One of the greatest mistakes that parents make when they are buying exersaucers for their baby’s is getting the timing wrong. As much as they’re built to be of benefit to the baby and help them grow their organs and build strength, when introduced to the child at a too tender age, exersaucers can become a demon that no parents wants in their house. The only problem is, most parents can’t wait any longer to get a break away from the tedious process of upbringing. So the first time they hear of something that can help keep the baby occupied as they grab a much needed rest.
The only problem in this case usually is, while most of the exersaucers will come with a recommended age, parents will out rightly flaunt that because of the differing anatomies of their children. There are some who will be able to sit up earlier while in others it will take longer. Additionally, in most cases, the ages that are stipulated in the exersaucers are grossly misrepresented. Most children will be able to make use of the products way ahead of the time that most companies indicate. After all, they have to play it safe or else they’ll have more lawsuits than they can count crashing down on their throats.
So what is the right exersaucer age for your child? At what age should you have them in the exersaucer? As much as you would like to hear a number right about now, introducing your child to such a product is not an overnight process. You need to wean the child into it and that can be a hard process. However, here are some exersaucer age recommendations on what you can do at what age. This way you have the recommended age at which you can introduce your child to the exersaucer, when you can have them fully using the product and when it is time for them to move on to something different.
There is never a bad time to buy an exersaucer. As long as you’re expectant and your doctor has given you the assurance that everything looks great, you can buy it and just have it lying around the house. In that case however, you might want to make sure that you get one that is collapsible or foldable to a significant degree so you can stash it away otherwise it could be a tripping hazard for you and other members of the family. The upside with buying before is that you give it all the time you need to make the right decision. You don’t have a crying baby that is pushing you to want to get out of the store before you pull out your hair.
Four to Six months
While you can have the exersaucer for as long as you want, the first recommended age for exersaucer that the baby should get their first contact is once they are able to sit even with minimal support. It does not necessarily have to be in their first six months. In some babies, it can happen as early as the end of the third month and in others much later. The main point is to make sure that your baby can actually sit even though they might need some sort of support.
Keep in mind that as much as this can be a great time to introduce them to the exersaucer it does not mean that you can shove them into it and leave them playing with all the toy. At this age, the best way to approach the situation would be to detach the toys that come with the exersaucer and have them lying on the floor as close possible to the exersaucer. You can then sit with your little one at the edge of the exersaucer and let them get acquainted with their new shiny friends. It might take some time for them to get accustomed. So you should expect them to react differently to each of the toys.
You should be able to keep up with this until the baby is able to sit up entirely on their own which is when you can say that the baby is ready to move on to the next step. However, you should not run the process. If the baby is not ready, they are not ready.
Six to seven months
During this time, the baby should be able to sit independently without relying on their hands for support or any other items. It is a great time to finally have the baby in the exersaucer. Keep in mind that different babies will develop differently. Hence if by seven months your baby is not fully sitting independently and there is nothing wrong with them, you can continue with the edge play. You do not need to rush the baby as you would be endangering their well-being.
Once they hit seven months or they are able to sit up on their own, then you can finally introduce them to the exersaucer fully and even allow them to play with all the toys. You may have noticed that most exersaucers will state that they are safe for children as young as four months. The only problem is, because the baby at this age is relatively small, they do not have the adequate trunk length. Even worse, because of their poorly developed muscles, they tend to adopt poor postures when they are placed in the exersaucer too early.
Once the baby is well placed in the exersaucer, there are some measures that you need to ensure that your baby has the best experience. One of these is to have a pillow under the feet of the baby. You don’t want them to bounce when they are totally flat-footed or tippy toed. You have to make sure that the child does not stand in a weird manner as this could hamper their growth.
6 to 10 months
The exersaucer age recommendation does not come to stop once your baby is able to sit comfortably in the exersaucer and play with the toys. You have to keep in mind that the baby is constantly growing. Because of this, you have to make sure that you have the best possible chance of facilitating that growth.
The exersaucer can once again be of help to both you and your baby. Once your baby is able to stand chest high especially with the support of other things like the table or other pieces of furniture, you can then take their experience with the exersaucer to the next level. Remember before they could sit on their own you would sit with them at the edge of the exersaucer and help them play with the detached toys? Now, the scenario changes. Since they can stand, you help them stand at the edge of the exersaucer as the play with the toys. The distraction provided by the toys allows them to stand longer and build their stamina as they gain other vital lessons.
You can do this for a couple of minutes at a time. The goal is to make sure that the baby develops the motor skills that they can later use when they’re in the exersaucer and you being there will prevent them from toppling over and hitting the ground.
Now that you’re sure of the recommended age for exersaucer, here are some other great tips that could help make the experience even better and more beneficial to both you and the child. Most parents don’t know this but even for your child too much of anything will be a problem even when it comes to fun things like the exersaucer.
Limit play time to 15 minutes or less
Playing in the exersaucer for the child should be limited to about 15 minutes a day. It can be when you want to take a break, or choose a couple of chores that would take about the same time to complete. It would be a great idea for you to set a timer for this. Time tends to fly and you could easily lose track of time. The baby has so much they need to learn and having them stuck in the exersaucer the entire day could seriously set them back. As they grow up and they walk up to the station, you can allow for longer play time. During such a time, they have a better understanding and when they’re bored, they can easily walk away.
Give the baby other options
It is important to give the baby other option that they can use to develop their motor skills. Some of the options that are available include getting them an exercise ball or giving them some free play time. Do not forget that they need some tummy time as well. This makes the floor the best place for them since they have lower chances of getting hurt and they have more room.
Also, you have to make sure that you know when it is time for the child to move away from the exersaucer. As much as the introduction is vital for them, you also have to make sure that the baby knows when they need to stop and in case they had gotten attach to some pieces of the station, you can detach those and let the baby use them on a different platform. This way you allow to explore other possibilities and get them out of their comfort zone.