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Exersaucers…Help or Hindrance to Baby?

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Exersaucers, Swings and Jumpers a Hindrance to Gross Motor Development

By: Deanie Barth, MSPT Physical Therapist
Exersaucers, swings and jumpers are a constant source of controversy among parents, physicians and therapists. The initial source of controversy stemmed from safety issues. The original ‘exersaucer’ was basically an activity table on wheels. Infants had a great time as they cruised around open areas retrieving objects across the room and enjoyed a new found sense of freedom. Unfortunately, these were extremely dangerous – even the most diligent parents might turn their heads for a moment and children went down stairs, into pools or tipped over on uneven surfaces. While the more contemporary models are certainly safer than the older ones, they still should be used with adult supervision.
This article will describe the exersaucer, swing and jumper and list some pros and cons and personal opinions I have as a physical therapist. One thing they all have in common is that they should only be used in moderation (I recommend no more than 15 minutes at a time) and with constant supervision.

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