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 Jumper (pictured) 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. The toy itself is similar to the Jungle Quest Jumper ExerSaucer (mentioned above) but it does not have a soft landing pad for baby's feet and costs less.
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 support 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 (pictured) keeps your baby occupied with a bright zoo theme featuring 15 activities.
- Bouncin Barnyard Moovin & Groovin features over 10 activities for your baby and has a colorful barnyard theme.
- Sweet Tea Party is girl-themed and offers up a variety of vibrant, multicolored, interactive toys for your baby.
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.
- Life in the Amazon (pictured) 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 Polar Playground ExerSaucer is ideal for babies from four months old to toddlers. This activity center has a blue color palette and is arctic-themed complete with penguin and polar bear toys. It promotes child development with over 13+ activities to keep your baby entertained when you need to get stuff done.
- The Mega Splash ExerSaucer is a beach-themed learn and play experience. A variety of interactive toys help baby develop their gross and fine motor skills, self-awareness and more.
Look for ExerSaucers at Target, Wal-Mart, Buy Buy Baby and Amazon. ExerSaucers range in price depending on where you make your purchase. In general, expect to spend between $60 and $100.
There are some simple yet important instructions on how to use the ExerSaucer which include:
- The ExerSaucer is to be used by babies who are at least four months old and able to hold their head up on their own.
- Be sure to place the ExerSaucer on a flat, level floor.
- Always keep your baby in full view when using the ExerSaucer.
- Only the baby's toes should touch the floor. The baby should not be able to stand flat-footed.
- Do not spin the baby in the seat. Only allow the baby to rotate on his own.
- Do not allow your baby to sleep in the ExerSaucer.
- Do not use the ExerSaucer near stairs.
- Do not use near swimming pools or other bodies of water.
- Do not use near a heat source such as an oven, fireplace or space heater.
- Do not place the ExerSaucer near cords from window blinds, draperies, etc.
- Do not place the baby in the ExerSaucer if the baby is wearing a pacifier strap attachment or a jacket with hood strings.
- The baby should stop using the ExerSaucer when he can walk by himself, can climb out of the toy or when he reaches over 30 inches tall.
The overall reviews for the ExerSaucer are very positive. Parents claim their babies love them. It keeps their attention and is engaging and fun for the baby. On the other end of the spectrum, some parents are concerned about the comfort of the seat, the loudness of the toy and are worried about overstimulating their baby.
- One customer was very happy with the return of the more basic option of the ExerSaucer. She has much experience with purchasing various models of ExerSaucers and prefers the plainer version. She prefers not to have lights and sounds so the baby doesn't become overstimulated.
- Another customer review simply listed the pros and cons. She listed the beautiful, colorful toys as pros, as well as the lights, music and the spinning seat. A few cons she mentioned was the lack of padding on the seat, the duration of time it took to put the toy together and while the baby can move up and down, actual bouncing is limited. Regardless of the cons, this customer was still happy with her purchase.
- Another customer who happens to work in a daycare center thought the ExerSaucer was fantastic. She was impressed with the durability and the bright, friendly colors of the toy.
The ExerSaucer offers a simple version of the toy that has rattles and teething toys and there's a more elaborate version that has lights and sounds. It's a parents' personal preference what they feel would be best suited for their baby. It is always best to educate yourself about the toy. You'll want to know the price if batteries are needed, the appropriate age, height and weight for the toy, the assembly involved and if there are any concerns about the toy or if there have been any recalls. It's always best to check out the customer reviews on the product because customers will tell it like it is.
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 stairs 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.
There are a few safety precautions to keep in mind regarding this item.
- 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.
A Place for Baby to Play
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. 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!