Although it may seem as if your baby only uses this essential item for a few months, many parents consider an ExerSaucer an absolute necessity. The ExerSaucer, trademark and sold by Evenflo, is an updated and safer form of a baby walker. It has a place for baby to sit, but instead of coming equipped with wheels at the base, it has a saucer-shaped bottom and stays in one place, which is safer than an activity center that lets your baby move around. Baby can rock the ExerSaucer during play, but won't be able to propel it around a room.
Options for ExerSaucers
You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 for an ExerSaucer, depending on the features you are looking for. With that said, note that ExerSaucers are designed to grow with your child, so this is a toy that your baby can use for several months. To meet a variety of needs and budgets, there are three distinct lines for the ExerSaucer.
Jump and Learn
The Jump and Learn line features ExerSaucers that allow your little one to jump in the seat. They all feature a seat that is attached with padded springs to encourage jumping to help develop baby's leg muscles. Two of them also feature a soft pad on which baby can land, further promoting leg strength. Each is themed with a variety of engaging and entertaining activities, from toys to music to lights. In addition, each ExerSaucer in this line features a removable seat cover for easy cleaning, adjustable seat height to extend the length of time your baby can use it, and toys that you can take off the ExerSaucer and bring with you, so your baby always has his favorite activity.
- The Jam Session ExerSaucer has a rock-and-roll theme with 67 learning activities that include buttons to push and pull toys that play music and light up. The toys interact together when baby chooses certain music as well.
- The Jungle Quest ExerSaucer features fun animal toys that are bright and colorful, so they appeal to babies.
- The Safari Friends ExerSaucer features 45 activities with a jungle theme in soft yellows and greens. Unlike the other ExerSaucers in this line, it does not have a soft landing pad for baby's feet.
Bounce and Learn
ExerSaucers in the Bounce and Learn line feature a saucer-like base that your baby can bounce, spin and rock in. The base is tip-proof, so your baby cannot tip over the saucer while he's in it, or tip it over if he tries to use it for supporting while learning to stand. Made with easy to clean plastic and fabric for the seat, the model requires no tools to assemble, so you can bring it home and set it up right away. The big difference between this and the Jump and Learn models, is that the seat is less 'bouncy.'
- Zoo Friends keeps your baby occupied with a bright zoo theme featuring 15 activities.
The Triple Fun line of ExerSaucers, true to its name, triples the fun. It goes from ExerSaucer to play mat to activity table and back. This choice is perfect for a growing baby because you can switch its purpose as your little one grows. An infant will enjoy the play mat where he can lie on the mat and gaze at the toys above him. When he's able to sit up without support, he'll have hours of fun in the ExerSaucer mode. As he continues to grow, convert the product into an activity table he can sit or stand at and play with everything it has to offer. Because of its versatility, the Triple Fun line of ExerSaucers makes an ideal baby shower gift.
- The Life in the Amazon ExerSaucer has 11 toys that help your baby reach 10 of his milestones. With removable toys, a fold-and-carry feature and easy to clean materials, this is the perfect choice for portability, development and fun. Your baby can enjoy this ExerSaucer for years, and the removable toys mean he can play anywhere in your home.
- The Animal Planet ExerSaucer is ideal for babies from newborn up to toddlers of two years and beyond. Start with the playmat and covert to to the ExerSaucer then the activity table as your little one grows. Fun toys with an animal theme promote many aspects of your baby's development while also entertaining him when you need to get stuff done.
- The World Explorer ExerSaucer is perfect for families that want to start foreign language early. The toy features a storybook pod, and 36 sounds in four different languages.
Look for ExerSaucers at Target, Babies "R" Us, Wal-Mart, Sears and Toys "R" Us. ExerSaucers range in price depending on where you make your purchase. In general, expect to spend between $75 and $180.
ExerSaucers vs. Walkers
One of the major controversial issues that surround baby walkers is safety. In fact, according to the American Association of Pediatrics, there were more than 8,000 visits to emergency rooms due to injuries related to using a walker. Most injuries happen when the walker tips over, but it's also important to note that walkers make babies substantially more mobile, and they can maneuver themselves into fairly dangerous situations like down the stairwell or near a hot stove.
The beauty of an ExerSaucer is that your baby can still have freedom of movement, but she won't actually go anywhere. Of course, if she is very active, all that rocking might move the saucer a little, so you would definitely want to use caution in where you place it, but the worry of her traveling all over the house will be eliminated, at least while she is in the saucer. It's important to monitor your baby at all times while she's in the ExerSaucer.
- The ages of babies who use ExerSaucers vary somewhat. A good rule of thumb is that your baby should be old enough to sit with support and be able to hold his head up.
- First, while your baby will probably love her new ExerSaucer, don't make it too much of a good thing. Be sure you give her plenty of other opportunities and positions to play and exercise.
- Although she might seem perfectly safe in the ExerSaucer, you should never leave her unattended.
- Be sure you have locked the ExerSaucer into the correct position before placing baby in it to prevent the saucer from collapsing.
- Check the ExerSaucer often for broken or loose parts, which pose a choking hazard if your baby puts them into her mouth.
No matter which product you choose, you won't be disappointed and neither will your baby. You're both in for months and years of fun!
A Place for Baby to Play
In addition, ExerSaucers help promote certain aspects of your baby's development. As she plays, she boosts her hand-eye coordination, builds her motor skills, learns cause and effect and increases her self awareness. However, it's important to provide your baby with other opportunities to develop rather than keeping her in the ExerSaucer for long periods of time. Make sure your little one gets plenty of tummy time, opportunities to creep around the house, time to ride in her stroller and a chance to reach for toys around her.