an opinion on just about everything! E-Mail summermama@hotmail.co.uk

Monday, July 25, 2011

Product Review: Fisher Price Jumperoo

How much? RRP £84.99
Where from? Nursery retailers

The Boy has a friend, who is 12 weeks older than him, and we visit once or twice a month and spend the day with him and his mummy (they live a fair distance away). Shortly after Christmas when we visited, when we arrived his friend was merrily bouncing away in a Fisher Price Jumperoo.

I admired it immediately due to the bright colours, the animal noises and music, the fact that it wasn’t a moving walker as such (I hate those things with a passion) but it supported him well in a standing position and by encouraging bouncing it was strengthening his legs and spinal muscles ready for when he is at the stage of wanting to walk.

His mummy showed me more about it; The comfy fabric seat goes round in a full circle, allowing the child to move around as they like, and there are things all round the tray for variety, which do different things – You press a button for a tiger to pop up from some pretend grass, a bug with fabric wings dangles on a stretchy stalk that bounces it around, a sunshine in a clear ball can be spun round, and The Boy’s friend was quite contentedly playing in his Jumperoo for a good hour before he got bored of it. His mummy then showed me the three different height settings – at the time, she was using the setting which allowed the seat to be closest to the floor, but with three easy to change settings it can be altered as the child gets taller to allow them to continue using it and be comfortable.

The Boy at that stage was too young to go in it, as the child needs to be able to sit independently before the Jumperoo is used, and he wasn’t at that stage. However the item stuck in my mind and as time went on and he was able to sit up independently I investigated the possibility of getting him one.

I must admit I was shocked to find out the RRP was £84.99, due to the size as well if you buy it online most places will put another £10 on that for delivery, so it isn’t a cheap product by any stretch of the imagination. I decided to look at alternatives and although there are some, none of them seemed to meet the same standard and provide the level of comfort, entertainment and suitability as the child got taller.

Purely by chance, in April this year, I made contact with another mum of one, the same age as myself, whose daughter is a few weeks younger than The Boy. She’d brought a Jumperoo for her Christmas present, but then in March had brought her a baby walker as well. Since her daughter preferred the baby walker, this lady was looking to get rid of the Jumperoo. Immediately I asked her how much she wanted for it (four months old, in excellent condition) and she said £50: She even drove to our house to drop it off! I was thrilled with the purchase and put it together immediately.

At this point, let me also mention that I didn’t get instructions with this Jumperoo, I simply had the image in the Argos book of what it should look like finished and the bits in a black bin liner to put together. It took me all of 15 minutes, and once finished I turned it on and looked at The Boy. He was sitting in his play pen watching me, utterly transfixed.

I popped him in the Jumperoo at that point, and he merrily stayed in it for about an hour, bouncing away, chattering to himself, and playing with all the toys. He got bored of it after filling his nappy (let’s face it, can’t be nice to be bouncing up and down in that!) and from that point on he was smitten. He was 8 months old at that point (tall and broad for his age) and I was using it on the middle setting for height which was comfortable for him to be on tip toes but not struggling to be on tip toes. Since we use the product in our front room, he had laminate floor under his feet and I was concerned about him slapping his feet against the laminate with his full weight, so I had a look at what I had and discovered that the Fisher Price play mat that comes with the baby gym is actually ideal. Though it’s a square mat to go in a round space, it’s big enough to cover the most part of the circle without too much overlap and without interfering with the rubber parts being against the floor for stability. The hooks on the mat, meant for attaching toys to, meant I could put the bottom circle bar of the Jumperoo through them to hold the mat in place. (Since it’s also from the Rainforest range it even matches!)

The Boy adores his Jumperoo, and will spend on average of an hour to an hour and a half in it most days if we’re at home. There’s a little empty space on the tray section with a dip in it, and quite often I’ve given him a biscuit or something and he’ll use that section to put the biscuit in. It must be comfortable, because the other day he was merrily jumping away and I was reading, and the next thing I knew he was snoring softly, his head resting against the plastic sunshine globe, dangling in his Jumperoo quite contentedly!

I adore this product, even though it should have been expensive and I got a good bargain by buying 2nd hand privately, I highly recommend it to any parent. It’s awkward when taken apart due to the size and shape of the pieces, but despite that I’ve taken it apart a few times and taken it to my in-laws house when we’ve gone there for the day, and I’ve also moved it upstairs for The Boy to sit in while I’m doing housework or whatever upstairs. It keeps him entertained, it keeps him safely contained, and it provides him with an excellent work-out! Well worth looking out for good quality 2nd hand versions if you haven’t got £100-odd to splash out on a brand new one. The fabric seat is easily removable for washing (hand washing only recommended, but I threw it in the machine on a handwash cycle and it came up a treat) The rest of the unit is metal and plastic so a wipe over with some Dettol and it’s done.

You can choose the sound settings – there’s a low and a high volume, and you can have it so it only makes noises when the child bounces or moves, or you can have it so it constantly plays a ‘jungle’ tune (I admit that one gets very annoying very quickly!)

Definitely four and a half out of five, highly recommended, good quality product. Could only be improved if it came with a little mat which could be fixed under it if you are using it on harder flooring.

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